Buying vintage or replica vintage underwear can be challenging for a couple of reasons, first of all, it can be very expensive, and this limits the number of items that most people can afford to buy at one time. My base set of underwear from What Katie Did included a corset, a couple of girdles, a couple of bras, a corselette and some stockings; this came to about 550 pounds, not something that I could afford to do every month.
Secondly, comfort; comfort can be a big issue for many women who choose to wear the vintage style underwear, not only discomfort in wearing the items but also discomfort due to the shape that some underwear gives them. 60 years ago, everyone would have been used to seeing women walking around looking like the famous sweater girl, with her breasts emerging from her chest like two large bullets. These days, everyone is used to the smooth rounded breast shape, I certainly get some stares when I wear a cone shaped bra out in public, it just isn’t a familiar look anymore. With regards to physical comfort, some pieces can be uncomfortable, such as the corset. Some women don’t like the tight sensation of shapewear as it makes them feel constricted.
I have been looking around in the underwear sections of supermarkets and large clothing stores in Australia and have made a little discovery. Not only can you dress in vintage inspired lingerie very easily but you can do so at a very low price and at minimal discomfort! The place that you need to look in is the area that I have named the ‘granny section’; this is the underwear section full of nude coloured bras and knickers, with maximum body coverage, the section that most women completely ignore because they think it is dated, ugly and by no means sexy. Well, I have some advice for you: STOP IGNORING THE GRANNY SECTION! It is full of treasures!
I went into my local Target in Sydney during my lunch break today to take some photos of items in the ‘granny section’ to show what is available.
The first style of bra is often referred to in various ways; soft cup, full cup, three piece cup, traditional bra, non-under wired etc. Although it may not look up to much on the hanger, it looks brilliant on. I own three of this style in various colours and they look and feel very comfortable. Oh yes and this item is only 25/ 30 AUD. If you look closely in some old films, many of the women are wearing this style, the ladies in ‘Mad Men’ certainly do.
The second style available in Target is this Platex ‘Cross Your Heart’ inspired bra. I am actually wearing this one in peach today and it is so comfortable and looks a completely normal shape under clothes. I can’t get enough of this bra, it is so comfortable and fits so nicely. Oh, and it’s 20 AUD.
The next thing I located was the BIG KNICKERS. I am a big fan of huuuuge knickers. There was a huge selection of big knickers, some trying to be sexy, some plain ugly ones, and some brilliant vintage inspired knickers! These were all very cheap as well. paired with one of the above bras in the matching colour, any lady would look retro chic.
The last thing that I found, among the piles of hold ups, was one pack of nude stockings. I haven’t tried these on yet but I have bought them to try them at home tonight . they were 6 AUD and may be a practical and cheap alternative to nylon. Although I love nylons, I have a tendency to injure myself on a daily basis, and with injuries come laddered stockings so I need a cheap alternatives on particularly clumsy days. I will report back tomorrow once I have tried them on.
The only thing that isn’t available is girdles. I couldn’t find anything to hold my suspenders up apart from small bits of string calling themselves ‘suspenders’.
In conclusion, you have no excuse! If you want to look and feel glamorously vintage, head over to the granny section and pick up some imitation vintage bargains!