From the elaborately corseted and heavily draped lingerie of the Victorian era, the 1920s lingerie saw boyish cuts and silhouettes on the rise, when curves were hidden with shapeless dresses and flat-chested was the trend. Dresses during the 20s were loose-fitting, reaching below the knees or ankles. And as for the flat-chested styles, women during those days even took the time to bandage their breasts to get that manly shape and look. Slips, negligees and chemises adopted this box-shaped silhouette. The negligees are often in lace-trimmed chiffon fabrics that hung loosely in the frame, often cut in the same way as the dresses of the era.
The lace and cotton caps worn in the 19th century were eventually changed into lace and silk with ribbons, bows and flower details. The era also introduced the boudoir caps, which are used by women to keep their coiffure in place as they dress.
The young flappers of the 1920s made famous the « step-in » chemise, where the lingerie are lavishly decorated with big lace and clustered silk ribbons shaped into flowers. The step-in chemise may be paired with stylish step-in pantaloons.
To get the boyish look, women in the 1920s have different options in sporting the flat-chested and straight silhouette undergarments. There were elastic semi-laced step-in corset, delicately boned at the back; there was also the rubber brassiere that gave off the much desired, sought-after « flat lines » in the chest, paired with Rubber Reducers that reduced the lines and molded them at the same time, which was likewise designed scientifically without lacings and bones; and the Bramley Corsele, which was a corset and brassiere combination made of striped satin batiste in the color of flesh, hidden under the flapper dress.
The 1920 bras were usually made of white cotton and were like bust bodices and some were fashioned like camisoles. Aside from bandaging their breasts flat to their chests, women with bigger breasts also adopted the Symington Side Lacer-a brassiere that was laced in both sides and then pulled in to flatten the chest. Young ladies of the 1920s often sport four-sectioned, strapless laced bandeau with net lining. Aside from preventing the breasts from bobbing, these bras also gave no shape at all.
By the end of the 20s era, the use of corsets declined, nevertheless adapting new styles and designs. Because corsets made it harder for them to dance properly, the flappers got rid of them and rolled down their stockings to the knees. From the long, thick-boned corsets, women opted for the Lastex girdles made of thin elastic webbing, with suspenders usually attached to them. Underwear was kept at a minimum, often sheer and lightweight. Women used to wear cami-bockers, cami-knickers or knickers and a petticoat.