As we’re launching our new Loveswept demi slip, we’re looking back at the rich history of this sophisticated undergarment.

 

The first version of the slip was created in the Middle Ages. Referred to as a “smock” in England or “chemise” in France, this was a loose-fitting, lightweight garment women wore beneath their dresses.

In the 1700’s, Queen Marie Antoinette wore a leisure garment (also referred to as a “chemise”) to casual gatherings among close female friends. These gowns were cut loosely from various fabrics in different colors, with drawstrings or sashes at the waist or neck.

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Finally, at the beginning of the 1900’s, women became fed up with corsets, thanks in part to the suffrage movement, which sought more freedoms for women in all aspects of their lives. Heavy undergarments began to fall out of fashion, and by 1910, the slip began to replace them.

While the idea of wearing a slip as a dress disappeared for the next few decades, women continued to wear them as outerwear. In the 1930’s, bias cut slips were introduced, allowing for more stretch and comfort. The 1940’s and 50’s brought more glamour to the slip, as designers began defining the bust and adding embellishment.

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By the 1970’s, the slip had faded out of popularity, underwear being more streamlined, and clothing now offering built-in linings; this essentially made them obsolete. Slips, and any garment resembling one, would not be seen until the 90’s, when designers began to create dresses based on the 40’s and 50’s alluring garments. The slip dress could be worn any way, from Courtney Love’s grunge outfits to Posh Spice’s elegant looks.

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Hedi Slimane is behind the modern slip dress resurgence at Saint Laurent, designing a new take on the grunge and slip dress look. Designers such as Prada and Marc Jacobs have also included slips in their collections, making it a new staple in every fashionista’s wardrobe.

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What’s your favorite way to style a slip dress?

 

Sources: LoveToKnow, Startup Fashion, Second City Style