Not So Naughty Nighties

The restrictive, bordering on prudish, social mores of the 1950's relegated Frederick's of Hollywood's lingerie advertising to the back pages of women's magazines. 

Respectable fifties' housewives purchased their undergarments from the equally proper sales lady behind the counter of their local department store. 

Even browsing through the Sears and Roebuck lingerie pages was considered a bit risque and ordering from a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog was downright scandalous.  Or so it would seem.

Advertisement for nightgowns and panties of all colors on pink background
Frederick's of Hollywood Advertisement

It appears a good many of the supposedly puritanical fifties' matrons were buying Frederick's of Hollywood's provocative lingerie. Frederick's innovative merchandising approach made them the market leader in women's lingerie sales for forty years.

An astute businessman, Frederick Mellinger founded his Hollywood, California company in 1947 and is remembered for his invention of the push-up bra, padded bras, and padded girdles.

His use of celebrity models such as Rita Hayworth, Bettie Page, and Debra Paget to publicize his products was instrumental in bringing sexy lingerie to the masses.

Here is a look back at the more conventional lingerie advertising.

Advertisement for Artemis Lingerie 1959 featuring model in white peignoir set
Artemis 1959 Advertisement

Adonna Lingerie Ad for pink slips, bras, panties
Adonna Lingerie Advertisement

Celanese Lingerie ad with woman in white slip straightening the seam of nylon stocking
Celanese Lingerie Advertisement

Permalift Bra and Girdle Ad with model wearing bra, girdle, stockings
PermaLift Girdle Advertisement

Christian Dior 1955 Lingerie Ad of model in corselette
Christian Dior 1955 Lingerie Ad

Catalog Ad for multiple 1950's bouffant types petticoats
1950's Petticoat Catalog Ad

Vanity Fair Lingerie Ad from 1959 with model wearing white peignoir
Vanity Fair Lingerie Ad 1959

Life by Formfit 1953 Advertisement with one model in bra and girdle showing what the second model wore underneath her form fitting evening gown
Life by Formfit Bra and Girdle Ad 1953

Ad with hot pink background featuring model in pink chiffon peignoir set for 1950's Van Raalte
1950's Van Raalte Peignoir Set Advertisement

You can read more about Retro Lingerie HERE

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