As I was getting ready for a function recently, pulling out the clothes and undergarments I planned to wear, my oldest daughter strolled into my room and noticed the half slip laying on the bed.
|“Why do you wear those things?” she demanded in that uh darling 12-year-old, know-it-all voice. “They’re so old-ladyish.””Really?” I asked as that old tabloid picture of Lady Diana Spencer flitted through my mind, the one when she was dating Prince Charles, left home without her slip one day, and naively posed for pictures with her Kindergartners while standing in the sun. “What makes you say that?”
“Because NOBODY wears those things any more except old ladies.”
|Lady Diana Spencer
That’s weird. Because the way my mother explained it to me when I was about 12, ladies (of all ages) wore slips while (common) women did not. If you didn’t want untoward attention from men or catty comments from other women, you kept your unmentionables out of sight under thin or sheer clothes by wearing a slip or camisole. It was as simple as that.
Now yes, times have changed a bit since “dinosaurs roamed the earth when I was a kid” (as my children like to say), but the polish, modesty, and comfort offered by a good slip still remains. Don’t like your bra or panties showing through your clothes, or hate wearing scratchy fabrics (like wool) against your skin? Wear a slip or a camisole. Problem solved.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve updated your slip collection – or if you’ve never owned a slip – here’s a good selection of slip staples you should have in your underwear drawer. You’ll use them more than you think.
Remember: wear flesh-colored pieces under white or light-colored clothes; wear black, navy, or brown under dark clothes. Otherwise, they’ll show through.
Types of Slips
|Full slip (or dress slip)
wear under dresses or tops and skirts
|Half slip wear under
knee-length skirts or dresses
|Long slip wear under
evening gowns and maxi dresses
|Camisole wear under
sheer blouses and shirts;
can also be worn under itchy sweaters
|Should you always wear a slip? No. If the garment has a lining or if the fabric is relatively thick, you probably don’t need a slip. But if the fabric is thin or becomes transparent in sunlight or under bright lights, you need one.If you expect to walk a red carpet or be photographed for an event, play it safe by wearing a slip or having your garment lined; flashbulbs can have the same effect as sunlight in rendering a garment translucent.
Finally, if you can’t get past the notion that slips are old-ladyish, remember that some of Hollywood’s leading ladies steamed up the screen in their slips – and you can, too. Sensible can sometimes be very sexy.
|Paul Newman and
Elizabeth Taylor in
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
|Diana Pemberton-Sikes is an image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic, an ebook that teaches women how to dress and build a wardrobe they’ll actually wear. If you’d like to receive regular fashion tips from Diana, be sure to sign up for her FREE ezine, the Clothing Chronicles.|