This is one of those surprises that makes reading old magazines so much fun.
“Here is a costume that provides its own underclothing…. The two-in-one blouse slips on over the head and extends into panties.” [It would have had a button crotch, like other combination underwear, called “teddies,” “step-ins,” or “an envelope chemise.”]
I remember wearing a bodysuit — that is, a blouse that stayed tucked in because, below the waist, it became a snap-crotched panty. As the “bodysuit” it was popularized by Donna Karan, and other manufacturers followed suit.
In 1927, Butterick sold this outfit as three separate patterns: Blouse 1493, Skirt 1480, and Cardigan jacket 1367.
When writing about a 1929 blouse/underwear combination attributed to Madeleine Vionnet, I said, “The problem of wearing a 1920’s wrap skirt which rides far below the natural waistline (the skirt over a satin blouse would have a tendency to migrate around the body as you walk), and the problem of keeping the blouse tucked in when you sit and stand, or raise your arms, are both neatly solved by the “culotte blouse,” as it was called in 1929.
At the time, I was interested in the fact that a couture design using a very visible zipper and attributed to Vionnet in 1929 pre-dated Schiaparelli’s use of zippers by several years. [To read that post, click here.]
However, I was surprised to see this blouse and panties combination (Butterick 1493) even earlier, in June of 1927, when it was called the “Two-in-One Blouse.”
“The two-in-one blouse is more than a blouse — it is a combination tailored shirt and panties…. It is splendid for sports and for riding since it can’t pull up. ” A “printed silk cardigan” — “the most important sport jacket of the year” — sounds pretty nifty, too.
5 responses to “Bodysuit Combination Blouse and Undergarment, 1927”
Clever! Although I’ll bet that most women also wore panties underneath–at least I would have. I wore bodysuits back in the day and found them to be a lot of work–but they did keep the shirt tucked in.
My problem with snug bodysuits was that it’s no fun trying to keep your slacks from falling to the floor in a public restroom while you’re wrestling with the bodysuit closings.
Clearly some ideas just keep coming around. I too remember bodysuits, and was surprised to find a 1940s blouse pattern with the same idea, but I had no inkling that it went so far back.
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