Monday, October 12, 2009

Victorian Lingerie Pins.....Hide Those Straps, Girl!

Pair of enamelled lingerie pins; C-Clasp.

The Victorian Era, named after Queen Victoria, produced a bounty of jewelry - in part due to Queen Victoria's love of jewelry. During this time, ladies had many, many different articles of clothing to put on in order to assemble their outfit for the day. One of these many items was lingerie...and with it came the ever present problem of how to hide those darn lingerie straps and keep them from falling out? In that sense, times haven't changed much. There are scads of infomercials advertising the latest in gadgets guaranteed (or your money back!) to keep that bra HIDDEN. The main difference is the reason why.

10K Gold and White Enamel; safety clasp.

Victorian women were very proper, and to reveal ones underclothing would likely cause a the very least the other ladies at your afteroon tea might swoon. These days, we hide our bras and pin them together in the middle of our back so that they don't ruin the effect of our halter top sundresses.

Mother of Pearl; C-Clasp.

Admittedly, bra straps falling out IS embarrasing, but I daresay the sight of one wouldn't cause a scandal. "Oh ye gads! A BRA STRAP! EEEEEEEKKK!"(there are many cases in which I think a more scandalous event occurs when ladies need to put one ON!) ANYWAY....these diminuitive pins were introduced as a pretty and feminine way to hold your "lingerie straps" in place. What a wonderful idea! They were made in numerous ways; some in 10 or 14K gold, some gold filled, or enamelled, and some with creamy iridescent mother of pearl.

Pair of 14K Gold Pins; Safety Clasp

To be certain, a proper Victorian lady would want something "jewel-like" securing her underthings.

Unmarked; likely gold-filled; C-Clasp.

I myself have used a paper clip, a safety pin (large ones work well to pull the straps in between your shoulder blades), as well as teeny safety pins discreetly pinned from the inside out. Certainly these dainty Victorian pins are more attractive than a paper clip! Incidentally, all of the picured lingerie pins are for sale in our Ruby Lane shop.


Fete et Fleur said...

These are facinating! A while back I purchased an old box filled with jet morning pieces, and I found a small lingerie pin in there. I love it!


Stacey said...

What an interesting subject! Thanks for sharing:)

Retropolis said...

These are a beautiful way to keep bra straps in place!

I've noticed in the last few years that some of the younger generation of women seem to actually TRY to show their bra straps. With the exception of the Madonna trend, this was a no-no for our generation and the generations of women before us. I can't even imagine what Victorian women would think if an 18 year old women of today could go back in time to the Victorian era in her tank top with bra straps showing and short shorts with the elastic waist folded down. The Victorian women would probably hide their eyes. Then, they would tell the young woman to put some clothes on and go back to 2009 and purchase (from the Lady and the Librarian) a couple of beautiful pins to hide her straps :-)

Anonymous said...

Could you please tell me whether the 10K Gold and White Enamel Lingerie Pin is still available. Thank you for your time and information. TWC

FrenchArtAntiques said...

Wonderful....! I was wondering what they were used for exactly. Tweeted this article to my account. Best wishes from Paris.