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1930's to the 1940's Period, U.S., Woman's, Panties/Undies, and Very Unusual Style, Matching Garter Belt Ensemble
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This is a 2 piece undergarment ensemble that is quite an interesting set. It is believed from it's construction details that this set could date anywhere as early as for the 1930's period to possibly as late as for the 1940's period, but we are not sure either way. Dating can not be confirmed except for the fact that the garters are of the less complicated design that is usually encountered in 1940's period undergarments. The final determination on the dating and/or of any of the facts will have to remain that of the prospective buyer. It is also believed that this very ususual 2 piece set is of U.S. origin, but again, we leave that determination to the new buyer. This museum has some Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs in our collection that date from the 1920's to the end of the W.W.II period. They show many dozens upon dozens of lady's undergarments, and nowhere is a 2 piece undergarment combination such as this extant.
The undies are of a very desirable larger size and are of a soft light peach-ish color, with coral-pink-ish lace trim. The garter belt is of the same basic shades although it is made of a much more shiny, satin type material. The undies have a very tiny, white color cloth label found sewn inside, but unfortunately it is now blank from age. The garter belt however, is untagged. On the undies there is the addition of a side slit which buttons closed with very small buttons on the left side of the undies. And interestingly enough, these undies have no classic band found at the waist line or leg openings. As for the garter belt, other than the attached garter elastics themselves, the balance of the garter belt has no elastics, save for a single, 4 inch long and 1/2 inch wide elastic cross strap that joins both the left and right sides making it a single garment. No tags were sewn into this garter belt. The condition of the undies is GOOD CONDITION. They show some very light staining, and a tiny snag or so. The crotch area is slightly more stained, obviously from same daily use. There is also a small 1/2 inch or so size tear in the front lower crotch area that is not very noticeable (Hey......if you are looking that close way down there, then you have something else more interesting on your mind!). As for the garter belt, this interesting garment appears to be in EXCELLENT PLUS CONDITION. We could find no stains, snags or other detractions. The garters themselves look as new and are still remarkably quite stretchy. The garters each have a added safety pin, the purpose of which is unclear at the moment.
Comments from the Curator:
This 2 piece undergarment ensemble is quite interesting. While this 2 piece ensemble is a uinbelievably rare combination, this odd style is not unknown in lingerie collecting circles. This ensemble came to us as an all original, 2 piece set. We have no reason to believe that they were ever intended to be separate, unrelated garments. The over the shoulder style of the garter belt is extrememly rare. They were designed for a lady that was uncomfortable with the tummy pressure that regular garter belt would have exerted. This would have been the right undergarment for a rather obese lady, or perhaps for a lady who was pregnant. The undies are also of a larger size that compliments the garter belt very nicely. As a rare 2 piece ensemble, this set would still work nicely for a mannequin display for the war time period. This is a really cool lingerie set for the discerning collector of the very unusual.
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