The reasons we do not include slips with our sheer / semi-sheer overlay dresses is a multifaceted discussion, and after receiving so many inquiries about this topic, I have decided to address it with more clarity and transparency.
This subject also requires that I embark on a brief history of slips.
I have been lucky enough to have learned about the use of slips from my beloved grandmother, Eileen, whose formative years as a fashion-icon and sustainable apparel queen occurred during the Depression Era.
My grandmother always told me that during her youth, everyone had a number of slips and underdresses that they would wear daily, and take special care to hand-wash almost nightly. As we flipped through photos of her wearing slips with her girlfriends when they were river-swimming, I remember remarking on how beautiful these garments were. They had such stunning details of lace, trim, and other notions.
My grandmother explained that slips and underdresses were an important undergarment for people during that era because most textiles were fabricated from plant-based fibers (ie: pre-advent of polyesters and synthetics) which means that nearly all garments had a level of transparency. For clarification: think of fabrics such as cottons, linens, silks, etc: the softer and drapier = lighter weight. Lighter weight = see-through.
A Brief History of Slips
According to the very well-research blog, High Altitude Style, “In the 1930s and during WWII, fabric was rationed. Therefore, a slip could substitute for lining to give dresses for nice flow. The wearing comfort of slips increased with the introduction of the biascut that permits more stretch of the garment.”
This historical context tracks with my grandmother’s account of the times, and lends itself to the transition of the garment in the post-WW2 era in which the garment itself became more embellished and often became an item that was meant to peak effortlessly out from under clothing.
So Why Don’t I make Slips for My Overlay Dresses?
- Slips and underdresses are a personal garment that should be selected for a range of fit-considerations. A proper fitting slip is a keystone wardrobe element that can be worn a million ways to support a million different garments.
- I try to keep our products as approachable, price-wise, as I can. The additional fabrication of a slip would increase overhead dramatically and would change our retail price points in a way that I do not want to do.
- The world does not need more wasteful garment production. Since more under dresses and slips that accompany dresses at major retailers, these items are poorly constructed, usually from cheap, synthetic fabrics, and more often than not find their ways into the landfills. It is a wasteful accompaniment to a garment that could better be supported by a proper-fitting, personally vetted slip or underdress.
- I am not a lingerie designer and I have incredible friends, such as Sarah Bibb at Folly and Alyssa from VAVA Lingerie, who fabricate beautiful, timeless, tried-and-true slips. I honor the work they do and if our customers would like me to refer them to other slip producers who create longterm, ethically produced, gorgeous pieces of this kind, I am happy to do so.