Styles in Lingerie and Kindred Lines for June 1915
The popularity of the envelope chemise is directly responsible for a large number of the sales in the underwear departments of New York's stores at present. It is surprising to note the lasting popularity of this unique garment, which at present is far outselling the combination.
However, a few months ago the combination was universally worn, not alone in the princess and empire styles., but in the time-honored corset-cover and drawer effects.
The fact that all under-garments have taken on more extensive lines, since the advent of the new flaring skirt silhouette, has already become manifest in the innovative envelope chemises introduced as Summer garments.
Many buyers state that this new flaring line has added perceptibly to the practicability and popularity of the envelope chemise, ensuring greater comfort and removing all possibility of strain at the seams of the garment.
A Proof of Popularity
It is safe to conclude that the garment is in universal demand at a variety of prices this season. Especially when a particular type of clothing is reproduced in a wide variety of materials, ranging from cotton crinkly crepe to crepe de chine of the better quality, including the sheerest of batiste and nainsook, as is the envelope chemise.
James McCreery & Co., for instance, are featuring the envelope chemise fashioned of cotton crepe and trimmed with Val lace beading and edging at the neck, Val edging alone, finishing the armholes and the lower edges of the garment. This number retails at 95 cents.
These crepe garments, which may be washed but not ironed, are used by countless travelers during the Summer months. Women who are either ensconced in a Summer hotel where the laundry prices are prohibitive or women who are possibly taking the Western trip, with as little baggage as possible. They stop at the various cities and points of interest for but a day and a night at a time, which precludes the giving out of laundry, which requires at least two days' grace for women's lingerie.
The boon of crepe undergarments to the traveler is occasionally made the basis for an interesting advertising campaign at this time of the year.
New Designs in Envelope Chemises
James McCreery & Co. are carrying an extremely comprehensive line of envelope chemises fashioned of nainsook and crepe de chine. They represent a most extraordinary value by a model developed in nainsook of a silky sheen.
This garment is hand embroidered at the center front and is finished at the neck with narrow Val lace beading and edging. Val edging also finishes the armholes and the lower edge of the model. This garment retails for only 95 cents, and since it is the very epitome of refinement and femininity, it well deserves commendation.
A crepe de chine envelope chemise which retails at $1.95 is trimmed with hemstitched, half-inch hems about the upper and lower edges. This number has the attractive ribbon shoulders, which are so practical for Summer wear with sheer blouses.
At $2.95 a garment fashioned of an excellent quality of crepe de chine is offered. This envelope chemise is also hemstitched at the edges and also trimmed at each side of the front, with one-half inch Val insertion, set-in in two deeply pointed motifs joined with horizontal bands of the lace.
Val Insertion in Lattice Effect
Then, too, there are far more elaborate numbers shown, although a model retailing at $3.95 is not so expensive as to prevent its being classified as among the more popular styles. This chemise is developed in crepe de chine, a self-band outlined with Val edging extending over the shoulders.
Narrow intersecting bands of Val insertion, form lattice-like motifs at each side of the front, between which the finest of hand-run pin-tucks are added.
An envelope chemise retailing at $5.95 at James McCreery & Co.'s represents another step both in price and in the degree of elaboration. This garment is trimmed with a three-inch band of Vandyke pointed Val edging inset about the neck and armholes, the points extending down onto the clothing itself.
Above this band of lace, are added Val beading and edging. Val lace edging trims the lower edge of the model. An empire effect is gained through the introduction of a series of exceptionally fine hand-run vertical pintucks, three inches long, set in just below the bust all across the front of the chemise.
Sheer Blouses Increase Demand for Camisole
Increased activity in the sales of camisoles is also noted at present. This is no doubt because so many extremely sheer blouses are already being sold and worn since New York women are prone to rush the season, especially regarding the advance exploitation of blouses and hats.
It is a recognized fact that women are still economizing rigidly with the prices they pay for undergarments and negligees. This is especially noticeable to salespeople who have known the same customers for years.
As far as the number of garments sold, this was even greater last month than during the same month a year earlier, according to the opinion of many retailers. It is the high-priced garments, however, which it is so difficult to move at present.
The most successful retailers have grasped the situation thoroughly and have bought liberally of the more popular priced numbers. The circumstance has resolved itself to a battle-royal of values.
Pink Batiste Gowns Introduced
Even the prohibitive price, to some women, of the simplest of crepe de chine gowns, has been considered by the retailer this season. As a practical and lower priced substitute for the silk numbers, dainty gowns of pink batiste are offered.
These cotton numbers, like the crepe de chine gowns, are occasionally treated with absolute simplicity, hemstitched hems serving as a finish for the low, round neck and the short sleeves.
Again, they are entirely trimmed with the finest of net footing, a trimming touch which transforms the gown into a garment which might easily be mistaken for a lovely Summer negligee.
This description mainly applies to an empire gown of pink batiste seen at James McCreery & Co.'s. This gown is outlined at the deep V-shaped neck, front and back, with a double band of the most exceptional cream net.
The short kimono sleeves are finished with a full soft frill of the net. At the empire waistline are seen numberless two-inch hand-run tucks by which means the gown is caught in somewhat, below the bust, the fulness being released below this point.
Empire Effect in Gowns
The empire tendency is strongly marked in gowns. The empire yoke, elaborately trimmed with bands of Val lace, alternating with sheer Swiss embroidery, or composed entirely of bands of Vandyke pointed lace, and plain insertion possibly insets with embroidery motifs, is used almost to the exclusion of any other mode of gown decoration.
In most cases, the short flaring sleeve, set in at the armhole, is as elaborately trimmed with embroidery and lace. It might be remarked that one of this season's marked characteristics is the unprecedented call for one dollar and two-dollar gowns.
Most attractive styles, in a remarkable variety of designs, are available at these prices. The addition of a band of wide plain embroidery beading, through which pink or blue satin ribbon is drawn, is set on at the lower edge of the yoke of lace insertion, in many instances.
A useful gown, retailing at $2.95, is shown at a prominent New York retail store. The yoke and sleeves of this model are fashioned entirely of Val lace insertion, and Vandyke Val banding, the latter taking the form of two unusually deep points of lace set on at each side of the front of the garment, just below the square-cut neck.
The neck of the gown, however, is cut in a deep V at the center front, and it is entirely edged with Val insertion and edging. Fine pin-tucks are set into the front of the gown, between the deep points of lace.
Another beautiful gown is developed in sheer, fine nainsook. A band of hand embroidered eyelets and a motif of hand embroidery trim the front of the gown, while Val beading and edging finish the neck and sleeves of this number. Groups of tiny pin-tucks appear at each side of the front, just below the neck.
Petticoats Are Wider This Summer
With Summer fast approaching, the retailer has given the customary attention to the matter of petticoats. It is in petticoats, incidentally, that one of the most significant changes in undergarment styles is noted, while last season's skirts were in many instances without flounces and extremely narrow, the new Summer skirts are from two and a quarter to two and one-half yards about the lower edge. The upper portions of these new models are still gored and carefully fitted.
The flounce, on the other hand, is from ten to fifteen inches deep, as a rule, and is cut upon circular lines whenever the material will allow, as in the case of the new semi-tailored petticoats of pique.
These skirts are finished with a single twelve-inch circular flounce, scalloped by machine about the lower edge. They retail for about one dollar. At the same price are shown some exceptionally new embroidery ruffle trimmed numbers.
The embroidery flouncing used in this instance is designed to resemble the hand scalloped and hand dotted frill. Two slightly gathered ruffles of this embroidery are set on, one above the other, upon a plain straight flounce. Cotton crepe is also used for these simple, practical petticoats. The circular frills are machine scalloped as in the case of the pique numbers.
“Muslin Underwear” in The American Cloak and Suit Review: Devoted to the Women’s and Children’s Ready-to-Wear Trades, New York: John M. O’Connor & Co., Vol. IX, No. 6, June 1915, p. 139-143.
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