I See London, I See France... Where Are All The Fancy Pants?
A look at 1960's panties!
The years of the swinging 60's were wild and with them came Twiggy, Rock-n-Roll, The Beatles, beehive hairdos, Woodstock, The Vietnam War, Kennedy, the "Twist", mini-skirts, beatniks, fake-eyelashes, Martin Luther King Jr., hippies, man walking on the Moon, guys burning draft cards and girls burning bras! The generation gap had never been so wide as in the 1960's. Oral contraceptives, better known as "The Pill", was introduced in 1963 and was to be the beginning of the sexual revolution. Women no longer had to worry about unwanted pregnancies and they finally felt in control of there bodies. For the first time, girls were no longer dressing like their mothers. Panty raids were all the rage at any campus where girl's dorms could be found...but I'm not so sure the boys weren't more interested in what was "in" the panties....if you know what I mean. (wink, wink)
At the beginning of the decade the lingerie drawers were full of girdles, bras of every sort, full and half slips, and of course the full brief panties in beige, white, pink, and if you were lucky, a black lacy pair for Saturday night ;-). By the end of the decade though, the drawer was almost empty, girls were wearing less and less undergarments, "taking it off" was the fad and even going "commando" (is that what you call it for girls?) under the new skin tight hiphugger blue jeans.
In my story I really want to bridge the proverbial panty gap. Oh no, I'm not talking about crotchless panties, I'm talking about the gap between grandma Shaw's open legged white granny panties that she bought in a 3 pack from the Sear's catalog to my colorful little days of the week hiphugger panties bought, of course, 7 in a package, at Gibson's Discount Store where my momma did most of our shopping.
Let me explain. Around 1967 I fell in love with what I then called the fancy panties. It all started about the time my stepmother, Jean, came into the picture and with her the mother-lode of lingerie. I'm tellin' ya, the lady had it ALL! Bustiers and satin merry widows, sexy see through girdles from Frederick's of Hollywood, silky nylons to hook up to them, and in her closet a rainbow of fluffy nightgowns and peignoir sets. In all of my 8 years of living, I had never seen the likes! Ooh-la-la! But the things I remember the most were the panties. Not just any panties, they were noticably different than my little girl ones that had the cheap nylon, itchy elastic, and scratchy lace. Hers were so much more sophisticated with enclosed elastic or some with a special satin pillow tab on the seam just so it didn't leave that ugly angry red mark at the end of the day. Nylon so "kitten belly" soft, mmm~ and lace trim galore! These were panties to get excited about - these...(will you dim the lights, bring in the spotlight, play dramatic music, and as I tilt my nose ever so slightly in the air) these, were panties like I too, would own some day.
Many years later I would be able to buy my own fancy panties and lay on the sofa eatting bon-bons - yeah, yeah...it's my story ;-), dangdiddly though they just weren't the same! By the 80's they weren't near as fancy - most of them had cotton crotches (Yukko-bucko!), the nylon wasn't as soft as I remembered, and where was all the chiffon and lace? Good grief, had I dreamt all that back in the 60's? Where had all the fancy panties gone? hmmmm? Then, in July of 1998 *POOF* someone told me about an online auction site called eBay where you could buy and sell almost anything your little heart desired, including, oh yes, the fancy panties from the 60's!! WOW! I couldn't believe my own eyes when I saw folks buying and selling vintage panties for hundreds of dollars - thinking to myself - maybe I should have done my own panty raid on Jean's lingerie chest. ha ha!
Incredibly, just a few years later, I find myself selling vintage lingerie on eBay - and once in a blue moon, even selling a pair of vintage fancy panties. They are not easy to find let me tell ya...I'm not sure if folks think "ewww yuck, donate my used panties to a second hand store? - No way!" or if it's that panties, in fact, are the one piece of lingerie that gets, well, worn out....to put it nicely. I personally only find about 4 or 5 pairs a year, and I am in the thrift stores ALL the time! I do however have the "sheer pleasure", all puns intended, of selling for one of the world's largest collectors of vintage lingerie - with their main focus on vintage panties from the 50's to the 80's. It is like Christmas everytime I get a box from them - and yes, I have been known to squeal with delight~ Especially later if they fetch an exhuberant price ;-)
So, as I'm sitting here writing this story in my vintage, circa 1960, cotton candy pink panties by Vanity Fair, with lace insets encirling the legs and more lace ruffled around the leg openings. Well of course they have a large mushroom shaped double nylon gusset, oh lest we not forget the satin pillow tab on the waistband for my comfort. All I can really think about is where am I going to get my next pair of fancy panties? Yes once you try them it's an addiction, but one of the most harmless and totally titillating ones out there! You know what we say at horsefeathers*at*il: "The best thing next to you...is vintage lingerie!"
Silky satin dreams always, kath~