1930s underwear

A side-by-side comparison of a woman wearing underwear from two different angles. The slide is hand-coloured.
1930s underwear
Access fees

This stern-looking woman is a perfect example of Berlei's use of real women as models. We can't be totally sure what the use was for this glass slide, but it was probably used either as part of the educational training package for Berlei fitting trainees or as part of the Beauty in the Balance shows for women in the late 1930s.

Today it is a great document of corset styles of the past and the changing social mores of the 1920s and 30s that enabled women to be photographed in this state of undress. In the collection there is both a black-and-white and a yellow tinted version of this slide. Perhaps the two different coloured slides were used in sequence to make a point of the different body shapes or 'figure flaws', incorrect postures or ill-fitting corsetry.

Notes by Beth Taylor