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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TEDDY – Je Te Veux

A Brief History of the Teddy!

At Je Te Veux, our Teddies are very popular, historically they were worn under dresses for comfort and to reduce static, nowadays they are worn as nightwear or to relax at home. Have you ever wondered where the Teddy came from? Je Te Veux decided to investigate and here’s what we found.

You might have heard your grandmother refer to this item as a slip – and it originally was favoured by Edwardian and Victorian ladies who wore large, frilly petticoats under their dresses. However, the Teddy’s history can go even further back than the Victorians – as far back as medieval times when ladies wore plain cotton petticoats. The Teddy has plenty of history and some of it colourful! Hundreds of years ago, ribbons were attached to petticoats and in the 20th Century Teddies started to be available in a variety of shades, colourful Teddies are still fashionable.

Women used to wear them to keep their clothing neatly in place, prevent unsightly creases and to shield skin from uncomfortable materials (some still do). Some Teddies come with brassieres built into place so have added bust support. We know they are also worn for seduction and as nightwear as well as for relaxing round the home.

Following the traditional white cotton petticoat, lace was introduced and the wealthy ladies would add pretty lace to their clothing; this then this filtered down to their undergarments. Women liked to feel attractive so a little lace went a long way! Lace was often trimmed with a colourful ribbon too. Added to a petticoat it made their outfits feel more feminine and often women would drive men wild with passion by showing a little ankle adorned in white cotton with a lace trim. This was how they would try and be noticed and attract an admirer!

In the last century the Teddy as we know it now became popular in the 1920’s. This is when hemlines rose and the ladies wore delicate, lightweight Flapper dresses which were unfitted but shimmied as they moved around. Ladies wore slips under these flimsy outfits to stop transparency and their underwear being on full view as well as preventing crumpling of their outfits. The slip was really exciting because it was only a few years after women were used to wearing layers of underwear including full petticoats and corsetry. For women it was really rather shocking to be wearing a slip and some light underwear – they felt quite liberated! These Teddies were made out of cotton or if you couldn’t afford cotton then you would buy the polyester versions. If you were the elite and wealthy then your Teddy would be fashioned out of luxury materials including crepe de chine, shantung, silks and satins. Colours started to emerge too Teddies began to be made in pastel colours such as pale pink, mint green and flesh colours as well as cream and white but by the end of the 1920’s women were wearing printed Teddies and embroidery, ribbons and trimmings started to be added in abundance to the garments.

In the Thirties, dress shapes changed and the Teddy became bias cut. Garments started to lose their colourful nature and trims because war was on the cards. Simpler materials were used as people went back to basics and by the 1940’s; cotton and polyester were most popular because expensive material became hard to come by and over inflated in price due to war rationing. By the 1950’s it was all about boobs! Breasts became more defined in fashion and Teddies followed suite with trim and fitting around the bust area.

Going into the 1960’s the Teddy became very short to reflect the fashion of the era. They also became fitted and had smoother lines so they were unseen under the micro-mini skirts women were wearing in this era.

In the Seventies the Teddy took a backseat because fashion was all about flares, boot-cut jeans and big, ruffled shirts. Teddies and slips still sold and there were plenty of options; printed designs, plain colours, full slips, half-slips and a variety of materials from polyester to luxurious silks but sales were not as buoyant as in the 1950’s or early 60’s. However, with the introduction of the maxi-dress, Teddies and slips enjoyed a boost in popularity and the hemlines of these undergarments dropped to fit in with this new fashion craze.

The Teddy and slip dropped off in popularity in the 1980’s as women stopped wearing them altogether – lined skirts came into fashion and trousers were and still are extremely popular. However the Teddy still had a place and today still has the same place. It is used for special occasions, in the bedroom and around the house, seen as a very sexy, tantalising pretty piece of underwear. Women love to feel sexy and sophisticated and Je Te Veux has a superb range of Teddies for nightwear and to relax at home to shop from here. Our favourites include:

  • Lisa Charmel Apprivoise-Moi floral collection
  • Lisa Charmel Apprivoise-Moi Baby Doll
  • Lisa Charmel Silk Exception Nightie
  • Lisa Charmel Recital

Of course, there’s nothing better than cuddling up to a Teddy!

January 01, 2016 by Website Administrator
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