featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Meg London is the pen name for writer Peg Cochran, a Jersey girl exiled to Michigan.  Peg has two cozy mystery series debuting from Berkley Prime Crime— the Sweet Nothings Vintage Lingerie series, written as Meg London, set in Paris, Tennessee and the Gourmet De-Lite series, under her own name, set in Connecticut.  She also has two ebooks on Amazon, a mystery, Confession Is Murder and a young adult book Oh, Brother!  Visit her at www.pegcochran.com and www.meglondon.com. -- AP

Vintage Lingerie – Oooh, La La!

There is nothing quite like a beautiful piece of vintage lingerie to make a woman feel special! Some of the silk and satin negligees from the 1930's and 1940's could double as evening gowns today.  Much of their appeal comes from the cut of the luxurious fabrics—the bias cut made famous by French designer Madeleine Vionnet who was known as the “queen of the bias cut.”  Cutting the fabric on the bias, or diagonal to the grain, allows the fabric to drape sensuously around the feminine form while moving with the wearer. 

Lingerie from that era was all about celebrating the female body and creating sex appeal.  Some of the more famous items from that time period include the bullet bra and the baby doll nightgown.

The Bullet Bra

Bullet bras, or cone-shaped brassieres, first made their appearance in the early 1940's.   They were generally constructed of nylon or satin and had reinforced circular stitching.  They lacked padding or an underwire but still provided exceptional support and “lift.”    They were also known as torpedo or cone bras.  Having debuted during war times, the term “bullet bra” is assumed to have come about because the shape was reminiscent of a torpedo. 

Some women actually ironed their bullet bras and others were known to stuff the very tips.  The bra is responsible for the shape of the famous “Sweater Girls” of the era like Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner and Jane Russell.  Maidenform, in particular, was known for its bullet bras—they sold 90 million of their Chansonette model between 1949 and 1979.   

Perhaps one of the most famous bullet bras was the one worn by Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990.  It was designed by Jean Paul Gauthier and reportedly sold at auction for $14,200.

The Baby Doll Nightgown

A Baby Doll is a short nightgown (falling between the upper thighs and the belly button) often in a sheer or translucent fabric.  It is differentiated from the “shortie” nightgown by virtue of its sexiness.  It is often trimmed in lace, ruffles, bows or marabou feathers.  It generally comes with matching panties.

The name is thought to derive from the 1956 movie Baby Doll starring Carroll Baker and Karl Malden.  Baker wore such a shortie nightgown in the movie and soon after it became known as the Baby Doll.

Fascinating information, Meg! Thanks for sharing and best of luck with both of your series. -- AP


Marguerite Lafayette said...

Great post, I adore your blog but I have to confess it has totally wrecked my book budget :( oh well I can always cut back on my lattes. The Sweet Nothings series is right up my alley and will definitely be on my shopping list (come on payday)


Thanks for the nice words about the blog, Marguerite! Sorry about the book budget but remember, many of our guests offer free books when they visit. All you have to do is post a comment to be entered into the giveaway drawings.

Loralee said...

Ah, those bullet bras. I remember them well (and that sure dates me). Great blog and great book, Meg!

Meg London/Pegcochran said...

I inherited several vintage nightgowns from my grandmother. One was a silk maternity gown which I literally wore out during two pregnancies! Another, a gorgeous peach negligee, had a matching robe. It now fits my daughter. It *used* to fit me.

Bella Aimee said...

How wonderfully funny to think of women stuffing the points on their bullet bras. Thank you for sharing, and I am looking forward to the book.