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Old 03-25-2002, 10:04 PM
astro astro is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
History of falling panties re pinups.

I was cruising through another thread discussing pictures of the 40's and 50's and via one of the links ran across this picture which is reminiscent of a style of peekaboo "falling panties" pinup that was quite popular in the 40's and 50's. Was there a time when women were slimmer hipped than today or panties did not have elastic? What held them up? Did they fall down all the time? If so, why?
Old 03-25-2002, 10:13 PM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Decatur, Illinois, USA
Posts: 14,041
Speaking as one who lived through the latter half of the Fifties, no, I don't recall there being a chronic problem with panties falling down. I don't remember learning as a little girl, "These are the things you have to do to keep your panties from falling down", the way you had to learn the things you do to keep your skirt from blowing up in a stiff breeze. Elastic did give out from time to time, but it wasn't an ongoing "catastrophic failure" problem, it was more of an incremental thing. "These are getting pretty stretched out..."

I think it's more a dirty picture fantasy-type thing than a real-life representation. If you want to analyze it, you could interpret it as "keeping women childish", as a response to Betty Friedan and the growing Women's Lib movement. Yanking a girl's panties down (and running away) was something the "bad boys" did to girls they didn't like.
Old 03-25-2002, 10:24 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 11,937
There have been significant advances in textiles over the last couple of decades, and elastics are one area where the textiles have been improved. Lycra/spandex is a fairly new development, for example. Elastic today is much more durable and versatile than the elastics of the past.

But, as Ducky said, the elastics of the mid-twentieth century were more than adequate to hold up a pair of panties. And though the elastics might have worn out faster than today's elastics, they were not prone to "catastrophic failure," as she said. They just got weak and stretched out after a while.
Old 03-25-2002, 10:30 PM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,052
I went to the link, took the tour, and what a hoot!

The site-owner certainly put it to Art. I think this has to be a must read for anyone who ever saw those Vargas, etc. pinups from the time.

I especiall liked this frame and the critique. Thanks for the laff.
Old 03-26-2002, 01:00 AM
kniz kniz is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pratts, Mississippi
Posts: 6,246
Having been in high school during the 50's, let me assure you that females had no trouble keeping their panties on. Despite the elastic not being as good back then, they kept them up much better than many females have since.
Old 03-26-2002, 01:43 AM
lesa lesa is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 559
Actually, if you go to the "FAQ" Lileks says:

Q. Did this really happen? Did underwear really fall down like this?

A. Yes.

Q. Címon. In your dreams.

A. Itís not my dream, believe me. Iíve gotten tons of mail from people who either had it happen to them, or an aunt or mom or grandmom. Elastic back then wasnít what it is today.

So it must have happened to some people. Still, it's a pretty weird subject for "art." I have to say, I loved this part of the Lileks site.
Old 03-26-2002, 01:47 AM
Fern Forest Fern Forest is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: ╠╣║
Posts: 7,119
Boy, these are hilarious. Reminds me of a Ralph Machio movie. As to your questions he seems to answer some of them in the intro.

note: This site has darker images (like the ostrich one) then other sites.


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