Tag Archives: swimwear

What Katie Did – Reproduction and Vintage-Inspired Lingerie

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Last week I embarked on a quest for nude seamed stockings. I have little patience for wading through lingerie websites, so I solicited Facebook for ideas. When Kate Patsky declared “This is like finding the Holy Grail…” I knew I had a real shopping challenge on my hands; thus, I headed to the Stockings HQ chat forums to ask the experts/fetishists where I could find the Holy Grail. Stockings HQ is a lingerie website based in the UK that also hosts chat forums where people can share stocking info, pictures, and talk about…anyway, they were most helpful during my last hosiery dilemma, finding stockings for a Sally Bowles costume that would be period appropriate and fit my short legs, and they delivered yet again. One of the forum regulars recommended What Katie Did and I’ve been in love ever since.

What Katie Did makes beautiful reproduction and vintage-inspired bras, panties, girdles, corsets, stockings, slips, swimwear, and much more. I loathe most “vintage-inspired” undergarments because they are skimpy and not at all what was actually worn. What Katie Did has gone to the heart of the matter, reproducing things that are such rare finds, like fully fashioned stockings, bullet bras, 1940’s bras (which were just coming into the modern age of the bra), and different kinds of girdles so you can get your Joan Holloway on. If you really want a vintage look, then the next step beyond just the clothes are the foundation garments. Think about how your underwear selections change with what you wear and how that affects your shape and the way the clothes fit, then apply that to your dance dresses. What Katie Did goes further and actually improves the reproduction by eliminating discomfort and taking garments, like that 1940’s bra that probably did little to lift and support, and upgrading them to modern standards. If this sounds dull, like a conversation you’ve had with your grandmother, never fear! There are also plenty of skimpies and pretties on the website for everyone, and I know some burlesque girls who might find some goodies here.

From the website: “Founder and head designer Katie Halford has had a deep and abiding love affair with 1940s and 1950s fashion her entire adult life, but though the clothing was always fairly easy to come by, the appropriate undergarments were not. Her quest for the perfect bullet bra, the most authentic stockings and the firmest foundation garments, led to the development of her own collection, over ten years ago. And since then, thanks to her abiding passion, What Katie Did has been at the very forefront of the vintage revival that’s only recently come into the public eye.

On this website, in our London boutique, and in the glossy pages of our catalogue, retrophiles, vintage queens and lingerie lovers who appreciate the art of a circle-stitched cup, a wasp-waist, or a flash of fully-fashioned seam, can find everything their hearts’ desire.

We create and produce beautifully cut, high-quality and affordable undergarments, corsetry and hosiery inspired by the 1940s and 1950s. Our designs are based on vintage patterns, adapted only slightly for modern figures, using authentic fabrics and even old-fashioned production methods wherever possible. We’re proud of our close-knit team, high standards and enthusiasm for great customer service, all of which which have earned us fans worldwide, and led to What Katie Did being worn by stars as lofty as Claudia Schiffer and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks. But really, we make our beautiful lingerie for every woman, so she can look and feel like a bombshell, any day of the week.”

I don’t often get excited about underwear, but I am excited to try out some of these gorgeous things. Here’s what I’m loving:

From the Harlow collection - deep suspender belt and bullet bra

Hollywood collection slip

Stretch nylon seamed stockings

French knickers

Glamour girdle and underwire bra - yes, I hate girdles, but I know some of you love Spanx, so here's the real thing

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Esther Williams swimwear

Before we get too deep into bathing suit season, I thought it important to point out the most flattering bathing suit I have ever owned and will probably continue to own until I am old, gray, and fabulous, a la the designer of these suits. I am talking about Esther Williams, the synchronized swimmer turned movie goddess of the aquamusical, who has her own swimwear line of modern and vintage inspired bathing suits.

I bought her “Classic Sheath” in black last year, resigning myself to the fact that I needed a more practical, full coverage bathing suit that I would not feel self-conscious wearing, regardless of what kind of day I was having. I adored the vintage styling on Esther’s one piece bathing suits and hoped that this would be the solution to all my bathing suit woes. When the suit arrived, it was even better than imagined – not only did the bathing suit look adorable with the old-school ruching and low cut legs, but the bathing suit was well-made with great structure, cups, and durable fabric, it was ultimately flattering in all self-conscious areas, and I felt beautiful wearing it – that’s a first in my years of horrible dressing room experiences with bathing suits!

You can buy this style of bathing suit on other websites, but there’s something special about ordering a suit from Esther herself, as if some of that MGM musical magic will rub off on you when you wear it. Could you wear the bathing suits dancing? If you are planning on attending the Virginia Beach Lindy Exchange, that’s a yes, as the Sunday afternoon dance is on the beach. I also seem to recall status updates from friends about being poolside while attending Camp Hollywood

Here are my favorite styles from the Esther Williams swimwear line:

Classic Sheath

2 Piece Classic

The Marilyn Swimdress

Classic Bandeau