Gender and dress.

This Gossard ‘Retrolution’ slip is made to be worn underneath clothing to ensure that the stomach is held in and looks relatively smooth, as well as providing support for the breasts. This garment is gendered towards women, due to its styling and is sold in women’s lingerie departments. This would be the same in all countries that it is sold in. However, some men would like to wear this garment as cross dressers or as a fetish, this would be possible as it goes up to large sizes.


Gossard Retrolution slip

There is clear inspiration taken from 1950’s lingerie for this garment, such as a ‘Warners’ girdle slip. The colouring, the lace over lay and the overall shape is very similar, but simply updated to be more relevant to nowadays. For example, the Warners slip will have been more supportive, and would hold in the body at the waist far more, so it would be far more uncomfortable, also the cups would be less supportive but project a more ‘pointed’ appearance, as that was the fashion of the time.


Warners girdle

Contemporary designers have not really used such a feminine design as an influence for their menswear collections, but an example is the garment that Marc Jacobs wore (by Marc Jacobs), it uses lace which is usually exclusively for women and is also a dress, which is normally only worn by women from an aesthetic point of view. This garment was an enormous shock, and is unlikely to be used commercially.

Marc Jacobs in lace dress

This style of dress is very popular at the moment as outerwear, and I think that Herve Leger, who originally created the bandage dress, has created a very similar dress made for outerwear. It is seen as extremely ‘sexy’, and is worn because it is far more acceptable to wear something which would have been seen as underwear 60 years ago as outerwear today.

Herve Leger lace dress

Herve Leger lace dress

To be feminine in our culture is to have qualities associated with a traditional woman.This is prettiness and modesty, but can also be viewed aesthetically as flowers, the colour pink, fluffy things, etc. I believe that the basic meanings have stayed the same over the years, but small aesthetics, like I mentioned, may have changed.


GOSSARD (2013) Gossard Retrolution slip dress [Online image]. Available from: [Accessed 11/12/13]

POSH GIRL VINTAGE (n.d) Warners 1950’s girdle [Online image]. Available from:×480.jpg [Accessed 11/12/13]

EPA (2012) Marc Jacobs at Met Gala 2012 [Online image]. Available from: [Accessed 11/12/13]

GLAMOUR MAGAZINE (2011) Kate Winslet Glamour cover [Online image]. Available from: [Accessed 11/12/13]

N.A (n.d) Asos Gossard Retrolution [Online] Available from: [Accessed 11/12/13]

N.A (n.d) Shapewear 101: A Guide to Shapewear (and Other Sneaky Lingerie Solutions.) The Lingerie Addict. Weblog [Online] Available from: [Accessed 11/12/13]

N.A (n.d) Feminine definition [Online] Available from: [Accessed 11/12/13]

LYNN, E (n.d) Underwear: Fashion in detail. London: V&A.

BUCKLEY, C. and FAWCETT, H. (2001) Fashioning the feminine. I.B Tauris.


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