Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Find Your Foundation

As election day draws near (very near..as in, now), it is time to do some reflection. We must consider our essential beliefs, our foundations.

During one of the presidential debates, President Obama got salty and accused Romney of promoting social policies that belong in the '50s. This was an insult to be sure. Times were not too kind to anyone outside the white male sphere. Don't believe me? Watch an episode of Mad Men. Actually, if you don't want to commit to an entire episode, about 10 minutes should be enough to show you that things were pretty unequal during this time, especially for the ladies.

I'm not sure if this is the best use of my intellectual power.

Now, I'm not debating the veracity of Obama's comment here. Ma blog isn't going to be cluttered up with all that. I can safely say, without taking political sides, that I certainly don't want to return to prefeminism. It sucked and it wasn't fair. This time, however, was not all bad.

The '50s were part of the foundation upon which we built our modern time. The inequalities of the '50s inspired the revolution of the '60s. Thanks to those counter-culture social protesters  I don't have to pretend to be inspired by this shiz anymore:

Is that Kelly Ripa with the Electrolux oven?
This cake is coming for you.

But, I'm not hating on all aspects of the '50s here. You all know my love of kitsch, so the '50s aren't a total wash for me (new vintage Pyrex obsession currently getting out of control).

In fact, there is something about the '50s that I think ladies should really miss. The foundations. No, I don't mean the foundation of racism and sexism, no, no, no! I'm talking about the foundation you wear under their clothes. While Victoria seems hell-bent on sharing her secret with the entire world through ever shrinking under options, I have a hankering for something a little more substantial. The slip.

The 50's had something on us when it came to foundation wear. Sara Blakely may have cornered the market on the revolution of the girdle. But Spanx are for special occasions. I'm not going to haul myself into sausage casing everyday. Spanx are a one-in-a-year type deal (did you know that Gwyneth wears two pairs on the red carpet?! We should all just give up now). Stores today seem to think that shape-wear is the only type of foundation wear a girl needs. Not so, stores! Hear my protest!

The slip is a highly underrated, almost extinct animal. But unlike the Dodo bird, this is an extinction I actually care about (sorry, Dodo, but you understand). My grandmother was a lunch lady for a while. She had a yellow uniform and a pink uniform. Under those uniforms? She had a pink slip and a yellow slip. Slips weren't for fancy occasions! My grandmother wore them to dole out milk and tater-tots. But nowadays, no one seems to care about slips.

Don't you forget about me.

I want to end this slip ignorance and bring it back! I never regret wearing a slip. It creates a smooth line with skirts and dresses. Sara of the Spanx dynasty would like to convince you that a smooth line can only be achieved through squishing and squashing every offending piece of body behind a scary flesh colored tube. I beg to differ. Yes, I'm not going to look like I lost a million pounds, or whatever. However, you shouldn't underestimate the slimming, chic-ifying power of a slip.

I don't leave the house in a skirt or dress without one-especially in winter when I wear tights. With a slip, the worst thing that can happen is that it peeks out from under your hem. Without one, we are dealing with odd static cling, weird bumps, and sometimes the dreaded butt-bunching action. Not. Pretty.

A slip will elevate your entire outfit. Clothes these days aren't high on quality. We live a more clothing disposable lifestyle and don't expect much from our garments. A lot of my skirts are from Target, but I try to keep them from looking cheap. Target skirts certainly don't come well-lined, so I add a slip and everything stays in its place.

There is one really important item you should always wear a slip with. If you learn only one thing from this blog post, if you pay half-attention, please give your half to this tidbit: Always, always wear a slip with a sweater dress. Sweater dresses are an odd apparel item. They look super comfy, but aren't all that flattering on 99% of people. Why? They don't fall correctly. The construction of a sweater is too chunky or too thin to make a well-fitted dress. And don't even get me started on how much these babies ride up! Do yourself a major favor if you are a sweater dress fan, wear a full slip underneath. It makes a huge difference.

So-we now know Maggie's entire rant about the slip. Where do you find one? Short slips are easy. Target has some nice, simple selections.

Mid-length slips are a simple find, as well.

I don't wear these as often as my short slips.
I don't mind when this one peeks out. Anthropologie.

This light pink one was a vintage store find.
The trouble, I have found, is sussing out a full slip. There are a lot of shape-wear options out there, but no one seems to be selling a nice, pretty, non-spandex full slip. I have found that my only option has been the thrift store here. I dug up some really lovely ones.

Hello, beautiful!

Such lovely details.
It still had its original tags when I bought it.

Oh, you're pretty too.

Of course, since this is something worn close to the skin, you have to be more careful when shopping for slips. Look for signs of wear under the arms and rips in the seams around the rear. Don't buy anything that has stains or smelly funky. Also, be careful of the fabric. Both mine are nylon and light, but don't bother with heavy polyester which is notorious for keeping any smells it acquires.

Politics can be divisive, but when it comes to our foundations, I think there is something we can all agree upon.

Happy voting!


  1. Proud to join in Maggie's "foundation revolution" with my 1980s full length black lace slip.

  2. Join me, Debra and strut cling-free!