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A Brief History of Babydoll Lingerie

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Babydoll lingerie is usually recognised as a sweet yet sexy look for the bedroom, but its history is actually far richer than most women realise. The history of babydoll designs dates back to the fight for women’s liberation and political and sexual freedom from the 1950s onwards, and the style continues to pop up decade after decade.

The early years

In 1942, Sylvia Pedlar, an American lingerie designer, created a super-short nightdress as a way of coping with the fabric shortages that occurred during the second world war. In fact, Pedlar was known to hate the term ‘babydoll’ and refused to refer to her designs by that name.

The name ‘babydoll’ was actually inspired by the 1956 film, Baby Doll, in which Carroll Baker played an attractive 19-year-old ‘nymphet’. The style became synonymous with political and sexual freedom and soon became commonplace in both nightwear designs and couture fashion. From the 1950s to the 1960s, babydoll pyjamas became hugely popular and consisted of loose-fitting elasticated bloomer shorts and a top, while the 60s saw designers such as Balenciaga and Givenchy take the style down the runway.

During the 1990s, babydoll dresses became popularised once again due to the rise of the ‘kinderwhore’ look adopted by grunge performers such as Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love. The look was intended to contradict their ‘vicious’ music with something sweet to create a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ aesthetic.

Contemporary styles

Today, babydolls are available in a huge variety of colours and styles, from the classic designs of the 60s and 70s to vintage negligees from the late 1950s to the 1980s. Babydoll lingerie, unlike babydoll pyjamas, fully expose the wearer’s legs and some expose or emphasise their breasts as well. Babydoll gowns are usually sold with a set of matching underwear as the dress is typically short enough for it to be visible. Women all over the world have fallen in love with this playful and feminine style of lingerie and it doesn’t look like the trend is going anywhere soon!

If you’re looking for sweet yet seductive lingerie designs, take a look at our range of sexy babydolls at Fancy Lingerie today.

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