Lingerie & The Movies: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Set just before the devastation and deprivation of World War II, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is not only a entertaining romantic comedy, it’s also an intriguing look at 1930′s era fashion. Unlike the 1920′s, which emphasized a flat, boyish shilouette, the 1930′s welcomed a return to feminine curves. Corset girdles were all the rage, nylon stockings made their debut, and lingerie marketing as we know it today first appeared. Keep reading to learn how you can get the lingerie look of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

We first meet Delysia Lafosse, Miss Pettigrew’s eventual employer, in her luxurious apartment while she’s wearing a gorgeous silk and ostrich-feather trimmed robe. This is one of my favorite looks because it’s all about opulence, decadence, and extravagance. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to reproduce it on your own…just take a look at Secrets in Lace’s Ostrich Trimmed Chiffon Robe.


The lingerie fashion show in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is one of my most favorite scenes from any film I’ve ever watched. It’s feminine and intimate and a little (just a little) naughty. If you love the lace trimmed chemise pictured above, take a look at Between the Sheets Deco Lace Chemise. I love the vintage-inspired peach color, but it’s also available in cherry red and bridal white. Oh! And don’t forget to pick up your authentic vintage stockings from Kay Marel. I recommend their “Skyscraper” heels; click the link to see what I mean.

For the last retro lingerie look, you’ll have to peer behind Miss Pettigrew to view the model wearing the satin bra and tap panties on the runway. Tap panties are definitely making a comeback this season, and I’m glad to see it because it’s a shilouette that flatters almost every body type. Get your authentic, vintage-style bra and tap panties from What Katie Did. And of course they come in the perfect shade of peach.

Have you ever seen Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

4 Comments

  1. Carlotta Stermaria
    17/05/11 at 14:18

    I must admit I don't remember anything from the film, except the lingerie ^^… it's what really started my interest for 30's lingerie.

    I actually have a few meters of silk charmeuse in peach and mint green in my closet, waiting to be turned into luscious bias slips and robes!

  2. Miss Sofie
    19/05/11 at 15:30

    I've watched that movie three times just because I love the lingerie so much, so I really enjoyed this post. I'm planning on sewing lingerie myself and this movie is where I get all my inspiration from!

  3. Natalia
    21/05/13 at 18:53

    More modern movies set in the 20s, 30 and 40s should reveal what delicate wisps of silk and lace women wore underneath their outer garments. We got a taste of it in the pre-Hayes Code era of the early 30s, but then the censors closed the curtain. Joan Crawford, Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Harlow, and Joan Blondell were all seen in their step-ins and teddies. “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” takes us back to a time when lingerie WAS lingerie when women weren’t afraid to reveal their femininity through beautiful lingerie. We need to return to that era. The thong just doesn’t cut it. A beautiful pair of tap panties or a teddy is far more romantic, figure flattering, and sexy than the minimalist styles popular today.

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