Learn about Life in the 1920s

Each year that passed saw changes in women's underwear and this is best illustrated through the images that accompany the articles below.

Trends in Ladies Underwear

A selection of articles on womens underwear in the 1920s

Spencer Corset Advertisement in the Ladies Home Journal, May 1922

Is your corset injuring your health and your style?

The mirror shows faulty posture The X-ray proves its harmful effects

X-RAY photographs are often used by physicians to prove their statement that 70 out of every 100 women suffer from ptosis.

In plain English "ptosis" is a relaxed condition of the abdominal muscles which causes the stomach and intestines to sag out of place. Headaches, backaches, and indigestion, as well as loss of style, are the result. Usually improper corseting which permits or causes faulty posture—is responsible for this condition. Proper corseting will prevent or correct it, if your corset is individually designed for you and you alone.

WRONG POSTURE - Fatigue Type

X-ray photographs are also used to prove that a Spencer Supporting Corset will positively correct ptosis. For years every Spencer Corset has been sold subject to this guarantee.

"We guarantee to each person for whom we design a Spencer Supporting Corset that the corset will lift up and improve the position of the organs within the abdominal cavity. If an X-ray photograph—taken by a physician—does not prove this to be the case we will refund the purchase price in full. The physician is to be the sole judge."


Even of the 30 women in every 100 who do not yet show symptoms of ptosis, 25 already have one of the two forms of faulty posture here illustrated. It will not be so exaggerated in every case but even the tendency toward faulty posture means trouble later.

Furthermore, no two women have figures exactly alike. A corset which is merely made to fit your present lines or those of your general "type" may not only destroy your natural style, but even injure your health.

That is why the Spencer Designing System creates for every woman a special corset—with proper support when needed—as the only certain aid to an erect, easy posture, buoyant health and the real distinction of individual grace and smart style.

So far as we know, we are the only corset makers in the world who create a separate design for each client.

Women often ask why they can never buy Spencer Corsets in stores or from corsetieres who display various "models" in catalogs. It is because we never create a corset until one of our corsetieres has visited you and has sent in the individual measurements and figure analysis which our designers must have in order to make it your corset.


Spencer Corsetieres are trained to recognize figure faults and wrong posture of every sort. And of course they are just as quick to appreciate a figure which is naturally so well poised as not to need special support. If you are so lucky as to have this sort of figure she will recommend for you a Spencer—individually designed to your measurements, but without the special supporting features—that will keep your figure just as it is, alert and youthful.

The Spencer designers are yours to command, whatever your particular requirements may be. There is a Spencer corsetiere in your locality to bring you this personal service. She will be glad to have you send for her.

Supporting Corset - See Above Left


70 out of every 100 women already have ptosis and need a Spencer Supporting Corset, individually designed to correct the posture. The picture shows corset open in front with support in place. The support is part of the corset but is easily adjustable from outside the corset; not necessary to open corset in order to adjust support. Light weight, washable, inconspicuous.

Abdominal Belt - See Right

For comfortable negligee wear, for tennis, golf, swimming, dancing and other exercises, the Spencer Abdominal Belt is an ideal support. It is easy and light in weight and can be comfortably slept in.

Made also for men who require special support for obesity, hernia, ptosis, sacroiliac sprain, etc.

Nemoflex Advertisement from the Ladies Home Journal, September 1925


SUBTLE but important are the changes wrought in the mode for fall. A new silhouette has appeared denning the figure more clearly. The waistline is going up— it's nearer the natural line of the waist than for many seasons past. Necks are going down—in a sharp, uncompromising V.

Hence changes in foundation garments, too! Girdles, combinations and brassieres for fall will more definitely round and shape the figure, cause it to follow more closely its own natural lines.

Long before the Paris openings had confirmed these tendencies, the House of Nemo, who had been listening in on the Rue de la Paix, cut its delicious piles of pink brocade and silk jersey and its heaps of creamy laces exactly as Paris ordained.

New Nemo-flex Brassieres take a dip just where the V neck will be. On the hanger and on the figure to the left, you see two of them, cut low in back for evening wear, their filmy laciness giving surprising support just where curves need upholding, $3.50 and $2.00. Other brassieres fasten with trim smoothness over the girdle, as you see by the model to the right below, $2.00. The garter brassiere, on the heavier figure to the right, eliminates even the suspicion of a diaphragm, fitting over the corset without a break in line, $3.50.

NEMO-flex Girdles and Corsets have developed many newnesses. The unboned elastic step-in on the slender figure to the left is a marvel at $3.00; the girdle to the left below has a convenient new feature—the half-way fastening— which permits the garment to slip off more easily and also makes for more support, $10.75.


The Wonderlift, second from the right below, has a special device for the figure which needs particular abdominal support, $7.50 to $15.00. And Nemo-flex back-lacing corsets—one is on the figure to the right—are a boon to the woman who feels she must return to a firmer control of hips and waist, $5.00 to $10.00.

NEW Nemo-flex Combinations define the new silhouette for fall, five different types fitting as many kinds of figure with the nicety of a fine French glove. The one to the right above is especially designed to wear under the frock of the hour. A silk-knit brassiere-top affords ease through the bust, and the girdle curving high in front is deftly shaped to define the waist and control the diaphragm, $7.50 to $10.00. The one to the right below is for the slenderer figure, $3.00 to $22.50.

WOULDN'T you like to try on these attractive Nemo-flex things, designed for your fall needs? No matter what kind of foundation garment you are looking for, at no matter what price, you will find it among Nemo-flex models in any good store. And such charming fabrics, such excellent workmanship! Nemo, The House of Complete Corsetry, 120 East 16th Street, New York City.

SEND for our booklet "The Newer Corsetry." It shows you heaps of other lovely Nemo-flex things coming out for fall, designed for every type of figure and every occasion.

Durene Advertisement from the Ladies Home Journal, April 1931


A Durene Summer is Coming . .

do you know

Soft, Dull-Lustred Durene?

In a season when cotton is the very smartest thing, it's nice to know and enjoy the distinction of durene . . . Durene is the name of the yarn that makes the finest specially-processed cotton hosiery, fabrics and garments. It has a soft, subdued lustre, great elasticity and absorptive quality, launders easily and gives wonderfully long service.

You'll find durene underwear and hosiery for men, women and children in most good stores. Also, when you buy sports clothes—such as the appealing new frock below — be sure to ask for durene.


Shorts and bandeau of sheer fine mesh durene, in tea rose, nile, shell pink, pastel blue, and white, are made by the Globe Knitting Works. The stockings of durene needle-point mesh are cool and smart with sports clothes—and unusually durable.