Monday, July 25, 2011

Barbizon Lingerie

I am not one for modern lingerie but something about vintage lingerie really tickles my fancy, especially pieces from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Obviously wearing someone’s old panties is a little creepy but tap pants, slips and dressing gowns have such a special feel and they are cut so much more beautifully than cheesy lingerie that you see today.

Vintage lingerie is actually not that easy to come by, I guess like most people today, undergarments were mostly worn and tossed out when they became skeevy. Whenever I see a special piece of lingerie, I make sure to snap it up for the shop and last week I found this slip by Barbizon on a thrifting trip. Not knowing much about the brand, I did some research and found some really interesting tidbits.

Barbizon was established as a brand in 1933 specializing in silk and rayon lingerie, not the cheap-feeling nylon that you see in a lot of lingerie today. What set Barbizon apart though is that instead of sourcing their fabric from outside companies, they made all of it in-house. Each Barbizon fabric was given a playful name like Saucy, Beau Belle and Trubeau as you can see on the slip that I have. Each one also comes with the U.S. patent number on the tag so you can actually see when the fabric was introduced which as a vintage clothing geek I find super interesting.

According to the Vintage Fashion Guild, Barbizon was bought by the Vanity Fair Corporation in 1991 and it sadly doesn’t appear to be produced any more. There are lots of lovely pieces on Etsy, here are a few of my favorites.

A cute cami from Fab Gabs Vintage

A Lovely embroidered bias cut '30s nightgown from Union Made Bride

I really like the flirty print of this babydoll nightgown set from Shop Style Vintage

A beautiful and simple slip from Marie's Vintage

Stunning scalloped edge and embroidered trim bodice on this slip from Empress Jade Vintage


  1. Barbizon was also very innovative when it came to using interesting fiber blends in their fabrics. Their satins were some of the best!

  2. I worked for Barbizon for several years in the late 80s for the family who started the brand until 1993 for VF. There CEO at the time expanded the outlet stores to well over 100 and it was believed at the time that she ran the brand into the ground. I was fond of their beautiful cotton and batiste camis, tap pants, teddys and slips.

    1. Interesting info Stacey! It's too bad the brand is no longer around.

  3. To whom it may concern:

    I have a large inventory (hundreds of items) of new, never-worn, lingerie. They are from the 1950’s, the 1960’s, and the 1970’s. They were all purchased at the Barbizon company store on River Street in Paterson, NJ. My father was one of the head printers for over 25 years (from the 1950’s through the 1970’s) and bought the items for my mom to wear and/or give as gifts. Many are still pinned and with price tags. I have half slips, camisoles, full slips, baby dolls, pajamas, night gown, night gown sets, bed jackets, bath robes, and house coats. The sizes range from small to extra-large.

    If you are interested in purchasing the Barbizon or have any questions, please contact me at or call my house (973) 835-7716 or cell (973) 800-5993 between 9:00am and 9:00pm Eastern Standard Time. I am located in Northern New Jersey.

    Hope to hear from you,

    Joyce O’Sullivan