Whatever Happened To The Teddy?

A few of you have asked why finding a teddy is so difficult, so let me answer.

The death of the teddy can be laid squarely at the feet of the lingerie industry for two reasons:

First, the lingerie industry has gone from a classy, luxurious, sensual form fitting item of silk, satin and/or nylon to a cheap, scratchy, see-thru mesh job. Perhaps it was in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when women began wearing less slips and camisoles that sales of teddies began to decline and they became less of a foundation garment, but the lingerie industry has clearly moved the teddy from day wear to play wear.

Not only have the changed the fabric but the designs themselves, including chunks of the fabric itself. Open cups, backless, thongs, open sides, slits in crotches…

And if that weren’t enough, they’ve inserted chains, straps, and all sorts of things.

The classy teddy has moved from a sensual garment which feels as pretty to wear as it looks, to a bit of lingerie which is to entice someone else. And while that may not in and of itself be a bad thing (I don’t think there is anything wrong with play wear) what is horrible is that it’s so damn uncomfortable to wear that we want it off even quicker than he does.

With all the open spots, underwires, spaghetti-straps and thong backs, teddies are nightmares to sleep in. Sometimes, for the long waisted, they are painful to even sit in; but more on that later.

Sleeping in a teddy is to wake with one breast stuck out the center (where cleavage is to be) or both breasts stuck out under one side (as in, for example, the left armpit or even strangled by those straps which are supposed to be the side or back of the garment). This twisting pulls the whole garment ‘up’ causing great discomfort pain on the genitals.

If you’ve ever woken to find your bits and bobs aching from lack of blood flow you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, count yourself damn lucky — and trust me that it sucks.

In short, the teddy is no longer a comfortable lingerie item.

The second way the lingerie industry has killed the teddy is that in the past few decades women have grown in size and the industry has said, “Who cares.” We’ve grown in weight, height, breast size — you name it — and the lingerie industry, along with most of the fashion world, has flat-out ignored this fact, opting instead to feed fashion fantasy.

Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that they’ve fallen for the fantasy of fashion, believing that women look like the drawing rendered on paper — or at least the true women do, and by ‘true women’ I refer to their belief that only stick-thin women believe in fashion enough to throw money at it.

In part it may be true that the biggest spenders on fashion (or at the least the fashions foisted at us in ‘designer’ fashion shows) are thin women. Film stars, models and other celebrities (and the trophy wives and gal pals of said persons) have largest wallets and regularly work themselves in to skeletal shape. Even if you take out the fashions donated to these folks (given to them to for the purported reasons that they make the rest of us drool), that’s got to be many times the spending of the average woman.

While I’d certainly advocate that selling to the rest of us, the collective average woman, would be a larger purse cumulatively, they don’t seem to consider the loss of this market worthwhile. If they did, they’d create items which fit and flattered while delivering fashion fantasy. But they don’t.

Since the lingerie manufacturers do not wish to deal with their growing market by properly sizing their garments, you can imagine what this means to an item like the teddy which requires correct sizing not only in the bust, waist and hips, but in the length of the torso. Too-small and ill-fitting is the result. And when you add it to the matter of the first point, well, you do the math.

This is why the teddy has nearly become extinct — and why, in a strange sort of evolution, the chemise and baby doll have increased in number.

While a chemise or even a baby doll may allow some ‘give’ with generous skirting, it’s the skirting itself which, without a crotch, allows for less problems. While allowing for more fabric to go over the breasts and other curves, the skirting means there’s nothing to literally rub a lady the wrong way.

This also allows for sloppier or, if you demand a more tactful phrase, a more ambiguous sizing by the makers. In other words, this evolution from form-fitting teddy to flowing chemise is no accident.

Photo credits:

Pink Teddy With Black Lace

Lace & Stretch Mesh Open Bust Thong Teddy

Fish Net Teddy With Chains

Black Silk Teddy Bodysuit

Silk Teddy With Chiffon Panel Skirting

Mesh Teddy With High Neck

Charmeuse Nighty

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