If there truly can be only one Holy Grail in terms of vintage panties, one pair that truly does fit the dreams of all, it’s the vintage Vanity Fair Vantees panties. Even the less lacy panties are of the softest double-brushed nylon, have a pillowtab, the whole nine yards.
I was once lucky enough to have a pair of Vantees. They were a simple full-cut pair in beige with just the daintiest lace trim — much like these fancy beige lace ones shown below, in fact, minus the glorious lace.
They were heavenly to wear. Had I known then just how irreplaceable they were, I never would have worn and washed them as I did. *heavy sigh* Live and learn.
Authentic vintage Vanity Fair Vantees panties are rare. They are best identified by their fabric label, shown below.
Did I say these beauties are rare? I meant real labeled vintage Vantees are extremely rare.
The beige lace pair shown above sold recently for $218! (The seller was Jessa Belle by Cupcake Countessa.)
One of the reasons these panties are so rare is not just their legendary fit, feel and fashion, is that they are said to have only been produced only between 1957 and 1958.
Here’s an ad introducing Vanity Fair Vantees panties, “the panties with the revolutionary new feature,” from the Lawton Constitiution, May 22, 1957:
Comfort. Absorbency. Silken smoothness and softness. Minimum care. All this in Vanity Fair’s new Vantees — finest nylon tricot fitted like a second skin plus new Nylosorb fabric crotch, twice as absorbent as regular tricot! Wear them once and this exclusive feature will make Vantees your favorite panties.
(Nylosorb appears to be a trademark only; not a patent.)
A similar ad ran in 1959 in the Hutchinson News:
This means the Vantee panty was still around past 1958. However…
The historical record shows some confusing things regarding the years these panties were made… The trademark on Vantees was obtained by Vanity Fair in 1957 and it didn’t expire until 2008 (after Fruit Of The Loom bought Vanity Fair in 2007) — what’s more, there’s evidence, found mainly in vintage newspaper ads for department store sales, that Vanity Fair used the term Vantee through the early 1980s.
By 1960, Vantees is no longer used — but as this ad in the Wisconsin State Journal (September 15, 1960) shows, it was replaced by “vantee gusset.” (And the less attractive Nylosorb term seems to have been banished.)
Here are some additional vintage Vanity Fair lingerie and panty ads which reference the Vantee gusset, but not Vantees panties themselves. (These are just a few of my favorites of these ads I found through all the decades.)
Progress-Index, March 3, 1968 — Vantee gusset featured with the “Sunsations” lingerie by Vanity Fair:
Mexia Daily News, November 3, 1969:
Albuquerque Journal, May 18, 1975 (Note that in this ad, the Vantee Gusset is referred to as “cotton.”)
Burlington Hawk-Eye, December 5, 1982:
In any case, the use of Vantee in these vintage and retro ads seems to explicitly refer to the gusset only. So it does seem that the use of the Vantees label may have stopped in 1959 or the 60s, but the Vantee feature lived on until the mid 1980s (or longer).