1940s Camiknickers

Camiknickers became simpler in design in the 1940s due to rationing in WWII. Embellishments were kept to a minimum with only a little applique or the tiniest amount of lace trim. Colours tended to be kept neutral too, with cream or peach being the most popular for lingerie.

The peach camiknickers were found at Brooklands Vintage Festival earlier this year and make perfect sleepwear for hot Summer nights.

If you're new to retro style hosiery, or hosiery of any kind, then the terminology can be confusing - but help is at hand!

Check out our guide to hosiery and all will be revealed.

Peach Rayon Camiknicker

Vintage Camiknicker | 1940s Camiknicker
Vintage Camiknicker | Close up of lingerie applique

In the 1940s and 1950s cami knickers tended to be quite simple in design and made from either rayon or satin. I have a CC41 camiknicker in my collection and I’m quite surprised that it has a lace trim: not only were lace trims quite unusual during this era, as it has the CC41 label it means that this piece was a utilitarian piece designed during the 1940s/early 1950s in the UK when clothing rationing was in place and clothing designs were supposed to kept as simple as possible with no superfluous trims. In the UK clothing rationing went on until the early 1950s which is why I’ve avoided saying for sure that it’s a WWII era piece.

 

If we were to revisit the camiknicker at What Katie Did it would be the 1940s/50s designs we would be looking at recreating. We’re ever practical with our designs at WKD and although we’re not adverse to the odd sheer piece (including our 1930s lounging robe) in an Amazon era I do like to keep things delivery-person friendly!

I recently made a video about the possibility of working with more natural fibres like cotton and rayon: not necessarily from an environmental point of view because just because a fabric is natural certainly doesn’t mean it’s more environmentally (continues below)

CC41 Camiknicker

CC41 Lingerie | 1940s Camiknicker lingerie
CC41 Lingerie | Close up of 1940s lingerie lace

friendly than manmade fibres (the dying process is highly polluting is very closely monitored in India where most of our fabric is made, but there have been features in the media on cotton dying in particular in other countries), but from a comfort point of view. On hot sticky nights it’s far more comfortable to be wearing a breathable fabric to sleep in.

When it comes to sleepwear, what do you prefer to sleep in, if anything at all? Would you prefer a full length nightdress, knee length slip, mini slip or camiknicker? If the last two are an option I’ve an intriguing idea of a removable crotch panel on a camiknicker but you will have to check out the video to find out more! Please let us know on our Facebook social group or other social media channels and if we get enough feedback we might be able to put something together for Spring 2020.


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