Feminine effects: Lingerie bags

When I first began regular trips to France, over 30 years go, I was obsessed with noticing differences. My French women acquaintances (who became close friends over the years) would not dream of shoving their tights or lingerie into a drawer. Mais non, they used elegant lingerie bags, flat envelope-type sacs of beautiful fabric.

I use lingerie bags for small scarves and handkerchiefs. I also use them for travel, a more graceful version of "packing bags". A woman could stuff her smalls into a ziploc, but this is so much more pleasing.

A lingerie bag makes a most charming personal gift. Like an eiderdown powder puff, it's an item of discreet sensuality. Those with basic sewing skills and a machine can make one, but, having given my beloved Singer Featherweight to my prospective daughter-in-law, I am placing some made by others in the Passage's windows.

The French understand lingerie bags. The bag is properly about 12"x9" and will therefore hold up to four bras or six pairs of panties. They don't claim to be  "purses" or "shoe bags". Therefore, amid a sea of "lingerie bags", French bags are predictably the genuine item.


French antique embroidered linen; price, $28:




Blue floral Liberty-print, price, $31.76:


Pink fine cotton butterflies, price, $31.76:



A serene white satin bag from lingerie maker Myriam Girard: Price, £15.


Padded silk faille, circa 1910, embroidered with a two-letter monogram, LL. Could there be a more nostalgic accessory? Price, $32.



There is small niche for such refined accoutrements: shoe bags, drawstring pouches, a beautiful shoe horn or comb. Whichever you choose, a feminine grace note that speaks of an era before plastic snap-lids and Tide Sticks lends pleasure to even the plainest drawer.

13 comments

LPC said...

You are infinitely more refined than I. Roll and stuff, that's my method;).

LauraH said...

How lovely they are, so romantic.

une femme said...

I'm rather a heathen when it comes to storing my lingerie (use one of those plastic sock honeycombs in a drawer), but these would be so nice for travel and be fabulous and unique gifts.

Kim said...

I have several lingerie bags that belonged to my sweet grandmother. One of them has my great-grandmother's bed jacket in it. The bags are lovely and practical!

Leslie said...

I would love receiving any of these as a gift and now know what my favorite friends will receive for birthday or holiday gifts. Even my bohemian friends will love these. Thank you for introducing me to these.

Jean S said...

Wait. You gave your Featherweight away? Wow, that is one lucky recipient.

I love these. I made one for myself a few years ago. Need to think about making another....

Anonymous said...

This is a nice idea....I'm all for something that makes the usual everyday things just a bit more lovely and elegant.
Cathy Wong

Duchesse said...

Jean S.: I gave it to my prospective daughter in law; it's still in the family and she loves it.

All: A romantic grace note that has many uses: store lingerie, scarves, delicate stockings, handkerchiefs or even letters. BTW I am moving from pockets stuffed with wadded tissues to good old fashioned pretty hankies. I must be getting to granny stage!

Jill Ann said...

Duchesse, have to laugh about the hankies: I used to always have a tissue in my pocket and purse. A few years ago, I decided to start using some of the 2 or 3 dozen vintage hankies I inherited from my mother & granny. At least one of them was my great-granny's, since it is embroidered with her initial. So much more elegant than a paper tissue!re

Hiromi Paris said...

Thank you very much for introducing my lingerie bags in your blog
I always use my Lingerie bag when I travel. I love it. It's very practical and useful!

Duchesse said...

JillAnn: Like you, I inherited a stack, and for years kept them only for sentiment. Now I'm placing hankies in bags and coat pockets. Besides the elegance, better for the enviromnent, and also gentler on the nose. Also, I love seeing my mother's monogram- suddenly she is present again.

Duchesse said...

Hiromi: You are welcome; I am very much looking forward to choosing a Hiromi Paris bag for myself or as a gift. They are truly special.

Mardel said...

I used to adore lingerie bags. Well I still adore them, but recently have resorted to the plastic zip-top things instead. I shall have to reconsider. Cheap and available isn't everything.