Thursday 13 January 2011

Ruffles, frills, and other frivolous treatments - Part III - The modesty panel


The modesty panels - also known as modesty inserts, faux camisoles, or dickeys - are pretty much forgotten items these days. Nevertheless they didn't fail to fire my imagination, easily captivated as I am by their bogus nature and their fatal mixture of beauty, fragility and uselessness...With the exception that they come in rather handy, even to those of us with less modesty to hide.

This first one is a double bluff: I may be using it as a camisole underneath my cardigan, but I'm pretty sure it started life as part of something with a lot more to show for itself, such as a beautiful evening dress, of which today there is only the top panel left. It makes me sad to think of it, the beauty and perfection that may have been and are now forever lost...

This second one features cream lace on top of a layer of pale pink silk with a very cute lace collar. Unfortunately the collar is quite damaged at the back and I am not quite sure how to repair it/reinforce it.

These last two I picked on Etsy and I love them. The first one is linen with cute mop buttons and necktie, it looks a bit like a fancy waistcoat except that of course, it is not.

This last one is very smooth and silky yet probably rayon, it hangs beautifully and has an attractive insert of lace that creates a diamond shaped pattern. More lace! Never can get enough of the thing, I'm afraid. 
Oops! It looks like I may just have, since I decided to wear it backwards in the bottom image. Oh, well, it's just what you do, isn't it?


  1. neat! These seem better than some of the dickies I've seen, which aren't long both in front and back and so are much more difficult to keep in place!

  2. *squeals at the fancy waistcoat* somehow though I abhor such fakery in contemporary clothing, I love these wardrobe parts in vintage clothing...yummy!

  3. Well, we could call it fakery, which admittedly it is, or we could call it...improvisation. Either way, the dickey is the friend of the poor girl. Up until she can get a selection of beautiful blouses that will make obsolete such shameful disguise :).

  4. Actually, dickies are designed to help the wearer achieve a beautifully smooth look in the arm area especially when worn under cardigans (can't tell you how many times I have felt my arms looking sausage like due to lumps and bumps caused by sleeves, both short and long, stuffed into slim sweater don't give them up, even if you do find other vintage blouses as well.

  5. You are so very right, Baroness! The same can be said about a nice streamlined look with jackets. I like mine fitted, so there isn't room for any bulk underneath. It's especially the underarm area that gets me very irritated when things start to ride up. None if that with a dickey! However one cannot take their jacket off...

  6. oh my! i love love love that first outfit with the belted cardigan, so inspiring!

  7. Olala! The camera quality gives it away, but it the images were sepia and grainy, I'd swear it was an old timey photo. You look amazing!

    I followed, follow me back? :)