When Should You Wear A Slip?

If you have a slip in your wardrobe, when should you wear it? Here are a few tips that might make the decision easier.

Like the girdle, corset, and camisole, the ladies' full-length and half-length slip is going the way of the past. So many clothing articles come with their own linings that women are finding it less and less necessary to wear a slip beneath an outfit.

Slips come in full size as a single-piece bodice and skirt, or half-size, as a skirt only with an elastic waist. They come in various fabrics, usually silk or cotton, or a synthetic mix. And they can be purchased in a variety of colors, from white to black, or just about any shade in between. Short or long, they reach to just above the knee or ankle length for more formal wear. Whatever your taste in clothing, there's a slip waiting to be worn underneath for a smoother fit and less see-through potential.

Just when should you wear a slip? Here are a few guidelines that may help:

1. When you wear a lightweight fabric. Clingy or transparent clothing may require that you wear a slip underneath for decorum or modesty. Try on your thin summer blouse or long silky skirt with and without a slip to compare how they look. Get a second opinion if possible. Stand in direct light and also with light behind you so that it can be determined if the fabric can be seen through. You do not want to expose underwear lines or bodily contours that are meant to be kept private.

2. When you wear a delicate outfit. A cocktail dress or a long formal will surely need a slip for proper fit. The undergarment will help to ensure that the outer fabric lays properly and does not wrinkle, ride up, or cling. Make sure the slip style fits the garment's shape as much as possible so you don't have the slip's edges showing through a skirt slit or under your arms. Wear a slip in a neutral color or one that coordinates with the dress so that it doesn't show underneath, as would a white slip under a black dress, or vice versa.

3. When you wear a clingy garment. Any type of clothing that sticks to your skin may need a slip to keep it in line. A slip will smooth and tame the fabric so it doesn't bunch or cling where it shouldn't. Try a cotton or a silk slip to see which has a better effect on the garment you plan to wear.

4. Wear the right slip with your outfit. Don't wear a short slip with a long skirt, or a lacy slip with a transparent blouse. Check the mirror before leaving the house to be sure the outfit looks all right. In some cases the slip may be superfluous, as when the outfit has its own slip or the fabric is heavy enough to do without one. But always check so you have no regrets later when you arrive at the public event you plan to attend.

Slips, like anything else, have a useful purpose. Wear them in good taste to reap the benefits of this lingerie item, or else put them away and make do with contemporary clothing's individual liners.

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