Beige Floral Lycra Mesh Shaping Bodysuit By Chantelle

Beige Floral Lycra Mesh Shaping Bodysuit By Chantelle, c. 1960s, France. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: c. 1960s

Origin: France

Fabric: Nylon-elastane blend

Brand: Chantelle


This shaping bodysuit, from French brand Chantelle, was designed to provide all-over support and help create the naturally slender figure that was fashionable in the 1960s, rather than the overtly hourglass shape that was more fashionable in the 1950s. The cups of the bodysuit are wired but unlined, so there is no extra padding but there is support for the bust. The bodysuit is made of a nylon-elastane blend in a beige floral mesh with matching floral elastic trim for the leg holes, and with matching beige adjustable elastic straps at the shoulders. The back is low-cut, to allow for the bodysuit to be worn under a variety of garments, and the bodysuit is cut so that it fully covers the posterior and hips. There is a series of hook and eye closures at the bottom, to allow the wearer to easily use the restroom without fully undressing. There is a centre front seam and side seams, but no centre back seam — since the garment is made of stretch material, it would not require extensive seaming to fit snugly, and wouldn’t need to be fitted to an individual. The tag on the bodysuit reads “Chantelle Paris 02,” and specifies the model number 606 and “made in France.” It also has the sizing, “Eur 85, F 100, Int 38.” There is a C on the garment tag as well. 

The bodysuit is with its original packaging, with the paper tag still attached to the bodysuit shoulder (reading “Chantelle Paris”). The box it was bought in has the same sizing information as the garment tag, and also specifies the color (“nude”), with a small drawing of the bodysuit. Washing instructions are also on the box: 

“Frequent hand wash separately. Line dry. Possibly machine wash separately using lukewarm cycle. Line dry. Use special suds for colors but always wash separately by excluding all other coloured garments. Use no bleach. Do not tumble and do not iron.”

 The washing instructions in French and Spanish specify the use of 40℃ water (104℉), though the English and German instructions do not.

The Chantelle brand was founded in 1876 in Paris. In 1936, the company developed a type of stretch tulle that became integral to the Chantelle undergarments, which began to be produced in 1949. Chantelle began producing bras in 1960, with 1972 marking the production of seamless, molded bras. The company now has a variety of brands, including Chantelle, Chantelle X (a higher end version of the Chantelle line), Passionata, Femilet, Darjeeling, and Livera. 


Generously donated to The Underpinnings Museum by Esther Petronille

Many thanks to Katherine Shark for the object description and research.

Museum number: UM-2020-003


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