There are many types of French maid costumes that are inspired by the original French maid. The original French maid outfit was very conservative and the dress was long because the French maid worked as a servant for English socialites during the Edwardian times.
It was not until French maids were characters in books during the late 1900's and 1920's that the French maid uniform changed into a v-neck lace dress with a cinched waist, wide short skirt with lace trime petticoat that fell at the knee with dark or clear hosiery. French maids were also featured on a naughty postcards during that time period as well. The 1920's French maid dress featured below was less shaply and designed more like the flapper dress style..very short.
As time progressed during the 1920's and 1930's the French chamber maid outfit.
became a symbol of sexual freedom and eroticism
According to Fashion-era.com, the first bra that was patented by Mary Phelps-Jacobs in 1914 was inspired by her French maid.
"Mary Phelps-Jacobs patented her bra design under the patent name of Caresse Crosby. Some suggest it was her French maid who provided the idea or the stitching help. Two silk handkerchiefs were tied together, baby ribbon sewn on to make straps and a seam set in the centre front."
By the 1940's French maid costumes and French maid dresses and outfits were used as an iconic brand, like in this Valentines Day Card...very kitsch.
During the late 1940's to 1950's the French maid costume was featured everywhere even on light switch plates and was worn by pinup up models on postcards and calendars during the war to inspire men in uniform everywhere.
In 1948, the Diary of a French Maid by John Willie summed up the allure of the French maid dress. The illustrative masterpiece is featured on 30sg.com. Excerpt from 30sg.com,
"In John Willie's drawings and paintings, slender female characters share a single superb figure that is strong, firm and marvelously tapered. They usually wear shoes or boots with six-inch heels, a tight-fitting corset and long, snug stockings."
In the 1960's the sexual revolution was exploding and the French maid was dominant brand. The maid uniform got shorter, above the knees, mid thigh, lower scoop neck, lots of lace frill and a garter belt sans petticoat. The picture featured is of a retro photo of woman in the 1960's pointing to the obvious tray... serving sex with a smile is the subconscious message.
Copyright Corbis Images
The 1970's was the continuation of sex, drugs and rockin roll from the 60's until disco in the late 70's and the public appetite for French maid style was still strong with French maid uniform fetishism. The uniform fetish movement was alive way before the 1970's but it was mostly underground. Transvestites also wore French maid outfits as part of sex play or dressing up. The most famous French maid fetish uniform was worn by Magenta in the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which is still watched by thousands today, especially on Halloween).
Note: Magenta (photo below - on your right) is wearing a more conservative French maid uniform dress than the French maid costume 1960's maid dress although the split on Magenta's maid costume is high above the knee designed to show the garters and sheer hosiery and her style is sleazy...very 70's.
The 1980's was a mixture of excess, shoulder pads and glamour so the French maid outfit was featured in many films like Clue with Yvette Colleen Camp as the French maid or The Little French Maid to name a few - it was a symbol of saucy and sexy dominance.
The 1990's and beyond many people worldwide still wear French maid costumes or French Maid lingerie. The saucy and sexy mystique of the French maid will never fade.
The Fall 2011 Louis Vuitton Fashion show was inspired by the French Maid (famous super model Kate Moss made an appearance).
The fashion world is inspired by French maids and over the 2k decade it is evident that the obsession is still present.
Source: Runway Fashion, Trend Reporter, Paris Couture, Vogue, Louis Vuitton and Fashionising
Fashion Runway 2k - French Maid
French Maid Accessories:
W What makes a French maid uniform or French Maid lingerie most seductive - the accessories!
· A white panty or G-String with ruffles.
· Black fishnet stockings and/or black sheer stockings
· Black garters and garter belt with ruffles
· Tiny white apron with white fringe on the hem
· Black choker with a heart pendent
· Black flats or black high heel shoes.
· Feather Duster
· Feather for the hair of French Frill
· Little purse with a long handle
· Vintage Chanel Bag