The stasis of the deux-pièces panty silhouette and its vector toward nombril in the late 1940s and early 1950s encourage designers to explore the side of the culotte as an alternate vector of exposure to the bikini. A lattice-side culotte is one which has open-work on the side of the briefs.
Aside from some rare theatrical costumes (CF2310), the first lattice-sides in this collection date from the late 1940s, sometimes combining with the nombril (VV4610) and sometimes not (LA4710). Another historical influence is the lattice-side maillot. Theoreticians continue to argue whether bikini drives lattice-side or if both are simply a response to the exposure pressures. In any respect, the side region of the culotte gets put into play and will stay in play--abet in many variations--for the balance of the century. Lattice-side is also a fastenology theme.
Typical of the era these briefs feature a high-waistline and low legline; their erotic edge is an open side closed by a lattice of string, often with eyelets in the front and back of the fabric so that the lace can thread up and tie at the top (DG4710). The effect is not unlike the ties of a shoe, except that the entire strip of previously untanned hip from the leg to the belly is exposed.
The lacing up the side of the suit truly allows it to be easily adjustable, and, depending on the size of the suit and the size of the wearer, the strip of flesh at the side can be quite narrow or quite wide.
Unlike many swimsuit silhouettes the lattice-side invites movement; here Susan Hayward tightens the knot on a suggestive culotte (SH5210). It is the perfect silhouette for the Hollywood star who wants to keep her belly button covered, but reveal an extra inch, as Ann Bancroft demonstrates (AB5050).
Although both of these Hollywood stars keep their belly buttons covered, pinup girls drawn by Peter Driben (PT5340} have no such shame, nor do starlets like Marilyn Monroe (MM4925).
Although the lattice-side works well with the lower legline, higher waistline silhouettes of the 1940s and 1950s, it is jeopardized as the newly revealed navel and retreating waistline capture the popular imagination (RS7102). Indeed, as the 1950s progress the lattice-side looses interest, in fact, once the side of the brief becomes very narrow the lattice-side is rendered irrelevant, although ties at the side of the culotte will reemerge in a new silhouette, the sidetie.
Lattice tie briefs work well with a variety of tops, especially when the lattice theme is brought to the front center of the bandeau, halter (PT4610), or vest.
The lattice-side exposes the side of the hip.