My mother worked in the Jenss store at Pine Plaza in the lingerie department. She had special training how to measure for brassieres, corsets and girdles.
It was complicated back then.
One Valentine's week, a man came in and bought a beautiful black negligee for his wife. Mom thought that was so romantic. A week later, the woman returned it, saying she wanted the money instead. The store was obliged to accept her return.
I recall how angry Mom was about the return. She felt sorry for the man who cared so much as to embarrass himself by showing up there to ask for help to buy it. Seldom would a man be seen in this private section of the store in those days. She thought the woman was ungrateful and selfish.
Luckily for her that Mom (or Dad?) was able to purchase it for a very reduced amount. She had it for many years. The last time I saw it was about 1983. I think.
It wasn't some sleazy thing. It was more like what you would see Doris Day wearing in a movie. what comes to mind is "Pillow Talk" with Rock Hudson.
A respectable but pretty lacy nightgown underneath and a peignoir over it. It completely went from neck to wrist and floor. I don't think it was made of silk, but some other silky material. Chiffon, maybe. It had a zillion thin pleats. Parts of it had black lace that was backed by another kind of silky fabric to keep the lady wearing it looking demure, but alluring.
I don't think they make such beautiful things like that anymore. Probably because women like me, being practical and wanting to stay warm, would rather wear sweats to bed.
Oh, I know there are still romantics out there with a penchant for Victoria's Secret and maybe something a lot more racy. But I would be surprised if they would find the class and quality this peignor set had.
I found this pic on the internet, but this is way more revealing than the one Mom had. You will notice that under the nightgown part is another layer of fabric to keep you from actually seeing the body. Perhaps a man had to use his imagination rather than leaving nothing to imagination as it is today.