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What is a Full Slip?

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  • Written By: A. Roe
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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A full slip is a woman's undergarment designed to help outer clothing hang smoothly and to provide another layer of coverage under sheer outfits. It also can provide an extra layer of warmth. A full slip is typically a one-piece garment with bra-style straps, though not every full slip has straps. Some styles are designed to be rather loose and flowing from top to bottom, with only minimal shaping at the bustline, while others have a built-in bra for additional shaping.

A slip is worn under dresses and skirts to reduce clinging and allow the outer garment to hang properly. It can serve as a protective layer between rougher fabrics and the skin, and between sweaty skin and delicate fabric. Slips also provide a layer of visual protection, giving fuller coverage when skirts or dresses may be too sheer to modestly be worn alone. Slips come in a variety of styles, including the full slip, the half slip, the strapless full bridal slip, and the mini slip.

The full slip is a one-piece garment that extends from the shoulders to just above the hem of the dress or skirt, whether the dress or skirt is knee-length or floor-length. While intended to be worn as an undergarment, a full slip is typically worn over more intimate undergarments, such as a bra and panties. Some full slips are designed with a bra built in, to help with a smoother look, fewer garment layers and better shaping.

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Its full-length design makes the full slip resemble a dress, so much so that it inspired a dress design known as the slip dress. The slip dress, as befitting its name, is identified by its easy, flowing lines. Slip dresses, like full slips, are typically made of a fairly slippery and flowing lightweight fabric and feature thin, spaghetti-style straps. Some people also use full slips as sleepwear.

Slips, whether full, half or mini, are typically made of nylon, polyester, silk or satin — all flowing materials intended to help the outer garment resist clinging. Spandex also may be used to help with body shaping. They often are trimmed in lace, especially if part of the neckline might show above the neckline of the dress or blouse being worn on top of the slip. Other slips, designed specifically for use with extra clingy fabrics, avoid any embellishment and even try to minimize seams to help further smooth the appearance of the outer garment.

A strapless full slip is often called a full bridal slip, because it is designed to be worn with strapless wedding gowns and other strapless dresses. Other types of slips include the half slip, which starts at the waist and falls just short of the length of the skirt. It may be worn with a camisole top to provide coverage resembling that of a full slip. A mini slip starts at the waist and extends only a bit down the leg; it is designed to be worn under very short skirts or dresses. Cotton slips, whether full or half, are popular in countries where the heat may make nylon uncomfortable.

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