French maid

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For the 1897 British musical comedy, see The French Maid.
Woman in a French maid outfit, Paris.
1906 photo of French maid in Montmartre by Constant Puyo.

French maid refers to a strongly modified style of servant's dress that evolved from typical housemaid's black and white afternoon uniforms of 19th century France (and their later use by stereotypical soubrette characters in burlesque dramas and bedroom farces). The designs of the French maid dress can range widely from a conservative look to revealing. It is often used in cosplay, sexual roleplaying, and fetishism. Depending on design details, some forms can be classified as lingerie.

Costume details[edit]

Though not strict to historically accurate uniforms, the French maid outfit has an easily recognizable pattern and black-and white theme that remains the template for other forms of the costume.

The typical French maid costume includes:

  • A black with white trim one-piece dress with a full skirt at or above knee length.
  • White half-apron, usually with ruffle or lace
  • A ruffled or lace headpiece
  • Long stockings or tights. These can be white or black and vary from design to design; might be white over the knee stockings, sheer or fishnet tights, or black long socks with white ribbons.
  • High Heels

Optional accessories depend on design and context:

  • Pearls
  • feather-duster
  • white lace garter
  • other forms of complementary jewelry


The outfits are frequently worn to costume parties, and also used in drama/theater. They are sometimes worn for sexual roleplay or by BDSM practitioners, either on brief occasions, or as a routine form of servitude to the dominant partner.

Among cross-dressing female-dominated men, there is also an extensive Sissy subculture with men roleplaying as submissive "sissy maids" wearing a feminine French maid outfit.

In the media[edit]

French maid outfits also feature in mainstream media from time to time. Notable films include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Desperate Housewives", Season 1, Episode 21

External links[edit]