French maid

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Woman in a French maid outfit, Paris.
1906 photo of French maid in Montmartre by Constant Puyo.

French maid is 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.
  • High heels
  • Feather-duster
  • White lace garter

Optional accessories depend on design and context:

Culture[edit]

The outfits are frequently worn to costume parties, and also used in drama/theater.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]