French Maid ensembles, worn usually by women, are a subject of sexual fetishism. They are a form of ladies' fantasywear that, depending on design details, can be classified as lingerie. They enjoy a wide popularity and are available from many sources.
The name derives from their being worn by stereotypical characters in risqué burlesque dramas of the bedroom farce variety.
A wide variety of costumes are manufactured and marketed under the "French maid" description today. These range from comparatively modest dresses extending well down the thigh or above the knees to transparent chiffon nightgowns or outright lingerie ensembles that cover almost nothing. Some costumes are marketed to transvestites, especially for forced feminisation.
The classic French Maid costume, however, is a very short and clingy dress, usually black (ideally silk satin, or closely resembling it) trimmed with shirred white lace. Typically, it includes a tiny white apron attached to the dress; sometimes, the apron is even shaped like a heart, with white lace fringes on the hems and revealing neckline. The skirt area of the dress is usually pleated. If panties are worn with it, they are usually white and ruffled, and the dress is sometimes short enough to display them, especially when the wearer bends over or is made to go down on hands and knees.
Common accessories include a frill worn in the hair, or a tiara, a feather duster, and sometimes white lace cuffs and collar. If the dress has sleeves, they are usually short and puffed shoulder puffs. A corset or a layered white petticoat may be worn under the dress. The ensemble is almost always completed with black (sometimes seamed or fishnet) stockings or tights and black high-heeled shoes.
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