French Maid Uniform is a style of servant's dress that evolved from the typical afternoon uniforms of French maids who worked as servants for English socialites during the 19th century and their later use by stereotypical soubrette characters in burlesque dramas and bedroom farces.
The designs of a French maid uniform can range widely from a conservative look to revealing. It is often used as a routine form of servitude to a dominant partner, in Cosplay, sexual roleplaying, and fetishism. Depending on design details, some forms can be classified as Lingerie.
In the late 1800’s, it was popular for American and English families to hire young, attractive French girls to wait on them and do their housekeeping. These girls were referred to as "maidens" - the word later shortened to just "maids". If a family was not lucky enough to obtain a French maid, they would hire British maids and request that they speak in a French accent.
The original French maid uniform was very conservative and floor length. It was not until French maids were characters in books during the late 1900's and 1920's that the French maid uniform changed into a v-neck lace dress with a cinched waist, wide short skirt with a lace trim petticoat that fell at the knee with dark or clear hosiery. French maids were also featured on a naughty postcards during that time period.
As time progressed during the 1920's and 1930's the French maid uniform became a symbol of sexual freedom and eroticism.
By the 1940's French maid uniforms had become the iconic image of a servile individual, during the late 1940's to 1950's the French maid uniform was featured to inspire men in uniform. In the 1960's the sexual revolution was exploding and the French maid was a dominant brand. The maid uniform got shorter, with the skirt cutting off above the knees, mid thigh, with a lower scooped neck, lots of lace frill and a garter belt sans petticoat. In the decades since, the maid uniform has continued to represent both the image of a devoted servant and the image of a sexually available servile partner.
A.I. Love You
- Main Article: French Maid Uniform
Saati and Toeni don French maid uniforms while hunting down Hitoshi's old Artificial Intelligence programs who had gained sentence and now ran rampant through Tokyo.
Negima! Magister Negi Magi
- Main Article: French Maid Uniform
- Generally most of the heavy work performed by a maid (such as cleaning or repair work) is done during the morning, while the afternoon is dedicated to less demanding activities such as serving the tea and other servile tasks. Because of this, maids tend to have two styles of uniforms; a morning practical uniform with a covering apron that will protect it during the heavy chores. The evening uniform is usually more elaborately designed, in a black elegant fabric with a fancier apron.
- The uniform denotes the wearer's social status, enabling observers to instantly identify them as being at the service of others and available for tasks.
- Following being defeated and disowned by her sister, Tsuruko Aoyama, Motoko Aoyama acquired a French Maid Uniform from Mitsune's closet (Haruka's in the anime) and took to performing the domestic tasks of the Hinata House; cooking, cleaning, taking care of the tenants and housing maintenance. She dubbed the persona as "Miracle Maid Motoko".
- A Maid Café is a café in Japan based around the theme of French maid service. The café involves various attendants in French maid uniforms waiting on the customer and calling them "Master".