What's the origin of this phrase and concept? I assume at one point they were simply young household servants from France, but at what point did the concept evolve into such an erotic icon? Did French maids actually wear this
kind of thing? Is the costume related somehow to the legendary French decadence? I found several historical references to "French maids" noodling around Google, but none of them explain the history of this concept. Here's a reference
to a French maid during the reign of Charles II [1630-85], for example.