Thursday, 12 January 2012
So you want to wear a girdle?
Then you may want to read this post. There is no doubt that a proper foundation do a lot for the way clothes hang and vintage clothes are made for women who wore that. If you look at these two pictures, it’s the same dress (albeit the second one has added sleeves) and the same me in a dress after a 1950’s pattern. In the first picture I wear modern shapewear, in the second a corset and a fuller petticoat, but the same bra and body weight. I think you will agree with me that the fit is a lot better in the second one.
However, foundation garments may give you the shape you desire, but it does come with a price. They will constrict you, more or less severely and you need to take that into consideration. First, ask yourself if you can even bear to wear garments that restrict your movements. Some people can even stand to wear ordinary clothes that fit snuggly and if you are one of those, then you will probably not enjoy underwear that restricts you even more. Personally I quite like the feeling of being closely confined and wear corsets quite often, but that is a matter of taste.
There is also a variety of foundation garment and I think you would do well to consider what would suit you the best. But whatever kind you wear, you really need to consider the fit. Don’t let your vanity win over your comfort. Wearing ill-fitting underwear is just as awful as wearing chafing shoes and will take out all the fun in wearing your pretty clothes. Even if these clothes are restricting, they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable to wear. As they fit so snuggly you may need another size than you ordinary wear and you should also bear in mind that size can differ dramatically between brands- it can be a bit of a hassle to find something that fit properly, but it is worth it. If you just want to wear foundation garments for special occasions, then you may be able to stand some discomfort, but if you wear a girdle and find that you can’t eat in it, sit comfortably or breathe well, then it doesn’t fit and you shouldn’t wear it. Period. And if you want to wear it every day, you really want something that you feel comfortable in.
Modern shapewear are made of stretch fabric. Some just even out your figure so your “bulges” become less appear ant and some can really get a slimming effect. There is no boning in these garments which makes them the least restrictive and unobtrusive option.
Girdles May or may not have boning and be more or less supportive. That was true even in the forties where you could find girdles that looked quite monstrous.
Or quite simple.
There is also a variety of shapes, like the ones that enclose your whole torso or just function as garter belts.
How to choose the right foundation for you, fun advice from 1956.
I gave this link in yesterday’s post as well, but is so informative on the subject of girdles, that it is worth repeating.
Corsets is the most restricting type of underwear you can find, but also the one that can change the shape of your body the most. There are a lot of strange myths circulating about them, some of them rather strange. To wear a corset does not mean that you have to lace yourself within an inch of your life. Even a moderate lacing can shave of 4 inches of your waist and there is absolutely no need to lace yourself so hard you feel discomfort. There are people who tight-lace and can show of some really spectacular waist reductions, but those people have often worn corsets daily for a long time and only gradually reached that point. If you want to wear corsets, the very best if to have one custom made, but that is quite expensive and if you just want to wear them for fun, then you can find good ready-made ones too. They are clothes that have to withstand some hard wear and tear by their very nature, so good quality is worth the money. Under all circumstances, never rush yourself into a corset. Begin with lacing the corset snugly, then do something else for 10-15 minutes and then lace them a bit tighter. If you lace yourself in stages, then you can lace the corset tighter without discomfort.
If you are interested in corsets, then I think Staylace is a very good place to start. Tons of information and pictures.
Where to shop You can buy foundation garments in any underwear shop of course, but if you want a vintage feel to it, then these places can be worth checking out.
Kiss Me Deadly
Nylon Dreams I have one of their pull-on garter belts, which isn't restrictive as all- a good option if you want to wear stockings, but not want any restriction.
Rago Good quality and variety of selection. I like their girdles very much.
What Katie Did Sells both girdles and corsets with a wonderful vintage flair, as well as bras and hosiery. Their corsets are definitely worth the price. I have one and plan to buy another one- they have a very short one that quite closely mimics the waist cinchers of the 50’s.
(Picture sources: http://foxesinbreeches.tumblr.com/post/319296174/billyjane-louise-dahl-wolfe-lingerie