Girdles: All About Vintage Girdles

Girdles: All About Vintage Girdles

All About Girdles Part ll

A couple of months ago I made a video about girdles (at the bottom of this page), where I discussed the different types of 1950s girdles but it appears there are a few things I missed. In this follow up video, I talk more about the fit of girdles, and have invited burlesque performer Jessabelle Thunder to show them off to their best advantage.

If you're new to retro style hosiery, or hosiery of any kind, then the terminology can be confusing - but help is at hand!

Check out our guide to hosiery and all will be revealed.

Light Control Harlow Girdlette

This week we’re taking a look at girdles. Girdles really were de-rigueur in the 1950s, not only did they create a smooth line under fitted dresses and pencil skirts, they also kept away the jiggle! Marilyn Monroe, playing Rose Loomis, caused an absolute outrage in her movie ‘Niagara’ (1953). This was due to the lack of a girdle, leaving her untamed derriere to walk away from the screen for the longest walk in cinema history with around 116 feet of film!

It’s not known if Marilyn’s lack of underpinnings in ‘Niagara’ was down to the costume department or Marilyn herself who is well known for her dislike of girdles.

Leaving Marilyn aside, the majority of women in the 1950s wore girdles on a daily basis, generally an open bottom style with suspenders attached at the bottom. Girdles as we know them today, first appeared in the 1920s, while panty girdles were developed in the 1940s. This was all while trousers and slacks were becoming fashionable for women to wear. They were perfect for the tailored fashion of those decades and their popularity only faded when young women turned to full circle skirts and suspender belts in the 1950s.

Medium Control Glamour Nouveau Girdle

Today, girdles provide the perfect foundation under fitted dresses and pencil skirts. The girdle gently shapes the hips, tummy and derriere. Although they only give a reduction in inches with the most firm control versions, they do smooth out any lumps and bumps and help clothing fall perfectly.

At What Katie Did we make several types of girdle.

The lightest control girdlette (either Maitresse or Harlow as featured here) is similar to a simple 1950s roll on girdle. This light control garment is a pull on style with no hooks and eyes or boning, ensuring the smoothest line under clothing. It’s shorter length (and cheeky cut away back) makes it ideal for daily wear.

Our Glamour Longline Girdle is a traditional 1950s style girdle made from medium control powermesh and full bottom coverage. This girdle is ideal for an authentic 1950s look. With our seasonal fashion ranges, we turn to the length and similar cut of our Glamour Girdle as it’s a style you really can’t go wrong with.

For the firmest control, take a look at our Glamour Longline Girdle. It’s cut very small to shape and features a hook and eye fastening at the front enabling you to wriggle into it with a skin tight fit. This girdle is reminiscent of girdles worn from the 1930s right through to the 1960s. Although lack of elastic in the 1940s, due to WWII would have stopped production for that decade if you are going for a totally period correct look.

Firm Control Glamour Longline Girdle

All About Girdles Part I

From light control girdlettes to our firm control Kate Panty Girdle, I tell you (nearly) everything you need to know about girdles in part I of our girdle series.

Before You Go

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1950s girdle

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