In the last segment of my “Vintage Must Have” series I tackled bullet bras. Now let’s go a little further south and discuss girdles. The girdle was the mid-century answer to the corset. And while it can take a few inches off your waist, I find them more necessary for holding up my stockings and can aid in saving your vintage.
So, how does wearing a girdle help save your vintage? Many of us modern gals who grew up wearing pants, and thus believe we walk just like we’re wearing pants when in other garments, but that isn’t always the case regarding vintage. You may find yourself wearing pencil skirts or dresses with slim cut skirts. If you attempt to walk as if you’re wearing pants in such garments, you run the risk of tearing the garment, which is no fun. Because a girdle is tight it will naturally will limit your stride, they are perfect for wearing with the slimmer cut items and reduce the risk of damage to your precious vintage. Not to mention it will automatically give you that Joan wiggle walk.
While there are a few variations on the girdle (panty girdles and all-in-one girdles), my favorite is the open bottom girdle.
The open bottom girdle comes in two types. The first is one that slips on, but has hook and eyes as well as a zipper for final fastenings.
The other is more like a tight mini skirt that you wiggle your way into.
I have run across vintage girdles everywhere from thrift stores to estate sales to the finest vintage clothing stores. Girdles are also available on Etsy. However if wearing what was once someone else’s foundation garment isn’t your gig, you can find new girdles to purchase on-line. Secrets in Lace offers up some beautiful girdles including ones with leopard print panels! And who doesn’t love a little leopard print? What Katie Did also offers a small selection of various girdles.