When we say ‘girdle’, you probably think of women in those old 1950s adverts showing off the brand new thing in fashion. To be honest, ‘girdle’ hasn’t been a regular use term in quite a long time! Instead, it’s gone through a transformation and become what we now know as ‘shapewear’. But the girdle is still a part of the shapewear family, and today we wanted to dive into what they are and how you can incorporate one into your wardrobe.
A Guide To Modern Girdles
A girdle is essentially a partial corset, and have been around for a long time – in fact they were first seen in the 1900s. (It’s also the name for a cassock belt that Christian priests wear, but we’re not going to go down that route in this blog!) Traditional girdles were made from a type of elasticated fabric and stiff boning designed to smooth the hips and pull in the waist. The effect was a lot like a traditional corset, except they didn’t go over the bust area. Instead, they sat high on the waist and ran down the outside of the thighs and flowed into the skirt. They were perfect for wearing under the big flowing dresses of the 1960s!
The girdle quickly became a daily wear items for most women, and the design evolved to have straps to attach stockings to and cinch in even more at the waist. Adverts at the time claimed that girdles improved posture, showed off your assets and hid your ‘liabilities’. They were the perfect solution for the modern woman of the time!
Of course, girdles still exist now, but they are more commonly known as ‘waist trainers’. And they claim the same things as the vintage ones do – to slim down your waistline, create an hourglass figure and smooth curves over the hips. Modern materials and modern marketing, but with the exact same goal. They were made popular again by the likes of the Kardashians (mainly Kim and Kourtney), Nicki Minaj, Jessica Alba and even Lindsey Lohan.
Golden Rules For Girdles
When it comes to wearing girdles, it’s important to find one that fits your shape, is comfortable and makes you feel confident. That being said, we do have some tips that will make finding and wearing your girdle a more pleasant experience.
Control Over Constriction: One of the biggest mistakes new girdle wearers make is going for something that’s way too tight. Yes, girdles are supposed to feel a bit tight, but only in the sense of controlling your waist. You should never feel constricted, uncomfortable or unable to move and breathe properly. Your girdle should never be cutting off blood flow or risk damage to your body. A well fitting girdle shouldn’t bundle at the edges, gape or pinch you at all, or create that ‘muffin top’ look. Instead, choose something that feels comfortable and fits snugly, while allowing you to walk, sit and breathe deeply without any issues.
Aim High: There are girdles available in all kinds of shapes and sizes to fit all different body types and fashion sense. In fact, many women choose to wear them as outerwear to make a statement! But if you’re buying a girdle for the functional element, you need to look for a high waisted one. This avoid bulging at the top, can hook onto your bra for extra security and are much more comfortable to wear day-to-day.
Girdles For All Seasons: Even in the UK we do experience some swings in temperature. But just because there’s a heatwave doesn’t mean you can’t wear your girdle. Most girdles are made from a blend of nylon and spandex to give them their support and firming powers, but these materials aren’t great in warm weather. They can trap heat and sweat, leaving you feeling clammy and even overheating. So when the temperature goes up, switch to a cotton-blend girdle. These are breathable and cooling, and can be worn under even the slinkiest sundresses.
At Elle Courbee we love a good girdle! In fact, we have a wide range of them in stock so that you can fall in love with them too, no matter what you size or shape. Just take a look at our plus size shapewear range today. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.