Five reasons why women don’t wear shapewear or stockings

I have heard so many women talking about how they love the look of retro shapewear and lingerie on other people but that they wouldn’t or couldn’t ever wear it themselves.

In this article I have outlined the top five reasons that women have given me to not wear shapewear and/or stockings and why I think those excuses should be forgotten about.

1. “It is too expensive – This is something that I have previously covered in my article ‘Granny got it right’. However, I want to reiterate that it really is possible to wear vintage inspired foundations AND not break the bank.

I have put together two looks that you can draw inspiration from, should you wish to do so. Please note that if you are unsure about what would work best with a certain outfit or body type, you can submit a question here and I will get back to you ASAP.

Casual/ day look:



Bra: 2 Pack Lace Wirefree Bra (Target) – Approx. $19 US (for 2 bras!)

Girdle: Open Bottom Girdle – Girdle with Hook Slides (Pandora’s Choice) – Approx. – $41 US

Stockings: Cervin Nymphe traditional crepe stretch RHT stockings (Stockings HQ) – Approx. $6 US

Evening look:

I have had a bit of fun with the evening look. When a woman feels sexy, she will behave and look sexier as a result. The same applies for fun – I love that so many different types of stockings are available, especially from Cervin.

The Rago corselette is available in black, white and all kind of jazzy colours, as seen below.

Cervin do some wonderful bi-coloured stockings (both RHTs and seamed)

I can personally vouch for the quality of both of these products; the stockings are very strong and the corselette feels and looks amazing.



Corselette: Rago 9357 Extra Firm Lacette Open Bottom Corset Bodybriefer (Rago & Orchard Corset for the custom dyes) $65 US

Stockings:  Cervin Capri Bicolore non-stretch RHT stockings (Stockings HQ) Approx. $15 US

2. I find this style intimidating” – So many women think that shapewear is intimidating, that somehow girdles and stockings are something that only other women wear. I don’t understand what is so scary about good retro-inspired shapewear. What is the worst that can happen? You buy a piece that you are unsure about, you receive it in the mail/ you take it home from the shop and then if you decide it is not for you then you return it. I think that everyone should try at least one piece and if you don’t like it then let me know why, I would be very interested to hear why. I love helping women to embrace this style!

3. I don’t know which size to buy” – Everyone has a different body type, different shaped and sized breasts, body issues, good bits, bad bits etc. This means that fitting anything that hasn’t been custom made, can be tricky. I for example, I can fit perfectly into one brand of stockings but not in another brand, even if the sizing is exactly the same.

Shapewear – I generally find that the sizing charts on each of the brands sites is correct and provides good guidelines. I am a bra size 36DD and a clothing size 14-16; if I stick to these sizes when buying shapewear, I usually get a good fit. Don’t forget that if you are unsure about certain items, there are numerous forums on the manufacturer’s website – What Katie Did for example, has a forum where customers regularly ask about product sizing.

Stockings – Stockings can be tricky, they come in different lengths, welt widths and sizing can drastically vary between brands. There are ways to avoid buying stockings that are too small though; larger ladies would benefit from stretch stockings and there are even plus size stockings on the market, available here.

Nylon stockings are generally not available in plus sizes; and again, really vary from brand to brand. I answered a sizing question a while ago, which can be found here.

Again, if you have any questions, please please please ask me! I am here to help!

4. I can’t wear stockings because I wear tight clothes and the outline of the suspender clips will show – I have heard this and similar comments from so many women. The truth is that if you do choose to wear tight fitting outerwear, the bumps will be visible. However, there are two solutions:

Solution #1 – Have a “I’m showing my suspender belt clip bumps and I don’t care” attitude.

Solution #2 – Choose the correct shapewear for your outfit. For example, if you are going out and wish to wear a tight fitting dress and you want to wear something like the Rago 1294, but you’re afraid of the bumps showing, then switch it for the Rago 6210:


This way you can attached your stockings but the layer of fabric covering the clips will compress it and make the bumps near invisible.

Another example:


There are so many different types of shapewear available that it is easy to find something that will accommodate your outerwear.

5. It is uncomfortable – If the shapewear you’re wearing is uncomfortable, then you are either not wearing it right or you are wearing the wrong size.

I can’t stress enough exactly how comfortable these garments are. Sure, you may spend a little more time than usual getting your underwear on, but that’s because these are meant to be tight and pull your body in at the right places. Once everything is on, it is incredibly comfortable. Some items actually provide a lot of back support.

It may be that you think that shapewear is not suitable to the climate in which you live in, living in Australia, this is something I understand. However, this is again something that is easy to work around. There are very light pieces that you can swap your full body coverage items for, such as a light girdles or a mesh piece to allow your skin to breath.

If you would like to try out some pieces of shapewear or would like to wear stockings more regularly, but are holding back for some reason, please get in contact here and let me know. I would be very happy to help.

Stay sexy ladies!


21 thoughts on “Five reasons why women don’t wear shapewear or stockings

  1. Loving your blog Elinor! I’ve had a little look at Stockings HQ as I need some fully fashioned stockings for a shoot on June 23rd… how long does delivery take normally to AUS? Also do you think I should size up from my height since I have very chunky thighs? x

    • Hi lovely! Few questions- How tall are you? Which brand were you thinking of going with? Which colour? Each brand is different which is a bit of a pain 😦 Stockings HQ takes a couple of weeks to arrive to Australia. x

  2. I love your blog! I need your help though please.
    Where can I buy rago shapewear in the uk?
    I am a 12/ 14 but have an unfortunately large chest EE or F. Where can I find a corselette or long line bra or vintage styles like what katie did in this size?
    Thankyou for continuing to inspire! ×

  3. Hello! I’m also a 36DD, and I’m wondering what size you wear in Rago’s longline bra? Do you find it to be supportive enough for you? I’m unsure about ordering a bra without underwires. In my experience, I don’t get any “lift” without them. I have a small underbust measurement (32″) with a larger bust, so I’m also wondering if the cups & bodice will accommodate someone with my proportions?

    Thanks for your help. I’m just beginning to buy/wear retro shapewear, and your blog has been so valuable to me.

    • Aw thank you! Well I checked the sizing of my Rago bra and it’s a 36D and fits really well. It absolutely provides enough support and lift. I barely ever wear underwired bras now. I think only a few of my pieces have under wiring. I feel a lot better withing the wiring because I have a large rib cage which means that the wiring digs in, unless I wear a large band but that doesn’t help with regards to support!

    • Yes! I am also normal back width but an EE or an F and struggling to find vintage or longline bras in the UK that accommodate my ample bust.

  4. Pingback: Five reasons why girls don’t wear shapewear or stockings | Fatima Xberg's Blog

  5. Elinor, I loved reading this! I’ve made many of the same points over on my own blog, and particularly with regard to stockings. I’m 6’1″, and I’ve found that the Berkshire “Sexyhose” range offers great choices for my height. Quite reasonably priced and they wear well, too! Also check eBay for larger sizes. If Oz is anything like L.A. it’s almost impossible to find any stockings in stores!

    • Well there are a few stockings in department stores but they are never nylons and they are usually quite expensive. Whereas tights come in all shapes, sizes, prices…It makes me sad. Touchable do stockings that are long enough for me, I would even go as far as saying, maybe a bit too long for me! Try them out if you haven’t already 🙂

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  12. Hi Ladies,

    I hope you don’t mind me adding to the conversation, specifically regarding stockings. I buy my girlfriend stockings from the following sites in the UK: <- They stock Eleganti and Gio, I beleive Eleganti are made on the same machines as Touchable. Their prices for Gios are the cheapest I've found (when they have stock of course) (£5:50 or £10:95 shipping for the rest of the world)

    And a lovely chap on Ebay, he stocks unusual colours: (I'm sure he'll ship to the rest of the world, just message him, a very honest seller)

    And of course :

    Hope that helps you get what you want 🙂


  13. The key to comfort in a girdle is to make sure if possible you find a Professional Corsetiere for a fitting and some helpful consulting or what I call “Girdle Training”. There is a lot to making sure you purchase the right kind of girdle that is right for your figure and your life style. If you purchase a girdle that is way to tight that can be quite uncomfortable, going too lose will not give you needed stomach and back support. My corsetiere first measured me my waist and my hips, she then asked me what kind of life style am I active or not, what kind of work do I do. This also has a lot to do with the right kind of garment.
    In my case I am very active, but I do have a belly with lower back pains and a mild case of scoliosis – for work I work on computers sitting a lot, and I do have very bad posture. I am not fat, but over time my stomach muscles have become quite weak, and I really do need the firm support daily of a girdle.
    The corsetiere after evaluating me picked the Rago 6210 a long legged high waist boned and zippered panty girdle. She picked a girdle that was 2 sizes tighter. She then had me lie down on a bed, lean way back pull up the girdle hook up the hooks and eyes and pull up the zipper then stand up. I was absolutely amazed how great I felt all encased supported and held in, it really is an amazing feeling. She also had me keep my stomach muscles relaxed and just rely on the girdle to support my posture. She also had me develop a daily routine wake up, clean up and put on a girdle. I found in a few weeks I become so comfortable and I found to my pleasant surprise I really loved the positive effect that a girdle offers. I am amazed that more people are not aware how great vintage girdles really are, the benefits are truly amazing.

  14. Just to provide a bit of an update re custom dye: Orchard Corset no longer offer this, but do have a video on their site showing how to do it for those feeling adventurous! It Figures, formerly “Girdlebound”, still custom-dye.

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