I’m new to retro underwear, where should I start? – Part 3 – Girdles

Girdles are an interesting beast; at the beginning of the 20th century a woman wouldn’t have been caught dead without one, yet nowadays very few women know what they are, let alone own one.

Modern-made girdles come in many styles and range from very light control to extra firm.  In my opinion, when it comes to retro style girdles, there are three main styles:

  • Open-bottom girdle – This style is sometimes referred to as a ‘skirt girdle’ due to the fact that it’s shape resembles a mini-skirt
  • Long-leg panty girdle – This style resembles shorts, with long legs that reach down to the mid-thigh. They are also great anti-chafing garments!
  • panty girdle – This style is effectively knickers with suspender straps

For absolute newbies, I recommend starting off with a light girdle, as this style is not restrictive at all. Light girdles are not designed to give you the flattest tummy, as they are usually made of light powermesh or lycra with very little structure. Light girdles can be pulled on or off, they are great for the summer (especially in hot countries) and they are a practical alternative to a suspender belt.

Firmer girdles can be made of stretch and/or non stretch fabric, which are sometimes layered, they also have boning (in most cases plastic boning) and due to the level of firmness must be fastened with zippers and/ or hook and eye clasps. This style is designed to smooth out problem areas such as the tummy, hips and bum.

Girdles can be both short or longline, in all of the styles. Longlines are designed to cover more of the body, and it is recommended to wear the with a longline bra, to emulate the effect of a corselette. Short girdles should sit on the natural waist, just like suspender belts. Ideally all open-bottom style girdles should end just below the bum, although this isn’t always possible.

I have no hard and fast rules when choosing a girdle for myself, there are so many different styles out there that I like to have a variety to choose from, although I do prefer girdles with six or more straps.

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Coco’s Retro Closet

Retro Style Black/Green Lingerie

Flower Fairy-Semi Sheer Lingerie Set

Amélie bra and girdle

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Rago Shapewear

Style 696 – High Waist Leg Shaper Firm Shaping

Style 1294 – Open Bottom Girdle Extra Firm Shaping

Style 1359 – Open Bottom Girdle Firm Shaping

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.53.30 pmNylonz

Classic Girdle Black 14 Suspenders

MissX Girdle Red

Classic Girdle White 6 Suspenders

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Nylon Dreams

10 Strap Vintage Style Girdle

Vintage Style Polka Dot Girdle

Longline 6 Strap Vintage Style Girdle

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What Katie Did

Gwendoline Panty Girdle

Glamour Zip Underbust Girdle

Girdle Open Bottom Glamour

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Secrets in Lace

Elizabeth OB Girdle

Ashley Girdle

Monique Criss Cross Girdle

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Revival Lingerie

Powernet criss-cross medium support girdle

Stretch lace roll on girdle

Medium control roll on girdle

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, it is simply some suggestions.


2 thoughts on “I’m new to retro underwear, where should I start? – Part 3 – Girdles

  1. Long time admirer of retro lingerie (Kiss Me Deadly Divine..!), you have inspired me to take my Bambi steps. Just bought Nancy Gatz’s ‘Sheer Decadence’ High Waist Suspender’, which, considering it is from a shape wear brand and lives next to Spanx, it appears to be a very light girdle in all but name. As I can return it to Myer, it seems like a safe bet if everything goes wahooni-shaped…

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