Girdles: the 20th century descendant of the corset, beginning in the 1920s.
Girdles have progressed from boned, open-end, control garments of coutil, to lightweight elastic roll-ons, with or without legs.
One distinguishing feature is that the girdle confines the body below the waist. Their function was to both smooth and control the body and hold up stockings through attached garters/suspenders.
Their heyday was the 1930s – 1950s. As the looser, freer fashions of the 1960s took hold and as both pants and pantyhose made great gains with the public, girdles faded in popularity.
The girdle’s practical successors seem to be the decorative garter belt for those who prefer stockings, and the all-unboned Lycra smoother/shaper undergarments, often without garters.
Styles include the long or short open elastic roll on girdle, panty girdles in satin or elastic stretch, and long line girdles that come down on the thigh. “ Foundation garment” usually refers to an all-in-one that combines the bra and the girdle, either open bottom or panty style.
Written by Hollis Jenkins-Evans/pastperfectvintage.com