Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is My Girdle Making Me Dumb?

Bear with me. This is just a theory I'm working on, based solely on personal experience. So, as you know, I've been exploring more retro foundation garments, as many wise ladies feel that they are the KEY to making your vintage ensemble look smokin'. Spanx, these women proclaim, do not shape the body like a foundation garment should. I'm keeping an open mind, and trying some new things. But, quite frankly, I'm worried about killing brain cells in the process.

The one foundation garment I've really been able to get behind is the longline bra. You know how a lot of 50s style dresses have that smooth, willowy torso look? I'm convinced that the longline bra is the key to this. It lengthens the torso and also shapes it quite a bit: mine reduces my waist measurement by 1-1/2 inches. Worn with undies with a bit of shaping to them (a girdle panty, I suppose you would call it), I can get a serious hourglass thing going on. Which I like. (See above. On me, not Henry.) The problem, however, is a grave one: Readers, I think my foundation garments are cutting off blood flow to my brain.

The thing is, I feel a bit . . . spacey . . . when I wear this undergarment get-up. I'm overly focused on my abdomen, and I feel vaguely headachey and fuzzy-minded, like my thoughts can't push their way up to the surface. I found myself searching just a little too hard for the right words when I was presenting a project in a meeting. Not good, folks. Not good.

. . . I'm sorry, what were we talking about? Ah yes, my underwear.

Now, I can guess that the first thing you might suggest is that I'm wearing the wrong size. But I really don't think that I am. I have tried wearing the size up in various undergarments, they feel loose and I don't get any shaping whatsoever. (Yes, I've actually compared before and after measurements. Don't look at me like that.) In which case, why bother wearing them?

More thoughts: perhaps I'm not breathing deeply enough? Maybe I'm not used to the restraint around my midsection and it's making me woozy. (Fetch me my smelling salts, please!) Perhaps I just need time to adjust? I remember reading an interview with the costume designer of Mad Men that the actresses on that show hated the underpinnings they had to wear at first, but in time, came to love them. Hmm. I do know that I've probably thought about underwear for way longer than is necessary for one day.

Does anyone else have this problem? Also, I have to say: it's no wonder lots of women associate the end of girdle-wearing with the liberation of women. I mean, if you can't think because your undies are too tight, how are you going to tackle world domination?

P.S. Recognize the dress I'm wearing above? It's the Simplicity Slenderette!


  1. That is so funny.
    Last year I was the maid of honor in my friends wedding. I had to wear a strapless dress so I purchased a longline bra. It did make me look great. I also felt like I had much better posture while wearing it. Half way through the wedding my husband was talking to me and asked if I was ok. He said I looked like I was spacing out. (mind you I don't drink) I thought I was tired from the week leading up to the wedding. Jokingly my husband said "it must be that bra". As the night went on we joked about not asking me any serious questions since I couldn't think straight because I had on a longline bra. Maybe it did make me loopy.
    I haven't worn it since. I'll have to give it another try.
    I also find it strange that the longline bras are sized solely on your bra size with no thought about some one's midsection size. My daughter is a little thicker in the middle and has a tiny chest and could not get into a longline for her formal last year.

  2. haha! I know the spacey feeling! (Wait... I don't wear a girdle... so what is my excuse?! rofl.) I haven't yet added any girdles to my wardrobe (not sure I want to still; I'd rather just kill myself doing sit ups than wear a girdle in the Florida weather...), but I used to wear corsets with costumes. The feeling of not being able to fully breath is normal, and takes some getting used to, providing you are wearing the right size. For me, it usually took quite a bit to get used to the feeling of being restrained, and I'd work up to it (other corset wearers have told me they have the same feeling initially too).

    I'm still on the fence about wearing "proper" undergarments, which is probably why I'm so wed to the 1940s right now (which yes, still did advocate girdles and such, but the silhouettes were a bit more natural--not quite an extreme hourglass as the 50s!). ;) I don't relish the idea of being uncomfortable and focusing even more on how my body feels/looks. lol.

    Anyway, 'nuff rambling. Thanks for sharing your vintage foundation garment adventures! ;)

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  3. Cute dress! And it looks great on you. As for girdles, I consider them tools of male oppression, but hey - that's just me. :) Surely there is some other way to look vintage but not back in time vintage.

  4. Hey Gertie! Love your blog and the outfits you make!
    I don't know how tight this bra feels for you. I know that my sports bra feels tight, especially with my heart rate monitor underneath it, but it does not make me feel spacey at all. I just leaves a mark after I take it off. So I thinkg that your breathing becomes more superficial because you think you cannot breath normally. Maybe you just have to get used to it. It is the same thing as when your finger starts itching when you first start wearing a ring on it (or am I the only one having that?), but that disappears too, after a while.
    Good luck!

  5. Ha! I often rant about being handicapped by my shoes, but I have yet to experience girdle hypoxia. It puts pre-women's lib fashion in a whole new light. What if women are so AMAZING and POWERFUL that we had to be crippled with powermesh, crinolines and stiletto heels, like so many Harrison Bergerons in lipstick?

  6. Harrison Bergeron indeed. Well played, Susannah.

  7. I do get the feeling of not being able to fully breathe in my longline, but I've worn it thrice now and by the third time it was much better. Take a look at HOW you breath though, just normally. We're "supposed" to breath through our chest...not our belly (or so I've always heard), but I've always belly breathed and with a longline...its not as easily possible as the whole diaphragm is restrained. So it just means I then have to breath "properly" through my chest.

    Also...perhaps you're thinking about the undergarments too much? If you're focusing on them all day, and thinking somewhere in the back of your mind that they have to be uncomfortable, you're going to find reasons that they are. Try to focus on how the WHOLE is when wearing them, rather than just how the undergarments are themselves.

  8. LOL! This post made me think of the scene in "Pirates of the Caribbean" when Keira Knightley's corset was sooooo tight that she past out!

  9. I feel the same way when I'm just wearing a BELT that's snug.

  10. Hate to say it, but I def think that foundation garments can diminish circulation (while constricting organs!) and make you feel spacey. Something tells me that it won't lead to long-term loss of intellect, but it's probably a sign that you should save the lingerie for the days when you don't need to be at your sharpest (though most gorgeous) :-)

  11. Adorable dress and love the green shoes!

    And yes, whenever I wear anything constricting (I've never worn a certified girdle), I become so distracted by the lack of comfort that I probably do act dumb. Can't say if it's a legitimate physical response, but a mental one, definitely!

  12. Very interesting post!!!!

    My two cents' worth: It makes complete sense you'd feel spacey or lightheaded from an anatomical standpoint. As Rational Dress Societies proved in the 19th century, the notion of the fainting delicate lady was more the product of "nurture" (restrictive corsets compressing women's ribcages causing limited lung capacity and hindering the diaphragm's natural function) than women's inferior "nature." Now, of course, girdles, etc from the 1950s-60s have a bit more give than the whalebone monstrosities from the 19th century; however, I do think they still have some effect on lung capacity and so forth.

    I also would note that, after years of research into areas to do with women, fashion history, and so forth, I think tthere is a total link between that literal feeling of confinement brought on by more restrictive modes of dress (girdles, corsets, etc) and socio-political freedom. This is certainly a connection which both first and second wave feminists emphasized. Limited physical range of movement produces and perpetuates other forms of disempowerment. It's no coincidence second wave feminists burned their BRAS (and not their aprons or something). Undergarments have historically been designed to produce some of the more "confining" notions of feminine behaviour (i.e. delicacy, fainting) that in turn confined our foremothers socially, politically, economically.

    Love your blog...thanks for this post!

  13. It's deep abdominal (diaphragmatic) breaths that are the best for blood and lymph circulation--I could see a girdle compromising that. And/or impairing digestion.

    And AND/or--as Eastern medicine would say--blocking your qi (chi)!

    Don't overdo, or we will miss your high-quality posts, ha.

  14. First off, I looked up Harrison Bergeron. Sounds like an interesting read. : )

    I recently thrifted a longline bullet bra and wore it the other day. I felt great. No breathing problems whatsoever. Or damage to brain cells. I thought it had quite a bit of give to it and I was able to bend over and move with no restrictions. It made my posture nice and tall and for once my shoulders did not hurt at the end of the day from carrying the weight of the "boulders." I would wear it every day if it did not terrify my husband. I am going to look for one with a more rounded cup rather than the extreme torpedo cup. I mean, those could put an eye out. : ) Now I am on the quest for an open-bottom corselette.

    Maybe the one you wore is just not the right style for your body?

  15. I bet it's just a matter of getting used to it. I think it creates a lovely silhouette on you! I would try one out, but it would not work here in the summer in Texas! I would definitely pass out!

  16. Spacey, huh? I haven't found that, but I've only worn my long-line bra once or twice. (When I bought it to wear with a bridesmaid dress, debating between it and a regular strapless bra, the saleslady warned me that most women felt pretty cranky in long-line bras by the time the reception rolled around. I thanked her for the advice and bought it anyway. But I can definitely see the constriction as cranky-making!)

  17. I've never worn a longline bra or girdle, but as a med-student, I'd say they probably make you breathe in a different way than you're used to - I'd guess shallower and more rapidly. That can make you dizzy and if you do it too much (like, if you're also very excited or stressed out) it might even make you faint. You could try consciously taking deeper, slower breaths (directed into your belly and sides instead of chest and shoulder) whenever you feel woozy. If the feeling is connected to breathing, that should help.
    Your circulation (at least to the brain and other vital organs) shouldn't be influenced by what your wearing - as long as it isn't a very tight collar or choke. :)

  18. I'd say, give it another try. I love my longline bra because it's more supportive of both my very large bust and my back. If you have grown up with low rise jeans, you just may not be used to having anything tight. It's also possible that, while it may be the right size, it may not be the right bra for you. Are you quite tall or short? The tighter bottom band may be hitting you somewhere other than your waist. I tried a few different brands before finding the one that worked.

  19. I might be able to explain... I don't wear long line bras, but rather industrial strength ones - which are, by their very nature, long line. My natural bra size is 34KK, so as you can imagine I need a LOT of support. The reason why you might be feeling a little light headed has to do with weight distribution. The average bra - whether from Victoria's Secret or Wal-Mart - has most of the load bearing in the shoulders. But a long line bra re-distributes the weight to be supported by the rib cage. Until you get used to that extra weight on your rib cage, pressing down on your lung area, you might not be taking as deep of breathes as you're used to. Another problem that can escalate this is a poor fitting bra. Most women in the US are used to such poorly fitting foundations that a properly fitted one feels "wrong" somehow. A properly fitted long line is tighter than you are used to - but it's important! If you buy one that's bigger and looser you will actually have a HARDER time breathing because the weight will be supported completely in front as opposed to your entire torso. This actually presses down harder on your rib cage making breathing even more difficult. A properly fitted long line will be much like a properly fitted skirt... The bottom hem will be at the same level all the way around. If the bottom of the back of your bra line is higher than the bottom of the front of your bra line, your bra doesn't fit. I can't stress enough what a difference a proper bra fitting will make in your life!! Hope this helps.

  20. Well, Gertie, I think you may be a little bit psychic. Yesterday I had to to go to a certain large box store to get a bad car battery replaced under warranty. While there, I wandered over to the shapewear section ( I suppose because I've been reading your posts about foundation wear). I saw a waist cincher for only $13. I had seen several online for $48, so I snapped it up. My theory was that I would wear this and it would smooth my waist, and also cause me to be conscious of my posture.
    Well, I'm sorry to report, that after wearing it for 5 minutes, I felt as if I had been hanging upside down for five minutes and all the blood had rushed to my head.

    Having said that, I theorize shapewear can positively affect your shape. For instance, I remember before the latest hiphugger craze, in the mid-90s when the fashion forward young women of New York seemed to have started the new hiphugger trend by wearing baggier pants slung low. I would have sworn as a result they started to fill out the baggier pants, because that's just how they held their bodies. I don't know if anyone here has ever noticed themselves pushing their stomach out to try to hold up their low-waist pants, but I definitely have. I do think that if one were to were shapewear it would eventually have a slimming effect on one, because one may feel full sooner and eat smaller portions and also be aware of your stomach and sucking it in at all times, sort of like walking ab crunches. The key may be to use the lighter, less compressing versions. Just a theory.

  21. I find girdles terribly uncomfortable, yet I practice tightlacing with corsets. That may sound a little crazy, but a simple underbust corset helps me to be more comfortable as I have large boobs. It takes a bit of the pressure off my shoulders and back and chest and distributes it a bit. Plus it gives a nice lift to the bust, Ive nursed two children and have been asked where I got my boobs done! Ive never experienced shortness of breath or dizziness either.

  22. You are terribly funny! I love your blog! Hmmmm.... I think shapewear is hard to wear. I have stomach problems and by the end of any given day, it will start to hurt. I've also noticed that when I wear girdles and such my stomach problems worsen. Yes, I've had the spacey feeling as well. I can't do it. Those women were strong as oxes, I'll tell you what. I agree with Casey and would rather do sit-ups, even starve than wear those things. And no I don't starve, but its the thought that counts right?
    It does make you look winning though! Gorgeous dress by the way. You have the perfect "shape" for it...

  23. Ok I'll say it again, from someone who grew up when girdles were girdles, albeit at the tail end of them, why would you willingly choose to wear such an uncomfortable garment?! Lack of oxygen definitely kills brain cells. I'll stick to 21st Century underwear, thank you very much.

  24. I have had this problem as well especially in summer. Corsets and girdles as well as spanx are all frequent items worn in my wardrobe along with vintage outfits.

    When it comes to myself and girdles, if I havent worn one in awhile I like to ease myself back in to wearing one. For example I will only keep it on for maybe 1-2 hours the first day and add an hour or two each day untill I feel comfortable in it all night long. This is really just with lace up girdles and extremely restricting versions. What also helps is wearing spanx underwear or shaping underwear under the girdle its a tight fit but its a bit more comfortable and your less likely to get lines from your girdle or corset.

    Best of luck to you hun!


  25. I totally feel this way, too, when I'm all in my vintage "armour".
    I feel like a space cadet, and trying not to act like one makes it worse... lol...
    The hair, and the makeup, and the undergarments.. maybe it's just more of an awareness of how we look? I dunno... that's probably why I slub around in jeans or sweat pants most of the time. Whoops? Did I just type that? haha.

  26. Even Spanx make me feel that way. hahaha. I just get so focused on the super tight feeling around my waist all day.

  27. I could put an end to this question once and for all, and it would be really easy. I perform maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) tests all of the time as part of my research on female cyclists and triathletes. One of the things I do in my testing is change their position on the bike and see how it affects their oxygen uptake. Very slight changes can have very significant results. All we have to do is get you and a few other willing ladies to come into the lab. We have you sit and just breathe and do normal things (read, type, whatever that is work related) while wearing a face mask that measures your oxygen uptake and expired carbon dioxide. You'll also wear a blood pressure cuff to measure peripheral vascular resistance. We'll have you do two conditions - one test while wearing the long line bra, one with out. Then we'll add in some cognitive functioning tests to see how your brain responds during each condition. It would be really simple and we would be able to determine if the tight undergarments might affect O2 uptake or blood flow, thus impacting cognitive functioning.
    Science: it works

  28. Well, I think this issue goes back much further than the mid-20th century. Think about in Victorian times - women were considered weak and prone to "the vapors" - so much that there was furniture designed to accommodate their fainting spells (fainting couches).

    Granted, foundation garments today aren't quite as restrictive, but I know that I really have difficulty wearing anything that restricts my torso very much, particularly because I have pretty shallow lung capacity to begin with, thanks to my asthma. And I used to work at Renaissance Faire many years ago, so trust me, I am all-too-familiar with tight lacing!

    If I was going to pursue foundation garments, I would go to Harp's Lingerie ( or a similar store that does custom fittings. I would also probably have to save up quite a bit of cash before doing so, but I'd consider it an investment piece if they were able to provide me with an undergarment that accomplished shaping goals without cutting off my oxygen supply or leaving me bruised! There is no reason to suffer for fashion, in my opinion.

  29. Add this lyric coloratura soprano's voice (my bad) to the opinion that the foundations are cutting off your normal diaphragmatic breathing and making you slightly hyperventilate. Singers don't wear constricting corsets. In fact the inner structure of an opera costume is really pretty cool. It creates the illusion of a waist while leaving room for the singer to breathe deeply.

    You look fabulous, but I would personally recommend ditching the waist cinching undies.

  30. I don't have much to add, as BaronessVonVintage says all the biological/anatomical issues of this problem, and I also think Nancy K has a good point... I still understand the 'problem' with wearing vintage garments and not obtaining the right silhouette without the proper underwear. I might be lucky with my hourglass shape, but I'd rather alter my vintage patterns to modern underwear, using cuts that emphasize the waist and get as-close-as vintage look than having digestion disorders and problems breathing... Too comfortable or sensible? I don't know...

  31. This is funny, Gertie. Though probably not for you during that presentation! I remember when I first started to wear a cincher; it was definitely something I had to get used to. The first time I wore it out to a soul night and danced all night I thought I was going to pass out! But I wonder now if it was just being so conscious of wearing of extra stuff, because I never, ever have any problems with it now and in fact, like the Mad Men girls, I love it. Of course they're not for everyone!

    Sorry if I missed this in the post, but is your longline a particular brand?

  32. You guys are on fire today! Vonnegut references and everything! I'm impressed.

    Kerry, I really want you to run that experiement. I think it would be fun for us all to hang out in a lab together, wearing face masks and girdles.

  33. No offence, and because the way we fit bras and corsetry in the UK is different to the US and mainland Europe I'm not surprised some are having problems. With a strapped bra at least 80% of the support should come from around the ribcage, although this changes the bigger the bust. People who feel they are proportioned fuller through the waist, should try a a longer line bra to the hip or a full corselette (open or closed) which don't have the opportunity to cut into the body at the waist or bottom of the ribcage. They are sometimes lightly boned in the body to provide structure, but any support is taken through the body of the bra down past waist level. The hoisery versions of Spanx are sized according to height vs weight, lingerie Spanx sized according to that companies decisions about what proportions to grade sizes vs the stretch of the knit fabric.
    In terms of modern longline bras, which at mass manufacture there are at least four main lengths. All are dependant on body types and there is a certain amount of ease through the ribcage and diaphram that should be allowed for more comfort. The body of a longline is mainly produced along the lines that it is an average proportion to that cup, much like cup sized swimwear, which is sometimes why they don't fit the average body perfectly.
    I'm sorry, I've tried to cover the main points of getting the best fit of them very quickly, but I hope you get the gist.

  34. You are not off base. Remember the "Gone with the Wind" scene where Scarlett is being laced into her undergarments? Women actually passed out from having their waists made too small. It cuts off the oxygen to your brain!

  35. I think it's both physical and psychological. If the fit is wrong, then you could be cutting circulation or even putting pressure on nerves. If the fit is correct and you can take deep breaths without impairment, then it's probably more psychological.

    I've worn a variety of corsets for historical reenactment and I'm quite comfortable with them. I've observed that for some people, the feeling of being restrained can cause psychological distress ranging from "not feeling right" to "get it off me!".

    I had that sort of feeling when I had to wear wrist braces for a while. The constant feeling of restriction was nagging my brain incessantly and I found it very difficult to concentrate and focus on work.

    So if parts of you aren't turning blue and you aren't choking, then it is probably just your brain getting used to part your body being restricted.

  36. I recently bought a gooooorgeous longline to wear under my 50's dresses, too. It really makes the dress look more... Something. Mine doesn't restrict too much or take a whole lot off my waist, it seems to stabilize my waist measurement which seems to make wearing ease unnecessary. I find it to be really comfortable, too.

    The only problem is that it is made of synthetic fibres and doesn't breathe. I live in a viciously tropical climate of long humid summers. Disgusting.

    The other small problem is that I kind of hate putting the thing on. I have to pull it over my head and wriggle into it, such a pain in the backside. If I could find a nicely fitting, natural fiber (wool with silk lined cups maybe with slightly more aggressive boning to make up for the lack of elasticine?) longline that fastened up the front, I think I would buy 7 of them and wear them every day. Damn it, now I'm designing one in my head to sew up.

    No way.

    I draw the (long?) line...

    As it is, despite the appealing silhouette and relative lack of dizziness, I don't see me wearing one unless I really want to look my absolute best. I mean when I want to channel Joan and Betty Draper and leave a trail of destruction.

    Side note Re: wearing ease... When you're going to wear a girdle with a dress, do you go by your girdled measurements? Do you alter it down to carefully, precisely follow your girdled lines?

  37. Oh, Gertie, this really sounds a bit scary. I don't think that you should "get used to" a garment that interferes with your lung capacity, blood circulation, or ability to think. The problem is not you, it's the girdle!

    And coming from the perspective of "it's not the body that's the problem, it's the pattern/garment - so let's alter the PATTERN, not the PERSON," I really don't think it makes sense to train yourself to compensate for reduced blood flow to your brain! If there is no way to size/alter a foundation garment to get the shaping without the side effects, I think it's far better to alter what you're wearing than to train yourself to accept the unacceptable. Altering vintage fashions to fit your actual body rather than molding your body into an unrealistic-for-many-women silhouette would certainly be a reasonable way to do this.

  38. My grandmother used to have one of those rubbery girdles that was made with pinholes, probably for the sweat that poured off the wearer's skin. Today's Spanx, etc. seem to be designed to give the wearer a sleek look, but I once heard a woman say that in her day a woman wore a girdle so she wouldn't jiggle, which was considered unladylike.

  39. errrr.....I wear corsets on a regular-ish basis, and I love the little bit of light headedness that comes from pulling the laces in just a *bit* more...

    It reminds me of when I first started smoking and used to get a head-rush from cigarettes - and since I quit ages ago, it's about the closest thing to a vice that I've got! :D

  40. Corsets, girdles and long line bras are ok if you accept them in your head. Yes, of course they restrict movement and can uncomfortable. But then most clothes are like that, remember your first bra, first pair of real heels? (for men it’s their first shave). Have you tried putting on a pair of smart shoes after a few weeks in beach sandals.

    I can remember back to the early 1960s when firm girdles and long line bras were usual for best occasions. I was VERY uncomfortable in my first dress with tight armor plate underneath, but everyone said I looked nice and we all suffered together, so it was not so terrible.

    I’ve worn historical corsets in theatre and put actresses into Victorian corsets. Some girls love it (as some posts here) and others panic and want to be unlaced (also like some here!) Victorian mothers put their little girls into boned corsets at around 12 yeas, so corsets were normal for them. If they said “I can’t move as I want’ then mother would have said “good, that will stop you being unladylike”.

    Fashion is fun!


  41. Holy Cow - I guess this ages me....when I first started wearing adult female clothes that included the girdle, and hosiery straps (there were no patty hose), and a "real" lady was never seen outside the home without her girdle on. I also had a philosophy that my grandmother had no back probs cause she was a firm advocate of this philosophy and had the girdle as a support for her back....who knows. But I also think that if she were alive today would trade her girdle for a pair of Spanx any day!

  42. I love those old retro dresses! Thanks for the post!

  43. I wear a girdle , open bottom Playtex 18-hour , all the time. But then I trained in them since very young, 13 years of age. And I just kept it up as others left them off through the years, I was so used to it and even gotten to like it. And though a normal natural figure ( size 14 - 12 in girdle) I have always worn one from up in the morning to bed at night.
    The girdle holds me up, its front panel flattens my belly, and hips and thighs smoothed out, I like and enjoy the uplift it gives to my backside too. Waist - 2 inches off .
    You'll get used to it and even enjoy its suppi
    ort afer a while and love what it does for you too.
    Little tips are to leave it down over your backside so it will give you a lovely hug behind, pull it right up over your belly, sort of 'arch' into it , then do up your back suspenders ( garters) first.
    yes, even when used to girdles like I am you'll still feel them from time to time , but only the firmness around you when you think of it , a well - fitted girdle becomes quite easy to wear all the time, and of course I absolutely love the nylons that go with them .
    So, yes, girdles are fab when you're used to them , after a few months daily wear every day - depends on the person really. That's what I find. In no time at all it's true, you will forget you have it on- but know when it's off!
    Go for the 18-hour Playtex, it's still available, it's the best girdle ever made, comfy , hard-wearing , pretty.
    Source frombest shapewear , link:

  44. I have read several of Katie Cahill's posting on the internet concerning girdles. She is correct with her advise from my own personal experience with wearing a girdle it does take some getting use to, and it can be somewhat uncomfortable at first. Try to think of it as buying a new pair of shoes. It is very important to be fitted and consulted by a Professional Corsetier. The hardest part of getting use to being in a very firm boned and zippered girdle is to learn how to relax ones stomach muscles and let the girdle just hold shape and support you. Once I could do that I found a dramatic increase in energy and confidence, and I felt absolutly fantasic.

  45. I googled this topic because I am sitting here feeling like I have lost all circulation to my midsection and in turn my brain. I am really seriously considering ditching the dress and the ultra tight Lycra. I feel as though a boulder is crushing the life out of me. Not a good way to head out the door to a funeral.
    Glad to know I am not alone. How did my grandmother do this. Shucks, she sported heels to the office each day too. Gee maybe that is what ruined her feet.

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  47. The secret that today's girls don't know, and that is that once you train in a girdle it can be a joy to wear. You do actually forget you have it on, and when you think of it it's just a nice firmness around you, a lovely hug particularly around your bottom. It holds you up, the support and comfort can be awesome. But it's lovely to take it off going to bed, then you get so you can't wait to get it on in the morning to feel all that fab support. A girdle becomes so nice to wear eventually, in fact the support is so good you wonder how you ever lived without it. The way it holds your tummy up and in is awesome to feel, your bottom begins to feel petted. Yes the bottom hem binds your thighs together but you know this is so your girdle hem won't show through your skirt, and I certainly don't begrudge my waist nipped in a couple of inches either . It's very important to keep it down over your bottom at the back and to fasten your back suspenders first to anchor it. Then to grasp it by the top in front and pull it up before you start to fasten each front supender - and then lift each leg off the floor so you can feel the tight draw on your back suspender as you fasten the front suspender on that leg. And each time wiggle a little bit so the girdle mini-adjusts itself comfortably round your rear, done!

    Well now that your belly is flattened and your bottom lovely and tight - it's actually a nice feeling, it's so snug.
    Now make a cuppa , sit down, and let your belly go! this is hugely important because when you let your belly go all of you relaxes into your girdle then, and now you just feel support, blessed support, firmness all around and nothing else. And now you begin to know how we wear girdles all the time, because it's enjoyable as they do a lovely job.
    A girdle is so delightful to wear, once you know how, that it makes you feel good as it makes you look lovely.
    Now go look in the mirror and see what it does for you, go on and move your hands around your girdle and marvel at it, at yourself, your hands feel it to be hard but inside it you feel it soft against you, I can never get over the way it holds me up so beautifully.
    Yes, I have to bend with my knees and sit up a bit straighter, that's more graceful, and it's a bit difficult to scearch an itch .

    Now on with your clothes and off and let the world see and admire your fabulous figure ( it's for me to know and them to find out ! ) .

  48. Katie is absolutly correct. It does take a little getting us to be be in a decent girdle. It is best to locate a Professional Corsetier for both a fitting and some consulting. Once you are fitted in the right kind of make and model girdle it takes a little learning how to properly ut on the girdle. You need to lay down on your bed, lean way back, pull up your legs then pull up the girdle, hook up the hooks eyes and pull up the zipper, now stand up. Make sure while in a girdle you keep your stomach muscles well relaxed, let the girdle just hold and support you. Put on a girdle in your daily routine, wake up clean up put on your girdle each and every morning. You will find over a few days to a few weeks you do become very comfortable in being in a girdle, you will love the positive effect a girdle will have on your figure, your posture, and surprisingly you will find you have a dramatic increase in energy and confidence, you will be amazed. Wearing a girdle has always been a "Women's Best Kept Secret". Come and join us at to discuss girdles, it is fun and we can learn a lot from you experience.

  49. I always say that the biggest trick you can learn to be comfy in a girdle is to let your belly go into the front panel of your girdle. Everything else follows until your entire middle lets itself go and be held up by your girdle. And I have always enjoyed my bottom being held up so firmly by a girdle. I actually like the way a girdle holds me firm, I really enjoy that, and being able to wear nylon stockings with the girdle's suspenders ( garters USA) is the icing on the cake. And the way it moulds me to perfection is fabulous.
    It does take time to achieve all this , and how much time depends on the person concerned, and you'll eventually get to a stage like me when you hate being out of the girdle for too long.

    And Gertie you have a lovely figure too in your girdle.Thanks for this amusing article

  50. So just let that belly GO, don't hold it, don't ever suck it in, your girdle does all that for you very powerfully and very comfortably too. And let's face it who wants the big rounds of her bottom jiggling through her skirt either, that's quite horrible to look at. Instead let the girdle curve your bottom real sexily and enjoy it hugging you so wonderfully as it does.
    I always wear a girdle that has a waistband too, as it's the one place that helps assert our femininity - and when you really want to get your breasts jutting out at their finest , wear a longline bra too, but get used to your girdle first.
    I've developed a bit of a belly since I gave up smoking, Thank God, six months ago, I've compensated by wearing a smaller size girdle until it goes back in.

  51. I put on some fat after giving up smoking last year. A g/f suggested a girdle, in fact she washed one of her OBG , a Playtex 18 hour, and fitted it on me. Of course stockings had to be worn to anchor it. But it did the job and now I have grown to actually like wearing them. And the nylon stockings are a lovely experience too. I wear the Barely Black coloured Hold Ups suspendered.
    It's fabulous, I simply can't understand why so many women don't wear them any more. All it does is it takes time, depending on the individual, to get used to it all and even get to like it. It feels great being held up all the time, especially the belly and bottom being supported like that. And that shiny front panel looks fabulous where my belly used to be!
    I think everybody should try a girdle for a while, give it a chance, and see.

  52. Yes, indeed, I have always loved the way my bottom is held up by a girdle, I love that hugging feeling. It's luxurious. It probably makes us lazy being trussed up so nicely that we don't have to make any effort at all ourselves. I wouldn't be without my girdle and longline for anything. It makes me look gorgeous especially under a pencil skirt.

  53. I also have a bit of a belly, not from giving up smoking, but just from age and the fact of gravity standing up erect. I found Katie and my corsetier both right, when in a girdle just keep those belly muscles always well relaxed do not pull them in when sitting standing and walking, in otherwords do not worry about your stomach muscles, let the girdle just hold and support them. Before I was fitted in a girdle I kept trying to pull in my belly and I kept trying to have good posture, now after being fitted and learning to keep those stomach muscles always relaxed I feel absolutly fantastic and I always have great posture, in all honesty I do not even mind any more having a bit of belly just as long of course I am in a girdle every day. I agree it does take a little time to get completly use to being in a firm boned girdle everyday. Is it worth it, very much so, I found that once I could keep those belly muscles always relaxed and not worry about them and let the girdle do its thing wow I found dramatic increase in energy and confidence, I am amazed.

  54. Whatever about the brain I know that a girdle cuts off the blood supply to my bottom!
    This happens after sitting on a hard chair in my girdle for some time.
    But it actually feels nice back there on such occasions and it's harmless.
    But I simply can't recommend a girdle enough, you get so used to it and it does such wonders for us all.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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