Garter belts are sexy lingerie that women have been wearing for many years and they have not changed much over the years. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and garter belts were certainly necessary when it came to holding up a woman’s stockings.
Garter belts are actually an answer to the girdle and women’s need to hold up their stockings, but preferring not to wear a confining and restrictive girdle. Then as now women preferred, due to the fashions of the day and simply a desire to look better, that they did not have what we now call muffin tops or those unpleasant rolls of body fat showing up. When did fashion start believing to have an hour glass figure? Sure women have and continue to be slaves to fashion although perhaps much less so than in the past. It is hard to believe that women would return to the day where waist cinches were the custom, because they were quite painful and even dangerous as the habit of fainting could be as a result of wearing a corset, girdle, or waist cincher so tight that the woman was unable to breathe.
So began the garter belt as women wanted an alternative to getting into a cumbersome, hot, and restrictive girdle. The garter belt served the function of holding up ones stockings without all the additional confinement. Garter belts looked much the same back then as they did and do now. They still need the garter straps, which are the fabric that hangs down from the garter belt itself, as well as a method of attaching the stockings to the straps.
Generally, this was a two piece apparatus that grabbed the stocking and was usually a metal eye with another piece that fit snugly in the eye with the stocking held between these two pieces with tension. The garter belt worked like a charm at a time where stockings were worn often and even owning stockings was something of a status symbol as they were relatively expensive for the time.
The garter belt was originally made of the fabric that was available at the time, such as satin, and to suggest that it was sexy, which meant you had to have an understanding of the fashion and moral code of the time. This iconic lingerie item was purely functional as it evolved from a very functional and utilitarian garment. The truth is that sexy at the time was the sight of any item a woman wore under her clothing as these foundation garments were meant to be worn and never seen.
Mini skirts were not in the imagination of even the most avant garter designer and no one would have even dared dream of crotchless panties or breast implants way back then. It was a much more simpler time, a more repressive era where women’s clothing, particularly lingerie, was something young boys and men did not see on a routine basis as they do on television, billboards, and catalogs. All went well for the garter belt as it was an innovation and even an improvement being comfortable, lightweight, and it functioned as intended.