How to Start a Vintage Girdles Collection

Vintage girdles are different from regular girdles that we know in the present day. They are usually hand sewn and not mass manufactured. Some vintage girdle will be pristine because it was never worn, while pieces that were worn may have slight imperfections. When you start your collection, you want to make sure you get the real thing and in top notch condition. When you are to shop in person, don't be afraid to ask questions. Look at the items over carefully before you buy. Genuine retailers will always cover your vintage girdles in high quality tissue paper to avoid it from cracks and damage.

Sizing has been altered considerably over the years. A modern size 12 will be noticeably bigger than a size 12 from the fifties. In addition, sizing also varies in different countries such as a US size 12 is different from a UK size 12. Please remember this important tip if you are ordering online.


Before starting a vintage girdle's collection, please make sure that the vintage girdles are not made of the same material as the modern-day counterparts such as Lycra and spandex. Instead, original vintage girdles relied on lots of elastic and "boning" to hold a figure in place. After the 15th century onward a number of manufacturers used foam rubber as filling in their corsets and corselets. Unfortunately for these, vintage girdles contain latex which breaks easily over time and foam rubber frequently becomes rock hard and inflexible.

How to Start a Vintage Girdles Collection

If you decide to shop online for vintage girdles, make sure the website describes the condition of the fabric. You can extend the life of the girdle by cleaning it with mild soaps and cool water. Putting it into the washing machine is a big no-no. A hand wash and air dry are essential for making them last. Make sure you look out for girdles that show no rust, spotless, no perishing of fabrics and without storage mask and smell.

The older the item and in great condition is likely to be more valuable than a more recent item. Girdles from the forties often had the '~utility label'. Older girdles will have rubber, cotton and rayon rather than Lycra in the modern garments. If you see a washing machine icon then it is more likely to be a modern garment. If you manage to find 'new old stock' or NOS, you're in luck as not only these girdles have labels intact but the original cardboard sales tag will be on the garment, and maybe even the original packaging.

Often, the corsets of these types are either laced or beaded. Because of having laced they must be hand sewn because lace is very complex and delicate. The lace used is usually black or white. Vintage girdles are usually black, white, light blue, or powder blue in color. The boning is also more flexible than a regular girdle. Once you begin learning about different lingerie manufacturers, you'll see which companies excel in form as well as function.

Vintage clothing has made a comeback and will be a part of the world of fashion for years to come. Collecting for investment tends to be risky because understated deterioration can be ongoing without expert care. So treat vintage girdles like the precious pieces they are and you will end up with a quality of vintage girdles collection.

How to Start a Vintage Girdles Collection

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