Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Outlandish? Corset is!

Way back (and I DO mean WAY back) I had a 21" waist.  That was when I was in high school and for a few years after.  In fact, I can recall my measurements, which were 32-21-34.  I was probably about the average size of many of my girlfriends.  

But...  whenever I dressed up, I wore a girdle.  I'm telling you...  NOTHING could jiggle, wiggle or otherwise move on it's own.  This was before the days of pantyhose....  so I suppose a girdle did double duty as it also held up your nylon stockings.

I took this photo in Mazatlan, Mexico in March, 2004
We were in a shopping mall and when we came across this display I had to snap it.
I'd thought corsets, girdles and other means of body support had been long abandoned....  
However,  I've seen that kind of clothing (ahem) worn as outer garments for the whole world to see, but not exactly the industrial strength stuff these are constructed of.

Way back then we dressed up for church.
My brother and me
Easter...  about 1956 or 1957?

A hat...  of course!
White gloves....  you better believe it!
Stocking and high heels...  naturally!
(and there's no doubt a girdle underneath all that clothing)

And my brother has on a suit and tie.
I'll bet that's a Windsor Knot.....  don't think he'd have gotten by with a clip-on one.

We dressed up to pick someone up at the airport or even for a visit to the doctor's office.

Seems a lot of things were considered formal occasions.

What made me think of all this today?

Well, Bill & I are finally able to make more preparations for our trip to Spain.

I read Mitchell is Moving, a blog written by a guy who is currently living in Seville, Spain.  I've been e-mailing him some questions we have...  you know... weather, transportation...  stuff like that.

One thing Bill & I try to be considerate of is the customs of other countries.  I love going to churches and museums and I asked Mitchell if I'd need to wear a dress for those occasions.

Since I don't happen to own a dress I might just want to buy one here to take along.

Mitchell assures me that I won't need to wear a dress..... that while folks dress less casually than most of us do in the USA, that little black dress won't be necessary.
He went on to say that their mother would always ask if she needed to pack a dress along with her corset and stockings when she'd come to visit.
They'd assure her that she didn't need to.

Guess now I can quit shopping for the corset, the stockings, the high heels and the hat.

That's All For Today!


  1. Same as you--- I always wore a girdle to church and remember those garters that would pinch when you sat down??? --- and those pointed bras!! We're A LOT more comfortable now adays!!

  2. I sent my last dress to Goodwill a few weeks ago. As I was clearing out drawers I found a pair of black gloves too!

  3. I no longer own a dress or a skirt or pantyhose (easier than nylons and a garter belt) or heels. Times sure have changed, and I'm thrilled! :) Can't imagine putting on a girdle like I did when I was young!

  4. Well, I still wear a dress to Church and Jim wears a suit and tie. But definitely no corsets in my closet.

  5. And in college we were required to dress for Sunday dinner. The dorm mother would snap random legs to be sure stockings were involved.

    Have a good trip.

  6. Oh boy, do I remember the days!! Great picture of you and your brother. I bought a couple of dresses when we went on our Alaska cruises but I haven't worn them since. Hope you have a wonderful time in Spain.

  7. That's the same thing I was talking about in my "wearing makeup" blog--I was a skinny, skinny teenager but still wore a girdle to church, town, etc. It did help keep my stockings up before panty hose came around. The things we did and still do! NO--I don't wear a girdle but I still sure wear that makeup and say yes ma'am!

  8. I remember the girdles, the nylons etc. Nice photo of you and your brother.

  9. I don't own a dress either! I'm so glad we no longer have to worry about stuff like getting a run in our nylons, or polishing our shoes or keeping shoulder pads in place. It's ridiculous how much underwear we wore. It's so much easier being a woman today!

  10. Oh, but if you can find the pictured outfit in the back of your closet, it would be a HUGE hit here!

    My sister was built similar to you and she was about 5'11." There was not an ounce of fat (and she had the added advantage of being young enough to see the advent of panty hose. Still, my mother drove her crazy if she didn't wear a girdle. "But I have nothing to hold in!" "I don't care. It's not proper for a lady to go without a girdle." (I wonder who she thought would be seeing it...)