Monday, October 12, 2009

Foundation Garments to Make Your Vintage Dresses Fit Correctly

Buyers of vintage clothing often wonder why these garments don't fit as well as they would like. The answer? Foundation garments! Prior to the late 1960s, every woman had a complete wardrobe of various foundations, because her figure was as much a part of the fashion as her dress. In fact, vintage garments were designed and constructed with the understanding that the woman who wore them would be wearing the correct bra, girdle, and slip.

Here are four looks from 1950, with the foundation garments that should be worn underneath for precise control where the style required it.

1950 Simplicity Designer Pattern 8207

Essential for the long fitted jacket and straight skirt is firm derriere control. Flexees girdle with Lastique net over hips and small of back to give suport and suppleness, while a satin lastique panel flattens the derriere. Maiden Form brassiere.

1950 Simplicity Designer Pattern 8252

A sheath dress calls for extra attention to the waistline and thigh. Jantzen girdle has a high waistline to control the diaphragm, while the long length controls the thighs and hips. Maiden Form strapless brassiere for the low cut neckline.

1950 Simplicity Designer Pattern 8224

The sculptured line of a slim basic dress requires the smooth control of an all-in-one corset. This Warner Bros. boneless style has a separate lastex section for diaphragm control and special abdomen, derriere and hip sections with an attached bra.

1950 Simplicity Pattern 2722

The smooth front and flared back of this dress demand the firm abdomen control and fluid movement given by a Playtex all Lastex girdle. Perma-lift low cut brassiere for a deep neckline.


Sal said...

Wow. Clearly I've been wearing my vintage pieces ALL WRONG. ;)

Style to Wear West London Personal Stylist said...

Back then they new how to dress and what to wear under their fashions, we could learn a thing or two

puddin said...

But guess how long it took them to dress!!!

Twila Jean said...

I wear foundation garments nearly every day with my vintage, and it doesnt take me long to dress... Its just part of my routine!

lauren said...

excellent post, much needed...thank you!

Gladys said...

unfortunately you can not just run into your local department store and get these foundation garments and let me tell you Spanx do not cut it for these clothes. I would show you a picture of just such an example but I don't want people thinking I'm a 50 year old pregnant woman.

Jenifir said...

The marketplace has a distinct lack of good foundation garments. Most vintage garments that I have encountered have degraded elastics, etc. and I have yet to be impressed with Spanx or like garments. Have you any suggestions?

Gerri Ward said...

WOW! THANK YOU for this FABULOUS informative post!!!!:)

Anonymous said...

The real key to wearing a vintage girdle is to locate a Professional Corsetier for consulting an a fitting. You will find that is the best decision you ever did. It does take some learning but well worth it to daily wear a vintage girdle. If you would like to locate a corsetier email me at and I will help you locate a corsetier.

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