Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Modern Foundation Garments to Make Your Vintage Dresses Fit Correctly

I had a lot of requests for suggestions about where to find modern foundation garments like the vintage styles I featured yesterday. Jenifer is correct when she says that the elastic and fabrics of most vintage foundations have degraded with time and do not support as well as they once did. And Gladys is spot on when she says you can't find this type of foundation garment in most stores today. No matter what others say, Spanx is just a body smoother, not a proper foundation that controls and supports.

I've been doing some research for you this morning, and have found several modern foundation garment manufacturers that look like they will meet the needs of those of you who want to wear vintage clothing.

First, and perhaps best known, is Rago Shapewear. Rago offers many styles in various control weights from light all the way up to extra firm. In business for over 50 years, Rago produces garments with exceptional attention to shaping the female form.

Other manufacturers to look for are Custom Maid, Grenier, and Crown.

So, where can you buy modern foundation garments from these manufacturers? There are lots of online shops that offer them. I have not purchased from any of these online sites, so none of my recommendations can be considered a personal endorsement, but in doing my research this morning, these sites carry the best selections, and most have customer service numbers so you can get help with fitting and questions:

A Slip of a Girl sells lots of vintage lingerie styles on Amazon, including this open bottom girdle by Rago

Girdle Bound offers a huge selection of new foundation garments in vintage styles. They will also custom dye your piece in any color you chose for an added fee.

Secrets in Lace has been in business since 1984, and offers a wonderful selection of foundation garments in regular and plus sizes.

American Shapewear carries the entire Rago product line.

If you prefer to shop in person, check your local yellow pages for "Foundation Garments". Keep in mind that most lingerie stores, like Victoria's Secret or Fredericks, will not carry the type of girdles you're looking for. You want to find the store that's been around for years and years, then look for the older woman who has worked there forever. She knows what you want. You can also try your local Sears or Macys, but you'll be on your own, as most sale clerks there won't be trained in fitting you.

Best of luck in finding foundations that work for you! Please let me know how it goes!


Parisienne Farmgirl said...

GREAT post - my dream is to find a slip just like Liz Taylor wore in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!!!

Ms. O. said...

OH MY GOD! THANK YOU for this post! Finally, the kind of help we really need-- I hate ruining my lovely vintage stuff by wearing modern undies. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jitterbugdoll said...

Great post!

Proper foundation garments do make a difference when wearing vintage or when you are trying to achieve the proper vintage look. It's nice that there are still several companies offering the real deal of foundations, too!

I've been pleased with the Rago girdles I've tried, but now I want to look into the other brands you mentioned :-)

Poke Salad Annie said...

what a MARVELOUS post. so helpful and informative. thanks!

Gladys said...

Thank you this helps lots and lots.

Now for a totally TMI question. When wearing a garter belt do the panties go under the hooks or over? This has been a quandry to a few of my friends and I am wondering what you say. I have one friend who insist the panties go over the hooks because otherwise you would have to unhook your stockings each time you went to the bathroom. I apologize in advance if this isn't the place to ask this.

The Brabarella Blog said...

If I could just add a couple of names to your quality list: Venus of Cortland, a company that began as a corset manufacturer in the roaring 20’s; and Silhouette of England, a company that dates back to the late 1800’s (maker of the long running Little X girdle). I wrote a 4-part girdle series on my blog back in June, but the most important point I can make is that a girdle can be comfortable if you take the time to select the right one. Finding the right girdle is no different from finding the right bra. Love your blog!

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Gladys - whichever way you prefer. People do it both ways.

Brabarella - thanks for those additional companies!

Glad you all liked this series!

Emily said...

Can I also refer people to www.whatkatiedid.com - This UK store makes lovely shapewear to make you feel glamorous, as well as getting you into your vintage frocks, and is very good value.

Lauriana said...

I was also going to add www.whatkatiedid.com You can order online but I bought my suspender belt at their London store (oh, and Gladys, I would say panties go over it, for the reason your friend stated). If it's suspender/garter belts you're after, you can also try www.stockingshq.com this UK site has some and lots of great stockings, including real vintage style fully fashioned ones.
Whatever you want to buy, bear in mind that shapewear should fit well (body length as well as bust/hip/waist ratio are very much an issue here)

victoryvintageb said...

Great posts! I so glad you focused on the differences of the shape/size of the figures of yesterday vs today and how to recreate to fit into these garments! VERY useful knowledge! Thank you!

Becky said...

Thank you! I knew this was the answer but had no clue where to shop!

Anonymous said...

Are there any downsides to wearing a girdle? Considering how skinny everybody wants to be nowadays, its strange that they're not more popular... do you get long term damage from a girdle...? Maybe a stupid question...

Anonymous said...

I never realized how beneficial it is to be fitted in a girdle. About 4 years ago I found a professional corsetiere for a fitting and to help me become use to wearing a girdle daily.
I was amazed once I was fitted in the right kind of make and model girdle and she told me to just keep my stomach muscles relaxed and just rely on the girdle to hold me in. I was amazed how much more energy and confidence I have with 100 percent improved posture sitting and standing. Now I wear a girdle everyday and I love it.

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