debbie
We are Debbie and Oscar, your guides to dressing up like decades past. We are here to help you find clothing online and learn about vintage fashions as worn by everyday people, just like you. Need help with your outfit? Ask us anytime.

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  1. Hi vintage dancer, I have a research paper on ladies fashion in the 1950s I was wondering how old a lady was when she started wearing stockings and garter belts did little girls wear stockings and garters or did the wear different kinds of hosiery? Thanks!!!

    • Girls and teens wore socks everyday even in winter (brrr cold legs!) Teens (age 13 and up) would wear stockings for dressy occasions like church, fancy party or prom. Usually mom had to approve when a girl could dress like a woman and that included wearing stockings with a garter.

  2. commenting on 60s fashions to praise the styles of undergarments including bras panties gartered foundations and sheer n silky nylon stockings.

  3. I’m a guy and I remember very clearly admiring women who wore stockings in the years I was in my teens and older. My stepmother wore nylons everyday, but she had a solution to the girdle and garter belt issue. She wore a product called “Suspants” which was manufactured by a company known as Blue Swan. It was a panty brief that came in about six different colors, including black. They had four detachable garters that were about four inches long and could be adjusted to about six inches long.

    They were a regular nylon brief that had no stretch to them. So getting the correct size was pretty important. Daddy bought most of her stocking and he knew her correct size. Seamless stockings were not quite in vogue yet, so hers were always Hanes or Van Raalte full fashioned with a Cuban heel.

    If a lady fancied six garters, it would have been easy enough to sew another tab on the side of each leg opening. That would have given the stockings more support. She really did not require weaaring a girdle as she had a very slender figure as it was, so Suspants worked quite well for her.

  4. Loved this post! I remember my full figured mother wearing many of these items when I was a little girl. I was born at the height of the Baby Boom in 1957, so my earliest memories of her come from very early 1960, and her daily struggles to don all the gear required of the well dressed woman of the times. I remember her slips with all the lace trims, and the swishy sound she made walking when fully dressed including the nylon stockings that didn’t stretch. The character of the sound the material made is something I’ll never forget.
    Summer months in the hot, steamy South were hard on her, especially when she had to get dressed up in everything required under the beautiful dresses she had for special occasions. There was always a plastic bottle or round powder box of scented talc she would use to help get “this damn girdle” on, and her perfume always matched the scent of the powder. Once she was all done though, she would come in my bedroom or the living room, wherever I happened to be before she and my step dad left for the evening, to model her outfit for me, and to get my “approval” and one final check that all was OK. Rarely was anything ever wrong, but once or twice I may have caught a slip showing under the hem of her dress, which would have been a major faux pas. She would run back to the bedroom to fix it before leaving.
    Once I got old enough, in 6th and 7th grade, in the late 60’s, we were still wearing stockings at my house ~ no pantyhose yet ~ so, when we found colored fishnet stockings that would go with my school outfits, I had to wear them with a garter belt. The thing infuriated me, and I got around the obvious inconvenience in the girl’s restroom by wearing the garter belt under my underwear. It was the only way to make all that nonsense work to my mind. And it did work. Nobody saw it, so nobody was the wiser!
    I decided one weekend to bypass the garter belt entirely, and mimicking my winter tights and leotards, I took a pair of the fishnets and sewed them by hand to a pair of my undies! I don’t even know if I had any familiarity yet with pantyhose per se, but the tights was enough of an example for me! They worked fairly well, as long as I didn’t get too acrobatic while wearing them! I had to safety pin one part of a leg on one time, and then at home revised the way I had them sewed on, which seemed to work better.
    I was in a 5 year high school, in 8th grade, before I managed to convince my mother that pantyhose were absolutely required to wear under the much shorter hem lengths in 1970, especially when going to school in a three story building with open stairs to climb all day long! Having stocking tops and garter buttons showing was a huge no-no then! She had been convinced that stockings were “cheaper” because a run in one leg didn’t ruin both legs, but I showed her how I would conquer that issue as well, and the old garter belts finally went bye-bye!

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