Vintage Underwear Day 1 & 2: It Begins

November 1,  2014. The Dawn of the Girdle.

Okay, so it isn’t that dramatic. Yesterday was the first day of the Vintage Underwear Challenge. It went pretty well.

I wore:

  • A pretty serious girdle, of unknown date, of possibly French or Canadian manufacture. I got it at a clothing swap a year or so ago. It has a u-shaped piece of boning on the tummy panel, and fastens at the side.
  • A long line bra of a sort of bullety variety, that I had altered. From eBay. Probably from the 50’s. Heavy elastic waist band.

I wore leggings over my girdle, because it was cold. I have decided that is legit. I wore it underneath for photos, because the world (or at least my mother) does not need to look at pictures of my bits.

I am making a ridiculous face, so as not to appear sexy.
I am making a ridiculous face, so as not to appear sexy.


Activities Completed in This Get Up:

  • Rode in a car.
  • Saw a play.
  • Walked a bunch.
  • Ate a lot of nachos.
  • Wore it for a good 10ish hours.


  • It really wasn’t uncomfortable. It felt like a gentle hug around my middle, without being terribly obtrusive.
  • Running to cross the street requires adjustment. I had to bring my legs straight up and down like a show pony, rather than extend my legs in front of me. I am sure this looked super dignified.
  • This ensemble definitely created more of a waist than I actually have, a teensy bit lower than my actual waist. I am unsure of what I think of this.


November 2, Return of the Girdle

Today, I wore:

  • A much lighter “roll on” style girdle, with heavy-duty stocking clips. Obtained from eBay.
  • Long-line bra, from a clothing swap.
  • Vassarette stockings (from eBay, in original packaging).

Activities Completed in This Get Up:

  • Walked short distances.
  • Went to a party.
  • Wore about 8 hours.


  • It was warmer today, but not warm enough to just wear stockings. I think I’ll eventually make a pair of bloomers, but for now, I chopped off the legs of an old pair of long johns. They came down to my stocking tops, and kept me quite comfy.
  • Real stockings are way, way sturdier than the kind sold for costumes.
  • Again, nothing felt too confining or uncomfortable.
Long john solution!
Long john solution!

So far, so good. Of course, it’s only been two days!



November: Vintage Underwear Challenge

People try to do things in November. There’s NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month), there’s No-Shave November. So I decided to also try to do something in November. Something challenging, and a little silly, to fight the ridiculous drear of the fade from autumn to winter.

I decided to wear vintage or style undercrackers every day in November.

“Ha! Hahahahahaha!” said my mother. “Are you going to wear girdles? ” and then she started giggling again.

“…Okay?” said my boyfriend. (He’s not a big fan of this idea, ya’ll. A lady wearing garters and stockings might be some people’s fantasy, but not this guy.)

For the purposes of the challenge, “vintage” consists of 1940’s- early 1960’s in style. I’ve decided tights are allowed, even though they didn’t get popular until the late 60’s, because I live in the Midwest, and it’s November. And I’m wearing regular modern panties, because we don’t have our own washing machine, and I can’t justify purchasing the volume I’d need to be hygienic.

So yesterday, I got ready.

During October, in preparation for the challenge, I supplemented my underwear collection. One bra and girdle are not sufficient for daily wear. So I stalked some eBay auctions, and landed enough underwear to keep me covered (Ha, covered!) through the month.

Yesterday, I washed and fixed things, to get them in top shape (Ha, shape!). I’ve discovered that my bra size does not  translate to vintage proportions. I had a couple bras I didn’t quite fill. Okay, real talk, I filled them exactly half way. (Gentle reader, are you uncomfortable that we’re talking about my bosom?  I apologize, but this is for science.) The tops were sadly empty. Part of this is just the different shape of the cups, part is the shape of me, but some alterations were necessary. I looked up a quick alteration solution, and was pleased to find a simple solution.

Basically, you put on the bra (not pictured), pull the fabric of the cup down to where an underwire would be, if there were an underwire, and pin it. The hardest part of this is not sticking a pin directly into your breast. Be careful! Don’t do  it! That would suck! Then you take off the bra, and hand stitch the cup down. Voila! You are now filling those cups!


Pin the bra, not yourself.
Pin the bra, not yourself.


Obviously, the best solution is a well-fitting bra in the first place. If I decided to wear this kind of underwear forever, I’d get a bra that fit properly without alterations. But for the purposes of this experiment, I don’t mind a quick fix.

I followed my alterations with a little laundry. I double washed, ’cause some of my eBay finds are a little musty. I first hand washed with Lovelast Coldwater Cleanser, a lingerie soap I purchased a couple years ago at Harp’s in Birmingham, Michigan (someday I will post about Harp’s, where you can still have an actual expert bra fitting). I followed this wash up with another handwash in a great deal of  homemade laundry soap, rinsed, and hung everything to dry.

Wash, wash, wash!
Wash, wash, wash!

All set!

Here we go!

What do you think?  Is this going to be a girdled disaster?