Part Seven: Garters
Simply put, garters (or suspender belts in the UK) keep stockings up. They’ve been around since the 18th century, when they were typically attached to the bottom of corsets. You can still find this style in the form of a merrywidow or basque, which is less confining than a corset but serves a similar purpose. (These are very popular among brides whose gowns require special lingerie.) The dancing flappers of the 1920s started rolling their stockings over band garters – essentially a piece of elastic tied around the leg – out of pure necessity. These undergarments gained popularity and became more embellished as the years went on. They’ve come to represent sexuality in a number of connotations, from the symbolic removal of the garter during the wedding reception, to the cheeky pin-up girl aesthetic embodied by Bettie Page.
We sell a lot of garters here at Lille, thanks in no small part to the amazing Vintage French Knit Stockings we carry – 100% silk just doesn’t stay up the way modern stockings made of nylon/spandex do, but we think it’s worth the trade off. As you can see in the photo above, the garter/thigh high combo is a lot sexier than control-top pantyhose! Our current selection includes a gorgeous silk garter belt by Eres, an ivory bow-adorned number by the Lake and Stars, the cute and colorful band garters by Miss Dater, and the coolest multi-functional garment yet – the garterbrief. Garter panties feature the same suspender straps as garter belts with the added advantage of being an all-in-one garment. The straps are even removable!