Thursday, 13 October 2011

Attack of the vintage Lego woman!

WARNING: PANTS TALK AHEAD

I've done posts about having an apple figure in the past. I don't mind being big, but yesterday the complete lack of a waist really got to me. Let's face it, if any woman ever wants to look like a doll, she's more likely to say 'Barbie' than 'Lego lady'. (If I ever look like a doll it's going to be Gene Marshall, but that's for another post.) The problem isn't so much not being able to find clothes to fit, it's the knowledge that clothes are never going to fit right – my choices are too tight round the waist (muffin top on separates, strained seams on dresses) but fitting at hips and bust, or fitting round the waist with room to carry my sarnies and a couple of apples in the top and saggy hips. Fashion doesn't favour apples.

Anyway, it's turned my thoughts to shapewear. After feeling gloomy and brick-shaped yesterday, today I dug out a very nice navy shift dress over the top of the world's ugliest knickers. According to the label when I bought them, loads of women see an instant reduction when wearing them. Well, I didn't. HOWEVER all through the day my dress hung nicely, and by the end of the day my 34 and a half inch waist was closer to 33. Moreover, the ugly grundies were comfy all day (although there was some rolling at the back, which would be a problem if you wore a dress made of delicate fabric). And everyone told me how nice the dress looked. That counts as a WIN.

One of my vintage treasures is a late 1930s book for brides, which includes a chapter on how to choose all sorts of clothes. One quote that's always stuck in my mind is this: "Should you wear a Girdle? In the majority of instances the answer to this question is in the affirmative. To illustrate: suppose you never wore shoes. Little by little your feet would spread. In certain ways the same thing applies to the figure… as time goes on, the body, like the shoeless foot, begins to spread." I'm starting to think that advice might be sounder than I had believed in my own svelte bridal days!

So, do you wear shapewear regularly (men or ladies; there are now 'Manx' pants for the chaps, after all). Are any brands especially good? I'd be interested to know whether long-term wearing of it has a lasting effect. I might be able to get into a Tara Starlet dress after all...

(Photo at the bottom is Mae Murray in Circe. She'll regret not wearing more supportive bloomers one day...)

8 comments :

  1. I a huge lover of shapewear, if it sucks me in and controls my "curves" (ie extra chunky bits) then I'm loving it. Scarlett x

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  2. Hmm not convinced by the un-shoed foot spreading and spreading!

    However on the subject of shapewear I am a convert but I only wear it when the frock/occasion demands. I have a wonderous one from M&S that actually gives me a slimer waist and a cleavage, marvellous.

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  3. On the foot thing, apparently people nowadays have bigger feet than in the past because now we have Clarks emphasising how important it is that shoes always have room for children's feet to grow. In the past it wasn't the case, and people often wouldn't be able to afford to constantly buy new shoes for children (Harry needs new ones every 2-3 months), and children would often wear vaguely-fitting hand-me-downs. So their feet were kept more cramped and didn't grow as large, whereas now we have the 'spreading' effect.

    Ooh, and here's a vaguely relevant link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8448268.stm

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  4. Rhi, I did wonder about the shoe thing. I've always spent loads of time barefoot and have wide feet - but I don't have any problem at all with my feet, unlike people I know who've worn heels or narrow shoes a lot.

    As I said, I don't mind being big. It's more the fact that I can't get things to fit that's annoying me right now.

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  5. I've never worn shapewear but am starting to think it would be a good idea. My tum need s abit of help these days! x

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  6. This is something I have been pondering for a while now. My shapewear extent is the big shorts type affair from Primark. I wear them everyday and they are very comfy and easy to get on. I don't think they really pull me in that much - but they do stop the dreaded "Legs rubbing together at the top" scenario - something I have had all my life.

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  7. as an apple shape too, i mourn the inability to wear anysort of dress/skirt whose shape depends on the waistline (which i why i live in jeans).
    It's also the reason why i love dressing in authentic Victorian fashion for my steampunkery. Corsets are amazing for giving a feminine shape-esepcially to the waist. Then you get to wear a bustle which makes your arse huge (but in a good way!) It really gives you an exagerrated female shape whilst hiding your true size and shape.

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  8. Rachel, bustles are great for apple types 'cos we have no bums! (Actually, that's one of the blessings of an apple figure, you never have to think, "Does my bum look big in this." It never does, in anything.)

    Corsets are wondrous things for parties and events :D You're so lucky to have someone to custom-make for you.

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