What Exactly Is A Girdle, And How Do You Wear One?

While girdle, is a word and item that many people associate with an old fashion trend. To be completely honest, the word “girdle” hasn’t been used much in a very long time.

Instead, it underwent a change and evolved into what is currently referred to as “shapewear.” However, the girdle is still a member of the shapewear family.

What Exactly Is A Girdle, And How Do You Wear One?

In this article, we will discuss what a girdle is, and you are supposed to wear one. 

About Girdles

Known textile author Mary Brooks Picken described the girdle as “an adaptable, lightweight shaped corset, constructed entirely or partly of elastic.”

As an alternative to the more constricting whalebone corsets which predominate the Victorian era. The modern girdle originally debuted in the early 20th century. 

This new undergarment, which spanned the waist and hips, was made with ease and body-shaping management in mind. 

The girdle has changed over time. It contains a variety of materials, including rubber, neoprene, nylon, and Lycra.

Its development has been influenced by war politics, textile advancements, and changes in women’s ‘ideal’ body proportions over time. 

The girdle has always had only one objective in mind, despite changes in size and structure. This is to shape the thighs, hips, and belly.

The name “girdle” is still used in specialized shapewear lines even though it is now referred to as a “waist trainer” or “waist slimmer.”

Popularity Of The Girdle

The design and acceptance of the girdle have fluctuated over time. The 1950s may have been the height of the undergarment’s popularity. Yet, the 1920s flapper era and the unrestrained 1960s saw a sharp fall in its use.  

In recent years, this kind of shapewear has experienced a comeback because many women have sought to obtain an hourglass figure.

Also, for a lot of women, shapewear, such as a girdle, helps them to feel more confident about their body. 

Modern Day Girdles

Modern girdles are high-waisted items of shapewear. From the thighs to below the breast, they offer excellent control. These gorgeous pieces are constructed of a variety of shaping fabrics, such as cotton and breathable fabrics.

They have also utilized the newest custom-made materials as well.

Girdles can help you get the desired curves you want because they are made to shape the hips and butts. While also reducing the size of the abdomen and tummy.

Wearing a Girdle

If you are certain you want a girdle, then by following these steps you will ensure you are wearing the girdle correctly.

Start With Your Legs

Stretching the body shaper makes it softer and more ready for when you put it on. 

Sit down and in your hands, roll the girdle. Then place one leg in, and bring it up to the knee. Then tuck the second leg in if you’re attempting a long-length girdle design.

Now you can stand up, and bring the girdle up to cover your thighs. It is important to check that the seams on the inner of your thighs are aligned.

Move Upwards

Be sure to stretch and fit the bands in place while positioning the shapewear so that it completely covers the buttocks. Once the legs are in position and feel comfortable, you can pull the girdle up and place the straps on your shoulders.

Adjust And Secure

When everything feels comfortable and looks right, you can do the hooks or zipper up. At this point you can make any final adjustments that you need.

Rules For Buying A Girdle

There are a few rules to consider when purchasing your first girdle. This is to ensure that you have the correct size which will fit properly. The last thing you want is to buy a girdle that doesn’t fit you as it won’t work correctly. 


When it comes to buying your first girdle it is vital that you get the right measurements.

Picking a size smaller than you are won’t help you lose weight. Instead, it will just move the weight to somewhere else, where there was previously none. This will result in bulges. 

After taking your measures, either in-store or at home with a tailor’s tape, refer to the size chart and make your purchases as necessary.

A well-fitted girdle shouldn’t bunch up at the edges, gape, or squeeze you, or give you the “muffin top” appearance. Instead, opt for something that is snug and comfy to wear, while still enabling you to move freely, sit comfortably, and breathe deeply.

Type You Need

Some girdles offer shape all the way down to the thighs, while others have higher waistlines. Thus, consider where you most need assistance. 

You should search for a high-waisted girdle if you’re purchasing one for functional purposes. They may be secured by hooking onto your bra, making them really comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis.

What Exactly Is A Girdle, And How Do You Wear One?


Take into account the season as well. To provide support, the majority of girdles are composed of a nylon and spandex combination. However, these materials don’t work well in warm temperatures.

They may cause you to feel hot and even overheated by trapping heat and perspiration in. 

Therefore, change to a cotton-blend girdle when the temperature rises. Even sundresses can be worn over these because they are airy and cooling.


There are lots of different girdle and shapewear brands out there, all at different price points. You need to decide what kind of girdle you want as this affects how much you should pay.

Your shapewear will likely need to be replaced within six to twelve months if you’re looking for something for everyday wear. This is because you will be wearing it most days, so don’t want to spend a fortune. 

Spend extra money if you want maximum control for only special occasions because these items will last a lifetime.

Benefits Associated With Girdles

Many people believe that girdles are really constricting, yet if adjusted correctly, they can be extremely comfortable. In addition to this, there are lots of known health benefits that come from wearing a girdle.

Better Posture 

It has become increasingly more common for more of us to work from home and slump over our desks. Due to this continuous bad posture, it can result in negative health effects such as shoulder, back and neck pain. 

However, this is where a girdle can be a lot of help. This is because a girdle will force you to have better posture and sit up straighter. Then shortly after you’ll find yourself implementing these good habits which will continue even when you’re not wearing one.


Your mental health may suffer greatly if you have a poor body image. Celebrities persistently encourage loving our bodies regardless of their shape. Even though every type of body looks beautiful, some women do feel a lot more confident from a little contouring. 

Girdles deliver immediate results by reducing your waistline by inches and removing lumps and bumps. This can make you feel more confident to wear that dress you love. 

Postpartum Girdle

A girdle isn’t just for slimming down your waist, it can also be used for medical reasons. They can help reduce swelling, ease any discomfort you are feeling and help improve and support your pelvic floor. 

With that being said, if you are thinking about using a girdle it is important that you speak with your doctor beforehand. This is just to ensure that a girdle is appropriate for you and your healing journey. 


Girdles are a great way for anyone to feel more confident about themselves. They are a popular form of shapewear, which can help you to easily achieve your ideal silhouette. They are simple to wear, and are easily adjusted, so you achieve the most comfort while wearing them.

We hope this article has been helpful and gives you a better insight into what a girdle is and how you can wear one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do People Still Wear Girdles Today?

A lot of women wear a girdle today. However, they can go by other names such as waist trainers. Yet, even with the different name, girdles can help to smooth your curves easily. 

Are There Any Downsides To Wearing A Girdle?

There shouldn’t be any downsides to wearing a girdle, as long as you are wearing one that fits you properly. A girdle ought to be comfortable, and you should be able to breathe easily. 

If you are finding yourself finding it difficult to breathe or rashes are appearing on your body, then your girdle is too tight. 

Can A Girdle Reshape Your Body?

While a girdle can achieve an instant slimming effect, these are not long-lasting. A girdle won’t be able to reshape your body alone or permanently. To do this, you also need to eat a balanced diet and exercise. 

Jessica White
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