Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Girdle

Date:
1924
Culture:
American or European
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Benjamin Shaw, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.258.11
Not on view

This heavy damask girdle has much of the force and structure of a nineteenth-century corset brought to bear on the hips rather than the waist. It had an overall slimming effect since, as noted in a 1923 girdle advertisement, "Being slim may be a matter of pounds, but looking slim is a matter of where those pounds are placed." A substantial undergarment such as this one could easily move several pounds around on the body and it serves as an example of the underpinnings utilized by women whose bodies did not conform to the slender ideal of the 1920s. Although this girdle is relatively short at seventeen inches, longer girdles that started below the bust were available, as were so-called "corselets," which suppressed the breasts, waist, and hips into a columnar silhouette. Some girdles of the 1920s also utilized elastic to allow for the freedom of movement that was valued during that era.

Related Objects

Caftan

Artist: Fortuny (Italian, founded 1906) Date: ca. 1930 Medium: silk Accession: C.I.50.44 On view in:Gallery 302

Girdle

Date: 1950s Medium: nylon, acetate, rubber Accession: 1991.238.1 On view in:Gallery 599

Brassiere

Date: 1950s Medium: synthetic Accession: 2001.672 On view in:Gallery 599

Corset

Artist: Maison Léoty (French) Date: 1891 Medium: silk Accession: C.I.45.27a, b On view in:Not on view

Suit

Artist: House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Date: 1938 Medium: silk Accession: C.I.54.16.1a, b On view in:Not on view