Figure Control

Blue Q Figure Control Magnets, Black Dahlia's Scan

“Be Wise, Get the Figure Men Admire!” (one of the tag lines on a vintage advertisement for shapewear)

Today, I’m going to talk a bit about shapewear. Shapewear is also known as foundation garments. Foundation garments have been around for centuries with one of the earliest items being the corset.

Blue Q Figure Control Magnets, Black Dahlia's Scan

Shapewear is meant to form the body into a desired shape/silhouette, for fashion or for medical reasons. Shapewear ‘strengths’ vary from light to firm control. You decide the strength and modification depending on your desired figure outcome.

Blue Q Figure Control Magnets, Black Dahlia's Scan

You can purchase a variety of shapewear items:

  1. Bras
  2. Girdles
  3. Corsets
  4. Waist cinchers
  5. Control panties
  6. Control slips
  7. Body suits
  8. Camisoles
  9. Garter/suspender belts
  10. Etc.

1951 Girdle Advertisement, Black Dahlia's Scan



I love shapewear

Yes, I wear foundation garments, vintage and reproduction. In fact, I really love them! I like the way that shapewear items are designed and how they shape my figure. I don’t don my shapewear items very often, just when I need an extra cinch at the waist, a little tuck here or there, or if I’m wearing a corset as a top. I usually end up wearing some sort of shapewear under unforgiving 1940s dresses. You know the kind, where the material shows every lump and bump! *gasps*

Many women find shapewear uncomfortable, but I do not. If the item fits properly, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable or too constricting. If you feel like you can’t breathe, or your shapewear rolls up or down you need to buy a larger size! I tried a pair of Spanx once and thought I was going to pass out. Yes, they smoothed things out, but I felt like I was trapped in some cruel torture device! If that’s how you feel in your shapewear, do try something else. If you need some advice there are many websites with tips on purchasing shapewear.



Bulge-master Advert 1953, Black Dahlia's Scan

Slim-Mode Advertisement, Black Dahlia's Scan

Shapewear lines

You can purchase shapewear items at most department stores, lingerie stores and online shops. What Katie Did and Secrets in Lace both have shapewear lines. However, I’m partial to Rago shapewear myself. I find the quality and fit really good. I especially love their garter/suspender belts and their open garter girdles. Lovely looking and they feel great on!

Do you wear shapewear? What are your favourite items or companies? Do tell!


Black Dahlia

4 thoughts on “Figure Control

  1. Shapewear can be a godsend under certain fabrics. I have a few dresses that I’d NEVER wear without the right foundation garments…it’s amazing what a difference they can make. A former coworker told me that when she worked at a bank in the 1960s, all the women were *required* to wear girdles, “Because jiggling just wasn’t proper.”

  2. Yes a decent Vintage Girdle like Rago 6210 is really a godsend. I had always wondered as a male what it would be like to wear a girdle daily and if there are real benefits to being in a girdle. I went to a corsetiere for a fitting and some girdle training, I was pleasantly surprised you really do feel fantastic when you are all held in and supported in a girdle, you experience lots more energy.

    I have come to the conclusion after exerpiencing the benefits a decent vintage girdle offers that many women in the present day refuse to wear a girdle or any shapewear. Women will wear a bra, but absoluly no girdle. For a women both a bra and girdle go together and compliment each other.

    What wearing a vintage girdle worn everyday does is you do not just look great and your clothes fit well, but you have much improved posture, plus surprising you will find a dramtic increases n energy and self confidence, it is really surprising.

    The key to comfort is try and find a professional corsetiere who is willing to fit you properly and help put you through girdle training.

    Come and visit us to discuss girdles and corsets we can all learn from each other.

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