Today, garter belts and garters have a sexy reputation. But do you know their real purpose or history? Learn all about garters, garter belts, and garter straps.

What is a garter belt?

A garter belt holds up garter straps for thigh high stockings. It is worn around the torso. In the past, it served a functional purpose: to hold up stockings. Today, these can be worn for functional, sexy, or personal style reasons. 

When Did Women Start Wearing Garters, and Why?

Garter belts and rolled garters were necessary. Stockings lacked modern fabrics like Lycra. They were made of nylon, which doesn’t stay up on its own because it doesn’t contain elastic. The garter belt and straps evolved into the roll garter. But some women found another use for the garter during Prohibition – they were used to hold a flask.

Now, garter belts have been replaced by elastic waist pantyhose or stay-up thigh highs.

The retro lingerie crowd wears garter belts to match their style. Garter belts are popular among them. In addition, garter belts are often part of a sexy lingerie look and make an enticing addition to a bra and panty set.

Can You Wear Thigh High Stockings Without a Garter Belt? Or, garter straps without the belt?

Yes! There are many options available. Attach garter straps to retro girdles, slips, bodysuits, and some panties. They can attach with a hook and eye attachment or clip. Then the garter straps can attach to your thigh high stockings. You can skip the garter belt and opt for stay-up thigh highs. These are made to stay in place without straps.

Garter Belt Styles

Garter belts come in many designs: minimal, fashion, wide band girdles, and lace-adorned styles.

Garter belts come in various styles to suit different tastes and occasions. Here’s an overview:

1. Vintage Garter Belts

  • Evokes timeless elegance and romance.
  • Often feature delicate lace, satin fabrics, high waist silhouette.
  • Retro styles from Coco’s Retro Closet in range of fabrics/colors.

2. Modern Garter Belts

  • Showcase edgy, fashion-forward aesthetic.
  • Brands like Bluebella use luxe materials and unique embellishments.
  • Etsy sellers offer DIY patterns for modern stretch lace styles.

3. Lace Garter Belts

  • Lace adds feminine, sensual touch.
  • Ranges from delicate sheer to substantial stretch lace options.
  • Cortland Intimates offers comfy stretch lace in black/white.
  • Vintage and handmade lace styles abound on Etsy.

4. Leather Garter Belts

  • Bold, daring punk-inspired look.
  • Etsy sellers handcraft unique leather styles with hardware.
  • Leather provides edgier alternative to lace/satin.

5. Plus Size Garter Belts

  • Many brands offer inclusive sizing.
  • Sock Dreams has plus size styles up to 40″ hips.
  • Coco’s Retro Closet’s “Grace” style goes up to 3XL.

Consider occasion, personal style and confidence when choosing a garter belt. With so many options across vintage, modern, lace, leather and plus sizes, you’ll find one that speaks to you!

Is there a type of lingerie called suspenders?

Lingerie brands and women in the UK call garter straps “suspenders.” Garter straps resemble cute little suspenders when holding up tights. These terms are often interchangeable. 

What’s a Rolled Garter?

A rolled garter is a retro style that became fashionable in the 1920s. It was a simple and easy method for keeping stockings up. You can find modern replicas and wear this style today. 

What’s the difference between a garter and a garter belt?

A garter is an elastic that fits around your thigh. Garter straps clip onto stockings. Garter belts attach around the torso. Though it’s not entirely accurate, garter straps and belts are sometimes called garters. 

What’s a Bridal Garter

Some women only think of garters during a wedding. Bridal garters are typically white or blue. The groom removes it in front of a crowd of bachelors.

They try to catch it when it’s tossed in the air. Some believe the man who catches the garter will marry next.

A Little More Insight

Garters weren’t always the symbol of allure they are today. They evolved from functional pieces to fashion statements and bridal traditions. This journey is remarkable. Stockings used to slip down before elastic and Lycra. Garters solved this issue.

Garter belts evolved from a necessity to a fashion accessory. This change reflects shifts in societal views on femininity and allure.

Historical Tidbits

During Prohibition, women ingeniously used garters to hide flasks. Clothing and accessories serve dual purposes, offering functionality and concealment. They play multiple roles in daily life and special occasions.

Modern Usage and Styles

Today, wearing thigh highs with or without a garter belt is a personal style choice. Stay-up thigh highs offer modern convenience. However, the traditional combination of stockings and a garter belt is undeniably captivating.

Garter belt styles vary from minimalistic to ornate lace designs. This variety enables personal expression in lingerie.

The Bridal Tradition

The bridal garter tradition is another fascinating aspect, steeped in superstition and celebration. It’s a playful part of modern weddings, linking back to centuries-old beliefs about luck and marriage.

The bachelor who catches the garter is believed to be the next to marry. This tradition is a playful reference to the garter’s significance in love and marriage.

Personal Reflections

I discovered that garters have transformative power. Garters and garter belts add sophistication to lingerie. They hold a special place in the wardrobe for boosting confidence.

The designs are beautiful and slightly secretive. Fashion is not just about appearance. It’s about personal touches that make us unique. These touches boost confidence.

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