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[personal profile] sabinelagrande
This is something I wrote when I was working in the Park Service for the first time, and may be amusing to- okay I'm posting it because I thought it might amuse [personal profile] eruthros because we were talking about the 30's on twitter. I wrote this a quatrillion years ago, and it is a description of how exactly to don women's daily- not formal, as this does not include a proper foundation garment- attire from the late 1930's.

No part of this is an exaggeration.


First is the garter belt. Some of you may have deluded yourselves into believing that this is an attractive, even sexy garment. You are wrong. It resembles nothing so much as an adult diaper, particularly in the long line variety. You will tug and stretch and pull until it has reached a happy equilibrium, and you will move on.

Next are the stockings. These are made of either cotton or nylon, both with back seams. Unless you have a dresser, your seams will never be straight, so it is best to forget about that detail. The cotton stockings will not fit, and will require a roll-top garter system. The advantage is that you will be able to take off the garter belt, but they will not stay up, no matter what god you pray to. Better to stay with the nylon stockings.

Having chosen the nylons, you will encounter what is known humerously as a "stay put top." This is a little joke that the fashion industry likes to play. They are backed with an adhesive which will lose all its sticking power when placed on human skin. Having sworn at it vigorously, you will have to use the garter belt. The first two garters will be attached to the front of your stockings with surprizing ease. With a little luck and some reaching, you will attach the back garter on your dominant side as well. The back garter on your non-dominant side will flap in the wind until such a time as you cry out for assistance or remove the garter belt entirely. From this point on, you will not be able to move more than thirty degrees from vertical in any direction.

Next, you will put on the slip. You may think you are prepared for the slip, as you have no doubt worn this garment before. If your breasts are smaller than a C cup and you weigh less than 150 pounds, you should have little difficulty with this garment. If your breasts are a C cup or larger, you will spend several minutes struggling your slip over your bosom. If you weigh more than 150 pounds, your slip will spend the next few hours riding up to your waist, until such a time as you stop pulling it down again. It should also be noted that the slip will reduce your mobility from thirty to fifteen degrees from vertical.

You have essentially accomplished the hard part. You will next be expected to don an archaeic garment known as a dress shield. These are small pads for the armpit which protect the dress from sweat. If you have never heard your grandmother or other relative of a certain age swear, please ask her about this garment. If you are very lucky, you will have a shield of the Bolero type, which fits neatly over the breasts and arms like a shawl or short jacket. If you are not lucky, you will have one of the under-breast models, which reach their goal with a series of elastic straps. You will not be able to decipher this garment without a manual. Please do not attempt unattended.

Now, if you can still move your arms, you may proceed to put on the dress proper. This is accomplished through a series of gussets or zippers hidden strategically through the garment. This is one of the easier portions of the procedure, but it will reduce the range of motion your arms enjoy. If you should need to collect or place anything above your head, do so now.

Thus constricted, you may don your hat. It should be tilted forward at a jaunty angle, but not so jaunty as to block visibility. If it employs a chin strap of any kind, please tie tightly. Remember to pin obsessively. Shoes come next. You should have put them on two steps ago.

I don't know why you were waiting for me to tell you. Pay some attention.

Now you are ready to go out into the world. The world is approximately a hundred and twenty degrees, so have fun. And please, whatever you do, don't forget to smile.

This entry was automagically crossposted from Please comment at DW using OpenID. comment count unavailable comments over there.


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