Shirt garters for skirt suits?
January 22, 2013 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to keep my button-down shirts tucked in to my suits better, but I mostly wear skirt suits. Traditional shirt garters clip onto your socks, so those won't do. Any ideas?

It's less of a problem when my skirts or shirts fit better, but I'm between tailors right now. Anyway, I think it would be nice to have my shirts feel more securely tucked even once I've got some of my problem clothes fixed. I'm slowly acquiring a better collection of nice non-iron button-down shirts (eBay!) and at least for my new stuff, tail length isn't a problem -- they're plenty long enough.

I found some suggestions here.Tucking my shirt into my underwear just isn't going to happen, and if I tuck into my stockings, I think that it would show if I bend over or remove my jacket. Safety pins would damage my clothes and probably me if I put them under that much stress, right?
posted by asperity to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not speaking from experience at all but.... have you thought about a plain flat elastic belt or band? You could wear that below the skirt line and it should keep a shirt tucked in. May even work better if it's slightly rubberized on one side.
posted by tkbarbarian at 8:33 AM on January 22, 2013

Are you wearing a slip at all? I have some fairly lightweight/short ones (mostly from Target, which has a surprisingly good selection of lengths) and they do help keep the line of my skirt but also are useful for shirt-tucking.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:35 AM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: If this is a knee-length skirt, how about just wearing thigh-high stockings and connecting them to your shirt with these double grip clips from sock dreams?

Or maybe use the same gadget to connect the shirt tails to each other, since they are long.

The more traditional way to deal with this for women is safety pins and slips. They don't usually cause any problems.
posted by steinwald at 8:35 AM on January 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

Snugtex Belting, "To help keep your shirts and blouses tucked in nice and neatly." Or these. Rubberised whatnot sewn into your waistband.
posted by kmennie at 9:06 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you are old enough to remember the late 70's, you might remember the fashion fad of shirts that had long tapered tails with snaps on the bottom, similar to a baby's onesie garment. They snapped under your crotch and kept the shirts tucked in. I think they used to make a modular attachment that you could attach to tails of a regular shirt, like garters but snapped at the crotch. I'm at work, so I am not going to try searching for images of any kind of crotch-garment, but you guys knock yourselves out.
posted by CathyG at 1:11 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

At least for men the traditional solution (if you don't want to go with shirt garters) are nobbly elastic/rubber belts like this. Very commonly used as part of military dress uniforms. They are not especially comfortable if you are going to be seated for any length of time, but okay if you're standing.

Allegedly this is a more modern version of the same idea which uses velcro-y friction material rather than rubber, although I have no personal experience with it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:12 PM on January 22, 2013

To be clear, I'm pretty sure the safety-pins would be used to fasten the shirt to your undershirt (or, since you seem to be a woman, your chemise or something). The worst that can happen is both your chemise and your shirt pull out of your waistband at once.

Also, the safety pins will slip between the warp and weft of the fabric, so that they've just displaced the threads a little. The hole will close after the pin is removed. This is why tailors think nothing of sticking hundred of pins into a ten thousand dollar suit, or even putting in rows and rows of basting stitches only to rip them out again later.
posted by d. z. wang at 7:44 PM on January 22, 2013

I thought a little more about the "damage me" part. While I doubt this is what you meant, the potential consequences would be bad enough that I want to be very explicit: you do not use the safety pins to pin the shirt into your flesh. But you knew that, right?
posted by d. z. wang at 7:47 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for some great ideas! I'm going to try the thigh-high stockings plus clips, since I think I'd rather have the shirt held down at its bottom rather than held at my waist where the tails might get all bunched up. Seems like it'd be a smoother look, and I need some new stockings anyway.

Now, on to find some thigh-highs that don't look too goofy or porny to wear with a suit!
posted by asperity at 9:05 PM on January 22, 2013

I am not going to try searching for images of any kind of crotch-garment, but you guys knock yourselves out.

Googling for snap-crotch garments got me threads of people reminiscing about them, "adult baby" stuff, babies' garments...

So not much luck, but I thought it might be worth mentioning that if you wanted to throw money on a good fix, it wouldn't be hard to take them to a tailor and have them turned into snap-crotch or just shirt-sewn-to-underpants things. DIY shirt bodysuit. (Or, you could try vintage?)
posted by kmennie at 7:08 PM on January 24, 2013

Response by poster: Update: the double clip grips steinwald linked are doing pretty well at attaching the bottom of my shirt to the tops of my stockings. Everything seems secure and even my skirt doesn't shift around annoyingly because my shirt is staying where it's supposed to. I anticipate the clips being useful in other shirt-tucking situations, and I like that they're easily movable from outfit to outfit without requiring alterations to my clothes, and they won't show even if the waistband on my clothes shifts.

Downsides are that it can be a little bit too tight (I went from four clips to two just on the sides of the shirt, which is enough to keep my shirt secure) and that thigh-high stockings are obnoxious (I think when I try turning some regular tights into thigh-highs that may be an improvement -- no tight elastic band at the top.) The clips are a bit bulky, but keeping them on my sides helps. I should probably wear a slip to prevent damage to the skirt and to make things look smoother.

Re: safety pins, I had worried about high tension causing safety pins holding my shirt to either my skirt or undergarments to pop open and stab me, or else rip the fabric. I'm still not sure I shouldn't worry about that!

I think I've got a reasonable solution here! Thanks, everybody.
posted by asperity at 2:41 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

If cutting your tights up does not work, you can also buy high quality thigh high socks that are a lot like tights at sockdreams. Or consider getting actual stockings without the gummy thigh-high "hold up" stuff. They are much less obnoxious and they are designed for use with a garter belt.
posted by steinwald at 8:17 AM on February 11, 2013

Response by poster: Oh, I did get a couple pairs of the nice thigh-high tights from sockdreams, but at $6 a pair I'm hoping to keep expenses down by using some of the tights I already have. Thanks for the link, though -- those may be my next buy.
posted by asperity at 7:38 PM on February 11, 2013

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