Recommendations for garters without hose?
February 21, 2014 8:29 AM   Subscribe

Do thigh garters that are not attached to hose/stockings (and which are also not those ruffled-wedding-gimmicky ones) exist? (I may not be using the correct vocab to express this, so ... more inside if this is unclear.)

I'm wearing this bridal bustier under my wedding dress, which as you can see has garter straps. They are detachable, but I would like to use them to help keep the torso of the bustier stretched out (so it doesn't pull up/rumple when I sit or move about). However, I'm going bare-legged and won't have hose to attach the straps to.

I know that the term "garter" usually refers to either the actual straps trailing from a garter belt that clips to your hose, or those "keepsake" ruffled fabric bands that women sometimes wear on one thigh beneath their wedding dresses. The keepsakes, uh, don't seem like they're for practical use (loose elastic made to be pulled off with groom's teeth = not gonna hold anything up or down).

I'd like to find a version of those thigh garters loops that are discreet and slim (not bedazzled/ruffled) and that will actually work to keep the garter straps in place. Does such an item exist? What should I be searching for? Do you have any recommendations on brand, etc.?

(The garter straps on the bustier also end in loop-and-button fasteners, not clips like a suspender. Does that change the kind of hose/thigh garter I need? Is there a special way of fastening them when it's not a clip?)

Thanks as always, MeFites! I just know there's somebody on the green with extensive knowledge of old-school lingerie.

(Or--last thought--I guess if you have any recommendations for a brand of truly sheer, non-shiny thigh-high hose that I could use with the bustier garter straps, that'd be cool too.)
posted by alleycat01 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can get more practical garters that go around your thighs from Sock Dreams; they also sell several kinds of clips and hose and whatnot.
posted by asperity at 8:37 AM on February 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

The term you probably want to search for is "sock garters" even though you aren't using them to hold up socks.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:48 AM on February 21, 2014

I am not sure this will work. You have plenty of time to experiment, right?

The bustier should stay in place on its own.

If you are really worried about a creeping foundation garment, perhaps you would be happier with a fuller corset.

Also, if you have never worn major league underfrillies, be sure to spend some pre wedding time strapped in so you learn to be comfortable breathing and moving.

Stockings, old school stockings that are held up with garters are easy to find. You can often find them hidden behind the panty hose at nice department stores.
I hope you have a wonderful wedding.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:56 AM on February 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

Garters don't have the strength to do what you're asking. If the bustier is rolling up, then it has the wrong sizing at the bottom. The bust is easy enough to fit, but finding one that's proportioned correctly in the stomach/hip is trickier.

If you're locked into this bustier and it's rolling, Spanx type undies worn OVER the bustier might work.
posted by 26.2 at 9:13 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding sock garters, for what you're asking. I also got mine from Sock Dreams. I suppose you could get the kind with clips and wear them upside-down, attaching one set of garter clips to the garters on your bustier.

But this really shouldn't be necessary. The bustier garters are not there to keep the bustier in place, that's what the stays (the structural reinforcements in the bustier) and the lining are for. If the bustier is rumpling up when you sit, I'm wondering if it fits right.

If, perchance, you haven't actually tried the bustier on and you're basing your concern on the photo, don't. I see the way it looks like the garters pull down on the bustier, but there's more to a garment like this than is apparent by that picture.
posted by desuetude at 9:14 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hmm. Thanks, you guys. I feel a slight sense of despair, haha, because you are all totally right that ideally any foundation garment should sit perfectly and you shouldn't need to be tugging it about (after all, garters are meant to hold the stockings up--the stockings aren't meant to keep the belt down).

The garment isn't really rolling per se (it's not too small--if anything, I'd prefer it tighter, but then the bust won't fit) but it does, like, rumple up a bit when I've sat down and gotten back up. If I tug it down the lines immediately regain their smoothness but obviously I can't be reaching up under my skirts and yanking things around during the wedding.

The problem is my dress is quite delicate and has a thin lining and is rather clingy in the back, so I really need a foundation item that is smooth; many of the torsolettes and bustiers I've tried on have too much visible boning. The dress also has illusion netting in the front so that I need something with a really low-cut top, or you can see it. And I'm a 32FF, so finding something that wrangles the chest appropriately AND holds in my tummy a bit AND doesn't create weird lines/lumps AND still allows me to breathe has been tough. I did go to a specialty undergarment shop already (and ended up buying a very expensive combination of items. They made me look super svelte, but I also tried them for a full night at a friend's wedding and ... waaay too uncomfortable.)

I did try a high-top control panty beneath the bustier, but you could kind of see the division where it stopped against my waist. But I'll try again with it over the bustier instead ... thanks for the suggestion!
posted by alleycat01 at 10:13 AM on February 21, 2014

You could probably cut up some of those wide no-slip fabric headbands with the rubbery backing and then sew them back together again at the appropriate diameter for your thighs, if you do end up wanting to attach the garter straps to something. I agree that finding a way to not need this upside-down support would be best, though.

quite delicate

Gorgeous dress, by the way!
posted by vytae at 12:07 PM on February 21, 2014

Thanks again all, and thanks vytae for the dress compliment.

I may try your idea of self-made garter loops but I guess I agree that I'll just have to keep looking (although I only have a month left ... panic/sigh).
posted by alleycat01 at 2:16 PM on February 21, 2014

The women who work in fabric stores in the midwest know a lot about fabric and clothing, and tend to be very friendly and helpful. I imagine that the people who work in the fabric stores in NYC know even more - at least some of their clients are theatrical costumers and clothing makers. I have no idea how open they are to conversations and suggestions, but a wander through the garment district might be worth a try.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:23 PM on February 21, 2014

I think the best solution would be something you would probably have to make yourself - think like a body suit that snaps in the crotch. A piece of inch and a half no-roll elastic that the two front straps can attach to, it would go between your legs, and then attach to the back straps as well? It'd take some trial and error to make sure it's wide enough to be comfortable, not so thin it turns into a thong, but I think as long as you had time to try it on and get it fitted right for comfortable movement, that would work.
posted by lemniskate at 2:28 PM on February 21, 2014

I don't like shapewear with boning for exactly this reason. I'd go with a skin-tone long shaper top that has a very low front scoop that allows you to wear your own bra (strapless or transparent straps). With a 32FF, this may be your best option for both support and slimming. I like these and have found that they don't roll up at the bottom. With your dress (which is beautiful!) and depending on your skintone, I think it could work.
posted by quince at 3:32 PM on February 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you still want to try a garter solution, I think bandelettes might do the trick - they're pretty, sturdy lace bands with silicone backing, designed to be worn on the thighs to prevent chafing. I think you could clip your garters onto them and they might help anchor your bustier.
posted by escapepod at 3:42 PM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think you should consider wearing a strapless bra along with something like this.
posted by Kololo at 11:35 AM on February 22, 2014

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