Garters are known for two main things in today’s society, but when they were first created, those two reasons were farthest from the minds of the women wearing them.
Lingerie is one of the first things that come to mind, and the second is the tradition of wearing one at your wedding. Even by current social standards, there is much more to them than that.
Why Do Women Wear Garters?
1. Garter Belts Replaced the Corset
Until the 1920s, women of higher class and those that wanted to appear more like the ideal woman wore corsets that shaped their bodies to look how society thought they should.
Hourglass figures were how women who did not contribute to hard labor tasks were supposed to look, which the tight-fitting girdle helped women accomplish.
Women soon found that they could wear garter belts to hold up their stockings and keep their bellies pulled in with the use of a girdle. This gave a more comfortable option to accomplish the same look.
2. Garter Belt Replaces the Girdle
As time passed by, women found that the girdle was uncomfortable and not extremely necessary. The 1970s brought about substantial changes to women’s clothing styles, especially for the garter belt.
Garters became the go-to piece of undergarment that could hold up their leg stockings without having to be restricted in any way.
Garter belts could be worn under any type of clothes, including dresses and skirts, to help hold the stocking on the thigh rather than fighting to keep them in place.
You may think it would be pointless to wear both because the older style girdles had hanging clasps of their own. Garter belts were just part of the outfit, so they were still included even when not needed.
3. Garters Belts Hold Up Thigh-High Stockings
Thigh-high stockings are preferred by many women, but the problem they run into is keeping them in place. Nothing is more annoying than constantly reaching under your clothes to pull them up.
The garter belt makes it easy to keep them in place by using four clips attached to dangling pieces of cloth. These clips are located in front and back on both sides of the body.
They simply clip onto the thigh-high stockings or pantyhose and keep them where they are supposed to be without causing any runs or having to wear a restricting girdle with the same style of clips.
4. Garter Belts Hold Up Thigh-High Compression Socks
Compression socks have not been common for very long, but now they are part of a medical regime to help with blood flow, reducing pain and swelling.
Blood circulation problems is the main use of compression socks. They ensure that the proper amount of blood flow gets to the areas of the body prone to issues, especially the thighs and lower legs.
They are also a great way to help get your varicose veins under control, reducing the chance that you will have to have surgery to remove and repair the veins causing problems.
What the garter belt does for these compression socks is keep them up so they can do their jobs without having to use special glue to keep them in place.
5. Garter Belts Are Part of Lingerie
Sexy lingerie is one of the many ways women like to look good for not only their partners but for themselves. Garter belts have long been a part of this image.
Garters are one of the sexiest parts of a good quality piece of lingerie because it keeps everything in place while giving a sexy look and feel.
They are mainly used for visual appeal, but even with lingerie with knit stockings included, the garter can keep them in place for as long as needed.
6. Fashion statement
People generally love making fashion statements through what they wear and how they wear it. They do their best to stand out above the crowd and get noticed.
Garter belts have a purpose when worn, but they can also be worn under a short skirt or a slit dress to give a glimpse of something erotic.
Fashion statements that are created around the sexuality of a person are one of the best ways to gain the attention of the people around you. While doing so, you get to feel sexy and appealing.
7. Wedding Tradition
Garters worn by the bride at a wedding have a history that goes as far back as the wedding dress and veil. All the pieces of clothing are said to bring good luck to the bride.
It can also offer good luck in romance and marriage to those that might catch it when thrown. Bouquets of flowers are almost always thrown over the head to symbolize the next person to be married.
Traditions also state that the garter should be thrown over the head into the crowd. Not by the bride, though. It has to be the groom that throws it.
By tradition, the groom will get down on one knee like when the proposal happened. With the teeth or by hand, the garter will be removed from the thigh of the bride.
It is then displayed for all to see before being tossed over the head of the groom, behind them, into the crowd of gathered guests. The one that catches it will have luck in love and be the next to marry.
That is what the traditions say, anyway. Whether it actually gives you luck or not is up to you, but the point is that it is a tradition that can be traced back to Medival times, so it continues today.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on why women wear thongs, why women wear bras, and why your underwear rolls down.
The garter has been a long-standing tradition for weddings of any size for decades. The garter belt is where it all started when women wanted to look good without being constricted.
The corset was the first thing to go and then the girdle, but that is not to say that the two do not have a place in today’s fashions. In fact, they are still combined with a garter to hold everything together.