Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Suspender belt sales boom

Dita: tie her up, hold them up

Back in 2007 the press were reporting the imminent extinction of stockings (see Triple P's post).  Today, however top lingerie maker Gossard is reporting a 65% rise in the sales of suspender (garter, for Americans) belts.  Department store Debenhams reported an increase in sales over the summer of 238%. 


Part of this increase, it is felt, is due to the increasing popularity of burlesque; personified by Dita von Teese and now in the cinemas with Christina Aguilera starring in the film...Burlesque.

English model and new Transformers star Rosie Huntington-Whitely

Speaking to some of Triple P's European friends they report that stockings with suspender belts are superior to tights (pantyhose) and hold-up stockings (Triple P's personal favourite) because they actually stay up!  But then, on the continent tights have never really made as much headway against stockings as in the UK and North America.

They do have the disadvantage that under very tight clothes they are visible, of course.  In fact, just before Christmas we attended a meeting in the City where young A was wearing a silk dress that was so tight you could see the outline of her suspender fastenings through the fabric.  She has gone up in my estimation as a result!

Lenna: the first

Triple P has noted before that even though stockings were worn by virtually all women in the late fifties and early sixties you will look in vain for them on any of the Playboy Playmates from that period.  Odd, that during the period depicted in Mad Men (and they certainly feature stockings and suspenders a lot) there was no sign of them on any of the centrefolds of the time. The first Playmate we could identify as wearing stockings was Lenna Sjooblom in November 1972 and she wasn't wearing suspenders. 

Deborah Shelton gives it some old fashioned oomph

It was really only from this period that they started to become a staple (!) of men's magazines and the adoption of them by Playmates was rather slow, to say the least.  Playboy had their first bestockinged cover girl in February 1973.  The first girl wearing suspenders on the cover wasn't until March 1974 (Deborah Shelton, later of Dallas fame).

Ashley Cox: tasteful

The first centrefold wearing the full fig of stockings and suspenders wouldn't appear until Ashley Cox's tasteful salmon pink and white number in December 1977; thirty four years after Playboy's first issue!

Lynette Asquith

It was pretty much the same over in Britain.  Penthouse was first published in March 1965 but their first centrefold to be featured in stockings wasn't until November 1971 when one of former British prime minister Asquith's direct descendants appeared in stockings (but no suspenders).


The first Pet in suspenders would have to wait until Jane Hargrave in July 1975.