Perfolastic Reducing Girdle, 1934

Perforated Rubber Girdle, 19341934 feb perfolastic girdle ad p 76It’s not surprising that women who hadn’t paid much attention their waist measurements in the 1920s found themselves desperately trying to reduce their waists and hips when the clinging fashions of the 1930s appeared.

Butterick dress patterns, January 1934

Butterick dress patterns, January 1934  (Click to Enlarge)

The early thirties fashion silhouette was long and lean, and bias cut gowns clung to every figure flaw.

Halter evening gown, 1932

Halter evening gown, 1932

Madame X Reducing Corset, 1924

“A wrap-around all rubber corset, made of sheet rubber and called Madame X, appeared in the U.S.A. in 1923 but was short-lived. Similar garments were launched more successfully in the ‘thirties,… made with perforations and therefore more healthy and comfortable.” — Elizabeth Ewing, Fashion in Underwear.

The dropped-waist fashions of the 1920s exaggerated the width of a woman’s hips, so the Madame X “reducing corset” should have appealed to many women. [1920s dress patterns often ran to size 44, with a hip measurement of 47 1/2 inches, which would look very wide indeed with a horizontal belt running around the hip.]

Front & Back Viewes, Madame X Reducing Girdle, November 1924

Front & Back Views, Madame X Reducing Girdle, November 1924

Ads for Madame X emphasized the reducing properties of “live rubber,” [like a portable sweat-box?] but this 1920s back-lacing reducing corset was intended to be worn over a chemise and bloomers, or a ‘combination” step-in undergarment, which would have absorbed some perspiration.

The Perfolastic Reducing Girdleperfolastic girdle 1934

The Perfolastic Girdle of the 1930s was worn next to the skin, so it was perforated, theoretically allowing some perspiration to escape.  Imagine what your skin would have looked like when you took it off!


Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Corsets & Corselettes, Girdles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture

3 responses to “Perfolastic Reducing Girdle, 1934

  1. And imagine how you must have sweated when you had it on! Maybe this is where they got the idea for those weight reducing rubber swaths of later eras.

  2. Pingback: Bathing Suits for July, 1938 | witness2fashion

  3. Pingback: Charm After Fifty, July 1937 | witness2fashion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.