Doll-Sized Girdles, 1954

Doll-Sized Girdles, Sears catalog for Spring 1954, page.

Doll-Sized Girdles, Sears catalog for Spring 1954, page 314.

This idea seemed so strange to me that I have to share it: “Doll-Sized Girdles” from the Sears catalog for Spring 1954.

At first, I wondered why dolls would need girdles — was it just some grown-up’s nutty idea of a “doll wardrobe?” I was never very interested in realistic dolls, or Barbie, but I was a child in 1954.

Witness2fashion around 1952. I was not thinking about doll sized girdles.

Witness2fashion around 1953. I was definitely not thinking about doll-sized girdles.  I was too old to play with these dolls, and I hated posing for pictures. I still do.

By 1959 I was old enough to wear a girdle and stockings, but it never for a moment occurred to me to associate girdles with dolls.

And, in fact, these are not girdles for dolls.

They are made to fit women with waist sizes from 23 to 30 inches. The “hi-waist”one at top “stretches to 17 in. long on figure.”

Here are some other women’s girdles from the same page:

"Puckerette" girdles for women, Sears catalog for Spring, 1954, page

“Puckerette” girdles for women, Sears catalog for Spring, 1954, page 314. “Big size range… all the way up to 32-inch waist.”

Sally Edelstein, at Envisioning the American Dream, has shown many vintage fifties and sixties girdle ads — they sure bring back memories for me! This one seems to show a woman holding a very small girdle which would stretch to the size of a normal body.

But it’s not quite “doll” size.

True Story: I remember shopping for a long-legged panty girdle around 1963. I tried one that seemed to fit with relative comfort, but the saleslady insisted that I try one in a smaller size. I struggled into it; I couldn’t even pull it up all the way. The saleswoman said, “I’ll hold the waist, and you jump!”

No sale.

Part 2 of Sally’s “A Girl and Her Girdle” can be found here.



Filed under 1950s-1960s, Children's Vintage styles, Girdles, Musings, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, vintage photographs

5 responses to “Doll-Sized Girdles, 1954

  1. My main memory of girdles, which I wore to hold up stockings, is pain. They would ride up on my inner thigh, leaving red welts by the end of the day. Panty hose were a miracle invention.

    • Oh, yes! Those welts! I’ve never been thin or athletic, so I remember that a bit of thigh would bulge out above the stocking top and below the panty girdle — horrible. And when I took off the girdle, the shape of the back garters would be impressed in my skin! It was a different world — one where college women sat through classes on wooden seats with those metal garters carving their shape into your legs. No wonder we adopted pantyhose ASAP — even though a run would only ruin one stocking, but it ruined the whole pair of pantyhose. How lovely that wearing trousers has eliminated both problems.

  2. So they weren’t for dolls at all! I wondered, being about the same age, and do not remember doll girdles. They were baby dolls for heaven’s sake! I was far too old for Barbie, which I consider to be one of the most fortunate occurrences of my life. I played with my dolls very little, always took their clothes and put them on my stuffed animals. Loved my movie star paper dolls however …..
    bonnie in provence

  3. ceci

    I can’t decide if its creepier to put a girdle on a doll or to put one on a woman ……I’m just a bit too young, thankfully, to remember them myself, but the whole concept seems painful.


  4. Very interesting. I have had welts caused by hold ups.

    While dolly girdles were not a thing I clearly remember quater size models of bras and girdles on display in the shops and as a child asking if one of them might fit me.

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 )

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.