First and foremost is "shapewear," aka foundation garments.
Ladies, I don't care if you are Skinny Malink personified, proper undergarments are the basis upon which your gorgeous look is built. Let's face it, no one wants to see your thong line, the outline of your belly button or anything else you have no business showing to the strangers of the world through your dress. That's just trashy and trashy is the furthest thing from glamour you can get (think Beyonce on the red carpet in Elie Saab as opposed to Lil Kim on the red carpet in whatever this is).
OK, so maybe nature didn't give you natural curves, or your waist leaves something to be desired. This is where shapewear comes in! It can give you a waist where there was none before, or flatten a belly that isn't exactly a six pack. Most importantly it gives you a smooth line under your clothes so folks can see how gorgeous you are and not what undergarments you are or aren't wearing. Remember glamour is all about the tantalizing HINT of nudity.
One of my favorite things for under day dresses or any dress that doesn't require a strapless bra is the corselette. A corselette is a one-piece body shaper with an open bottom and attached garters for your stockings. What Katie Did makes a fabulous corselette as part of the Glamour line of shapewear. The nice thing about the Glamour range from What Katie did is it comes and black and peach and all the pieces in the range coordinate with other items that they offer. The Glamour line also features a bustier, Merry Widow Basque, and a waist cincher among other pieces. For my money, What Katie Did are the best source for reproduction vintage lingerie and shapwear out there. If you're leery of order from the UK for whatever reason, Rago Shapewear is a great American alternative and is sold through many different outlets. Another American source for reproduction 50's lingerie is a site called Secrets In Lace .
Don't forget the old stand-bys like Spanx and the new line at Target by Spanx creator Assets by Sara Blakely.
Another one of my favorite pieces of shapewear is the Merry Widow. Slightly longer than a long line bra, they come in shapes that can even tame a bit of belly or hip. Sadly Lady Marlene stopped production on their beautiful products last year, but you can still find some of their fabulous pieces online or in select intimate apparel shops. My ultimate favorite is the Lady Marlene 986 which comes in white or black with a lace inlay. It both hooks AND zips. And here's a trick I learned from the lingerie Wizard of Orchard Street - buy this one size smaller than your usual bra band and it will suck everything in a push it all up! Other good choices in the Merry Widow/bustier department are Carnival and Goddess.
Another great piece of shapewear which is both functional and sexy is the waist cincher. These do exactly what they say; cinch the waist in! Once again What Katie Did comes to the rescue. I'm a big fan of Katie's gold label Lily cincher (seen here on the lovely Bernie Dexter). As you can see it starts just below the bra and ends just under the belly so not only will it cinch the waist, but it will take care of love handles, pot bellies and saddle bags! You can also try the Glamour model from WKD or check into the Rago waist cincher.
I could go on and on; panty girdles, open-bottom girdles, garter belts, strapless bras, and yes, even control thongs - the world of shapewear is a smorgasbord with different levels of support, decoration and uses.
But if you only take one lesson away from this blog it is this:
A good foundation is the basis of a glamorous, pin up look!
Now get shopping :-)!
(All photos in the blog are copyright of their respective owners and all rights are reserved)