Date: c. 1950s
Fabric: Jacquard weave rayon, cotton and nylon lace
Brand: Custom made
This homemade suspender belt is particularly noteworthy for its resourceful approach to construction and function. The piece was home made to fit an individual exactly, and contains no elastication in the body. The exterior fabric is a rayon blend jacquard weave and is lined with cotton. Nylon lace trims the centre front seams. It fastens with a placket of button holes with coordinating acrylic buttons. The suspender straps are elastic but non adjustable, with plastic grips that were likely not created for the purpose of holding up stockings.
Life under Soviet rule often meant shortages of goods that many individuals in the West took for granted, including quality ready made clothing, and certain materials and components. As a consequence many women took to making their own clothing and underwear, with innovative solutions to the fastenings, materials and components that were used as standard in Western lingerie. This is particularly noticeable in the choice of garter grips and the waist fastening of this garment.
Kindly donated to The Underpinnings Museum by Olga Potaeva