Date: c. 1930s
Origin: Great Britain
Fabric: Rayon satin
A suspender belt in heavy rayon satin, with keyhole cutouts at the hips. Satin ribbon forms crossover strapping at the centre front, with this detail reminiscent of the Kestos’ brand signature bra shape. The original owner of the suspender made a small alteration to the crossover ribbons, adding hand stitched ribbon loops to the garment interior to prevent the ribbons from getting tangled. Four elastic suspender straps are adjustable with branded ‘Kestos’ metal components. Each suspender grip was originally covered by a satin ribbon flash, but sadly only one of these now remains in tact. The garment fastens at the rear with metal hooks and eyes.
A variant of the Zoma suspender belt design was advertised in 1931 as ‘a cleverly constructed stocking support, [which] gives complete comfort and freedom of movement’. It was intended to be worn as sportswear, and was recommended in particular for dancing. The innovation of this design in the 1930s cannot be underestimated, as this suspender style would have offered unparalleled freedom of movement and comfort compared to the standard girdles and corsets that many women were accustomed to wearing on an everyday basis.
The Kestos lingerie brand was founded in 1925 in London by Rosamond Lilian Klin. The brand is best known for the ‘Kestos’ style bra (patented in 1926, and arguably one of the first commercially produced bra with separated cups). Alongside this iconic bra, the Kestos brand produced a full range of lingerie and even swimwear.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska