Date: c. 1940s
Origin: United Kingdom
Fabric: Viscose Satin, Embroidered Tulle
Brand: Custom made
This suspender belt appears to have been custom made for its original owner, alongside another similar piece in the collection made of ivory satin. There is no stretch or flexibility of fit to this garment, so it would have fit its owner exactly.
There are three main fabrics used in this garment: a main pink viscose satin, a pink cotton bobbinet tulle liner in the side panels, and ivory embroidered black nylon tulle outer side panels. The front of the suspender is made of two seamed panels, overlayed with a panel that has been freehand decoratively quilted. Satin ribbon has been used to bind the top edge and to tape over the outer seams. The bottom hem has been folded in and taped over with narrow cotton bias tape.
The centre back of the garment closes with 3 plastic buttons on the left and oversized satin rouleaux loops on the right. The raw edges of the centre back have been folded in and overlaid with a wide cotton bias tape. Each suspender point has a plastic button, from which the 4 suspender straps can be detached. The suspender straps are made of two narrow pieces of elastic zigzagged together, with metal adjusters and metal suspender grips that originally had rubber tabs to fasten (unfortunately these had rotted away). At the top of each strap is a loop of satin ribbon, folded in and lockstitched over to the elastic.
Unlike many contemporary suspender belts, the placement of the straps is much more oriented to the front of the garment. The front two are very closely placed, while the back ones are placed on the side of the body. As the straps are attached to buttons, they have a have a certain amount of flexibility of movement as they can pivot around the button point. The detachability of these straps may have been a practical consideration, allowing this suspender to be worn over knickers, without having to remove them completely when nature calls.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska