Date: c. 1940s
Fabric: Silk satin
A suspender belt in silk satin, trimmed with a fine cotton lace. It is luxuriously finished, with the silk fabric also used to cover the interior seams and garment edges, and to encase the suspender strap elastic. The garment closes with hooks and eyes at the side back. The original suspender clasps are missing from the garment, likely due to the rubber rotting away, and have been replaced by a later owner with contemporary metal and silicone grips.
Suspender belts grew in popularity from the 1920s as an alternative to heavier corsetry. They fulfilled the all important job of keeping stockings from rolling down, without the constriction of standard shapewear. Suspender belts offered a previously unparalleled freedom of movement and such were particularly popular with the young and active. The style began to fall out of fashion in the 1960s, once textile technological advancements led to the creation of affordable pantyhose.
The Cadolle design house was founded by Hermine Cadolle in 1878, originally a shop that specialised in made-to-measure undergarments. Hermine is often credited with designing the first modern bra in 1889, although this is often contested. The brand continues to this day, and is now headed by Poupie Cadolle, the fifth generation of the family to run the eponymous brand.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska
With thanks to Geena Roth for research assistance