The more I study and wear vintage clothing…and the older I get…the more in favor on body shaping I become.
Sure, a variety of underpinnings is historically accurate for the first 60 years of the 20th century (yup, the 1920s and 1960s too!), but I know on more than one occasion I’ve skipped them. I’ve thought, “oh, my modern bra will do. Oh, I’m thin, I don’t really need to wear a girdle. Oh, I can get away without a petticoat.” But I never feel or am “fully dressed” when I go half-way on a costume, and ultimately the silhouette just isn’t quite right.
Enter the shapewear. We call it “shapewear” these days, but it doesn’t have to be particularly squeezy. My review today is of one such item that does a nice job, but isn’t uncomfortable – the Rago 721 Waist Cincher, from Hourglass Angel.
This waist cincher (AKA girdle) comes in pink and black, which is kindof cute/sexy, and works very well as a smoother-outer. It didn’t reduce my waist measurement hardly at all, but gave a nice trim line from about about the underbust to the high hip.
One thing I really like about the Rago 721 is that you can pull it up high under your bust, or pull it down lower over your hips, depending on where you want the shaping to be. The central zig-zag stitched band is the squeeziest part, and can be used to control belly or love handles, whichever you prefer.
The materials are good quality, with stiff lace over the central panel. The majority is a polyester stretch satin. It’s not a garment you might choose on a really hot day – I wore it out in the heat and found it quite sweaty, and it also stretched out a bit by the time I took it off.
One thing I didn’t like was that the boning in back pokes up at the top and bottom. For a dress with a loose skirt, this isn’t a problem, but for a thin wiggle dress or bias-cut ’30s gown, this might cause unsightly bumps on the outside.
The cincher hooks closed at center front and has removable garter tabs. I was impressed with the quality of the garter tabs, which isn’t always the case. I do recommend wearing the cincher with the garters and stockings, as it helps keep it from shifting upwards as you wear it.
All in all, I ‘m pleased with this item. It’s easy to wear and provides just a little shaping and smoothing, nothing crazy, and is a good introduction to vintage foundation garments. Pair it with a vintage style long-line bra and full fashioned stockings and you’re good to go.