I’m completely obsessed with Etsy at the moment. I know I’m a bit late to the table but, hey, I got there eventually! One of my favourite things to look for on there, apart from vintage clothing of course, is independent lingerie designers, and there are plenty to choose from. The shop that has rapidly become my favourite for this is Coco’s Retro Closet, based in Croatia and run by a lovely lady called Goga. She specialises in 50s style suspender belts and girdles but also does a small selection of bras and knickers too. Each beautiful piece is made lovingly by her own hand and, although there are many items available in the shop, she will also consider custom orders if you request them.
The piece I have had my eye on for a while, and was slightly hesitant to buy due to the difference in physical location, is the Rose Garden Open Bottom Girdle which retails for about £33 depending on exchange rate at the time. After reading the description I realised it only had four suspender clips and, having been used to wearing six with girdles, I contacted Goga and asked if she could add on a further two, specifying where I wanted them to be placed. She replied almost immediately with a big “Yes” and was so helpful that I couldn’t resist placing an order.
After just five days I received an email saying my item had been shipped and, thinking it would take some time to arrive from Croatia, I sat back and waited for it to be delivered. After just three days it turned up! I was shocked. Why can’t UK post be that quick?
The packaging was very limited with the girdle neatly wrapped in a small clear plastic bag and a rather sweet ‘thank you’ tag tucked inside. Although I love lingerie to wrapped nicely when it arrives, I can completely understand why this was sent in such a way. It was possibly the most practical and lightest method it could’ve been mailed, which for an overseas delivery is vitally important.
When I first opened it two things struck me, firstly how beautiful the fabric was and secondly how tiny it looked. I honestly thought to myself ‘I haven’t got a hope in hell of getting into that!’. The measurements on the listing stated that medium was for a waist of between 28″ and 33″, which I am, so was I knew I must’ve ordered the correct size but was still a little nervous. However, once I had wiggled it on, I realised quite how stretchy the spandex fabric was and it fitted absolutely perfectly around my waist, hips and bum. There’s no support panel in it, which some other girdles have to suck you in in the right places, but it definitely clings to your body to give you a little light support. It also restrictive enough to make you feel really secure that it won’t move about whilst wearing which, of course, is extremely important for keeping your stockings in place.
All of the silver-coloured metal suspender clips are attached to the girdle with a V-shape of wide non-adjustable elastic and are of good solid quality. One thing I hate on girdles and suspender belts is cheap plastic clips. If you’re hesitant of trying metal clips because of you’re worried they will ruin your stockings, don’t be, I’ve never had it happen. And, trust me, they are much better at holding on to stocking tops than plastic ones. Finally, each V of elastic is finished beautifully at the bottom of the girdle with a large satin bow which matches the one at the waist.
Most of the girdles I own, or have tried on, have had the same upward curved shape at the back as the one on the front so that the edge cuts across the bum, leaving a small amount of knicker showing. However, the back of this girdle sits much lower than this and skims the bottom of the bum cheeks covering the knickers completely. It was a little strange to wear at first, just because it wasn’t what I was used to, but it is really comfortable and, apart from the suspender clips, you barely feel like you are wearing it.
As a seamstress myself, one thing that is very important to me is quality of construction and, I have to say, this is exquisitely made. The zigzag stitching details across both the top and bottom edges where the all-important elastic is added to the garment is just about as perfect as it could be. I was so impressed by it that I actually started going over it with a fine tooth comb to try and find any kind of fault. There weren’t any!
The rose fabric is as brilliant in colour as you see in the photographs. It is such a stunning turquoise and the large bright pink and white roses really stand out against it. Goodness knows where she found this, as I’ve never seen anything like it before in spandex, but she has also recently added a couple more floral designs that can be made in the same garment. To complete the range there is also a matching bra (which I now have my eye on) and a deep suspender belt available in all three colourways. I initially teamed it up with a white M&S set I’ve had for a while, but I have now finally ordered the white satin Ella bra and deep knickers from vintage lingerie brand, Joanna’s Wardrobe, that I know will compliment this girdle perfectly.