How to Deal With a Garter Belt Emergency! – Actual 1940’s War Bride Letter

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A long time ago we women wore garter belts with stockings, and believe you me, it was not really associated with with eroticism–the garter belt was nothing but a functional garment. I remember wearing fishnet stockings and garter belts with mini-skirts in the 60’s and one disadvantage of the garter belt was that a tight fitting or short skirt generally showed the bumps and ridges associated with the connecting straps. Today, they’re generally considered a lingerie accessory rather than a necessity and I’m sure every woman in my age-range has a story or two on “how they got through the perils of a garter belt” with some sort of dignity.

The Love Letters from Betty L – January 23, 1943.

Dearest,

First of all did I tell you that Mrs. Benelics is expecting another baby? Gosh, that woman sure has ambition! I just happened to think of a most embarrassing moment while I was in San Francisco the other night. Just across from the library I heard something snap, and felt something slip. It seems that my garter belt had ‘given” and was just about ready to fall off.
Clutching at my skirt I managed to make my way into the library on 14th street convincing the girl at the desk it was imperative I used their private bathroom to make some every essential repairs. She agreed and one of the librarians gave me some helpful information on how to fix it. Darling, I do believe you know how a garter belt works, so if I had made a run for it, it would have fallen off in the middle of the street, pulling my stockings down with it. Well, I finally managed to reach San Francisco and when we climbed into the streetcar and sat down,  I heard another snap! The damn thing broke again!

I sat there perfectly helpless and wondered how I was going to get off without causing a riot. Time passed and I finally had to get up and attempt as grateful an exit as possible under the circumstances. Grabbing my skirt like I was trying to keep my pants from falling down I climbed off the streetcar and made a dash for the nearest apartment building. I pressed a multitude of buzzers and asked anyone that answered permission to use the bathroom. Luck was with me–two women understood my predicament, and not only did they lend me the privacy of their bathroom, but also showed me how to use two huge pins to fix it! Honestly I thought they would die laughing! Please write darling, I haven’t heard from you in three whole days, and I am hoping this letter makes you smile and gives you some how-too information in case you need it! Just joking my dear– stay safe!

All my love,

Betty

This was an actual letter from a collection I found  consisting of 30 letters and telegrams from 1942-1943. Betty was pregnant as she wrote this but had no idea. Her husband who was a sailor died at the end of 1943. How someone could have thrown these letters out is beyond me, and now it is up to me to  keep them safe. These letters are a “how-to” on cherishing life.

 - DEAR MISS DIX: A year ago j I met a very nice...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  23 Jan 1953, Fri,  Page 16

 

 

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. Pantyhose was a Godsend as I recall. But as I get older,even they seem restrictive. I laughed at the lingerie video because I always wanted to own a negligee like those flowing ones but I never did. I should have realized that my mother didn’t wear one for a reason-just too impractical. Only women with no kids wore sheer nightgowns and high heeled slippers and sat around looking like a person in a magazine ad. Ah, the fantasy of fashion.

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