What's the difference between garters and garter belts?
- Marsha C.
Marsha, what a fabulous question! I’ll start by explaining garters, garter belts and how both of these classic yet seductive accessories are used.
Garters are a type of fashion accessory worn by both men and women. Originally made from a narrow piece of fabric that tied below the knees, garters were intended to hold stockings (socks) up. Garter belts (also known as suspenders or suspender belts in the UK) are a type of fashion accessories that are made with fabric to go around the waist. Featuring four to six ribbons that suspend below the belt, the intended purpose for this accessory is to keep stockings from slipping. Similar to shapewear, garter belts may provide structure to accentuate a woman's body.
White garter for weddings.
White garter-belt. Panties (or knickers as they call it in the UK), are not part of the accessory.
Typically, garter belts do not come with nor are they attached to panties. However, there are some exceptions.
Red garter belt panties.
In the early part of the 20th century, garter belts were worn by women every day. However, with the invention of stay up stockings, garter belts are no longer required for keeping stockings up. For most women in the 21st century, garters and garter belts are worn for special occasions including weddings, honeymoon, a night out with the girls, a hot date, and boudoir photo shoots. Some women wear both accessories to achieve a tantalizing visual effect, or to boost her self confidence.
PRISCILLA Stay Up stockings by VienneMilano.
The garter toss wedding tradition originates from Medieval England. While there are many variations of how this custom began, the intent of this tradition is to provide luck to an unwedded wedding guest in the form of a piece of clothing worn by the bride.
White lace garter with embellishments.
In the present day, the goal of this tradition remains the same. The only difference is the construction of the garter. Today, with the invention of elastic, garter belts are ruched and are made with fabric, lace, and elastic. Embellishments are often added for decoration.
So how does it work? You may ask. There is no hard set rule as to which leg the garter is placed on the bride; the accessory can be worn above the knee, or up even further up the leg. The important thing is that the groom can retrieve the garter during the wedding celebration (in front of all the guests). Once the garter is retrieved, the groom tosses the garter to his unwedded friends. Whoever catches the garter "wins."
Groom and bride during garter toss festivities.
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