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vintage and pot bellies

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by kymeratale, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. kymeratale

    kymeratale One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Yes, that's right, I'm starting a thread about pot bellies. :eek:

    Hi all,

    Been awhile since I've poked my head around these parts. I have gotten away from wearing my vintage style, largely because I've gained some weight and most of the repro clothes I own or sewed don't fit anymore. I need to build my wardrobe back up, especially bottoms.

    Here is where the dilemma comes in. The way I've gained these 25 or so pounds it has settled right in my tummy. I've always had a pooch, even when I weighed 50 pounds (and 30 years) less. Combine that with a sway back and it is like I'm wearing a ball on my front, very pronounced. I try to be conscious of my posture, but you can't always go around with your gut sucked in, so I know the belly is there, proudly jutting out front of me. I know some people aren't that worried about things like this and dress however makes them feel good. I am not really one of those people. I am very conscious of fit and what flatters me and I will be uncomfortable in things I feel draw attention.

    Pencil skirts are a no go. They look great from the front and back (I've got it going on in the hip department) but the side view is horrendous. I'm down with full skirts with a nipped in waist, which really works for me. However, I live in Ottawa, Canada, which happens to be the coldest national capital in the world. Our winters are brutal and there are long stretches where skirts are just not practical. So, I needs pants for winter, but it is in the pants/trousers department I am struggling. Most of the vintage repro style pants fit quite close in the abdomen, whether they are wide leg or cigarette style. This is not a good look with the belly.

    So, I would like to ask some advice for dealing with pants. I've looked at styles that have a looser fit from the waist with pleats, but I worry they will emphasize things. How do others deal with their pooches in pants?

    Do I invest in basically a pant girdle, even for wearing with jeans? If that is something that works for others, do you have recommendations for a high-waisted one that really pulls the tummy in? Does such a thing exist that is also reasonably comfortable to wear regularly?

    I do sew and I have the Simplicity 3688 pattern, but haven't made the pants up yet. Any poochy sewers made that pattern with success? Other patterns you might suggest?

    I'd love to get a new pair of Freddies, but the Norma Jean style, which I think would be the best as it has a fly front to pull things in stops one size short of what I need. Any suggestions of Freddies jeans that help in the belly department?

    Any other recommendations for vintage repro pants that are flattering for tummies?

    I really just don't feel myself in the 'normal' clothes I have been wearing and really want to get my vintage back on.

    Thanks ladies! (And forgive me for bringing up this seldom talked about feature of female bodies.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    This is absolutely the number one reason I (a.) don't wear pants, and (b.) sew my own clothes. Over the last ten years my waist has gone from 30 to 36 -- hello middle-age spread -- and there isn't a pair of pants made by anyone, any time, that doesn't look ridiculous on me. I'll wear a stiff panty girdle when necessary, but because the curve of my backside doesn't match the curvature of my frontside, it can only do so much. I've actually had people ask me if I'm pregnant, which would be a miracle of science given my current age and physical condition.

    What I wear in the winter is, for the most part, an extra firm Rago garter belt -- not some flippity bedroom thing, but a real heavy elastic job with fully-adjustable garter straps that covers the entire belly area. I can't tell you the model number, because the tag has washed out, but it's powerful enough to hold the belly in without fitting uncomfortably anywhere else. Wear this with heavy cotton stockings, under a flannel slip, and I'm plenty warm for winter without my stomach flopping out of control.

    Always remember that the women of the Era came in a wide range of body shapes, as the Everyday Women of the Golden Era thread well illustrates, and they always found a way to make it work.
     
    queen of jacque likes this.
  3. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    9,083
    Location:
    Crummy town, USA
    I have a ponch all over :) and I Wear pants. Well, mostly jeans because my thighs rub, and any lighter fabric just won't do. I don't wear panty girdles beneath them because it feel wrong.

    If you do make your own pants, I have some tips on my blog that I discovered for cutting them to give extra room and good drape to the front ponch area.

    It's a very popular post.

    http://newvintagelady.blogspot.com/2011/05/stout-alteration-tricks-pants-rise-to.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
    queen of jacque likes this.
  4. kymeratale

    kymeratale One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Oo, thanks Lady Day, that blog post is gold. I've only made really casual loose fitting pants before, so I've never tackled the complexities of pant fitting. This is a big help.
     
  5. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    9,083
    Location:
    Crummy town, USA
    Quite welcome :)
     
  6. Irene Jansen

    Irene Jansen New in Town

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Gosh I have the same problem. When I first found FD many years ago I was slim and fit into vintage. Now I have this huge belly and there is no way I will find vintage clothes to fit. I wonder why all my fat went to my belly? Sometimes I wish they would find one of those stone babies in there and take it out so I would lose an instant 50 lbs.
     
    Fanny likes this.
  7. swanson_eyes

    swanson_eyes Practically Family

    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    What about flat-front wide-leg pants, like sailor pants? The extra room starting at the top of the thigh creates an impression of a straight-down line in front instead of a curve. I'm not sure if I'm explaining that well; I'm so tired that I haven't made sense all day.
     
  8. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    9,083
    Location:
    Crummy town, USA
    Your best bet might be a more 30's cut. 40s pants tend to be really fitted about the pelvis, but 30s cut is a bit looser there. You can trim down the legs on a 30s cut and still get a good look.
     
  9. W-D Forties

    W-D Forties Practically Family

    Messages:
    684
    Location:
    England
    The 40's wide leg Freddies with the big side buttons as quite good for girls with bellies (like me!). They are very high waisted and do give quite a flat front, although they don't have any stretch so are a bit of a struggle at first until they bed in. I'd avoid any pleats at all. I'd also agree about sailor pants - wide legs and a fitted top work well. I try to wear boat necked tops with wide leg trousers and have loads of striped ones as the wide neck balances out my bottom half and the stripes detract!
     
  10. Annie B

    Annie B New in Town

    Messages:
    22
    After two babies and an indifference to weight gain for a bit there, I also have "paunch" issues. I wear a girdle daily and a corset for 2-8 hours a day. In three weeks of wearing a corset my waist went down two inches (34 to 32). That was pretty exciting! :)
    I agree about high waist pants being flattering. I look for firmer fabrics like gabardine, duck, or denim, or heavyweight wool. Thinner fabrics take a firmer undergarment to compensate. Layers can help too in adding warmth and contouring. I've found that as long as you keep the proportions looking right, actual body size doesn't seem to matter that much. Pencil skirts that are a size too big allow ease over tummies but still give a defined waist. I've noticed vintage ladies in photos cinch in their waistlines even in bulky winter coats and work clothes. It helps keep that silhouette going.
    I rotate through a Bellefit panty girdle, Orchard corset, mid-thigh to bra line Spanx, and an open bottom girdle. The last two are the most comfortable.
     
  11. Delma

    Delma New in Town

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Oregon
    Always remember that the women of the Era came in a wide range of body shapes, as the Everyday Women of the Golden Era thread well illustrates, and they always found a way to make it work.[/QUOTE]
     
  12. Delma

    Delma New in Town

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Oregon
    Agreed, Lizzie! My grandmothers on both sides of the family were full figured during the 1940s and 1950s. My photo to the side shows my grandparents in front of their restaurant and you will see that my grandmother was not a slender woman. It is a modern fallacy that women were all thin. I do not think it worried her much either. My grandfather thought that she was his dream girl and flirted with her their entire marriage.
     
    olive bleu and Annie B like this.
  13. KittyTwoShoes

    KittyTwoShoes New in Town

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    UK
    My pot belly is the result of two pregnancies and poor diet choices in life. However, after seriously working out and eating better, I found out my muscles in the stomach region separated during the two pregnancies - which is surprisingly quite common. I would have to undergo a tummy tuck to pull the two muscles together, but since I'd like one more child, that's not going to happen and I'll deal with other methods of pulling the paunch in.

    Thank you to for the recommendations for Rago girdles, I ordered one and it should arrive in about two weeks. I've been wearing Spanx and a jockey shorts underneath my skirts to prevent the lovely thigh rubs.

    I do have a question for Rago and other girdle wearer - the longer open bottom girdles - how do you use the bathroom in them? I've always wondered. Especially when wearing stockings attached to the garters, does one pull the entire girdle down?
     
  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I undo the rear garter clips and flap the back part of the gridle up over my backside. It takes a little longer to reassemble yourself after your business has been completed, but you get the hang of it eventually.
     
  15. W-D Forties

    W-D Forties Practically Family

    Messages:
    684
    Location:
    England
    I have had 2 caesarian births and I don't think I'm ever going to have a flat stomach - not that I had one in the first place! I have found that rather than trying to squidge the bottom half of my belly in with a girdle (which on me tends to push the fat up and leave me looking like a sausage), when i bought a long line Doreen bra that hoiked my modest boobs up a bit and pulled in and defined my waist that I looked like I'd lost a stone!
     
  16. olive bleu

    olive bleu One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,667
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    oh gosh, same here. I had an emergency C- Section the first time, where they cut through my abdomen vertically, and then the 2nd time had a planned C- Section, where they did the now usual horizontal incision..i think even if I could get my weight down to 110 lbs ... which i wont ever ,due to (among other things) my love of good ale and fried food.. I would still have that round paunch. This thread is lovely and inspiring. I avoid pants like the plague, but ive never tried making my own. That might be a project for the winter.
     
  17. Staci

    Staci New in Town

    Messages:
    7
    Unfortunately I am overweight too it is tough find good clothes I look for loose fitting dress which hard to come by if my dresses get tight I wear a nice sweater to cover that side view
     
  18. Gilliane

    Gilliane New in Town

    Messages:
    7
    There's nothing wrong with a good girdle.
     
  19. Gilliane

    Gilliane New in Town

    Messages:
    7
    I actually like being held up in a girdle, I just let my belly and bottom go and let them be held by the girdle's front and back panels. I don't know what I'd do without a girdle now.
     

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