In the Middle Ages, members of the European nobility began to wear straightforward linen clothes under richly decorated and expensive outer dresses. This both protected these luxurious costumes from dirty bodies, and provided a layer of warmth for the wearer. Small, firm breasts were back in vogue, and women wore a multitude of corset-like variations. These early forms of the corset with lace lingerie sets, generally emerged in the fifteenth century. The rigid
centrepiece, known as the basque, was often decoratively carved and enjoyed a trend as a lover's token, and was worn with wedding garter. Generally a garter it is an item of clothing, an accessory that was formerly used for holding up stockings. Modern garter usage is more of the traditional character.
Historically the corset has always been a woman's underwear support, which was boned and close fitting and usually hooked and laced. The corset starts either above or just below the bust and continues down to the waist or below the hips, generally with garters attached to its base.
Suspenders in British English, or garters in North America are small straps or bands that hold up socks or stockings. For stockings, they are usually attached to a suspender belt or the bottom of a corset, and have special clips on their ends. Suspenders worn with stockings by women have a strong erotic appeal to the majority of men. As with many items of female undergarments, modern garter are sometimes items of fetish,such are wedding garter. For this reason they are sometimes worn by exotic dancers.
Suspenders in US English, or braces in most variants of world English (and also sometimes in North America) are fabric straps, run over the shoulders, that hold up trousers or a skirt. The entire strap of braces may be elasticated, or only the ends where the attachments are, with the majority part of the straps being of cloth. Braces were at one time worn almost universally, due to the higher cut of late 19th and early 20th-century trousers which made wearing a belt less effective since it could not rest on the hips. Elasticated (and better-fitting) garments may also play a part. Modern garters are items of clothing worn around the thighs. They are normally just a few inches in width. They often contain small bells and/or ribbons.
Modern garter is often worn by newlywed brides. It is the groom's privilege to remove wedding garter and toss it to the male guests. The symbolism to deflowering is unambiguous.
At some American high schools, it is traditional that girls wear garters to their high
school proms. At the end of the evening, their date removes the garter and keeps it as a souvenir. In some cases, the girls exchange their high school proms garters for their dates' bow ties. The tradition of garters at proms seems especially prevelant in Chicagoland, and possibly other parts of the midwest.
While the garters were the most intimate of women's underwear at the start of the twentieth century, modern garter has become the flamboyant, rebellious and sexy 'underwear as outerwear', associated with fantasy and eroticism by the end.
Corsets, bustiers, basques and
modern garter enjoyed a revival in the eighties with punk fashion and Vivienne Westwood fetishist corset made from leather and rubber, and in the nineties with Jean-Paul Gaultier sculptured costumes for Madonna, whose fans adopted a diluted versions, wearing an array of basques and bustiers as well as wedding garter, with jeans and other modern day items.
Speaking specifically about the wedding garter, it is natural to expect it to be decorated with symbolic bells, satin bands and pure lace. Women find the tradition of making modern garter a part of a wedding outfit. Another occasion which is an area of implementation of modern garter is the high school proms. American girls wear garters to high school proms as a tribute to tradition and also because it is fun.