Girdle thumbnail 1
Girdle thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A


1960s (made)
Place of origin

Girdle of nylon and Lycra.

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watch Shaping the body: from corsets to bullet-bras Eleri Lynn, author of the V&A book 'Underwear: Fashion in Detail', tells the story of shape-wear: from the steel and whalebone engineering of Victorian and Edwardian corsetry, to the breast-flattening bandeau bras worn by 1920s flappers, the bullet-bras of the 1950s, the arrival of Lycra i...

Object details

Object type
Materials and techniques
Nylon and Lycra
Brief description
Girdle, nylon and Lycra, Great Britain, 1960s.
Physical description
Girdle of nylon and Lycra.
  • Waist circumference: 52.5cm (unstretched) (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Lower hip circumference: 63cm (unstretched) (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Waist hem (front) length: 21.5cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Waist hem (back) length: 29cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
Gallery label
  • 'Xhilarating!' The 'Little X' girdle, designed by Anne-Marie Lobbenberg for Silhouette in 1958, proved very popular with young women. The all-elastic girlde provided light control and two-way stretch. Advertisements for the girdle focused on its functionality and the freedom of movement it allowed, promising that it, 'Won't wrinkle, roll over or ride up'. The corset incorporates Lycra, which is a brand name for elastane (spandex), a synthetic stretch fibre produced from polyurethane. Lycra became available in 1959. Girdle, 'Little X' Silhouette (Salop) Ltd. Britain, Shropshire, early 1960s LYCRA, nylon, lurex trim with metal suspender clips V&A: T.291-1993 (16/04/2016-12/03/2017)
  • Before the mid-1950s, rubber and latex girdles only stretched horizontally and constantly rode up. The 'Little X' was one of the first garments to incorporate Lycra, introduced in 1959. Lycra is the brand name for elastane (spandex). It is a completely synthetic, multi-directional stretch fabric, three times more powerful than previous elastics with twice the recovery power. It became increasingly popular throughout the 1960s and is the staple underwear textile today. 'Little X' girdle Silhouette Britain, early 1960s Lycra and nylon, lurex trim, with metal suspender clasps V&A: T.291-1993(2013-2015)
Object history
Purchased. Registered File number 1993/916.
Accession number

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL
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