After the end of World War II women's fashion took a glamorous turn. Whether it was an evening out or a trip to the grocery store, after years of practicality, women were ready to dress up and celebrate their feminity.
One of the most popular looks for the 1950's featured a full skirt, tiny waist and an emphasis on womanly curves. It was a look that showcased what was then seen as the ideal female body.
This ideal body was described with these words:
The largest part of the bust should equal the largest part of the hips and the waist should be ten inches smaller than either.
An example of this ideal would be Marilyn Monroe's body measurements: 36-22-36, numbers that made her a perfect hourglass shape!
Most women needed help in order to achieve this type of measurement, and they found that in a secret weapon - foundation garments. Using girdles, corsettes and bustierres, the 1950's woman could smooth, cinch and boost her body into her desired fashion sihouette. The right lingerie had the ability to help a woman achieve that elusive 10" difference between bust, waist and hips, making these garments an essential part of every woman's wardrobe.