Wanting to look smooth and shapely under your clothing is nothing new, despite the current pervasiveness of Spanx and other modern shapewear. This Perfolastic Girdle ad is from the January 1934 issue of Picture Play magazine. 1930s fashions were more sleek and form-fitting than the relative bagginess of 1920s Flapper styles, so a proper foundation garment was definitely in order.
Not only did the Perfolastic perform as a girdle (and as an ‘uplifting bandeau’ and garter belt), it promised to reduce your waist and hips 3 inches in 10 days – without diet, drugs or exercise – or it won’t cost you a cent. How did the Perfolastic do this? Apparently with every body movement the girdle gently massages away the surplus fat, stimulating the body once more into energetic health. Goodness, sign me up!
Made of perforated rubber, it was ‘ventilated’ and had a satinized fabric lining. It was supposed to keep your body cool and fresh at all times. And a special adjustable back allowed for perfect fit as inches disappeared.
In reality, it’s really not all that different from Spanx. Maybe the materials used, but certainly not the format. I, for one, always feel completely restricted, stifled, and uncomfortable in Spanx – so I’m sure the Perfolastic girdle would have felt pretty much the same!