4 Types of Garter Belts

Garter Belt and Lingerie
Getty Images/Jim Jordan Photography/The Image Bank
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Wide Garter Belts

Maison Close Garter Belts
Maison Close

Garter belts come in all shapes and styles. The essential part that all garter belts have in common is the straps which attach to your thigh-high stockings.

In the example seen here, both from Maison Close, the two garter belt styles are wider than others. The wider belt is a feature that some women might find more comfortable to wear, as it lays smoother and tends to stay in place more than slimmer styles. 

Wide garter belts may be made of lace, satin, cotton, mesh, or any other lingerie material. They might hook in the back with adjustable hooks and eyes, or they may slip on over the hips. They can also contain flexible boning or elastic to maintain their shape and provide a good fit. Like any garter belt, they usually have four or more straps to with hooks to attach to your thigh high stockings

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Minimalist Garer Belts

'5 Garter Belts,' styles three, four and five. Photos © Journelle.com

Sometimes a garter belt can be just a simple belt. A thin belt-like piece of lace, elastic, or other lingerie material will fasten around your waist or hips, and attach to four or more garter straps. Often, a minimal style like this will also have a wider piece of fabric where the belt attaches to the lace, but it's not totally necessary. 

The one seen here on the left was a previous style from Mimi Holliday. The belt is thin, but the ruched details give it some texture.

The two garter belts shown above on the right showcase the most typical garter belt style - not too narrow, and not too wide. One is designed to be worn just below your waist, and the other is a low-rise style that sits lower on your hips. Depending on your body shape, outfit, and personal comfort, you can adjust your garter belt to fit where you like. When purchasing one, keep in mind that some are specifically designed to be worn in one area or the other on the body.

The pretty blush-colored garter belt is made from luxurious silk, with sexy sheer lace sides. This is a low-rise style, by Else at Journelle. The black lace garter belt shown above is by Hanky Panky at Journelle. It's designed to sit just below your waistline.

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Detachable Straps

Oh La La Cheri detachable gaters
Bare Necessities/Oh La La Cheri

A popular feature for modern garter straps is to attach them to a panty, bodysuit, longline bustier, or another lingerie item. In many cases, the straps are engineered to be easily detachable, so that the wearer can wear the lingerie garment with or without the straps. This type of garter-belt-underwear has four or more removable straps. This is great for women who want to change up their look with thigh high stockings on some days and go without hosiery on others. When the straps are attached to underwear, it is a useful feature because you don't need to buy, or wear, a separate garter belt when you want to wear thigh-high stockings. Just wear this underwear, attach the straps, pull up your stockings - and you're ready to go. Many designers offer this useful and stylish option, including ​Oh La La Cheri as seen above.

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Shaping Garter Belts or Girdles

Pin Up Girl Clothing Girdle Garter Belts
Pin Up Girl Clothing

Some retro brands, like those found at an online retailer, Pin Up Girl Clothing, combine shapewear or a girdle with a garter belt. These are perfect for the woman who is looking to shape her silhouette around the waist, hips, and thighs, and wear thigh high stockings. Often, wearing shapewear with a garter belt over it is too much, so a combination style is a great compromise.​​​