Our job titles go “God, Tyrant, Ninja, Minion”. Minion is our temps, though we have a lovely regular temp called Kate who is brilliant, and we’re just starting to have interns at the warehouse, though on balance they may not get asked to pick orders until they’ve been around a while. Kate wrote this last time she was in and I think it needs to be immortalised!
“I am handed an order sheet and asked to find the items listed. On this list it says “Van Doren 6-strap suspender belt” and “Van Doren Pull-on suspender belt”. I search the shelves for these items and finally locate a “6-strap boned suspender belt” and a “roll-on girdle”. They seem to fit the bill, so I place them in the box to be packed and shipped. Half an hour later I’m told by the lovely Jo (Ed; Jo is graded Ninja!) that I’ve picked the wrong things. So I embark upon a self-motivated education programme to teach myself about the complexities of hosiery support garments in their many guises.
It turns out to be a surprisingly complicated subject. Further complicated by the fact that the name given to items on the website, in the shop, and by other retailers who sell our products, do not always match the names written on the item itself, even though they mean the same thing.
I’ve created an album of pictures of several products that are reasonably easy to confuse. I wish I could find a way of setting up a little game for you all using these photos. Can you match the product in its packaging to the product as it appears laid out on the desk? This exercise has given me a far greater understanding of what our customers actually mean when they ask for a particular product, and I hope that I’ll not make any further picking errors through lack of knowledge of the products!
Disclaimer: No pants were harmed in the making of this album.”
Welcome to our standard packaging in the UK. Pretty much all brands package their stuff in clear bags like this , with a label. Much more expensive brands sometimes do boxes as well. It takes forever to put things neatly in bags, but it makes them easy to count, pick and sort and protects them from dust and accidents. Our stock made in other countries is roughly the same, but the labels, font, text and position of the labels varies. Our UK factory tends to put on the labels what they call the garments, which isn;t always what we call them, or how other people think of them.
Since Kate took this we added two knickers and a bralet to these ranges, which isn’t helping AT ALL
Most of the continuity lines are actually sold to other retailers – they tend to come in and walk straight out of the door again. Joanna’s Wardrobe, Lovehoney, and Girdlebound are good places to check for them. They are all sized S-XL. All of the gartered items come with at least 6 metal clips, because metal clips is what makes stockings stay up! Just say no to plastic!
This is actually my favourite – it’s cut higher at the front which is helpful for, um, going to the loo, basically, and because I’m short, i can pull it up higher so that I can wear even very long stockings (and cover my squishy natural waist). Its also only mildly controlling and has no hooks and eyes, which is nice if you have problems with pain. Hopefully most of you don’t!
You can see our tags and labels in there too. Sometimes if we run out and we’re in a rush, garments come out without these, but its very rare now as we order them in batches of 3000. One of my jobs this year is to make our UK size labels be as helpful as possible since to save costs when we first started there, we used the same labels as them, and they size by hip measurement.
Multistrap suspenders always remind me a bit of deep sea creatures, but this ones made from an opaque fabric used for dancewear and swimwear, so it’s got way more flexibility of fit than the average jellyfish. You should probably check in case it’s a mimic octopus though, you just never know with those things. We sell more of these in the larger sizes, which I think is maybe a ratio of straps to thighs thing?
We never do more than 8 straps, but there’s a brand that specialises in multi strap retro belts, Nylon Dreams, who I totally recommend if that’s your thing. You can see ours has a nice deep wide fastening at the back so you get even more give in the fit.
Our Uk made belts are the exact same pattern we used when we made them in China when we started, but the fabric is a heavier weight, which means though they measure the exact same, they won’t stretch as much – the ones from China were so stretchy we could put an XL round someone who normally wore a UK dress size 24.
There’s also the 6 strap version of this, not shown, which is basically identical but with less straps! its probably the best selling product, ahead of the Vargas longline by a nose.
This is sheer, with a double layer in the centre, made from powernet, and its fairly slender compared to the 6 and 8 straps. The more fashion oriented hosiery sites tend to prefer this to the deep one, as it’s a bit sexier to their minds, I think, though it actually does more of a shapewear job. It’s also good if you’re short!
We do it in Ivory regularly and sometimes in limited edition colours too.
Deeper again, but sheer, its not powernet so not so much on the shaping front, but if like me you hate hooks and eyes, it’s the way to go, and the curvy arches are very pretty. We actually made these for a particular customer, but we might put them in regularly as people seem to like them.
Probably our most popular thing ever, powernet, double layer on your tummy, nice high cut at the rear, elastic on the waist to pull you in more there . . . if you’ve ever seen an image of me its probably not surprising to learn that like pretty much everything else on here, you can have a bum that is a dress size or two larger than your waist and this still works. I’d always go with waist size to choose your best fit for all of these garments, not hips. Big cute bows on this one,though I have to confess that it’s a tad long on my petite frame, not that that stops me from wearing it. Occasionally, people decide they don’t like the placement of the garter tabs, as continental European fashion tends to put them closer in to the centre than we can or do on this garment. Mostly though people buy it and take pictures of it and wear it until it falls apart from overuse!
For those days when you need to get your big girl knickers on. Why does it come up so far? Well, if you’re anything like me, high waist knickers hit you right on the point whre you can get a bit of spill over, so, ours go up higher. They are also made for people with roundy rears, and the unusual cut on the legs helps give a leg lengthening illusion.
So that’s all our regular girdles and suspenders, and what the sometimes baffling differences are! Which is your favourite and why?