Guard Your Lingerie!

Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks
Guard Your Lingerie!

We’ve all had a blouse or dress whose neckline simply wouldn’t stay in place. Every time it shifts, your bra straps peek out, causing embarrassment and awkwardness. What can be done? Well, you can try safety-pinning the straps to your shoulder’s seam allowance, but this can leave holes in delicate fabrics.

A better solution is to install lingerie guards. This is a time-honored technique used in vintage fashions and couture garments.

What if you don’t have time to sew lingerie guards in place? For a temporary measure, try this simple trick: take two Band-Aids® (sticking plasters in the UK) and place one over each bra strap to hold it in place. The strap should lie over the Band-Aid’s pad, and the sticky flaps should secure it to your blouse. Or, you can stick it to your shoulder. This is a very short-term solution, however. The Band-Aids may not stick to all fabrics—and they may come loose, so use them with caution and replace, if necessary, throughout the evening.


Temporary Lingerie Guards

The permanent solution is to sew ribbons or twill tape to the shoulder seam of your dress. Find a ribbon (or tape) that coordinates with your fabric and cut it about two inches long. Fold the raw edges under twice by 1/4″ and stitch them down by hand using tiny back-stitches. One one side only, sew a snap near the edge.

Try your dress on and find where the bra straps need to be anchored to prevent them from showing. It should be along the shoulder seam, and if possible, at least an inch from the neckline edge. Mark the spot.

By hand, sew one edge of the ribbon to the seam allowance of your shoulder seam. The edge with the snap is left free. Smooth the ribbon flat against the seam and mark where the edge is, then sew the other half of your snap there.

Lingerie Guard

Lingerie Guard

Side View

Side View of Lingerie Guard

When you wear the dress or blouse, put it on as usual. Then slide the ribbon under your bra strap, against your skin, and snap it in place.


Do you wear lingerie guards in your blouses? Did you install them yourself? What has your experience with them been?

About Lisha Vidler

I am a sewing instructor living near Memphis, Tennessee.
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