The women working in the factory c. 1940


For those women that could not afford the likes of Spirella and Spencer, and perhaps wanted something a little more 'traditional', the English firm of Twilfit provided the answer. It still does today but in a greatly reduced form. Twilfit is yet another corsetry enterprise that lasted for close to a century. Regard the catalogue from 1936, this was Twilfit at its best providing corsets, belts (girdles) and some waist nippers of an almost Victorian style.



It seems that Twilfit invested heavily in in the beautiful art-work of their brochures, leaving less money for the poor models whose expressions are less than encouraging. The women on the left appear totally fed up with their complex foundations, some looking as though they would rather be anywhere except in front of the photographer's lens. The pair on the right could well be daughter and mother, the daughter looking disagreeable since she has to wear this old-fashioned contraption, and the mother looking glum since it is apparent that her bust has sagged with the years.


Twilfit used the term 'combinaire' to describe a long-line brassiere, almost a basque that incorporated two front suspenders.


Along with many of their peers, Twilfit marketed a range of rubber foundations as one can see from the D.H. Evans Catalogue of 1936.


Did women really wear these rubber corselettes and rubber corsets? Indeed they did. My aunt was a devotee of the Dutch equivalent and plenty of British matrons greeted their friends in a waft of perfume disguising (but not quite) the slightly pungent odour of their foundations!

That these garments still have a strong following in Latin America, a warm place, mystifies me!


At least in the 1930's, the advertising illustrated the age of the market audience. In the 1960's and 70's, the age group of the target audience appears to have dropped by several decades. I am only commenting on the marketing strategy here, not the quality of these excellent products.




By the 1960's, and still calling a girdle a belt, these pictures reveal the dichotomy in Twilfit's advertising. Desperate to attract new clientele, younger models appeared and yet it was to the older woman that the corsets and rubber corselettes were aimed. Almost every old corset shop that went out of business in the 1980's onwards has a shelf of Twilfit corsets in the unpopular sizes still unsold.


The young lovely on the left, parts her lips seductively, or is she gasping for air in her overtight guÍpiŤre? The two images on the right show that Twilfit catered for the fashionable and not just the matronly (above). For those of you who are corselette spotters, the strapless confection above is a model 05559. 

Having tried to persuade the younger generation to adopt the girdle that was dying out in the mid-1960s, they had a renewed attempt with the pantie-girdle in 1968.



The Twilfit Intrigue of 1968 was still intriguing our model, Victoria in 2014


The famous 'cathedral brassiere' was loved and hated by all women who have decided to wear a strapless evening gown. Unless the brassiere is very well fitted, the entire evening could be ruined by the fear that on standing up from the table, the brassiere might not! I've seen this happen and the mortified expression on the face of the poor woman. There's two options when this happens:- hide your breasts beneath a napkin and pass it off as a joke, or run screaming out of the room in a flood of tears. Our acquaintance chose the latter!

Regard one of Twilfit's classiest offerings, the Joycet girdle with its beautiful embroidered front satin panel.



Twilfit made some really stylish girdles, or should I say 'belt'. Twilfit was coyer than most about calling a girdle a girdle.