I’m focusing on the ladies in this piece, as my blog is geared towards women, but I might do a piece on men’s foundation garments at some point.
Foundation garments are a subject not often addressed in the fashion blogs (both Goth and non-goth) that I read, but something that is quintessentially important for your outfit. Without a proper fitting foundation, clothes will not sit properly and will not hold their shape. This is especially true of more shapeless pieces, those that do not have tailored fit or that are not cut for specific body types.
Technically speaking, foundation garments are meant to alter your shape so it looks more fashionable, but I say it goes beyond this. Foundation garments are the base upon which you build your outfit, even if you aren’t substantially altering your shape. Foundation garments do not technically include push up bras and the like, but for purposes of this piece I’m including them in this post.
Foundation garments include (but are not limited to): bras, stockings, garter belts, control top stockings, tummy control or shaping garments (like spanx, tummy smoothers, etc), underwear, or slips. For more vintage or Victorian designs, you can add things like proper bloomers, corsets meant to be worn as underwear, crinolines, panniers, etc. There is a reason professional costumers focus on correct under garments! They can really make or break an outfit. Corsets additionally require liners or camisoles underneath to protect them from your body sweat and oils as well as protect you from chaffing.