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13 Things That Happened When I Wore '60s Clothes For A Day

I fell in love with my full-body bra, for one thing.

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"How hard could it be?" —A thing I idiotically said before starting this.

I've watched Masters of Sex for the past two seasons, and seen most, if not all, of the stars in their skivvies. Which got me to thinking: What's it like to wear a girdle, and '60s clothes, and bras that cover most of your body?

So, I decided to find out, and went to the Masters of Sex set. They put me in full '60s garb — from the girdle to the hair — so I could see what it's like not only to be an actress on a show set in this period, but to see what our grandmothers went through, in general.

Here's what I learned:


1. OK, I’m just going to say it: People in the ’60s had higher-quality clothes.

Please see me on the left in clothes from the present, dressed in something I'd wear on any typical day — cotton long-sleeved shirt, trousers, and flats. Then behold the '60s version of me.

There are clear differences here, aside from the fancy ones. For starters, my '60s pants are made from satin. I'd spill food on those within five minutes and spend the rest of the day sobbing from shame. The yellow cardigan is heavier material than probably anything I own, and the kitten heels made me feel like a boss. I was told this was "casual wear." Yeah, OK.

2. This '60s bra held my ta-tas better than any modern bra.

Erin La Rosa for BuzzFeed

Behold! Three extra inches of boobage, care of the pointiest and largest thing I've ever worn. It went all the way down to my belly button, and clasped in the back, like a corset.

Admittedly, though, that bra held my goods up SUPER well. Like, there was no chance of them moving or bouncing. Which made me think, maybe I need this bra IRL...?

3. The girdle, though, was like wearing three pairs of Spanx at once, and I wanted to die a bit.

On the show, girdles look sexy AF — so I was super excited to try one on. Except, I literally couldn't get mine over my bum. The costume designer had to help me yank it up, and I was breathing so heavily that they decided I needed a size up.

Turns out, the size up was still not much better. It was so tight. But my hips have never looked better, so...worth it...?


4. The makeup process was intense and made me look a lot older.

This is the part I was really excited for. I’m not great with makeup — I know what concealer and blush are, but have seriously injured myself trying to apply eyeliner — so I wanted an expert to show me my full potential.

There was a '60s cat eye, heavy shadow, and some kind of brightening glitter that made it look like I actually get plenty of sleep every night. I mean, 20 minutes spent on my eyes alone!

I left with false lashes, penciled-in eyebrows, and enough liner to make me nervous of blinking too much. It was amazing. I looked all of my 30 years, if not more!

5. And putting on a wig properly takes a LOT of work, bobby pins, and adjusting.

My layers weren't at all equipped to handle the needs of a '60s do, which is why I was given a wig!

The wig process, in general, was surprising. First, I was essentially hosed down with a water bottle to flatten everything out. It felt nice, actually. Next, my hair was carefully pinned flat against my head with bobby pins, and covered with a stocking cap. The stocking cap was then secured with even more pins. It’s a lot of pins.

6. And yes, people actually wore their hair like this in the '60s, and it required a lot of hairspray.

Me: "Did people actually wear their hair like this? With the bouffant?”

Hair stylist: ”Yeah, why do you think they invented Aquanet?”


7. Hold-up stockings are EXTREMELY tricky to wear.

It's been 30 minutes, and already I've fucked up my stockings. How did our grandmas do this shit?! #MastersofSex

Unlike some of the hold-up stockings you can find today, which don't require pinning, the hold-up, '60s-style stockings I was given had to be pinned to my girdle, making it hard to pee, or walk, or not rip holes in them.

8. If you had wide feet in the '60s, you were basically out of luck.

Warren Feldman / Warren Feldman/SHOWTIME

If your feet are shaped like a box, raise your hand! That's me, too! I wear a size 7 WIDE, which means pointy heels and I tend to not co-exist. I eventually just had to wear a size 8, because while the shoes were enormous, at least they didn't crush my feet.


9. And '60s clothes look wayyyy better on you than they ever do on the hanger.

Warren Feldman / Warren Feldman/SHOWTIME

When I saw this cream striped dress on the hanger, I literally wrote down, "It looks not unlike a fancy burlap sack."

But as I wrote that, the costume designer, Isis Mussenden, told me, "Just wait until you see what happens when you put this on." Did she read my mind?!

When I put the dress on, it still continued to look like a sack, but as soon as it was zipped up...witchcraft happened, and the waist magically cinched in. Witchcraft! (But mostly, good tailoring.)

10. The answer to this question of whether or not you can eat in a girdle...

Omg wait, can I eat with a girdle on or will my organs wither and die under the added pressure?! #MastersofSex #Helpme


11. It feels better to stand than to sit in a girdle.

Like, significantly better. Maybe women in the '60s just never sat. Ever. Also important to note was that the girdle and crop-top bra made me stand straighter, mainly because hunching hurt. Bending hurt. Girdles hurt, y'all.

12. Wearing a girdle, much like wearing Spanx, is insanely painful.

omg omg omg @lolacoaster can see my future! #MastersOfSex

I complained about it a lot at work, as you can see.

And I lasted exactly three hours in the girdle before I had to take it off.

I had to take everything off, actually. After three hours in the girdle, all I wanted to do was sit and let my belly hang in the ways that let me breathe correctly. My stockings had no less than two holes in them, because I'd accidentally tried to scratch my legs with them on. And the wig — held down by over 30 bobby pins — was just giving me the worst headache of my life.

I was in a lot of pain. I have no idea how women did this day in and day out, with girdles, and stockings, and heels, and dressing oh-so-perfectly.

I still feel strongly about the bra though — that '60s bra is everything.

13. Oh, and I also discovered that cats love wigs, or at least mine did.

The key to your cat's heart may be dressing in '60s attire, just a suggestion!


The new season of Masters of Sex premieres July 12 at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.