What is the Difference Between a Garter and a Garter Belt?

difference between garter and garter belt

I often hear people mix up the terms "garter" and "garter belt." There is a subtle, but distinct difference between the two, so I thought I'd explain the difference between a wedding garter and a garter belt. Sometimes a garter can be called a wedding garter or bridal garter. These terms are used interchangeably and refer to the same thing – just a garter.

In my next garter 101 blog advice series, I'm going to tell you, hopefully once and for all, the difference between a garter and a garter belt. These are confusing terms, I totally get it!

But, it is important to know the difference, because if you go to a store or a bridal shop and ask for a garter belt, you might get something totally different than if you go to a lingerie shop asking for a wedding garter! This is about knowing what to ask for in the right location!

What Is A Garter Belt?

First off, a garter belt. A garter belt is a piece of lingerie that goes around someone's waist. It is usually made of lace, but not always. The garter belt uses clips or snaps to hold up pantyhose or stockings.

The garter belt started back in the days before elastic when holding up stockings what a lot harder and thus anchoring it around the waist made the most sense. Over time, I think we can all agree that garter belts have grown into a sexy symbol of femininity.

Here are two pictures of a lace garter belt, you can see the beautiful lace band or belt that goes around the waist and the straps that hang down to clasp onto the panty hose. When you wear a garter belt, you need to use panty hose or stockings that don't go all the way up your leg, like thigh high stockings or some other panty hose designed to be worn with a garter belt.

garter-belt-bhldn lace-garter-belt-bhldn

Source: BHLDN

What Is A Garter?

Second, is the garter. (Remember, the garter is also called a wedding garter or a bridal garter. But, for the sake of this blog post, we are just going to call it a garter!)

The garter represents the oldest wedding tradition. It is a small piece of decorated material that is worn around one of the bride's legs during the wedding ceremony and reception. The garter is usually made with elastic so that it holds up while she is walking and dance. 

Often times, the couple will participate in the wedding garter toss tradition in which the garter is removed and thrown to guests as a sign of good luck.

Tossed or not, the wedding garter is as a small little expression of a couple's big day and it is a keepsake meant to be cherished and passed on through generations. The wedding garter is an heirloom for the bride!

Here are a few pictures of a garter being worn by a bride.

difference between garter and garter beltwhat is difference between garter and garter belt

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So, there you have it…the difference (according to me) between a garter belt and a wedding garter!

Remember, you can shop for bluevintageclassic and modern garter heirlooms anytime in my garter shop or get in touch with me at info@thegartergirl.com for information on custom designing a garter just for you!

If you have any more garter questions, check out my garter 101 blog series or find all of my wedding planning advice here on my blog.