Mid Section Sag and The Mid Century Man

vvintage illustration man measuring his waist How to Win the Batle of the Bulge

A perennial favorite for many New Year resolution makers is to lose weight and get in shape.

For men a flat belly has always been a manly badge of honor.

But why work a sweat to sculpt your abs?

For the mid-century man, washboard abs  were a snap. Hundreds  of boring crunches? Fuhgettaboutit!

Busting a beer belly was as  easy as slipping on a something called the Bracer or any of the other dozens of men’s under garments guaranteed to get rid of mid section sag.

And talk about strengthening your core. These babies  promised to prevent back pain and increase flexibility all without breaking a sweat or going to a gym.


vintage illustration men in slimming underwear before and after

Gals you see, weren’t the only ones wriggling into a lastex rubber girdle to tame their tummies.

You can bet Ward Cleaver the godfather of the Dad Bod wasn’t packing a six-pack under that boxy Robert Hall suit and tie, but he might very well have been secretly wearing a MASCULINER garment  to keep his manly physique pleasing to his wasp-waisted wife June.

A Guy and His Girdle

vintage ad illustration man physique in underwear

Vintage advertisement The Bracer

At the stroke of midnight as the final chorus of Auld Lang Syne was being played by Guy Lombard at the Roosevelt Hotel, Gus Harris indulged in his final forkful of Baked Alaska for 1948.

Washing it down with some Taylor pink champagne he resolved that this was the year to do something about his ever-growing waistline, which he joked was expanding as rapidly as the Russians were over Eastern Europe!

New Year New You

January 1 was the perfect time to take stock of such things.

Gus knew he was suffering from mid section sag; it was, he knew spoiling his appearance and making him look old.

On top of which even at 39 Gus seemed to have had lost his drive and his pep. How many New Years Eve dances had he had to sit out with Babs because  his back ached and he was always so tired.

“Don’t let a pre-mature spare tire make you look old!” the  articles explained.  “Many a hard working man develops a pot and looks old before his time. Not because he’s truly fat or because of middle age. The reason is his back and stomach muscles are constantly strained and tired and no longer support him properly.”

For the New Year Gus was resolved to do something about it.

There came a time in every mid century mans life life when taking a steam at the club or a vigorous rubdown was no longer suffice to keep his once trim, athletic figure.

It was time to take action


Vintage advertisement The Bracer mens physique

Vintage advertisement The Bracer


That’s when he sat up and took notice of the  ads in his men’s magazine that seemed to speak right to him.


vintage ad The Bracer Mens slimming garment

The Bracer brings you 4 exclusive features for comfort and convenience” Vintage ad The Bracer 1940

“If you’re starting to age before your time – if your stomach sags and an aching back steals your pep – then you’re a victim of “mid section sag!” but don’t let it bother you! It’s easy to keep that youthful athletic look- easy to regain your old-time energy and drive. Just Brace up with the Bracer!


Vintage ad for mens slimming underwear The Bracer

“An exclusive Bauer & Black product this amazing supporter belt is scientifically designed to support sagging stomach muscles helps improve faulty posture.” Vintage ad The Bracer

It’s easy to regain your youthful energy and drive- easy to get that trim athletic appearances. Just Brace up with the Bracer and see what a difference it makes! You’ll be amazed how much better you look – how much younger you feel.


vintage ad Mens slimming garment

“This summer have more pep- more drive more fun! Avoid Mid Section Sag that spoils your looks and steals your energy.” Vintage ad Bracer

Now braced up with a Bracer, Gus regained his youthful trim appearance… and he and Babs could dance the night away.

Winning the Battle of the Bulge

Once GI Joe returned from the war, he got soft.

Flush from success on the battlefield, he confronted his own battle of the bulge at home. But coming to his aid was  the scientific Masculiner  to help with their own stomach flattener with the military sounding names like The Cadet and the Sargent to train his stomach muscles into shape.

Vintage weight loss slimming garment for men

“Almost like magic the Masculiner gives you a youthful manly appearance.” Vintage ad 1951 The Masculiner

“Men, don’t look old before your time! Do as thousands do to improve your appearance; get the amazing new stronger MASCULINER. It slims and slicks sagging stomach muscles flat.

YOUR APPEARANCE, YOUR HEALTH and YOUR MORALE are improved immediately! Breathe with ease – no torturous binding. No straining. Walk, sit, stoop, jump, or stretch with AMAZING Comfort.

The MASCULINER is the all new AMAZING scientifically engineered stomach flattener that gives you the slender, YOUNGER  APPEARANCE men prize. Without annoying buckles, straps, or laces you appear INCHES TALLER ..POUNDS SLIMMER!

No other men’s belt at any price can give you better support can make you look feel better or appear slimmer and younger.

Bye Bye Bay Windows

By the 1950s with the spread of suburbia men’s growing middle age spread, the battle of the bulge took on more domestic homey analogy  referring to that spare tire as a Bay Window.

Vintage ad for mens slimming garment

1956 Magic Mold “Good-by to tummy bulge Reduce your appearance instantly! Vintage ad

In seconds get rid of your ugly “Bay Window” appearance that makes people call you “old timer” and gives you that tired dragged down feeling. Now, when you wear the amazing Cadet you’ll appear more youthful your clothes will fit again.

Slim For Health

vintage ad man in underwear smoking a pipe

Light up and improve your health while you improve your looks. 1960 Slim for Health Piper Brace Co.

Improve your health while you improve your looks.  New SLIM-R Belt with modern scientific “lift and ease” design carries the extra load of your “bay window” slims your waist by inches actually makes you look taller.

A Gay New Year


vintage ad illustration man in slimming underwear

“Gives you the Masculine lines that women admire and men dream about!”

 © Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



  1. Micki Allen

    Those unseemly bay windows are as pesky as the Russians. Thank you, Ms. Edelstein, for making my NYR to read more Envisioning the American Dream a true delight!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Micki, a fine New Years resolution on your part and a lot more obtainable than “whitlin’ ones waist! Happy New Year to you!


  3. I have definitely made a New Year’s Resolution to gain weight. I decided I needed a spare tire so I can float when the Titanic sinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Gut Buster – Michael Wells at Kingston

  5. LivingMCM

    I am a mid-century man (seriously, I try to live my everyday life as if it was 60 years ago as much as I reasonably can, and sometimes unreasonably so!).

    I tried something like this brace/corset when I found myself quite out of shape a few years back. But then I decided that was ridiculous and instead took inspiration from the muscular stars of mid-century B-movies such as Steve Reeves, Gordon Scott and Reg Park, and started a vigorous exercise routine with appropriate nutritional changes. And that worked out MUCH better than the corset!


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