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There's just something special about a classic cocktail.  

Beer is great, wine is lovely, but a cocktail. . . it just hits different.  

We dress up when we drink cocktails, we "Get Ready".  They make us feel like James Bond, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe.  They make us think of elegantly and dimly lit rooms that feel nothing like home.

When we go out for cocktails, we're a little bit different.  We're a sexier, wittier, more elegant version of ourselves. 

And you know what. . . that's why we need them right now.  

To bring some of  that "out-on-the town" feeling into our living room

and,  just for a moment,  to feel f*cking fabulous. 

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Now, for me, some drinks make me feel dramatic and diva-like, while others make me feel summery and young and fun.  Juice mixers and syrup drinks are yummy, but I associate them more with a picnic than with feeling like the sexiest, coolest woman in the room.

So for this article, I'm going to be talking about the classics.  Those cocktails that are straight out of the old movies, where you can't help but lift a single eyebrow as you sip.

I'll give the easiest, purest form of the recipe, I'll tell you where to find the liquor, and I'll give a couple ideas for bar snacks. 

Here we go!

The Gin Martini

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5cl Gin

2cl Dry Vermouth

stir over some ice

for 5-10 seconds

pour into a chilled martini glass

Garnish

Green Olive 

or

Lemon Peel

or 

Pickled Onion

But what about. . .

the Dirty Martini?

With the olive garnish,  just add a small spoonful of the olive brine to your mixing glass before you stir it!

the Gibson?

With the pickled onion garnish,  just add a small spoonful of the onion brine to your mixing glass before you stir it!

At the end, I'll tell you all the details of what I think makes a good garter belt.  For now, let me tell you what makes garter belts so great to wear.

1.

With a garter belt, you aren't limited to buying just stockings.   

You can buy ANY pair of tights that you like, and just . . . cut the legs off . . .

no sewing required. 

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And since you don't have to worry about the waistband or length, it doesn't even matter if the tights are exactly your size.

Tights become much more cost-effective when you wear them as cut-off stockings, because if one leg wears out before the other, you don't have to throw them both away. 

2.

Garter belts are completely size adjustable. 

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They fasten with hooks, just like a bra, so you can loosen or tighten them depending on how your body is feeling that day.

They also leave the sweatiest part of your body free to breathe, which is great in the summer, and every time you have your "time of the month".

3.

It's SO much easier to go to the bathroom.  

With nothing but the suspenders along the sides of your legs, whatever point your stockings attach to your garter belt is how much room you have to pull down your panties.

 

No more wrestling with control top tights and then trying to pull them back up without making a run. 

4.

With a garter belt, stockings last MUCH longer.
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The stocking doesn't have to deal with the friction of walking and rubbing between the thighs, so they are under less stress, and simply don't wear out as fast.

 

You also don't have to worry about the stocking stretching out or bagging, since you can simply tighten up the fastening until you decide to get new stockings.  

5.

When it gets cold out, you can easily wear two layers of stockings without any additional pressure or thickness around your belly,

And if you want to get creative  - it's easy to mix and match!

What makes a good garter belt

 

We're really looking at just a few important factors.

1 -  Is it comfortable?

2 - Does it stay in place and do its job?

3 - Do you like the way it looks?

Strip of elastic around the waist

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I find these to be more decorative than supportive.

Unless the stockings are able to stay up on their own, this style of belt will sag over the course of the day.

This is because the only support is coming from the tightness of the waistband, rather than any kind of fit or shaping.

Elastic support around the hips

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This style is great for daily wear.  They are comfortable, practical and effective.

Support comes from the fit of the garter belt around the hips, rather than simply from tightness around the waist.

This also allows the material to be thinner and more delicate, making it almost invisible under the clothing.

While satin style garter belts provide great coverage and a smooth line, I find them slightly sweaty,

My preference is for super lightweight, smooth lace or mesh. 

Control-top support around the midriff and thighs

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These are great if you're going for a very smooth look or wearing a pencil skirt.

They're a bit more 'present' than I like, since I prefer to forget about the garter belt altogether, but they certainly provide more support around the waist, without constricting annoyingly around the crotch.