Liles Co. Memories

Early memories formed such lasting impressions for me. When I was three years old Mother gave me my doll, Lucy Jane, and I wanted so much to grow up and look like the ladies in my home town.

Mother would take me to the Liles Company when she did her shopping, What little girl wouldn’t enjoy standing at the dressing room curtain, watching as Rosa Pasely fitted the women in their girdles and bras? I stood there clutching my doll, Lucy Jane, wanting so much to be like those ladies. Even today, my selection in bras reflects my lasting impressions from the days with the women of my home town,

Gossard girdles and Warner's brassieres were popular with the local women. Rosa Pasely personally hand-fitted each customer's bra and girdle.

As the customer leaned over, pendulous flesh dangled from the chest wall waiting to be cupped into a brassiere and supported.

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As Branice stepped down West Wade Street on her Historic Homes tour, she all-at-once came upon the Liles Co. store that she had remembered as a preschooler going shopping with her mother. With no hesitation, she turned to go inside. As she stepped her high heel onto the entrance step, the men on the sidewalk noticed the back slit of her skirt which spread to reveal a flash of lace on her slip.

As Branice opened the door and entered Liles Co., she could hardly believe it. Almost nothing had changed in the store from the way she had remembered it. Branice immediately climbed the stairs to the intimate-wear mezzanine. She could hear the voices of Rosa Pasely and Miss Lucille in the dressing rooms fitting their customers with bras and girdles. After a short wait, Rosa Paisley was helping Branice, showing her bras and girdles that Rosa had taken from shelves behind the counter.

“Would you like to try on this girdle?,” Rosa asked. “It's hard for a woman to know she will have a good fit unless she takes the time to try on a girdle.”

Moments later, Branice was in a fitting room with Rosa Paisley helping her pull up a new girdle. And it was a lovely open-bottom girdle, one of those nude- or tearose-color girdles so typical of the 1940's, fashioned with a boned satin front-panel, featuring a large V-gore of ribbed elasticSide panels, also of ribbed elastic, extended down the entire length of the garment joined the front and back satin panels for a disciplined treatment of matronly hips. Hook and eye fasteners along the length of the side-zipper coaxed bulging flesh behind the boned satin panel, to be firmly zipped into a smooth vision of loveliness.