As with many items of the past, when one item hit the market, such as lingerie, and was a hit, then it was no time at all till that item was improved to make an even better item.
In the 1960's women suddenly did not need a garter belt as the new, convenient, and inexpensive mass produced pantyhose that appeared to be the answer to their question of why can we not have a one piece garter belt with stockings attached. The answer was the pantyhose, which took off on a meteoric rise to popularity and it was no wonder. While the garter belt did work well it, it often left traces of its presence, especially under tight skirts and with the invention of the mini skirt the use of a garter belt and stockings was simply unsightly and cumbersome.
The pantyhose quickly replaced the garter belt as a garment that was very easy to use and was unadorned with snaps or clasps or anything else for that matter. All women had to do was to decide if they were going to wear panties and if so were they going to wear them on the outside or the inside of the pantyhose. While the garter belt never disappeared totally, the market was quickly drying up as the fashions of that day were unforgiving in light of no visible panty-lines and any other lines for that matter. Furthermore, the pantyhose made enormous advancements in the market as women abandoned wearing garter belts altogether.
Of course, the market has seen a resurgence thanks in part to one of those unexpected series of events that have contributed to an interest in the sexy lingerie item. While the pantyhose was and likely will always be a fashion staple due to its availability, price, and ease of use there is a missing link in the market for garter belts and stockings. Pantyhose sales have seen a decline due in large part to how hot it is to wear them, and many women simply preferr to wear no stockings, particularly in warm months.
Furthermore, while in the past not wearing stockings or pantyhose was somewhat forbidden, the culture of fashion has changed dramatically and naked legs are appropriate in most cases and places. This, in and of itself would be insufficient to lead to a resurgence in the popularity of garter belts. The interest in the retro and pinup girl look was made so famous by Betty Page and many others as well as with the return of burlesque, which led many women of all ages to take another look at garter belts. The popular media is to thank in large part for the garter belt making a comeback, although it is very unlikely the garter belt and stocking combination will ever return to its former glory.
Many baby boomers recall their mothers or grandmothers wore them and have been exposed to images of the pin up models of the 40's and 50's. Also, many porn stars wear them as they are very suggestive and you are not wearing any clothing with a garter belt on as they provide virtually no coverage. Popular figures in movies and music have worn them as part of theatrical costumes and a whole new generation has been exposed to garter belts in a brand new manner.
Today, most garter belts have a spandex and Lycra blend that makes them stretch to fit and are virtually invisible under even the snuggest sexy mini skirt. Well, sexy is sexy and many women will wear a short mini skirt with sexy stockings and a sexy thigh is exposed for the world to see. The days of showing legs, thighs, and cheeks are here and while not necessarily in good taste, many trends have begun with things that were not in good taste.