As I’m sure is evident by now, I love mid to late 19th Century/Early to mid 20th Century fashion. Back then the fabrics were of stellar quality, details on garments were second to none and commanded a grand elegance that most of our clothes today (even the most luxurious) lack.
I’ve always loved the hourglass silhouettes created by CORSETS. I remember being 9/10 years old, watching “style with Elsa Klensch” on CNN (as opposed to playing with Barbie dolls), and seeing so many gorgeous re-creations of this era of fashion. My love for and journey with corsets began then. I soon discovered that they were once a symbol of status. It is believed that In the 1830s when corsets were in vogue, working class women did not go through the discomfort of wearing tight laced corsets because they needed loose garments to carry out their activities. The higher the class of the lady, the heavier the corset and the more confining it was. This was because a lady of wealth did not need freedom of movement for household duties.
The word ‘corset’ actually originates from the Latin ‘corpus’ which itself means body. ‘Corset’ came into use in English when in 1785, The Ladies Magazine coined the term to describe a “quilted waistcoat” called ‘un corset’ in French: fascinating, isn’t it!?
Here are a few verisimilitudes I’ve personally experienced with my tailor-made corsets which mirror the 1880s style/model:
They give the straightest, most graceful posture!
So much so that the arch in my back NEVER touches the back of my chair
If made bespoke to suit your figure, they are actually quite comfortable, contrary to myth
YES you can breath properly in them
Overtime they reduce the circumference of the waist.
They restrict movement, e.g. when in one I struggle to pick objects and slouching is NOT an option
When loosen, the first “free” breath is magnificent. Its called “an out of bodice experience”.
Here’s a timeline that shows how this stunning piece has evolved over time
If you own any great corsets that you’d be happy to show – send in photos of your ensembles to be displayed on VIEWERS’ SHOWROOM: firstname.lastname@example.org