Corset

Corset

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Corset'
Start a new discussion about 'Corset'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
A corset is a garment worn to hold and shape the torso
Torso
Trunk or torso is an anatomical term for the central part of the many animal bodies from which extend the neck and limbs. The trunk includes the thorax and abdomen.-Major organs:...

 into a desired shape for aesthetic or medical purposes (either for the duration of wearing this item, or with a more lasting effect). Both men and women are known to wear corsets, though women are more common wearers.

In recent years, the term "corset" has also been borrowed by the fashion industry to refer to tops which, to varying degrees, mimic the look of traditional corsets without actually acting as one. While these modern corsets and corset tops often feature lacing and/or boning
Bone (corsetry)
In corsetry, a bone is one of the rigid parts of a corset that forms its frame and gives it rigidity.-Purpose, history and materials:The purpose of the boning in a corset varies slightly from era to era....

 and generally mimic a historical style of corsets, they have very little if any effect on the shape of the wearer's body. Genuine corsets are usually made by a corsetmaker
Corsetmaker
A corsetmaker is a specialist tailor who makes corsets. Corsetmakers are frequently known by the French equivalent terms corsetier and corsetière .Stay-maker is an obsolete name for a corsetmaker...

 and should be fitted to the individual wearer.

Etymology



The word corset is derived from the Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

 word corps and the diminutive of body, which itself derives from corpus - Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for body. The craft of corset construction is known as corsetry
Corsetry
Corsetry is the craft of making corsets and corset-like garments and accessories most of which incorporate stays. It is also a subfield of fashion that deals with those garments and accessories and it is common term used for those garments and accessories...

, as is the general wearing of them. (The word corsetry is sometimes also used as a collective plural form of corset.) Someone who makes corsets is a corsetier or corsetière
Corsetmaker
A corsetmaker is a specialist tailor who makes corsets. Corsetmakers are frequently known by the French equivalent terms corsetier and corsetière .Stay-maker is an obsolete name for a corsetmaker...

 (French terms for a man and for a woman, respectively), or sometimes simply a corsetmaker
Corsetmaker
A corsetmaker is a specialist tailor who makes corsets. Corsetmakers are frequently known by the French equivalent terms corsetier and corsetière .Stay-maker is an obsolete name for a corsetmaker...

.

The word corset came into general use in the English language in 1785. The word was used in The Ladies Magazine to describe a "quilted waistcoat" called un corset by the French. The word was used to differentiate the lighter corset from the heavier stays of the period.

Fashion


The most common and well-known use of corsets is to slim the body and make it conform to a fashionable silhouette. For women this most frequently emphasizes a curvy figure, by reducing the waist
Waist
The waist is the part of the abdomen between the rib cage and hips. On proportionate people, the waist is the narrowest part of the torso....

, and thereby exaggerating the bust
Breast
The breast is the upper ventral region of the torso of a primate, in left and right sides, which in a female contains the mammary gland that secretes milk used to feed infants.Both men and women develop breasts from the same embryological tissues...

 and hips. However, in some periods, corsets have been worn to achieve a tubular straight-up-and-down shape, which involves minimizing the bust and hips.

For men, corsets are more customarily used to slim the figure. However, there was a period from around 1820 to 1835 when a wasp-waisted figure
Wasp waist
Wasp waist refers to a woman's fashion silhouette, produced by a style of corset and girdle, that has experienced various periods of popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its primary feature is the abrupt transition from a natural-width rib cage to an exceedingly small waist, with the hips...

 (a small, nipped-in look to the waist
Waist
The waist is the part of the abdomen between the rib cage and hips. On proportionate people, the waist is the narrowest part of the torso....

) was also desirable for men; this was sometimes achieved by wearing a corset.

An overbust corset encloses the torso, extending from just under the arms to the hips. An underbust corset begins just under the breasts and extends down to the hips. Some corsets extend over the hips and, in very rare instances, reach the knee
Knee
The knee joint joins the thigh with the leg and consists of two articulations: one between the fibula and tibia, and one between the femur and patella. It is the largest joint in the human body and is very complicated. The knee is a mobile trocho-ginglymus , which permits flexion and extension as...

s. A shorter kind of corset, which covers the waist
Waist
The waist is the part of the abdomen between the rib cage and hips. On proportionate people, the waist is the narrowest part of the torso....

 area (from low on the ribs to just above the hips), is called a waist cincher
Waist cincher
A waist cincher is a belt worn around the waist to make the wearer's waist physically smaller, or to create the illusion of being smaller.-Today:...

. A corset may also include garter
Garter (stockings)
Garters are articles of clothing: narrow bands of fabric fastened about the leg, used to keep up stockings, and sometimes socks. Normally just a few inches in width, they are usually made of leather or heavy cloth, and adorned with small bells and/or ribbons...

s to hold up stockings (alternatively a separate garter belt may be worn for that).

Normally a corset supports the visible dress, and spreads the pressure from large dresses, such as the crinoline
Crinoline
Crinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-hair and a warp of cotton or linen thread. The fabric first appeared around 1830, but by 1850 the word had come to mean a stiffened petticoat or rigid skirt-shaped structure of steel designed to support the skirts of a woman’s dress into...

 and bustle
Bustle
A bustle is a type of framework used to expand the fullness or support the drapery of the back of a woman's dress, occurring predominantly in the mid-to-late 19th century. Bustles were worn under the skirt in the back, just below the waist, to keep the skirt from dragging. Heavy fabric tended to...

. Sometimes a corset cover is used to protect outer clothes from the corset and to smooth the lines of the corset.
The original corset cover was worn under the corset to provide a layer between it and the body. Corsets were not worn next to the skin, possibly due to difficulties with laundering these items during the 19th century, as they had steel boning and metal eyelets which would rust. The corset cover would be in the form of a light chemise, made from cotton lawn or silk.

Medical


People with spinal problems such as scoliosis
Scoliosis
Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side. Although it is a complex three-dimensional deformity, on an X-ray, viewed from the rear, the spine of an individual with scoliosis may look more like an "S" or a "C" than a straight line...

 or with internal injuries may be fitted with a form of corset in order to immobilize and protect the torso. Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

 was shot in 1968 and never fully recovered, and wore a corset for the rest of his life.

Fetish



Aside from fashion and medical uses, corsets are also used in sexual fetishism
Sexual fetishism
Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is the sexual arousal a person receives from a physical object, or from a specific situation. The object or situation of interest is called the fetish, the person a fetishist who has a fetish for that object/situation. Sexual fetishism may be regarded, e.g...

, most notably in BDSM
BDSM
BDSM is an erotic preference and a form of sexual expression involving the consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy power role-play. The compound acronym BDSM is derived from the terms bondage and discipline , dominance and submission , and sadism and masochism...

 activities. In BDSM, a submissive can be forced to wear a corset which would be laced very tight and give some degree of restriction to the wearer. A dominant can also wear a corset, often black, but for entirely different reasons, such as aesthetics, and to achieve a severe, armored, "unbending", commanding appearance. A very common fetish costume for women is the dominatrix costume. Usually it consists of mostly dark or even black clothing. The woman usually wears a corset or bustier
Bustier
A bustier is a form-fitting garment for women, which is traditionally worn as lingerie. Its primary purpose is to push up the bust by tightening against the upper midriff and forcing the breasts up, while gently shaping the waist. Nowadays, it might also be worn as a push-up bra under a low-backed...

 and stockings with high-heeled footwear. High boots are quite common as they enhance the woman's domination. Women in dominatrix costumes usually carry an accessory such as a whip or a riding crop. A specially designed corset, in which the breast
Breast
The breast is the upper ventral region of the torso of a primate, in left and right sides, which in a female contains the mammary gland that secretes milk used to feed infants.Both men and women develop breasts from the same embryological tissues...

s and vulva
Vulva
The vulva consists of the external genital organs of the female mammal. This article deals with the vulva of the human being, although the structures are similar for other mammals....

 are left exposed can be worn during vanilla sex
Vanilla sex
Vanilla sex is a description of what a culture regards as standard or conventional sexual behaviour. Different cultures, subcultures and individuals have different ideas about what constitutes this type of sex...

 or BDSM
BDSM
BDSM is an erotic preference and a form of sexual expression involving the consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy power role-play. The compound acronym BDSM is derived from the terms bondage and discipline , dominance and submission , and sadism and masochism...

 activities.

Construction


Corsets are typically constructed of a flexible material (like cloth, particularly coutil
Coutil
Coutil is woven cloth created specifically for making corsets. It is woven tightly to inhibit penetration of the corset's bones and resist stretching. Coutil has a high cotton content...

, or leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

) stiffened with boning
Bone (corsetry)
In corsetry, a bone is one of the rigid parts of a corset that forms its frame and gives it rigidity.-Purpose, history and materials:The purpose of the boning in a corset varies slightly from era to era....

 (also called ribs or stays) inserted into channels in the cloth or leather. In the 19th century, bones of elephant
Elephant
Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct...

, moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

, and whale
Whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...

 were favored for the boning. Plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

 is now the most commonly used material for lightweight corsets and the majority of poor quality corsets, whereas spring or spiral steel is preferred for stronger corsets and generally the better quality corset too. Other materials used for boning include ivory
Ivory
Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and...

, wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, and cane. (By contrast, a girdle
Girdle
A girdle is a garment that encircles the lower torso, perhaps extending below the hips, and worn often for support. The word girdle originally meant a belt. In modern English, the term girdle is most commonly used for a form of women's foundation wear that replaced the corset in popularity...

 is usually made of elasticized
Elastomer
An elastomer is a polymer with the property of viscoelasticity , generally having notably low Young's modulus and high yield strain compared with other materials. The term, which is derived from elastic polymer, is often used interchangeably with the term rubber, although the latter is preferred...

 fabric, without boning.)

Corsets are held together by lacing, usually (though not always) at the back. Tightening or loosening the lacing produces corresponding changes in the firmness of the corset. Depending on the desired effect and time period, corsets can be laced from the top down, from the bottom up, or both up from the bottom and down from the top, using two laces that meet in the middle. It is difficult—although not impossible—for a back-laced corset-wearer to do his or her own lacing. In the Victorian heyday of corsets, a well-to-do woman's corset laces would be tightened by her maid, and a gentleman's by his valet. However, Victorian corsets also had a buttoned or hooked front opening called a busk
Busk
A busk is the rigid element of a corset placed at the centre front.In stays, the corsets worn between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, the busk was intended to keep the front of the corset straight and upright. It was made of wood, ivory, or bone slipped into a pocket and tied in place with...

. If the corset was worn loosely, it was possible to leave the lacing as adjusted and take the corset on and off using the front opening (if the corset is worn snugly, this method will damage the busk if the lacing is not significantly loosened beforehand). Self-lacing is also almost impossible with tightlacing, which strives for the utmost possible reduction of the waist. Corset and bodice lacing became a mark of class, front laced bodices being worn by women who could not afford servants.

Waist reduction


By wearing a tightly-laced corset for extended periods, known as tightlacing
Tightlacing
Tightlacing is the practice of wearing a tightly-laced corset to achieve extreme modifications to the figure and posture and experience the sensations of a very tight corset. Those who practice tightlacing are called tightlacers...

, men and women can learn to tolerate extreme waist
Waist
The waist is the part of the abdomen between the rib cage and hips. On proportionate people, the waist is the narrowest part of the torso....

 constriction and eventually reduce their natural waist size. Many tightlacers dream of 16 inches (40.6 cm) and 17 inches (43.2 cm) waists, but are usually satisfied with anything under 20 inches (50.8 cm).Some went so far that they could only breathe with the top part of their lungs. This caused the bottom part of their lungs to fill with mucus, symptoms of this include a slight but persistent cough and heavy breathing causing a heaving appearance of the bosom. Until 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Ethel Granger as having the smallest waist on record at 13 inches (33 cm). After 1998, the category changed to "smallest waist on a living person" and Cathie Jung
Cathie Jung
Cathie Jung is an American Victorian dress and corset enthusiast residing in Old Mystic, Connecticut, USA, who currently holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest waist on a living person...

 took the title with a 15 inches (38.1 cm) waist. Other women, such as Polaire, also have achieved such reductions-- (14 inches (35.6 cm)--in her case).

However, these are extreme cases. Corsets were and are still usually designed for support, with freedom of body movement, an important consideration in their design. Present day corset-wearers usually tighten the corset just enough to reduce their waists by 2 inches (5.1 cm) to 4 inches (10.2 cm); it is very difficult for a slender woman to achieve as much as 6 inches (15.2 cm), although larger women can do so more easily.

Corset comfort


In the past, a woman's corset was usually worn over a chemise
Chemise
The term chemise or shift can refer to the classic smock, or else can refer to certain modern types of women's undergarments and dresses...

, a sleeveless low-necked gown made of washable material (usually cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 or linen
Linen
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather....

). It absorbed perspiration and kept the corset and the gown clean. In modern times, an undershirt or corset liner may be worn.

Moderate lacing is not incompatible with vigorous activity. Indeed, during the second half of the 19th century, when corset wearing was common, there were sport corsets specifically designed to wear while bicycling, playing tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, or horseback riding, as well as for maternity wear.

History



The corset has been erroneously attributed to Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

, wife of King Henry II of France
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

. She enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance during the 1550s. For nearly 350 years, women's primary means of support was the corset, with laces and stays made of whalebone or metal. Other researchers have found evidence of the use of corsets in early Crete.

The corset has undergone many changes. The corset was originally known as stays in the early 16th century. It was a simple bodice
Bodice
A bodice, historically, is an article of clothing for women, covering the body from the neck to the waist. In modern usage it typically refers to a specific type of upper garment common in Europe during the 16th to the 18th century, or to the upper portion of a modern dress to distinguish it from...

 with tabs at the waist, stiffened by horn, buckram, and whalebone. The center front was further reinforced by a busk made of ivory, wood, or metal. It was most often laced from the back, and was, at first, a garment reserved for the aristocracy.

Stays took a different form in the 18th century, whalebone began to be used more, and there was more boning used in the garment. The shape of the stays changed as well. The stays were low and wide in the front, while in the back they could reach as high as the upper shoulder. Stays could be strapless or use shoulder straps. The straps of the stays were attached in the back and tied at the front sides.

The purpose of 18th century stays was to support the bust, confer the fashionable conical shape while drawing the shoulders back. At this time, the eyelets were reinforced with stitches, and were not placed across from one another, but staggered. This allowed the stays to be spiral laced. One end of the stay lace is inserted and knotted in the bottom eyelet, the other end is wound through the stays' eyelets and tightened on the top. Tight-lacing was not common in this time period, and indulged in only by the very fashionable. Stays were worn by women in all societal levels, from ladies of the court to street vendors.

At this time, there were two other variants of stays, jumps, which were looser stays with attached sleeves, like a jacket, and corsets.

Corsets were originally quilted waistcoats, worn by French women as an alternative to stiff corsets. They were only quilted linen, laced in the front, and un-boned. This garment was meant to be worn on informal occasions, while stays were worn for court dress. In the 1790s, stays fell out of fashion. This development coincided with the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, and the adoption of neoclassical
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 styles of dress. Interestingly, it was the men, Dandies, who began to wear corsets. The fashion persisted thorough the 1840s, though after 1850 men who wore corsets claimed they needed them for "back pain".

Stays went away in the late 18th century, but the corset remained. Corsets in the early 19th century lengthened to the hip, the lower tabs replaced by gussets at the hip. Room was made for the bust in front with more gussets, and the back lowered. The shoulder straps disappeared in the 1840s for normal wear.

In the 1820s, fashion changed again, with the waistline lowered back to almost the natural position. Corsets began to be made with some padding and boning. Corsets began to be worn by all classes of society. Some women made their own, while others bought their corsets. Corsets were one of the first mass produced garments for women. Corsets began to be more heavily boned in the 1840s. By 1850, steel boning became popular.
With the advent of metal eyelets, tight lacing became possible. The position of the eyelets changed, they were now situated across from one another at the back. The front was now fastened with a metal busk
Busk
A busk is the rigid element of a corset placed at the centre front.In stays, the corsets worn between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, the busk was intended to keep the front of the corset straight and upright. It was made of wood, ivory, or bone slipped into a pocket and tied in place with...

 in front. Corsets were mostly white. The corsets of the 1850s-1860s were shorter than the corsets of the 19th century through 1840s. This was because of a change in the silhouette of women's fashion. The 1850s and 60s emphasized the hoopskirt. After the 1860s, when the hoop fell out of style, the corset became longer to mold the abdomen, exposed by the new lines of the princess or cuirass style.

During the Edwardian
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 period, the straight front corset (also known as the S-Curve corset) was introduced. This corset was straight in front, with a pronounced curve at the back that forced the upper body forward, and the derrière out. This style was worn from 1900-1908.

The corset reached its longest length in the early 20th century. The longline corset at first reached from the bust down to the upper thigh. There was also a style of longline corset that started under the bust, and necessitated the wearing of a brassiere. This style was meant to complement the new silhouette. It was a boneless style, much closer to a modern girdle than the traditional corset. The longline style was abandoned during World War I.

The corset fell from fashion in the 1920s in Europe and North America, replaced by girdle
Girdle
A girdle is a garment that encircles the lower torso, perhaps extending below the hips, and worn often for support. The word girdle originally meant a belt. In modern English, the term girdle is most commonly used for a form of women's foundation wear that replaced the corset in popularity...

s and elastic brassiere
Brassiere
A brassiere is an undergarment that covers, supports, and elevates the breasts. Since the late 19th century, it has replaced the corset as the most widely accepted method for supporting breasts....

s, but survived as an article of costume
Costume
The term costume can refer to wardrobe and dress in general, or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. Costume may also refer to the artistic arrangement of accessories in a picture, statue, poem, or play, appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances...

. Originally an item of lingerie
Lingerie
Lingerie are fashionable and possibly alluring undergarments.Lingerie usually incorporates one or more flexible, stretchy materials like Lycra, nylon , polyester, satin, lace, silk and sheer fabric which are not typically used in more functional, basic cotton undergarments.The term in the French...

, the corset has become a popular item of outerwear in the fetish, BDSM
BDSM
BDSM is an erotic preference and a form of sexual expression involving the consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy power role-play. The compound acronym BDSM is derived from the terms bondage and discipline , dominance and submission , and sadism and masochism...

 and goth
Goth subculture
The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries. It began in England during the early 1980s in the gothic rock scene, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify...

 subcultures. In the fetish and BDSM literature, there is often much emphasis on tightlacing
Tightlacing
Tightlacing is the practice of wearing a tightly-laced corset to achieve extreme modifications to the figure and posture and experience the sensations of a very tight corset. Those who practice tightlacing are called tightlacers...

, and many corset makers cater to the fetish market.

Outside the fetish community, living history re-enactors and historic costume enthusiasts still wear corsets according to their original purpose, to give the proper shape to the figure when wearing historic fashions. In this case, the corset is underwear rather than outerwear. Skilled corset makers are available to make reproductions of historic corset shapes, or to design new styles.

There was a brief revival of the corset in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the form of the waist cincher
Waist cincher
A waist cincher is a belt worn around the waist to make the wearer's waist physically smaller, or to create the illusion of being smaller.-Today:...

 sometimes called a "waspie". This was used to give the hourglass figure dictated by Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Christian Dior , was a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world's top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior.-Life:...

's 'New Look'. However, use of the waist cincher was restricted to haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, and most women continued to use girdle
Girdle
A girdle is a garment that encircles the lower torso, perhaps extending below the hips, and worn often for support. The word girdle originally meant a belt. In modern English, the term girdle is most commonly used for a form of women's foundation wear that replaced the corset in popularity...

s. This revival was brief, as the New Look gave way to a less dramatically-shaped silhouette.

Since the late 1980s, the corset has experienced periodic revivals, which have usually originated in haute couture and which have occasionally trickled through to mainstream fashion. These revivals focus on the corset as an item of outerwear rather than underwear. The strongest of these revivals was seen in the Autumn 2001 fashion collections and coincided with the release of the film Moulin Rouge!
Moulin Rouge!
Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 romantic jukebox musical film directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. Following the Red Curtain Cinema principles, the film is based on the Orphean myth, La Traviata, and La Bohème...

, the costumes for which featured many corsets as characteristic of the era. Another fashion movement which has renewed interest in the corset is the Steampunk
Steampunk
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain or "Wild West"-era United...

 culture, which utilizes late-Victorian fashion shapes in new ways.

Special types


There are some special types of corsets and corset-like devices which incorporate boning.

Corset dress



A corset dress (also known as hobble corset because it produces similar restrictive effects to a hobble skirt
Hobble skirt
A hobble skirt is a skirt with a narrow enough hem to significantly impede the wearer's stride, thus earning its name. A knee-long corset is also used to achieve this effect...

) is a long corset. It is like an ordinary corset, but it is long enough to cover the legs, partially or totally. It thus looks like a dress, hence the name. A person wearing a corset dress can have great difficulty in walking up and down the stairs (especially if wearing high-heeled footwear) and may be unable to sit down if the boning is too stiff.

Neck corset



A neck corset
Neck corset
A neck corset is special type of corset which is worn fitted around the neck instead of around the waist as of with ordinary corset...

 is a type of posture collar
Posture collar
A posture collar is a rigid collar that is wide enough to restrict movement of the neck. Posture collars help in maintaining posture by keeping the chin high and the neck extended...

 incorporating stays
Bone (corsetry)
In corsetry, a bone is one of the rigid parts of a corset that forms its frame and gives it rigidity.-Purpose, history and materials:The purpose of the boning in a corset varies slightly from era to era....

 and it is generally not considered to be a corset.

See also


  • Corset controversy
    Corset controversy
    The corset controversy is an ensemble of letters and articles concerning the corset that appeared in newspapers and periodicals in the 19th century.-Introduction:...

     
  • Fainting room
    Fainting room
    A fainting room was a room, used during the Victorian era, where women could go to rest when feeling faint. Fainting rooms often included fainting couches where women would faint or recline without fearing bodily harm...


  • Fetish clothing
  • Gibson Girl
    Gibson Girl
    The Gibson Girl was the personification of a feminine ideal as portrayed in the satirical pen-and-ink-illustrated stories created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson during a 20-year period spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the United States.Some people argue that the...

  • Waist cincher
    Waist cincher
    A waist cincher is a belt worn around the waist to make the wearer's waist physically smaller, or to create the illusion of being smaller.-Today:...



External links