The History of the Corset
For centuries, women have been using corsets to transform their figure into the most fashionable silhouette of the time.
- 1500s—Referred to as ‘stays,’ the earliest corsets were constructed to draw in the waist and create a feminine hourglass figure.
- 1550s—Showing the influence of French fashion, women start calling corsets “French Bodies.”
- 1660s—Ladies begin to wear a combination skirt and robe that is worn over a stiff bodice.
- 1790s—The corset didn’t change much until the late 18th century when the style became more elaborate and decorative.
- 1820s—The French word corset, meaning “close-fitting undergarment,” replaces the term ‘stays.’
- 1840s—The planchett is introduced, making the corset much easier to put on and off than lacing. Still used today, the popular style has two metal strips with mushroom shaped buttons and matching eyelets for easy closure.
- 1870s—Dresses become more form fitting in the front, resulting in longer corsets that hug the hips on all sides.
- 1890s—Doctors warn women not to lace their corsets too tightly due to the risk of internal organ damage.
- 1900s—New, more comfortable corsets are offered without the tight lacing, allowing it form to the body more naturally.
- 1920s— As natural waistlines become fashionable again, corselettes and girdles are a popular choice for simplicity and comfort.
- 1940s—The natural, feminine shape becomes popular and women begin to wear short girdles and full coverage bras.
- 1950s—Known for its iconic pointed shape, the conical shaped bra is introduced.
- 1960s-70s—Called the babydoll style, the short spaghetti strapped negligee is popular for accentuating natural waistlines.
- 1980s-Today—From the 80s and beyond, anything goes when it comes to the ideal figure. Thongs, G-strings, body suits, and garter belts are all popular modern undergarments that can compliment a classic style corset.
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