Corsets: from the Middle ages till today

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…♥ ♥ ♥ Corsets ♥ ♥ ♥… This magnifiscent lingerie attracts both men and women through the centuries…

The corset was found out due to medical necessity in the late 1830’s. A woman was considered to be very fragile in that days, and people used to think she couldn’t even live comfortably without some assistance from the fixed form. The girls were used to wear corsets starting even from 3-4 years old! That necessity came from the best motives but led to serious damages of women’s health.

Gradually the corsets were made longer and tighter. Already being teenagers females were unable to stand or sit even for a short period of time without support of the tight and heavy canvas corsets. Whale bones or steel defined the form of the corsets. This garment was harmful because of deforming the internal organs and making impossible to breath deeply. And that was the reason why the women of the Victorian age were fainting and getting wet so often.

Women were taken care of and considered to be the weaker sex, and their bodies and minds were really weaker than nowadays. So the corset was a moral and medical necessity! Tight lacing was a sign of virtuous and loose corset symbolized a loose woman. And the poor ladies were abused to be chaperoned whenever they went to keep their authority of being innocent and fragile.

It was not usual for women to see any plays or read any books that could excite their fancy. Even Shakespeare was unsuitable for ladies from the upper class. A woman was to be protected from the lustful men and therefore was wearing heavy and tight layers of clothing, very tight corsets. This made undressing a woman not an easy task.

Working-class women were wearing looser corsets and more ordinary clothes. And the clothes were of  less weight. The higher was the lady’s position in class, the heavier and tighter were the clothes. She didn’t need to work, to do anything around the house but only to pay the servants to to all that.

Corset remins us of the times when women were nothing but the objects of beauty and were unable to perform any tasks. The most interesting period of fashion conserning the corset industry lasted from 1820 to 1910. But the corset itself appeared much earlier. It was actually used as an underwear in the European countries since the middle ages, but its date of origin was probably several thousands of years before. From the ancient times it has been used for shaping the body in two ways: compressing the waist or raising the bust (or both).

The corsets were in the height of their fame in the 19th century. Almost all women wore corsets, no matter which classes they belonged. The corset fashion was created by the upper class, but women from the working classes followed those fashion trends thouroughly, too.

The question about how tightly were the corsets laced is open for discussions because there were a lot of different reports from different times and countries with different datas. In those reports the waist between 18 and 14 inches (and even 12 inches) was mentioned. There are museum collections, but their waists measurements didn’t reveal the whole reality. We know only that in was prestigious to sew or buy smaller corsets.

The ordinary corsets were probably not so tight and the corset’s construction of the later times enabled the women to unlace and undress by themselves. She did not need a maid or a husband to help her with it.

Some men developed even some kind of fetish for small waists and this fetish was considered quite acceptable. The small waists were as sexy as e.g. full breasts and the Wonder bra nowadays.

The corset is a fantastic garment, and it’s a pity it seems an extremely odd piece of underwear to most people nowadays. But it’s gaining more and more popularity during the last several years.


Our Russian ladies also enjoy wearing the extravagant and sexy corsets:

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