The Origins of the Corset Sexy Women’s Clothing
When you think of sexy women’s clothing, the corset immediately comes to mind. But what has made it so permanently sexy and popular over the centuries?
Read on to see her story:
The corset is a piece of clothing that women have used to give themselves a slender hourglass figure. They work by pulling in your waist and defining your figure more than it already is, and they get their strength from a built-in reinforcement structure.
If you already own one, congratulations. You have a piece of history as old as Shakespeare, dating back to the sixteenth century.
At the time, they were mainly used to push up and define a woman’s chest and to keep the stomach flat. However, I can’t imagine they were very comfortable as they were built from flat pieces of wood (called “bones”) wrapped in fabric!
This style stayed the same until the early 19th century when corsets were made less heavily constructed. Nevertheless, they were considered beneficial for posture and, as before, shaped a woman’s body and breasts.
Since they weren’t that stuff, they weren’t as good at improving posture as it turned out because they lacked the support needed to straighten the posture truly. Call them teething troubles, if you will.
At that time, another type of corset was becoming fashionable: the high-waisted model. As the name suggests, this model has created a waistline higher than your natural waistline by indenting the body just below your chest, i.e., under your ribs.
That was fashionable back then, and to imagine that waistline, one should think of an empire dress (which was also fashionable at the time) that also has a waist in the same place.
By the time Queen Victoria sat on the throne in the 19th century, fashion had changed again. Women were again using corsets to define their natural waistline rather than creating an artificial one.
This Victorian style is the one that still exists today, and its main strength is that it creates a beautiful hourglass figure.
One fashion that has luckily faded away since Victorian times is the practice of “tight-lacing,” which has ultimately been shown to damage the wearer’s internal organs! In addition to the structure of the “bones” in the corset, a grid of laces was also tightened to give additional definition and make the waist of women as narrow as possible.
Articles and letters from the upper class at the time amusingly point out how far their servants had to go to get them into the corset. If you imagine, you can almost imagine a group of sweating servants struggling to tighten the laces of their chubby mistress’s corset!
In the 20th century, the Edwardian style emerged, which changed a woman’s posture to make her waist appear narrower by moving her hips back and chest forward. Women’s hips are naturally forward-facing, so this guy was difficult to wear and uncomfortable, so it didn’t last long!
So what remains is the modern corset, which is loosely based on the Victorian style. Instead of being made of wood, whalebone, and other less comfortable materials, they are now commonly made from silk, lace, satin, plastic, or even metal rods.
Why do they endure? They are sexy, fun, and give you a great hourglass figure, so what is not to like?
Although not as common on most store shelves, corsets are easy to find online and are relatively inexpensive.