Genealogy of Corset

Corset was originated in the early 16th century. It was a simple bodice made of ivory, wood, or metal. It was most often laced from the back, and was, at first, a garment reserved for the aristocracy. Both men and women wore corsets however over time it became more of a fashion for women.

16th Century:

Both men and women used artificial aids to alter their appearance. They wore structured doublets and metal corsets to shape their bodies to fit contemporary ideas of fashion. Below is a steel corset from the mid-16th century found in Italy.

16th centruy corset

18th Century:

The purpose of 18th century corsets was to emphasize the bust, while drawing the shoulders back. They often had shoulder straps to help pull them back. They were spiral lacked in the back and to tighten, the lacked had to be pulled back. Below is a corset found in the 18th century.

18th centruy corset

19th Century:
Corsets in the early 19th century lengthened to the hip, the lower tabs replaced by gussets at the hip. There was 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. Below is a corset from the Victorian era.

19th centruy corset20th Century:
In the early 20th century corset reached its longest length. The longline corset at first reached from the bust down to the upper thigh. Corset that started under the busy was also a trend. This style was meant to complement the new silhouette. It was more like to modern style and more importantly it was a boneless style.

20th centruy corset

Corsets today come in many different forms such as with straps, strapless, body tight, bust tight, as tops and as dresses. Different designers used them for the slim look. The look emphasizes a curvy figure, by reducing the waist, and thereby exaggerating the bust and hips. The corset shape also has a sex appeal today and Victoria Secret often uses it for their lingerie. Below is a strapless corset from Guess.

Today corset


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