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History Of Corsets

Corsets were a piece of fashion lost in time, till a while back they gained popularity.

The term corset comes from the Latin word corps. the definition of corsets is a woman's tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure.

In the 17th and 18th century corsets were worn as inner layer of dresses, that was tightened by a maximum of 50 lace strings. All strings tightened to full capacity formed a S figure. The purpose of corsets is still unclear.

Further in to the timeline corset designs split into different eras. Especially during the 1900s, corset designs changed rapidly and fell in the 2000s.

During the Edwardian era (1904 - 1911) the shape of women changed, leading to a major redesign. Small waists remained popular but the fashionable silhouette changed. Corsets enforced a upright shoulder and long sloping bust figure that ended with a curve on the hips.

In the time of The Teens (1912 - 1919) the design didn't change as much but the function changed completely. It was not to compress the waist to exaggerate the bust and hip and the rest of their torso to measure in the same line, but to minimise the abdomen and hips. To attain this, the corsets were cut longer and straightened at the body and hips than earlier corsets had been.

After the 1920s the shapes were loosened due to the lack of supply after the war which caused an overnight change in women's fashion focusing on simpler lines.

When the 1950s hit, Griddles were introduced, made with non-traditional fabrics such as nylon and latex rubber, which provided a sturdy outline required by fashion. This was the second time this long lived garment faced a drastic design change. Strategic panels were placed in order to smooth the stomach and give flat lines and a flat bottom, contrasting the breasts from the rest of the figure.

Then hit the first fall of corsets, no major uses or changes were made to corsets in the 1960s and 70s.

Corsets didn't make a strong comeback in the 80s and 90s, designer clothing grew in popularity as actresses and models were wearing them. They were worn on stage by popular culture icons, such as Madonna, who wore corsetry designs by Jean Paul Gaultier. The 90s brought controlling slips which were similar to corsets, used for a slim figure although major designers still offered corsets.

After 20 years corsets made the biggest breakthrough yet.


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