Because You Can Never Know Enough About Corsets

More on the history of the controversial corset, this time from Fibre2Fashion:

Corsetry has been around for hundreds of years, but it generally fell out of fashion in the Western world during the 1920s when corsets were replaced by girdles. Since that time, corsets have been used less as underwear and more as costumes, lingerie, and even outerwear.

Just as the purpose of corsetry has changed over the years, so too has the construction. They were originally made from thick material such as leather that had channels to hold “stays.” Stays were made from rigid material such as whalebone or steel. Today’s corsets are usually not as rigid and may be made from softer fabrics. Stays are typically made of plastic, although it is still possible to find some made from steel.

Most corsets wrap around the upper body with either the front or back left open. The opening is lined with eyelets or grommets along both sides and these are used to lace the corset together. As the lace is tightened, the corset constricts the body and holds it in place. Throughout history, corsets have been worn so tight as to cause women to faint or even to develop permanent deformities. It is thought, however, that some of the drawbacks to corsetry have been overly dramatized and that wearing them is not as uncomfortable as has been portrayed in literature and movies.

The point was simply to modify the body’s shape by a small amount in order to reach an idealized silhouette. There are still people referred to as “tight lacers” who use corsets to constrict the size of their natural waists to be less than 20 inches in circumference. These people are quite rare, however, and most use corsets as sexy underwear for the boudoir. They are also quite popular in BDSM practices, both for their restriction and just for aesthetics.

Images from Dark Garden Corsets.

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