Sometimes the advertisements from the times tell us more than the fashion plates and descriptions do. This one, from the July 1807 La Belle Assemblée, mentions some common complaints and viewpoints about health as well as fashion. It offers as well a glimpse into selling practices.
STAYS, BY HER MAJESTY'S STAY-MAKER.
The elastic cottoned long Stay invented by Mrs. HARMAN, who alone can make them in their genuine perfection.
These so much admired Stays obviate every objection complained of in Patent Stays, not being subject to the disagreeable necessity of lacing under the arm, or having knit gores, so very elastic as to be in effect no stay or support whatever. Mrs. Harman's Stays adapted to give the wearer the true Grecian form, must be seen to give Ladies an adequate idea of their beauty and utility, therefore Mrs. H. has various sizes ready to send for the inspection of those Ladies who live at a distance from London.
Stays, being in the present style of dress of great importance, Mrs. Harman recommends it to the serious consideration of Ladies what sort of Stays they wear; long Stays have now for a considerable time made part of the female costume, and have been variously made according to the knowledge, taste, or strength of invention in the maker, so have they, more or less pleased, but one general complaint has attended them, namely, that on some forms they would wrinkle on the hips, and prove uncomfortable in sitting; Mrs. Harman from a close observation and imitation of nature, has constructed a Stay which will not be attended with these inconveniencies, and at the same time will give an agreeable and graceful shape to the shoulders, reducing the bosom if too embonpoint, or increasing its natural appearance (if too diminutive) to the taste of the wearer, and as her cottoned Stays are exquisitely easy and pliant, they preserve to the slender form all its native roundness, while they guard from cold, the most susceptable parts of the body. Mrs. H. in availing herself of the Lectures of Statuaries and Medical men, on the subject of the female form, feels herself competent to say, that her Stays are the most perfect combination of study, talent, and attention to fashion and health that can be produced. Those Ladies living at a distance from London or Bath, applying by letter, (post paid) will be informed of the proper method to send their measure for Stays, No. 18, New Bond-street, London; or No. 6, Westgate Buildings. Bath. 
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.