The perfect corset plays an important part in the subplot of my latest Dressmaker book, Vixen in Velvet, and I don’t doubt that women then went through the same trials and tribulations of finding the Perfect Stays as many women today endure, in search of the Perfect Bra.
As we’ve pointed out before, stays change quite a bit over time, and those of the 1830s are very different from what was worn earlier in the century, and nothing like the ones Isabella’s 18th century characters wear or those she’s shown from Colonial Williamsburg (here and here and elsewhere).
However, no matter what the time period, one finds advertisements extolling the virtues of a particular “special design.”
Here are two samples from the 1830s.
|1833 corset ad here|
|1835 corset ad here|
Illustration courtesy Wikipedia. Note that the image is from a 1905 book, but the illustration, by Achille Deveria, shows 1830s styles, and the original is most likely from that time period.