Thursday, July 17, 2014

Perfect corsets for the 1830s

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Corset fitting
Loretta reports:

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.


Elinor Aspen said...

Having dabbled in re-enactment from various periods, I have worn corsets in both Elizabethan and Victorian varieties. I can attest that getting the proper fit indeed has much in common with bra shopping. Corsets certainly provide better back support and are easier on the shoulders, but I find them less comfortable after several hours. I have also known (non-pregnant) women to experience a phenomenon very similar to morning sickness when they remove their corset (especially if they have been drinking alcohol).

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