The corset has been an important part of attire for both men and women clothing for centuries now. The popularity of the corsets grew in Europe during the 16th century. This popularity was at its absolute height in the Victorian era. Historians have written several reasons behind the wearing of corsets and the most quoted reason is that it was used to shape the body and the torso. According to many historians corsets date back to BC’s as there have been images found of corsets in that ear. However the images are more related to the corsets which were used as an undergarment rather than the one which were used as an upper garment.
Earlier corsets (16th-17th century):
The corset was always used as an undergarment in Italy; however its introduction in France came through Catherine de Medici in the 1500s. Since then the corset was utilized by the women in the French court. These earlier corsets were tighter in nature and were worn underneath the clothing of a woman. The corsets of this era consisted of shoulder straps along with waist flaps.
When the era of Queen Elizabethan began in England, the corset was used frequently by the court members. However there were some modifications in the Elizabethan corset. These modifications are as follows
- The corset that was used in the Elizabeth Era consisted of a whalebone, the whalebone contributed to the stiffness of the body
- The front of the body got stiffer as a Bust made of materials like ivory, metal or wood was used in corset.
- The busk was very much replaceable
- The Elizabethan corset was very much comfortable provided they were laced and fitted in a correct manner
The Busk was often utilized for occasions which were special. A common culture was that it was given to the suitor who showed any interest in a particular female. Even after the Elizabeth Era corsets were used and became part of the fashion. More modifications were later on brought into corsets when the Victorian Era began. The beginning of the Victorian era brought with it more designs and styles of corsets. The biggest modification which Victorian Era bought with it was that the corsets which were designed during her reign were not tighter rather they were more comfortable to wear. By her time many doctors had given the verdict that tighter corsets are not good for health and they listed several reasons for that.
These were some of the historical facts related to corsets, though a lot can be written about the history of corsets and Victorian era itself however keeping into consideration the length of this article we have mentioned some of the basic historical facts and points. Not everybody is a fashion expert hence we have shared some of the most basic facts which an ordinary reader can understand and we have tried to write this article in a very simple language that could be understood by everyone.