Thursday, August 13, 2015

Corset-eria

Belle (2014)
The broad skirts of the mid-1700's needed necklines to match, and the most popular style was wide and low, trimmed with a band of fine lace called the tatez-y or "touch here". A bow at the neck was called parfait contentment, or "perfect contentment".

Kirsten Dunst, Marie Antoinette (2006)
Amazing Grace (2006)
But clotheshorses who thirsted for a little more decoration gussied up the fronts of the gowns, either by wearing wraparound bodices, with a teasing ruffled dickey peering out from the deep vee; or more commonly, by adding robings.

These ornamenta trimmings lined the edges of the bodice, from the shoulders to the waist, where it meets the stomacher -- still around and tormenting its wearers after two centuries. Since women often designed their robings and stomachers themselves, bodices became a showcase for personal taste.

Marie Antoinette (2006)
Belle (2014)
By the 1760's, many women abandoned stomachers, but not to increase their circulation. Instead, they pressed their corsets into double duty -- now covered with elegant fabrics and trimmed with metallic lace just begging for display.

18th Century corsets via Pinterest.
Not only fashionplates wore corsets. In the eighteen century, there were styles for every occasion -- including pregnancy and horseback riding -- for everyone, including young boys.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger

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