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Vintage Corset: Better Without It

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Women today are doing everything to look good, from the cosmetics that are applied to their faces and skin up to wearing the right bra with the right outfit. There’s so much pressure on these women, but have you seen a photo of a Victorian woman wearing a corset?  Look at it and you’ll feel that it’s difficult to breathe. 

In the Victorian era, from the 1800s onwards, women wore corsets.  These garments bound the body so tight to the extent of compressing the wearer’s internal organs.  Corsets were worn to create unbelievably small waists so that the phrase “hourglass figure” has become popular with the undergarment.

Wearing corsets at that time has been accompanied by serious medical conditions as they bound, restricted, and contorted a woman’s body. There were occurrences of fainting as these garments impacted the wearer.  During those times, the breasts were not given due “significance”, but wearing a corset emphasized them.  The excess skin and fats were forced upward from the torso.  The purpose of the corset was to make the most possible smallest waist.  Literally speaking, the breasts lay like “eggs on a nest” and there was no concern about the cleavage and breast shape, unlike the present day bras.

Fortunately, although nowadays fashion designers have again started demonstrating this garment on fashion magazines, catwalks, and the entertainment industry, gone are the old stigmas of health hazards, torture, and fainting fits. 

For a modern day woman, corsets can be an alternative to brassieres, especially if she is working in an office or in the fashion industry. They also provide support like the bras do.  Over-tightening like the Victorian woman’s corset is not necessary, but it is nice to notice the great improvement made on the wearer’s overall appearance with just a reduction of a few inches.  There are different varieties of corsets today that can ably accommodate any lifestyle, but luckily women do not have to wear a vintage style corset to achieve hourglass figure.

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  • Sofia Johnson
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