A brief overview of corsetry

corset-thevioletvixenA corset is a type of garment worn over the torso to achieve a particular desired shape. It is mostly worn by women in order to reduce the size of the waist and exaggerate the bust and hip sizes. For men, they are used to slim the figure, without giving it a specific shape. Corsets are usually made from a flexible material, mostly cloth or leather, which has been stiffened with boning. The back of the corset is fixed with lacing, which is used to adjust the firmness of the outfit.

Wearing a tight-laced corset for extended periods of time enhances reduction in waist-size, which is what most corset-wearers aim for. In today’s fashion world, a small waist with larger hips and a big bust equals the ideal curvy body. Initially, corsets were worn as part of Victorian dresses; they were placed over the dresses as part of the fashion at the time. However, as time elapsed, women decided to incorporate corsets into their undergarments as part of enhancing their curves.

Colors of Corsets

Currently, the trend is to wear different colors of corsets; ranging from brown corsets for an every-day-look, to flashy colorful ones that are worn to parties and night clubs. One of my favorite places to shop for brown corsets is as they have brown corsetry in all sorts of styles including Steampunk and Burlesque.  Corsets are very versatile and can be worn with jeans, skirts, dresses or even a jacket and tights. They can be used to achieve a casual, dressy, edgy or sassy look. This is enhanced by the different designs and colors available; some have floral prints; others have hooks and zippers while others are plain with lace.


Shapes of Corsets

There is a wide variety of corset shapes available in the market today; the main ones being:

Hourglass shape: This type of corset is ideal for someone who is just beginning to wear corsets because it’s only fitting on the ribs, thus altering the shape of the torso minimally. It is more comfortable than other types that are solely for reshaping the body.

• Conical shape: These corsets are relatively straight around the edges and curve towards the lower ribs. It is an “advanced” type of corset because it reshapes the body, thus may cause discomfort or even pain when worn. Usually, it takes between 8 months to a year and a half for the body structure to change due to wearing a conical shaped corset.

Waist cincher: This type of corset, also known as a “waspie”, is made of a light material that supports the stomach area or region. It is ideal for those who are not used to wearing corsets, as it is not as constricting as the other types. A waspie’s role is to give the wearer a slender stomach.

Styles of Corsets

Different colored corsets have been worn during musical burlesque performances over the years. The term “burlesque” refers to a combination of serious and comical elements combined to achieve a particular grotesque effect. The corset has been in use for many years, dating back to the 1800s; especially when the Victorian burlesque was popular in London, between 1830 and 1890.