Victorian corsets intro

























The general term 'Victorian Corset' is not precisely limited for its significane. But it gives an epoch related time-frame (approximately 1850 to 1900) for continuous development of waist-shaping corsets. (See also Rococo-Corset)

To set precise time-limits is a little bit difficult, because an ostensible unique style got sometimes obsolete after a short period of individual development-results. But it could happen also that former style-details got surprisingly reactivated and reached now top actuality.

In this time of accentualizing the waist-shape, the development and implementation of gussets for the bust and hips took place, as to be seen at pictures with the first hourglass-corsets (around 1850). This type of corset renounces preliminarily on any boning; only a front-planchette was implemented. In respect to the actual preferred ideal on female-beauty in this time, the implementation of gussets became more and more popular, the up-to-day used front-closure systems got developed and around 1858 lots of stays, mostly made from whalebone (baleen), got implemented. So the early wasp-waist-corsets came in the focus of interest.

The improvement of the gussets for bust and hips as well as the shaping and position of and by the stays, the implementation of a so-called spoon-planchette and the variation of the front-closure-system created finally the wasp-waist-corset in the years around 1885. This type of corset gots impressive on one hand by a large number of implemented stays and on the other hand by replacing the used gussets by special formed pieces of fabric, made by a new developed technique of cut. With this new technology the shape of the corset is from now on (starting around 1891) mostly created by the cut- and line-shaping without gussets. The finishing details got more abundant and the wasp-waist-halfbust-corset changed to a wasp-waist-overbust-corset with shoulder-straps, but without the formerly used spoon-planchette.

This corset and the related fashion did not allow any disorderly behavior of the women. The movability with such a restrictive and tightlaced corset was extremely limited.

At this time the fashion itself as well as the corsets had been reduced onto the absolutely necessities and missed any kind of expensive trim or ornaments.