Corsets

corset

corset, article of dress designed to support or modify the figure. Greek and Roman women sometimes wrapped broad bands about the body. In the Middle Ages a short, close-fitting, laced outer bodice or waist was worn. By the 16th cent. it had become a tight inner bodice, sometimes of leather, stiffened with whalebone, wooden splints, or steel; fashion demanded the slenderest possible waist in contrast with the enormous farthingales and stuffed breeches that were worn. Stays and tight lacing were made for both men and women from the 17th through the 19th cent., except for a brief period following the French Revolution. By 1900 the corset had become primarily a female garment, and it was gradually modified to conform to the natural lines of the body.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Bound to Please: A History of the Victorian Corset
Leigh Summers.
Berg, 2001
'Fighting the Corsetless Evil': Shaping Corsets and Culture, 1900-1930
Fields, Jill.
Journal of Social History, Vol. 33, No. 2, Winter 1999
The Good Old Days: A History of American Morals and Manners as Seen through the Sears, Roebuck Catalogs 1905 to the Present
David L. Cohn.
Simon & Schuster, 1940
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 17 "That Which Her Slender Waist Confined"
Fifty Years of Change: Societal Attitudes and Women's Fashions, 1900-1950
Presley, Ann Beth.
The Historian, Vol. 60, No. 2, Winter 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Face of Fashion: Cultural Studies in Fashion
Jennifer Craik.
Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of corsets begins on p. 121
'Lady Be Beautiful': Selling Corsets in the 1920s
Maynard, Margaret.
Journal of Australian Studies, No. 91, March 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body
Anna Krugovoy Silver.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of corsets begins on p. 34
A Magazine of Her Own? Domesticity and Desire in the Woman's Magazine, 1800-1914
Margaret Beetham.
Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "The 'Englishwoman's Conversazione' and the Corset Controversy" begins on p. 81
Turning the Century: Essays in Media and Cultural Studies
Carol A. Stabile.
Westview Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of corsets begins on p. 193
Sex in Advertising: Perspectives on the Erotic Appeal
Tom Reichert; Jacqueline Lambiase.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "The Corset Ad" begins on p. 72
Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender
Vern L. Bullough; Bonnie Bullough.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of corsets begins on p. 185
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