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Corsets - The Corset as a Fashion Accessory

Updated on March 14, 2011

The corset comes of age

Women with curves have always been consider sexy and what better way to accentuate curves than with a corset. That is why the popularity of the corset has always been high. But recently the corset has changed from an undergarment to a fashion statement. This was perhaps due partly to the influence of Madonna during the 80's.

Corsets aren't just to define the shape of the body anymore. Whether worn under the clothing or over, corsets have evolved into a beautiful and sexy fashion accessory.

Corsets can be worn with a pair of jeans, or a short skirt. Topping a long skirt they become formal wear. The styles, colors and designs are endless and add a bit of playfulness to any wardrobe.

The corset as a fashion accessory
The corset as a fashion accessory
Corsets - a fashion statement
Corsets - a fashion statement

A Brief History of the Corset

The traditional corset was made to define the waistline and give the wearer an hourglass figure. Corsets were made by corsetmakers and fitted to the individual wearer. The size and shape of traditional corsets ranged from a waistcincher, which served only to minimized the size of the waist, to an underbust corset which started at the bustline and ran down to the top of the hips, and finally to a full body corset which encompassed the bust and ran down over the hips, sometimes down to the thighs. During the 19th century, the corsets were made from heavy cotton or leather and had steel or whalebone stays. The lacing usually ran up the back, making it necessary to have someone else do the cinching, usually a maid.

The main purpose of a corset is to minimize the size of the waist which accentuates the size of the bust and hips.  The result is the perfect hourglass figure.  With a well constructed corset, the wearer can comfortably reduce the size of the waist by 2 to 4 inches. Dedicated corset wearers strive for an unrealistic waist measurement of 16 to 17 inches.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists Ethel Granger's waist size as 13 inches.

Corsets
Corsets

Madonna

Corsets - not just underwear
Corsets - not just underwear
Corsets - Not just underwear
Corsets - Not just underwear
Corsets - Not just underwear
Corsets - Not just underwear
Corset - A fashion accessory
Corset - A fashion accessory

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