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Updated on August 21, 2015

Basques in History

Basques have an interesting history that many women are unaware of. In today’s world, it is an item that is often used as part of the bridal lingerie. In the Victorian era, women also used the basque as lingerie. Also known as a torsolette, the basque acts much as a corset when worn beneath the clothing. 

The word “basque” is French, and it is though that the term came from the Basques region, as this was the mode of dress preferred by the women of that area. Once the basque became popular in France, the English began to wear this style as well.

Many Victorian women also had an item of outwear known as a basque in their wardrobes.  This was a long and fitted woman’s jacket that was worn over their dresses. The jacket covered the waistline as well as the hips, and fitted smoothly over the bustle, which was worn at the back to keep the skirt from dragging on the ground.

No woman would dare to leave her home without a basque firmly fastened around her midsection! It was expected that women did not go out into the world unless their appearance was close to perfect, and the basque made quite a difference in the way they looked and felt.

Basques for the Bride

Today, when someone speaks of a basque, they definitely are talking about the corset-like garment. Styled like a camisole, the basque is used to support the breasts by virtue of the underwire that is built into the chest area.

The waist area is shaped and held in with a type of boning, which can be made from metal but is usually crafted from plastic. This shaping also helps to make the hips appear less wide. The basque also helps to improve the posture by keeping the back straight.

As a part of the bridal lingerie, the basque can make the bride’s dress fit as if it were custom made for her. It enhances every curve, and every contour of the female body. If the bride has chosen a strapless wedding gown, a basque is practically a necessity in order to look good for her groom. After the wedding, the bridal basque is also useful in the bedroom to impress the new husband during the honeymoon!

Basques as Outwear

The fit of a basque is not as tight as that of a corset. In the United States, the basque is sometimes known as a bustier, and this style of garment lends itself well to wearing as an article of clothing instead of a shirt or a blouse.

Of course, this depends on the type of material the basque is made from. Obviously, you would not wear a transparent basque out in public! However, a basque made from velvet, or from a leopard printed cloth would be appropriate.

Basques in the Bedroom

Black stretch lace, red lace, blue satin, black PVC, white fishnet, hot pink leather– take your pick! You can purchase a basque in any of these colors and in many styles to keep things interesting in the bedroom. Men really like the sexy look of a laced-up basque, and there is nothing quite like new lingerie to spice things up a little.

Wear a basque with hold ups or a matching suspender belt for your matching stockings. If you are interested in a bit of dominance fun, you can also find a “Mistress” basque with matching thong, or a chain basque with cutouts for the breasts and a matching g string. These go well with fishnet stockings, a flogger, and a black leather mask to complete the look.

Men often surprise their ladies with a gift of exotic, enticing lingerie. They normally buy whatever looks good to them, and what they think would look best on their partner. If your man surprises you with a silky satin basque, and you have never worn one before, don’t just shove it into the back of a drawer and forget about it!

As long as the basque is in your size, try it on! You may just discover that you really enjoy the delightful feeling of the smooth satin on your body. Basques can truly set the mood for several occasions!

This hub brought to you...

by Julie-Ann Amos, professional writer, twitter ghostwriter and owner of international writing agency


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    • ashleyyoung profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      I'm a huge fan of Victorian fashion, but aside from my love for the culture of such era, I'm so fond of Basques because it adds spice to intimate moments. A great way to steal my partner's attention from the TV during football nights!

      Fantastic hub Julie! :)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting hub but I think in that way our lives had improved.


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