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Sexy Corsets and Bustiers From the 1930s and Earlier

Updated on September 16, 2013

Corset History - Much Older Than What the Lunch Lady Wore!

The corset originated centuries ago. It is a tight-fitting garment worn to mold the body into a shape desired by women for beauty, or by a Doctor for orthopaedic purposes. A corset is either used for the time being so you can fit into your garment or for long periods of time, to conform the body into a desired shape. They have been worn by men and women for hundreds of years. Commonly, corsets are designed for slimming of the body and into an hourglass shape. Women have desired this hourglass shape which gives emphasis and results in a curvy figure. This is accomplished by what appears to be a reduction in the waist and this slimming, gives the illusion of larger bust and hips. Historically, however, corsets were used to make a straight minimized shape, sort of tubular. Please enjoy these photos from the late 19th and early 20th centuries which really emphasize the curviness of the women shown. Please let us know if this website was enjoyable to you!

Image of corset tightening cited: Google Images Creative Commons, 17th Century Painting in the Public Domain.

corset tightening
corset tightening

Corsets! OUCH!

This website shows the very sexy (of the time) and modern use of foundation garment and corsets to accentuate a woman's figure. I did this website in the hope that you may enjoy it and look back at what women had to do to be beautiful in their era. Long ago lost were the Rubenesque ideals of earlier centuries. The ladies still appear a little plump and we all know that celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were pleasingly plump, in an appealing way for their era. The use of these foundation garments dwindled after this and women began to desire to be naturally slim & curvy, with the use of these. Modern garment, such as Spanx have again brought back foundation garments as a way of life for most women.

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

The Cultural History of Corsets

The Corset: A Cultural History
The Corset: A Cultural History

If you really want to know the history of the corset, you can find it here.

This isn't a book about dates and facts, it is a cultural history of corsets and the perception of corsets throughout their history.

A fascinating book with a different perspective on nipping the waist.

 

Historically, Women Have Spent $Thousands a Year on Corsets and Foundation Garments - The following historical photos are from photos taken from the late 19th t

Corset
Corset

The corset industry has been booming since the 1870's in the United States. In 1876, two Doctors named Warner opened up their corset business in Connecticut and the industry was born. Corsets have been made in all types and sizes and every year, there was an innovation. In the last decade, there has been a resurgence of corsets, not only for fashion, but for enjoyment by many. These photos show several models in different types of corsets. They are not necessarily in chronological order but are all early and rare images.

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

The Corsellette

corsellette
corsellette

A corselette was called so because it was the combo of a girdle and brassiere. Most of the models were made of some type of latex and replaced the corset in many cases starting in the 1920s and became very popular in the 1930s. The retail on these was very high which kept a lot of women from wearing them and continuing with regular corsets until they became more reasonably priced. Daddy, break out the checkbook!

Corselette Photo found in the Public Domain, Creative Commons

Sexy Corset Pose from the Early 1900's

sexy corset pose
sexy corset pose

This lady definitely is not shy in front of the camera. She is almost posing as she smiles with not a touch of a reddened face...for shame

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

"Please Exit the Room Kind Sir, I am a Modest Girl!"

corset model with crossed arms
corset model with crossed arms

This lady from the early 1900s, appears to be a bit modest but you can see a bit of smile coming out from that shy face! This is a beautiful vintage 1910s corset photo!

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

Corsets in a French Brothel - Very Rare Photo

Corsets in a French Brothel
Corsets in a French Brothel

This photo shows a very early bevy of ladies of the night in a French Brothel. Although they are wearing corsets, the patrons must've enjoyed the pleasingly plump!

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

We Can't Forget the Corset for Full Figured and Larger Busted Ladies!

full figured corset
full figured corset

It has always been important for larger busted ladies to have a corset that flattered them. The bust was accentuated in the front and as you can see by the back of this model, it took a lot of material to make this.

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

The Corset that also Flattened, er...Flattered the Hips!

full figured corset
full figured corset

This model is flattering and flattening! This corset has helped slim the hips of this model who has curvier hips.

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

Early 1920s Corset with a Front Stitched Panel

Early Front Stitch Corset
Early Front Stitch Corset

This corset has front stitching and was an innovation in the late 1910s to early 1920s.

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

Corset Swimming Beauties from the Turn of the 20th Century!

Group of Corset Beauties
Group of Corset Beauties

This photo shows several models of all sizes and shapes and the ease in which they can move around and sit in their corsets. It is hard for me to believe that they actually went into the water in these getups!

Creative Commons Photo Credit - Permission Obtained by Author of Website

Learn More About the Corset, Corsellette and Bustier!

Some great corset, corselette and bustier publications and fun items from Amazon

Please chime in on your opinion of this lingerie website!

Please Let Us Know What You Think of this Corset and Corsellette Website!

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    • profile image

      Julia 2 years ago

      avec plaisir Mirna merci pour ton ceoimntamre, c est vrai qu il faut sauter le pas, je trouve qu il est inte9ressant de se rede9couvrir soi-meame !A bientf4t

    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 4 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      I'm currently promoting an Art Institute Chicago exhibit on Impressionism & Fashion. They've got actual garments (including corsets) from the turn of the century on display along with the paintings. Its amazing!

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Rangoon House: You are amazing and so eloquent. Thanks for the visit.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Am back again to join your enthusiastic applauding audience. The beautiful images are truly worthy of such rapture. Blessings.

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Diva2Mom: They do have it today, it is called Spanx! ha! Thanks for the visit.

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      haha, nice lens seeing these women in corsets, bustier, etc. I think they're fabulous! My "fashion" take on that being a (former diva, not anymore ok?)haha, is that...I think it helped them look more graceful and well-poised. I can only imagine wearing this and feel the pain and discomfort...but at the same time, if I feel that it's a "must-have" undergarment for me to wear just to look fabulous and beautiful, maybe I would have worn it too just like these women, haha :) It's just me. I had fun reading this, thank you! God bless.

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Hypersapien2: I guess the women of today have it much easier! Thanks for visiting.

    • Hypersapien2 profile image

      Hypersapien2 5 years ago from U.S.

      Nice lens, although not all of these look comfortable.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Wow, some of them look painful.

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @JohnTannahill: Hard to believe what women put up with back then.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      Wonderful lens - fun and informative.

    • profile image

      leonasharon 5 years ago

      All your lenses are great.

      This one is awesome too. You have immense knowledge. Appreciate it.

      Please like my new lens

      http://www.squidoo.com/paint-a-canvas-in-your-own-...

    • profile image

      fashionyahoo 5 years ago

      wow some history great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      ouch. that is going to hurt a lot.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Lol...I have to echo Kim Giancaterino's opinion on this one. Ouch! I could not have worn a corset ever in my life. No wonder ladies had to carry smelling salts to constantly wake them from fainting. I wonder if getting so little air into the lower areas of their lungs affected a woman's life expectancy (mind you back then giving birth kind of had that area all wrapped up). We really have come a long way.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Oh, those poor women. I never would have made it in that era.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens. Sprinkled with angel dust and sent onto google plus.

    • SewingMama profile image

      SewingMama 5 years ago

      Lovely lens! One really can't own too many corsets. Love 'em!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thank God for Spanx! ;) Great lens. Adding to my Bestselling Victorian and Steampunk Boots

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      really amazing photos and info. ~blessed~

    • SuperZoe LM profile image

      SuperZoe LM 5 years ago

      These photos are amazing! Happy St. Patty's to you too!

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image

      sweetstickyrainbo 5 years ago

      cute!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Some wonderful black and white photographs. I really love the bathing beauties!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Great lens and tons of fun, too!

    • Herman IV profile image

      Herman IV 5 years ago

      Neat lens! Some of those look painful but wow the things people will do to look beautiful!

    • greenmind profile image

      greenmind 5 years ago

      GREAT lens -- you really know how to make the art form sing...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I LOVE the corset swimming beauties, great job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      good lens

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 5 years ago

      Just gorgeous! I very much enjoyed my time here!

    • profile image

      southridgefarmsinc 5 years ago

      We love the pics...great job!

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      Corset seemed like a very painful apparel but provided good shape. loved the vintage photos and information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Applause, applause, applause!!!! A beautifully done and delightful presentation of the 'sexy' corsets and bustiers from the 30's and before...beauty had a different definition that still has its own appeal.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      Did people seriously take corsets to swim? Garments were so complex back then now people wear simple two piece clothing. I think part of the reason the corset fell out of use because women were crushing their ribcages and having trouble breathing.

    • KhairuZiya profile image

      KhairuZiya 5 years ago

      great lens, very informative. thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I'm quite fond of corsets on women, as long as they don't go too far - the shrinkage on some of these women is absolutely terrifying! Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      some of these old fashion corsellette are just amazingly scary. still, enjoyed my visit on your lens this morning and seeing how it once was.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      I'm just happy I don't have to wear one...those poor women. Just goes to show you what we women will do to make outselves beautiful. Very nicely done!

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 5 years ago

      Oo-la-la VERY sexy stuff indeed.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 6 years ago

      I enjoyed this lens and learned a lot. Great job! :)

    • KANEsUgAr profile image

      KANEsUgAr 6 years ago

      The problem w the 1930s style, is it isn't very flattering for the backside.

    • Muzzie4848 profile image

      Muzzie4848 6 years ago

      Love finding out about the history of the corset and seeing all the great pictures. I like your lens so much I have made this lens a featured lens on my lens. I hope anyone visiting my lens will take the time to visit. Thank you for doing all the hard work for me.

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Montreal

      Wow, the miracles of modern technology...angel blessed!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Well done lingerie lens, lensrolled to my related lenses and ***Angel blessed*** by the Bath and Shower neighborhood Angel & featured on "My Life with Angel Wings" lens ... :)

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 6 years ago from WNY

      6XL? Holy Cow. :)

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      I love the look of a corset in black lingerie, however to wear all day isn't wise. Your abdominal muscles weaken if the corset becomes the main source to "hold you in." Women became dependent on having these laced up hundreds of years ago, by others, simply to straighten their posture. Great for naughty lingerie but not good for all day wear.

      Great historical lens! Thank you for visiting mine too. Sincerely, Rose

    • babygirlboutique profile image

      babygirlboutique 7 years ago

      Love these old fashioned corsets! Can't believe how tiny the waists were... ouch!!