1. I received quite a few comments on the teeny-tiny waists of the Lucile gowns I posted (this one was a personal favorite).
Early in her career Lucile may have enforced the Edwardian couture standard for ridiculously corseted physiques, but it didn’t last long.
Lucile later became one of the most prominent couturiers to publicly support the “big-waist movement”, which expanded the fashion-dictated waist measurement from a heavily corseted 18-inches to a far more natural 26-inches in a matter of just a few years.
This article discussing the movement is from The Washington Post and was originally printed on September 22, 1909.

    I received quite a few comments on the teeny-tiny waists of the Lucile gowns I posted (this one was a personal favorite).

    Early in her career Lucile may have enforced the Edwardian couture standard for ridiculously corseted physiques, but it didn’t last long.

    Lucile later became one of the most prominent couturiers to publicly support the “big-waist movement”, which expanded the fashion-dictated waist measurement from a heavily corseted 18-inches to a far more natural 26-inches in a matter of just a few years.

    This article discussing the movement is from The Washington Post and was originally printed on September 22, 1909.

  2. Women of the 18th century continued to wear stays (corsets) throughout the majority of pregnancy.

    This may seem impractical and rather extreme our modern sensibilities, but stays were considered a basic and essential undergarment and part of everyday life. The suggestion of eliminating the use of stays during pregnancy would likely make no more sense to an 18th century woman than the suggestion of eliminating bras during pregnancy would to a 21st century woman.

    Tailleur d’habits et tailleur de corps, a fascinating 1771 on tailoring (which can be viewed in its entirety here if you’re interested) has a design for a pair of stays patterned especially for pregnancy. These stays (shown above left) lace up the sides in addition to the traditional lacing up the back, allowing them to expand with a pregnant woman’s growing stomach.

    The photo on the right shows what these stays would look like constructed.

  3. A view of the back of this very awesomely constructed circa 1902 wool bathing corset.
When you consider the cut of stylish turn of the century bathing suits it’s easy to see why bathing corsets were necessary.

    A view of the back of this very awesomely constructed circa 1902 wool bathing corset.

    When you consider the cut of stylish turn of the century bathing suits it’s easy to see why bathing corsets were necessary.

  4. Another ventilated corset. This one was made by Madame Warren’s in 1885 and has mesh panels over the open sections.

    Another ventilated corset. This one was made by Madame Warren’s in 1885 and has mesh panels over the open sections.

  5. An 1871 "ventilated" corset designed for summer and sporting wear. In addition to the obvious openings the boning is cased in a light cotton rather than silk or coutil to allow for additional breath-ability.

    An 1871 "ventilated" corset designed for summer and sporting wear. In addition to the obvious openings the boning is cased in a light cotton rather than silk or coutil to allow for additional breath-ability.

  6. A 1902 lightly boned, wool bathing corset. Yes, they wore corsets under their swimsuits.

    A 1902 lightly boned, wool bathing corset. Yes, they wore corsets under their swimsuits.