Corset Ramblings

I came across a post on bdsmlr that made me ramble about Corsets. Nothing sexy, just some history nerding.

Corsets got a bad rep in the late 1800s when the first wave of feminism started. Lots of wrong information about the dangers of corsets, mainly coming from the fact that they are not comfortable to wear. Follow this link for more health information about Corsets. Fashion doesn't have to comfortable, it has to be pretty. All in all the victorian era was such an interesting time, especially the fashion and sexuality of that era is really fascinating. And i am kind of a history nerd so, sorry for this lengthy rambling that now follows.

Corsets really flourished in the victorian era and we often associate corsets with that time only. But corsets were around since forever. The oldest known corset is from 1600 BC (that's like 3600 years ago) from Greece. It was more like a tight belt around the waist, fashion back then was a bit barren, though girls didn't cover their tits. So maybe they were ahead of us in that sense?

The most important person in corset history, however, was Catherine de Medici, a french queen who got so fed up with fat chicks that she banned thick waists in court. That started the widespread use of corsets all over Europe that reached their height in the victorian era. And then feminism ruined it for everyone.

This was quite an exciting time though because about the same time Elizabeth I introduced makeup into the royal courts of Europe. Before her, it was looked down upon and was mostly used by whores. Makeup was very crude back then and it would take until the victorian era for more advanced and stylish Makeup to become available.

Before that, there was another french girl named Agnes Sorel (later called the first Tussi in history), who invented the nip slip. Well, actually she popularized wearing low cut gowns that more often than not exposed her nipples. No wonder the french king took her as his personal side bitch. Funnily enough, the real scandal surrounding her was her choice of jewelry, because everyone knew how nipples looked like (not like today where we have to censor them all the time) but actually her wearing diamonds was scandalous. But turns out, if you are fucking the king's brains out, you don't have to fear repercussions by society. i could go on for ages on how Agnes single-handedly saved France during the 100 years war and how unfair it is that Jeanne d'Arc gets all the fame, but alas, this here is about fashion.

And interestingly enough, the hourglass figure we prefer today came only into fashion in the mid 1800s. Before that, fashion had the waist begin right below the tits, so it was very cone-shaped. At the end of the victorian era, Charles Dana Gibson invented the Gibson Girl as the basis of all our modern beauty standards. The Gibson Girl has a very tiny waist and a roughly S shaped body (High Heels anyone?). But then the first world war happened and fashion got more practical and less beautiful.

Which leads us to today. We do have a slow rise in corset usage again, thanks to modern royalty from the US: the Kardashians. Even though it's mostly waist trainers instead of real full-fledged corsets.

The trouble is, corsets need time. You can't just start wearing super tight corsets and get away with it. Corsets are really waist trainers, they take time. Also, one main difference between victorian and modern corsets is that victorian corsets were custom fitted to the girl while modern ones usually are store bought. Good corsets are super expensive and take a lot of maintenance.

A cheaper way to get around that is waist trainers. The problem with them is that they are not pretty. You are really restricted with the clothes you can wear over them. You need form-fitting clothes that aren't too tight to show the waist trainer beneath, it's a tricky thing. But on the other hand much cheaper than a real corset and obviously not as good. But they do help with having a tinier waist :)

I urge all girls to look into waist training. It can be an easy way to look sexier. However, before you start, please check this video first.


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