History Of Corsets: How Corsets Became Popular And Were Then Rationed For WWI

Beauty standards are infinitely mutated over time and geography, but a particular shape emerged hundreds of years ago as the ideal female body in the Western world, to the point that you probably don't need to tell what it is is. The problem for women trying to achieve this ideal is that by its very nature, it is not the most attainable. What they could do, they found out, was to mold their bodies to the desired form with some combination of clothes, metal straps and / or animal bones. Hey, nobody ever said beauty was beautiful.

Bad for bones

Archaeologists have identified clothing made of metal corsets in the artwork as Bronze Age Minoan culture. Fast forward to the 15th and 16th centuries, and it was customary for women in the Western world to dress tightly with a paste solution pasted in the front or back to keep things from custom. Later innovations relied on wooden planks, metal rods, or animal bones to hold the shape of the garment, but it was as uncomfortable as it sounds, so eventually someone got the bright idea to use whale bones . They were not actually bones, but a type of hard cartilage found in the mouth of a whale species of the same name. This may not sound enjoyable any more, but whale bone corsets were so popular that demand for them drove the species closer to extinction.

Whales were not the only ones to get hurt. As corset fashion became more and more extreme, women began to suffer a number of distortions from shortness of breath due to the tightening of the skeletal deformity of the diaphragm. The remains of skeletons wearing hard corsets that died of the 18th and 19th centuries have been transformed into an "S" formation and an unnaturally curved spine. Doctors of the day recognized the loss and wrote books and articles warning of the "health plague" that they compared to gambling, drinking and smoking. They were almost as successful as they would be today if they tried to drive women away from kajal.

Fashionable silhouette in 1906.

War and loincloth

Upper-class women of the 18th century made corsets the most fashionable undergarment of the aristocracy. At the time, hustles were all the rage, and the corset was designed to keep the stomach flat and accent the more pronounced parts of a woman's anatomy. After the turn of the century, the fashion evolved to give the wearer a slim, childish figure, usually complete with steel bonding, as the whale had gone out by then.

It all came to a scary halt with the First World War. Rationing policies were implemented against a wide variety of goods, including steel, effectively removing the corset from the fashion world overnight. The world's major corset manufacturer, the Warner Bros. Corset Company (apparently no relation to a certain savvy bunny), freed enough steel to build two warships.

By the time the war ended, the movers and shakers were in a roaring twenties, defined in women's fashion by free-flowing mini-dresses that gave the modern woman her first taste of comfort and freedom in centuries, And she was not there to tell him about it. If your average flapper has worn any shapwear, it was only a waistband, similar to a corset, but worn far less often on the body for the purpose of thinning the hips. Above, she wore the first simple cotton bra, which came to prominence in Corset's vacuum - and made Warner Bros. a fortune.

"Safety Garb for Women Workers. Uniform on left, complete with plastic 'bra' on right, will prevent future occupational accidents among female war workers. Los Angeles, California. Acme."

Death of the corset

Fashion designers of the late 1930s tried to make a corset return, but they were shaken by World War One, and not just this time due to rationing. The Second World War marked a shift towards the dress of women as practical as many women moved out of the home for the workforce. That doesn't mean they still don't take pains to look good - many women in their 40s adopted the look of the "sweater girl" of movie stars like Laina Turner who is dangerously and outspoken of a bullet bra. The name was given - but in everyday fashion, done to the corset.

World War II almost killed the corset for good, but the remains of a figure-flattering garment. Many bridal gowns and formal dresses today include built-in corsets with plastic bones, lingerie companies selling heavily toned versions of Victorian staples (ironic for those infamous prides), and have become quite popular among the cosplay crowd . Many Rain Fair seamstresses have made the custom of hatching quite a few eggs for the wannabe women of the world's court.

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