The corset cover was generally in the form of a light chemise, made from cotton lawn or silk. Modern corset wearers may wear corset liners for many of the same reasons. Those who lace their corsets tightly use the liners to prevent burn on their skin from the laces. People with spinal problems, such as scoliosis , or with internal injuries, may be fitted with a back brace, which is similar to a corset. This is usually made of plastic and or metal.
A brace is used to push the curves so that they don't progress, and sometimes they lower the curves. Braces are used mostly in children and adolescents, as they have a higher chance of the curves getting worse. Artist Andy Warhol was shot in and never fully recovered; he wore a corset for the rest of his life.
Aside from fashion and medical uses, corsets are also used in sexual fetishism , most notably in BDSM activities. In BDSM, a submissive may be required to wear a corset, which would be laced very tightly and restrict the wearer to some degree. A dominant may also wear a corset, often black, but for entirely different reasons, such as aesthetics. A specially designed corset, in which the breasts and vulva are exposed, can be worn during vanilla sex or BDSM activities.
Corsets are typically constructed of a flexible material like cloth , particularly coutil , or leather stiffened with boning also called ribs or stays inserted into channels in the cloth or leather. In the 18th and early 19th century, thin strips of baleen also known as whalebone were favoured for the boning. Other materials used for boning have included ivory , wood , and cane. By contrast, a girdle is usually made of elasticized fabric, without boning. Corsets are held together by lacing, usually though not always at the back. Tightening or loosening the lacing produces corresponding changes in the firmness of the corset.
Depending on the desired effect and time period, corsets can be laced from the top down, from the bottom up, or both up from the bottom and down from the top, using two laces that meet in the middle. In the Victorian heyday of corsets, a well-to-do woman's corset laces would be tightened by her maid, and a gentleman's by his valet. However, Victorian corsets also had a buttoned or hooked front opening called a busk. If the corset was worn loosely, it was possible to leave the lacing as adjusted and take the corset on and off using the front opening.
If the corset is worn snugly, this method will damage the busk if the lacing is not significantly loosened beforehand. Self-lacing may be very difficult where the aim is extreme waist reduction see below. The type of corset and bodice lacing became a refined mark of class; women who could not afford servants often wore front-laced bodices. In the past, a woman's corset was usually worn over a chemise , a sleeveless low-necked gown made of washable material usually cotton or linen. It absorbed perspiration and kept the corset and the gown clean. In modern times, a tee shirt, camisole or corset liner may be worn.
Moderate lacing is not incompatible with vigorous activity. During the second half of the 19th century, when corset wearing was common among women, sport corsets were specifically designed for wear while bicycling , playing tennis , or horseback riding, as well as for maternity wear. By wearing a tightly-laced corset for extended periods, known as tightlacing or waist training, men and women can learn to tolerate extreme waist constriction and eventually reduce their natural waist size. Although petite women are often able to get down to a smaller waist in absolute numbers, women with more fat are typically able to reduce their waists by a larger percentage.
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Although many different sizes were used, the smallest sizes that were popularly used were 16, 17 and 18 inches. This caused the bottom part of their lungs to fill with mucus. Symptoms of this include a slight but persistent cough, as well as heavy breathing, causing a heaving appearance of the bosom. After , the category changed to "smallest waist on a living person". However, these are extreme cases. Corsets were and are still usually designed for support, with freedom of body movement an important consideration in their design. She enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance during the s.
For nearly years, women's primary means of support was the corset, with laces and stays made of whalebone or metal. Other researchers have found evidence of the use of corsets in early Crete Minoan civilization. The corset has undergone many changes. Originally, it was known as "a pair of bodys" in the late 16th century. It was most often laced in the back, and was, at first, a garment reserved for the aristocracy. Later the term "pair of bodies" would be replaced with the term "stays" and was generally used during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Stays essentially turned the upper torso into a cone or cylinder shape. Stays evolved in the 18th century when whalebone was used more, and there was more boning used in the garment. The shape of the stays changed as well. While the stays were low and wide in the front, they could reach as high as the upper shoulder in the back. Stays could be strapless or use shoulder straps. The straps of the stays were generally attached in the back and tied at the front sides. The purpose of 18th century stays was to support the bust and confer the fashionable conical shape while drawing the shoulders back.
At this time, the eyelets were reinforced with stitches and were not placed across from one another, but instead staggered. This allowed the stays to be spiral laced. One end of the stay lace was inserted and knotted in the bottom eyelet; the other end was wound through the stays' eyelets and tightened on the top. Tight-lacing was not the purpose of stays during this time period. Women in all societal levels, from ladies of the court to street vendors, wore stays.
During this time period, there is evidence of a variant of stays, called "jumps", which were looser than stays with attached sleeves, like a jacket. Woman's corset stays c. Silk plain weave with supplementary weft -float patterning, stiffened with baleen ; Los Angeles County Museum of Art , M. Bianca Lyons shows the increased female curves emphasized by corsets, circa Group of five corsets, late 19th and early 20th century; Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation. Corsets were originally quilted waistcoats, which French women wore as an alternative to stiff corsets. This garment was meant to be worn on informal occasions, while stays were worn for court dress.
In the s, stays began to fall out of fashion. This development coincided with the French Revolution and the adoption of neoclassical styles of dress. It was the men, Dandies, who began to wear corsets. In the early 19th century, when gussets were added for room for the bust, stays became known as corsets. They also lengthened to the hip and the lower tabs were replaced by gussets at the hip and had less boning.
The shoulder straps disappeared in the s for normal wear. In the s, fashion changed again, with the waistline lowered back to almost the natural position. This was to allow for more ornamentation on the bodice, which in turn saw the return of the corset to modern fashion.
Corsets began to be made with some padding and more boning. Some women made their own, while others bought their corsets. Corsets were one of the first mass-produced garments for women. Corsets began to be more heavily boned in the s.
By , steel boning became popular. With the advent of metal eyelets, tight lacing became possible. The position of the eyelets changed. They were situated across from one another at the back. The front was fastened with a metal busk in front. Corsets were mostly white. The corsets of the s—s were shorter than the corsets of the 19th century through s.
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This was because of a change in the silhouette of women's fashion. The s and s emphasized the hoopskirt. After the s, when the hoop fell out of style, the corset became longer to mold the abdomen, exposed by the new lines of the princess or cuirass style. The obvious health risks, including damaged and rearranged internal organs, compromised fertility; weakness and general depletion of health were also blamed on excessive corsetry. Eventually, the reformers' critique of the corset joined a throng of voices clamoring against tightlacing , which became gradually more common and extreme as the 19th century progressed.
Preachers inveighed against tightlacing, doctors counseled patients against it and journalists wrote articles condemning the vanity and frivolity of women who would sacrifice their health for the sake of fashion. Whereas for many corseting was accepted as necessary for beauty, health , and an upright military-style posture , dress reformists viewed tightlacing as vain and, especially at the height of the era of Victorian morality , a sign of moral indecency.
American women active in the anti-slavery and temperance movements , with experience in public speaking and political agitation, demanded sensible clothing that would not restrict their movement. In Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward wrote:. Burn up the corsets! No, nor do you save the whalebones, you will never need whalebones again. Make a bonfire of the cruel steels that have lorded it over your thorax and abdomens for so many years and heave a sigh of relief, for your emancipation I assure you, from this moment has begun.
Despite these protests, little changed in restrictive fashion and undergarments by During the Edwardian period, the straight front corset also known as the S-Curve corset was introduced. This style was worn from to This was sold as an alternative to the boned corset. The corset reached its longest length in the early 20th century. At first, the longline corset reached from the bust down to the upper thigh. There was also a style of longline corset that started under the bust, and necessitated the wearing of a brassiere. This style was meant to complement the new silhouette.
It was a boneless style, much closer to a modern girdle than the traditional corset. The longline style was abandoned during World War I. The corset fell from fashion in the s in Europe and North America, replaced by girdles and elastic brassieres , but survived as an article of costume. Originally an item of lingerie , the corset has become a popular item of outerwear in the fetish , BDSM and goth subcultures.
In the fetish and BDSM literature, there is often much emphasis on tightlacing , and many corset makers cater to the fetish market. By the end of World War II, it had become a rarity in ordinary dress, though it continued to be worn in specific instances, such as state funerals, also by those occupying prominent positions in the Bank of England, by certain City stock exchange officials and occasionally when passing between the Law Courts and Lincoln's Inn, London by judges of the Chancery Division and Queen's Counsel.
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A flat cap is a rounded cap with a small stiff brim in front. The hat is also known in Scotland as a bunnet in the Scots language, in Wales as a Dai cap, in New Zealand as a cheese-cutter, and in the United States as a driving cap. Cloths used to make the cap include wool, tweed, and cotton. Less common materials may include leather, linen, or corduroy. The inside of the cap is commonly lined for comfort and warmth. The qeleshe or plis , also qylaf is a white brimless felt cap traditionally worn by Albanians.
It has spread throughout Albanian-inhabited territories, and is today part of the traditional costume of the Albanians. The height of the cap varies region to region. A crinoline is a stiffened or structured petticoat designed to hold out a woman's skirt, popular at various times since the midth century. Originally, crinoline described a stiff fabric made of horsehair " crin " and cotton or linen which was used to make underskirts and as a dress lining. A petticoat or underskirt is an article of clothing, a type of undergarment worn under a skirt or a dress. Its precise meaning varies over centuries and between countries.
A fashion accessory is an item used to contribute, in a secondary manner, to the wearer's outfit, often used to complete an outfit and chosen to specifically complement the wearer's look. It has the capacity to further express an individuals identity and personality as there are accessories that come in different, shapes, sizes, hues etc.
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The term came into use in the 20th century. The Jewish hat also known as the Jewish cap , Judenhut German or Latin pileus cornutus , was a cone-shaped pointed hat, often white or yellow, worn by Jews in Medieval Europe and some of the Islamic world. Initially worn by choice, its wearing was enforced in some places in Europe after the Fourth Council of the Lateran for adult male Jews to wear while outside a ghetto to distinguish them from others. Like the Phrygian cap that it often resembles, the hat originated in pre-Islamic Persia, as a similar hat was worn by Babylonian Jews.
Bands are a form of formal neckwear, worn by some clergy and lawyers, and with some forms of academic dress.
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They take the form of two oblong pieces of cloth, usually though not invariably white, which are tied to the neck. The word bands is usually plural because they require two similar parts and did not come as one piece of cloth. Those worn by clergy are often called preaching bands , preaching tabs , or Geneva bands ; those worn by lawyers are called barrister's bands or, more usually in Canada, tabs.
Metal corset s are a type of historical corset or bodice made entirely out of metal, usually iron or steel. The metal corset was popularly claimed to have been introduced to France by Catherine de' Medici in the 16th century, although this is now considered a myth. The idea that such garments were worn for fashionable purposes is debatable, with fashion historians now regarding such claims sceptically.
Many of the original metal bodices that have survived are now believed to have been intended for medical purposes as orthopaedic support garments and back braces. At the beginning of the century, the sack-back gown was a very informal style of dress. At its most informal, it was unfitted both front and back and called a sacque , contouche , or robe battante. By the s the sack-back gown was second only to court dress in its formality. This style of gown had fabric at the back arranged in box pleats which fell loose from the shoulder to the floor with a slight train.
In front, the gown was open, showing off a decorative stomacher and petticoat. It would have been worn with a wide square hoop or panniers under the petticoat. Scalloped ruffles often trimmed elbow-length sleeves, which were worn with separate frills called engageantes. It could be worn in various ways with the brim folded back or turned up or down at whim. It is also sometimes called a milkmaid hat. It was widely worn in the midth century, and versions may be seen in many British and French paintings of the period, such as The Swing by Fragonard, and in portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and Johann Zoffany, amongst others.
It has been suggested that the hat was named after Madame Bergeret, who is holding a shepherdess-style hat in a Boucher portrait painted c. A jockey's cap is the headgear worn by a jockey in the sport of horse racing. The modern jockey's cap forms part of a jockey's "silks" or racing colours and is worn over a protective equestrian helmet.
A picture hat , also sometimes known as a Gainsborough hat , is an elaborate woman's hat with a wide brim.