All posts filed under: Learn

Gossard Corsets ad, The Designer Oct 1916, thedreamstress.com

The Ideal WWI era figure: Part I

As a celebration (slightly belatedly) of the release of the Scroop Rilla Corset, over the next few weeks I’ll be doing a series post about the ‘ideal’ figure from 1913 to 1921 – the period covered by the Rilla corset. I’ll be covering how the figure ideal changed from 1914 to 1921, how corsets and other undergarments were used to achieve the ideal figure and ‘correct’ the less than ideal figure, and how to wear a 1910s corset if you are ‘large above the waist’, and how to fit the Rilla to your figure. Of course, in any era, beauty is in the eye of the beholder: what the ideal figure is depends on who is describing it, so there are lots of variations.  Part of the reason I really love the 1914-1921 period is that it covers a vast range of fashionable silhouettes within that 7 year range, even within a single year, and with so many different waistlines, necklines, skirt silhouettes and overall ‘looks’, there is a mid-teens style for every body. To …

Ladies Home Journal, June 1910 thedreamstress.com

Some social commentary on corsets, 1910

I bought the June 1910 issue of the Ladies Home Journal (it was the American Fashion Number!) when I was in the US, and thought I should share this fascinating piece of corset related social commentary from it with you: And if you can’t quite read that one: So many layers! The anti-tightlacing message, right as longline corsets came into fashion. The message that corsets should be looser, without even a hint of a suggestion that they should be left off. The weird overtones about fertility. The use of ‘man’ and ‘girl’. The idea that women dress for men. The mansplaining…

A quick guide to corset & stay styles from 1750 to 1850

In last week’s (well, almost week before lasts at this point!) Five for Friday post, when I discussed transitional stays, and succumbing to the temptation to make ‘reenactor style’ Regency stays* (which, you will be pleased to hear, I have not!), I didn’t make it clear what either was.  So naturally, people asked! I was going to just write about transitional stays and reenactor stays, but how can you write about a transition if you don’t show what something is transitioning from, and towards?  And how can I show something is a reenactorism if I don’t show what the reality was?  I realised that both needed more background, and deserved complete posts. So, here is the slightly longer, more complicated, post with a history of supportive undergarments (i.e. stays and corsets – read this post for the difference between the two) from 1750 to 1850.  This is intended as a very general introduction to the way the types of supportive undergarments period, rather than an in-depth exploration.  One could easily write a full blog post about the …