All posts tagged: corsets

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 …

Corset reproduction, circa 1905, thedreamstress.com

A 1900s touch of blue corset

If you’re a longtime reader of my blog, you’ll remember Theresa: she’s a former Wellingtonian, and every time she comes back for a visit, we dress up and do a photoshoot together. We’ve done ca. 1880 (one and two), 17th & 18thc yellow (one, two and three), hoopskirts (one, two, and three), and Regency (one, two & hair), but Theresa has been asking for a 1900s photoshoot for ages. To do 1900s properly, first I had to finish the two S-bend corsets I’ve been working on for well over a year. This is the second TV1901 corset that I’ve started, but they were both finished at the same time.  The first one got abandoned for a long, long time due to frustration when I realised how much the sizing was off.  I’ll be covering that in more detail when I blog about my original attempt, but basically, the sizing doesn’t work in smaller waist/bust measures unless you also have a very small ribcage as well.  This particular corset is 3 sizes larger than Theresa’s recommended measurements, and …

The Black & White 1916 corset

On Monday I’m going to start living as close as I can to a 1916 lifestyle for two weeks. Naturally, this means I need a wardrobe.  A whole wardrobe post is coming, but for now, let’s start with the item everyone is really interested in: corsets. Based on my research, the average middle-class NZ housewife in 1916 had between 1 & 3 corsets at any given time: 1 or 2 for everyday wear, and possibly a fancier, more constricting one for dressing up.  Two corsets is ideal for everyday wear, because it means one can be airing while you wear the other. I’ve decided on two corsets for my experiment.  One, based on a slightly earlier cut, that Leimomi circa 1916 might have had in her wardrobe from before the war, and this one, reflecting the more recent mid-teens cut: Previously all of my 1910s corsets have been based on my personally fitted draft of the 1911 corset in Janet Arnold’s book.   However, very few women in NZ would have had personally fitted corsets.  The …