The Importance of Correct Corseting
By Clarice I. Wile
(FROM THE MARCH, 1911 EDITION OF THE MODERN PRISCILLA)
Inasmuch as, all through the coming season, we are to be debarred from the charming, not top say daring, scheme with have been devised for our benefit and beatifying, it is obvious that, if we wish to achieve success and distinction in our dress, we must pay particular attention to our contours. And as, for their desired perfection we are almost entirely dependant upon our corsets—particularly all our day and evening gowns being destitute of any boning in the bodices—we are prepared to appreciate to the fullest extent the beautiful shaping of the new corsets, that are made with the careful regard to the comfort as well the smartness of their wearers, now to be found on the market.
Fashions in corsets for this year are entitled to some attention, although they have, in print, long since been discounted and are at present simply matter-of-course affairs. They are also the outgrowth of the change in fashions in gowns, which began to materialize a year ago. The vagaries of waist-line fashion and the farther morbid craze for an attenuated physique, frankly outlined, which have lived through several seasons of popularity and are still desperately opposing the change to normal lines, are no longer in power and the feminine cry, already a familiar paraphrase—long live the waistline.
If you will just notice the gowning of an up-to-date woman you will see that the lower edge of her belt or girdle or the cord at the bottom of the latest waists defines the normal waistline. It has no dip in the front, but instead curves slightly upward over the hip and across the back. This indicates that the corset she wears is also thoroughly up-to-date, is shaped to her figure at the line just described.
This season the straight up-and-down silhouette is the fashionable one, the aim being to give the effect of an uncorseted figure. To gain this end the lightest corset fabrics are used. Some of these materials are very handsome, the brocaded fabrics the most alluring, and there are some chic linens and coutils embroidered from the bust to the waistline as a new feature. The tricot, or silk jersey, on account of its strength and suppleness, is used to a large extent. In fact, one of the features of the new corset lies in the character of the fabric used rather then the cut. The long hip line must be preserved, and the waist curving is, therefore, one of the important features. In order to make the flexibility of the figure pronounced very little boning is resorted to, and great ingenuity must be shown to give this much-desired flexibility, where it is essential to use any amount of boning. The harness of hose supporters, which has created so much ridicule, has been lessened, and although the corsets are long the bones do not extend below the hip line, all of which makes a plea for comfort.
The most important feature of the new corset is the long waist lines, decidedly long, but in every way comfortable. The garments will fit perfectly at the lowest possible line so that they cannot be moved after once being placed in position. It is possible to take hold of the top of the corset and pull as hard as you like, without moving it half an inch. This is undoubtedly an unusual achievement and one that has been needed for some time. The long waist is maintained even when the bust of the corset is very low, and even wide belts worn on dresses give no appearance of shortness of figure. Aside from this the new corsets are better in value then those of preceding years. The boning is stronger, for the importance of good stays in long corsets has been apparent, and an excellent quality of hose supporters has supplanted the rather questionable affairs which have been used, on really good corsets.
A new advice to women when putting on a corset has just reached me and I believe it will be a help to you as it is an important one concerning proper corseting. When the new corsets are put on the lacers are to be left wide apart and the hooking is to begin at the top, but before drawing up the lacers, pull the corset down in the back as much as you used to pull them down in the front. Slip the hand inside below the waist, first over one hip and then over the other, gently pulling up the flesh and pressing the corsets downward. This keeps the stays in place and prevents them from riding up or giving that old fashioned slant to the waist-line. Then the lacing helps to accentuate this effect.
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