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The History & Origins Of The Corset

The corset is a timeless fashion piece for women and men. Used as an undergarment for women’s dresses during the Victorian ages, it has become one of the most popular forms of accentuation for the upper region. This piece has had a long history of being one of the tightest forms of undergarments and has now reclaimed its identity as a form of celebration for female and male bodies. Today, we’re going to be providing you with a history lesson on the corset throughout the past few centuries and how it’s become a staple fashion piece in the current present.  


16th Century 

The beginnings of the corset kicked off in 16th century Italy. During this particular time period, these garments were not adorned for creating an hourglass figure. It was originally made for the purpose of shaping the torso in order to accentuate the bust area. Back in the day, this garment was typically worn with a farthingale otherwise known as an underskirt. These garments transformed the upper region of the body into the shape of an inverted cone. At this point in history, a corset was created with rigid materials such as buckram or whalebone to create a tight fit in the body. Connected by laces, they are then tightened in order to create a concave shape. By the time of the mid 16th century, this garment became popular among women in Europe. 

17th Century 

By the time of the 17th century, the corset had developed into a household staple fashion piece for women. The most popular version of this item known as the stomacher was embellished with jewels, pearls, an array of bows, and lacing and had a U and V-shaped panel.

18th Century 

One of the most popular forms of corset styles was the concave-shaped and designed to lift and mould the shape of the breasts, clinch the torso, and help enhance your posture. These garments were largely known to keep the waist fit, with the tendency to restrict breathing but by the time of the 18th century, it became a whole lot more comfortable for women. At this point, they designed these garments to follow the figure of the natural waist.

19th Century 

At this point, the corset had become the main method for lifting the breasts due to the fact that the waist had begun to start from the bust line. This eventually led to its hourglass shape that is still popularly used today and in Victorian-era styles. In 1839 France, Jean Werly had created a patent that was able to create a vast amount of garments through the loom. This was the popular way to create the garment until machine-made versions rose in favourability in 1890. Prior to this, all forms of the corset were usually homemade and stitched by hand. 

Present Day 

Woman wearing a corset

Nowadays, the corset offers an array of different purposes and is now a popular clothing choice for all genders and sexuality. These garments are used in order to showcase an hourglass figure. Corsets have also become helpful for back alignment and posture improvement. In the transgender community, there are many members who wear these garments simply for fashion, on a runway, ballroom dancing, or for the bedroom. The meaning behind this fashion piece has transformed as a tool to empower and uplift female and male bodies. 

Corsets are the classic undergarment designed to uplift and emphasize the wonderful qualities of men and women today. It is now used for a range of purposes including the bedroom, performance, fashion, and even for costumes during the Victorian era. With all this unlimited list of purposes, you can see how these garments had helped people of all genders flaunt their best figure forward.