Is Corset Wearing For You?
Words are like untying a corset – you can move into this great space with them. – Ali Smith
n my early days I worked in theater costume shops around the country. Many of us in the shop would inevitably try some of the more unusual items on, for fitting purposes of course. Whenever a period play would come in the line up we would try on the corsets and the hoop skirts. I have to say, if you ever get a chance the corsets are worth trying on at the least. A co-worker laced me up in one and it's amazing how it helps your posture and well, I just liked how everything felt supported and snug. You cannot slouch in a corset.
I can't remember the show, but there was an official, real straight-jacket too. Of course I tried that on! I'm rather limber by nature so it wasn't too uncomfortable at least for the short period I was in it. I tried, Houdini like to get out of it and I couldn't, I'm not that limber. But, wearing it felt a little like giving myself a hug. Weird, but not so weird. If you're crazy, giving yourself a hug might just be thing you need. Alright, then.
Fortunately, wearing straight-jackets as an everyday item has not caught on. But corsets are in the spotlight. There is always a bump in corset wearing around Halloween of course. I know there are plenty of people who are really into achieving the 22 inch waist or waist training nonsense etc.. but for moderate, every day wearing purposes the corset to me is still quite intriguing.
The corset itself has been around for hundreds of years with its popularity at its highest in the Elizabethan and Victorian period. If you've been watching Downton Abbey you remember how the corset fell out of favor during World War I, especially with the younger set. After the war the girdle replaces the corset for women's preferred undergarment.
In modern times the corset has had a bit of revival thanks in part to Madonna, the popularity of Betty Page, and fashion designers bringing it out of the closet and into the light of day. Still most women today don't wear a corset, or girdle on a daily basis. But, raise your hand if you wear Spanx. Spanx is our modern day corset, it is made of combination of nylon, Lycra, cotton and latex. I've tried on Spanx and darn near thought I was going to die of Spanx compression. How on earth do they do it!? I find that a corset is hands down much more comfortable, perhaps not to wear all day long but oddly more comfortable than modern day Spanx even for a nano second.
With the revival in corset wearing there are many who tackle the art of sewing corsets for themselves. I know a few people who sew custom made corsets for clients. They can be very elaborate or simple, but are always elegant and beautiful.
Myself? I haven't sewn a corset of my own. For now I like to look but maybe some day.
How about you? Would you make a corset for yourself? Have you ever tried one on? What's the most unconventional item you've tried on? Let me know on the blog!
And, don't forget the Make It Coats sweepstakes happening through out the month of September. There are weekly contests and weekly winners.The previous week's winner will be announced on Wednesdays through out September.