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Victorian & Edwardian

Victorian Underwear Myths

squarepicNot every urban legend is true: Lisha clears up some common misconceptions about Victorian corsets and underpinnings.

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ichigo  
  I have come through so many of the #6 locally - saying that only women that were rich wore corsets. I think for some it is defend their practice of not having to make/wear any corset in the victorians club here.

I say even the poorest wear corsets or at least stays of some kind, there's simple stays of quilted fabric, corded, or similar, often with straps.

I think the reason of this is that there's so few extant "poor person's" clothes because these were worn until destruction (even down to cloth rags) or recycled into new garments.
 
 
Lisha_Vidler  
  Exactly! The idea of only the rich wearing proper undergarments is so absurd. I mean, do modern women forgo bras and panties, just because they're not wealthy? Of course not! They might buy secondhand or from discount shops, but they still wear underwear. Times haven't changed THAT much. I've also read anecdotes of frontier women crafting their own bustles out of tin cans and blankets, so they were definitely fashion-conscious.  
 
jenniechancey  
Fantastic   Well done, and all myths I hear regurgitated constantly. At least one well-meaning young actress seems to be on a campaign to convince modern women that corsets were always oppressive and restrictive, which is a most unfortunately misguided and ill-informed assumption. What will women 100 years from now hear about our century's fad diets, exercise crazes, Spandex, and the like? Our modern means of shaping the body will probably also assume mythical proportions!  
 
Lisha_Vidler  
  Good point! Future historians will probably be quite confused by our fashions and technology.

Regarding Hollywood, I've seen actresses complain bitterly about having to wear corsets in various period films. What I heard is that they often only have a few days to fit the costumes before filming starts, so their corsets aren't always well-fitting, plus they're laced into them too tightly by the wardrobe department, so the actresses are uncomfortable the whole time they're filming the movie. Because of that, they assume all corsets are painful, which is a shame.
 
 

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