There are many reasons why people wear corsets, reasons both intimate and everyday. From one basic pattern stem seemingly limitless interpretations of design and style to accommodate every type of figure and occasion. The corset has adapted to many different social conditions over time, and whilst today it could be said to be no longer a necessity, it still enjoys popularity amongst its many fans. The evolving meaning of corset use has given it its spectrum of faces; whether fashionable or passé, it has been constantly influential. Its place in fashion history is guaranteed , in that when it was worn other clothing had to be designed at least with compatibility in mind. Here is its most obvious influence – the past’s most extreme fashions were dictated to by it.
It is a headache for designers and customers alike when today’s fashions become saggy and tired. There is therefore an industry of real corset-makers (as opposed to let’s-pretend imitations) designing for this market. Firmly-established firms such as Madame Voller’s have reintroduced their products. Today, it is also possible to be self-taught; the requisite skills are derived from basic sewing, and the specialised techniques can be found online and in many thorough books. Also, there are several reputable supply companies. This easy availability suggests a permanent interest.
These days, we are free of the myths that bugged corsetry throughout its decline. It is apparent that those who choose to wear corsets will not put up with pain or enforced servitude; responsible medical advice allows us to tight-lace with safety. Without ridiculous misinterpretations, the climate for corsetry is favourable.
Acceptance of alternative sexual tastes also allows exploration of one of the corset’s most widely perceived applications. In turn this makes the corset-as-outerwear an extremely desirable garment, sure to invite attention. These factors allow more people to enjoy corsets, both for everyday and leisure wear.
At this moment in time, the corset is welcomingly ubiquitous. Many pale imitations of it are found on the high street; more seasoned clubbers may chose something from Shhh!. Devotees who prefer to lace in secret might try Agent Provocateur. Huggins of corset-based garments have appeared in other high-street chains; some call them ‘basques’, or simply ‘bodices’, but their roots are undeniable with their use of shaped panels and laces. The real item is thankfully still around – today’s are crafted from genuine patterns adapted for today’s modern shapes, and traditional methods are used to ensure proper accuracy along with comfortable innovations like spiral steel boning.
Obviously, corsets have returned, In disguise maybe, but with undeniable success. Testimony indeed to how universal a garment the corset is; even when not quite itself, it still maintains its functions. People have welcomed home a thing of beauty and value which, thanks to its versatility, is unlikely to truly disappear again.