Everything you would want to Know about CorsetsNatasha Jul 13 2016 at 9:33 AM
A corset is a piece of clothing worn to hold and train the upper body into a desired shape for aesthetic or medical purposes
Corsets existed for centuries and were probably the first existing lingerie. Over the years corset designs have undergone several changes but the purpose of wearing it still stays the same. Corsets till date highlight the female figure and provide support for women. The oldest corset can be traced back to Greece in about 2000 B.C where women wore bone bodied corsets to create the ideal figure by squeezing themselves into them and pushing their chest up to glorify their feminine assets. Women teased men in their corsets.
Corsets were more like a status symbol for women. They helped women not only look attractive but also made them impeccably dressed thus giving the men a good impression. Corsets emphasized the hip waist ratio giving the female figure a much desirable slimmer and younger look. Their main purpose was to give women the coveted hourglass figure to make them sexually more attractive. Corsets were a means for women to assert their rank among other women and up their status.
Though once relegated to the bedroom, the corset has now moved out into everyday fashion wear. Versions of the corset like the cincher or the bustier are also common among women today. Today corsets are referred to as tops and resemble the traditional corsets but do not actually serve the same figure changing purpose as them. Corsets today have lacing and boning like the traditional ones but do not change the female figure to as great an extent as earlier.
Even when they went out of fashion, corsets were probably worn as erotic clothing but it was in the 80’s when they came back into the spotlight when singer Madonna donned a corset as a top, designed by Gaultier for one of her concerts. Corset tops are not waist cinchers. In fact, they are a fashion statement and a great way to show off the female body. Today corset is worn for fashionable purposes but mostly it is still worn as lingerie underneath for erotic purposes.
Corsets had their advantages as well as disadvantages. Muscular atrophy, breathing problems, temporary loss of fat, bruising near rib area, restriction of movement were some of the harmful effects of wearing a corset. However, the medical benefits of wearing a corset were posture improvement, lumbar back support, reducing menstrual cramps, treating abdominal hernias to name a few.
Other than fashion and medical purposes corsets are used in sexual fetishism such as BDSM activities. Special corsets revealing the vagina and breasts can be worn during BDSM activity or plain sexual activity. In BDSM the submissive wearer would wear a restrictive corset which is laced extremely tight which her partner can untie. The dominant wearer can also wear corset for entirely different reasons.
Today corsets are relegated to period costume dramas, fashion designers and sexual fetishists.