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    Corset / Corsage

    A corset is an undergarment mostly worn by women. It is worn on the bodice under a dress to shape the torso according to the prevailing fashion. The name corset or corsage comes from the French word ‘cors’ meaning ‘body’. The corset was first worn as Spanish court fashion in the 16th century and was at the time a stiff bodice that formed the torso into a cone shape, flattening the stomach and breasts. The French adopted that trend and modified the corset to where it didn’t flatten but push up the breasts. For a while corsets went out of fashion until in 1820 they became mandatory for women and were even worn by men. The typical hourglass and S-shape corsets with tiny waists (wasp waist) were developed that imposed an unnatural and unhealthy posture on the wearer. This was especially criticized during women’s movement in 1913. Nowadays corsets are only worn for erotic purposes or under historical costumes. But since 1990 corsets have also been worn for fashionable reasons again. Corsets used to be reinforced with wale bone, were laced in the back and were fitted to the wearer.

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