The Role of Corsets in Fashion

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Wearing of corsets arguably reached their peak during the pinup girl era. Many of the top fashion icons from the 1950s were seen with a purple corset on during many of their photo shoots. The popularity waned slightly in the decades after that, but has experienced a revival lately. Many people enjoy wearing these types of corsets as an homage to the pinup girls from that era. Their exotic and sensual look left an indelible imprint in the imagination of many Americans. Many people today associate these exterior bustier corset designs as representative of many women’s rights movements as well.

Many people are starting to look to corsets as a new trending fashion design, but some may not realize that they actually have an extensive history to them. It can be fascinating to take a look back in to the recent past and see how they have evolved in popular fashion culture. A fair number of fashion icons in American society became famous because of photos they had taken wearing these corsets. They have actually been worn intermittently for centuries, but have experienced multiple revivals over the past few decades. Read through to find more information about how the usage of the corset has gradually changed over time.

The modern history of the corset took a dramatic turn around World War I, when there was actually a restriction placed on wearing them. This was because a lot of metal went in to constructing these corsets, which were highly popular at the time. During the course of the war, over 28,000 tons of metal were saved due to the ban that was put in to place. Though this temporarily decreased the appeal of these corsets, many people became interested in these corsets after the war had ended. This next phase would create a dramatic revival, since the corset began being used in a number of unique ways.

historical corset fashionPrior to this point, many corsets were used as an undergarment. They were primarily used to control the figure of women who were overweight or pregnant. This contributed to their appeal, because they were often capable of slimming down the appearance of women when they were fully clothed. But after the war, there were quite a few people who became interested in changing the way that corsets were worn in general. There were some early models such as Edith Amanda Nielsen who were photographed wearing the clothing on the exterior. This rapidly became popular and began to be prominently featured in different fashion photo shoots.

During the pinup girl era, this style continued to rise in popularity. Quite a few models wore more provocative cuts of exterior corsets, which drew quite a bit of public attention. It actually generated some controversy, since many disagreed on whether it was appropriate for women to appear publicly like this. Some fashion icons such as Bettie Paige and many others made a name for themselves for posing while wearing these new corset cuts. Although it did generate controversy, it did also dramatically increase the popularity of these styles.

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