I’m a fan.
I’m not, however, a fan of the line in Pirates of the Caribbean where Elizabeth Swan makes some crack about “try wearing a corset.” Yes, corsetry was taken to the extreme in the turn of the 20th Century, with ridiculous wasp waists or S shaped figures (thank God that didn’t last long).
The corset, however, is a crucial structural underpinning for the Victorian Lady (and, to a lesser extent, the fashionable man. But that’s another blog post entirely). It’s the bra of the 1860s. In an era before ready made women’s clothing, a woman has to make all her own dresses. And, look, I’m a 21st century gal wearing standardized sized jeans and they never fit the same way every time I wear them.
A corset solves that problem. You will know exactly how your dress will fit every time you wear it. You will know exactly what measurements a new dress should be cut to. No guess work. And as my dad the non-carpenter would say, “It’s measure twice, cut once. Not measure once, cut once, and go to the store.”
Not to mention, you get the highly sought after, exaggerated hourglass figure. Allow me to present Exhibit A, taken last year at Gettysburg:
Narrow in the waist. Flows out in the hoop and squared cut of bodice. And, regrettably flat chested. Blame not the corset. There’s no fixing that mess. Trust me, I’ve even stuffed my corset with nursing pads and I still have the chest of a 12 year old boy. Motherhood.
But I digress.
I’ve worn my corset for upwards of 10-12 hours while at events and I’ll tell you what. It’s most uncomfortable when it’s laced too loose. It makes my ribs ache and it slides down. Ugh. Awful.
Nope, I say lace me up.
My corset was custom made by Kay Gnagey. If you’re in the market for an exceptionally made corset, click here. I can attest to the quality! I’ve had mine since 2004 and the only reason it doesn’t fit as well as it did is because I lost like, 30 pounds.
Corsets make numerous appearances in my novel, namely when Elizabeth changes her clothes. Which happens a lot. And then there’s The Scene of Awkwardness. A corset may make a brief cameo. Or two.
Yay corsets! Seriously, they are the solution to my impending bridesmaid-hood. Too much cheesecake? That’s okay. I’ll just wear my corset.