Gothic Victorian Fashion-----Victorian Corset

The corset was an essential undergarment for Victorian women. The corset developed from 18th century stays, a foundation garment that gave women a conical form while lifting and supporting the bosom, in addition to, producing a rigidly flat front.

The corset laced up the center-back to achieve the correct degree of tightness to fit the wearer’s figure, thus the term tight lacing. There were hooks and eyes at the center front for easier removal.  The corset was worn over a cotton chemise and not directly next to the skin.
The elegance of Victorian fashions was mainly dependent on the corset.

Without the aid of the corset, no evening dress of the mid-1860s through the end of the century could be worn, unless the Victorian woman was willing to submit to the withering contempt of a merciless fashion conscious society.

Practical hints on corset wearing at the time were provided by the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine: “… to facilitate that desirable object, a handsome figure. Ladies, when dressing for the afternoon walk or ride, or the evening display, when putting on their stays at first, should not lace them quite tight; in about a quarter of an hour they might again tighten them, and in the course of half-an-hour or so lace them to the requisite tightness. They may fancy in this way there is no sudden compression of the waist, and the figure gets more easily accustomed to tight-lacing.”

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