Girdles and corsets had a serious falling out of favor with the fashion industry over the past 50 years. That doesn’t mean that the need for them has disappeared, just that women grew sick and tired of the overly restrictive boning and chafing straps. Thanks to skin tight dresses and skimpy spaghetti strap tank tops, the majority of women are in a losing battle with their muffin tops (the unsightly bulge around, above and below straps and waistbands). Rather than resorting to full on Muumuus, women are again looking at the types of body shapers offered at their local lingerie stores and finding a surprising amount of variety and options. Today, I would like to look at shapewear and give an illustrated description of the various types. However, because it would be easy to speak for decades on each one, I will limit myself to one style per posting in order to give the garments their due process.

First up today will be Corsets:

Corset: The corset is not a medieval torture device.

Skeleton Crushing Device

An Edwardian Woman with her skeleton and internal organs completely rearranged due to her restrictive corset.

Rather than preventing women from breathing properly modern corsets are meant to enhance the figure a woman already has. She is wearing it to smooth out her lines rather than draw completely unhealthily and unrealistic ones.
Blue over the bust corset with ribbon detail and stocking clasps at base

Photo Courtesy of FairyGothMother

It is an essential piece of shapewear that has benefits beyond obvious aesthetics. A corset can be a simple over the bust article of clothing that either ties up or has multiple points of hook and eye closures. The portion surrounding the waist will help you to achieve a glamorous hourglass figure while the upper part sculpts the breasts into a pleasing projection with ample cleavage.
This type of lingerie can be worn as outerware or overtop of clothing for a more old world glamour look. It is the costumery feel of the corset that reminds the wearer of burlesque performers of the past and inspires such a strongly confident feminine mystique.

Corset and Skirt Combination

Photo Courtesy of FairyGothMother

The under bust variety is generally made to be worn with a bra and acts as more of a waist cincher and way of smoothing out any lumps or jiggle to showcase a smooth silhouette. This garment will also help the wearer to maintain proper posture and further support the spine throughout the day.

Corset worn as outerwear

Photo Courtesy of FairyGothMother

Likewise, whether you are a retro girly girl or a modern rocker, there are styles out there to satisfy every taste and body type. Just remember to ALWAYS try it on and move around to test it out properly. There is no point in buying something that doesn’t make you look and feel like an absolute diva.

Corsets as lingerie can convey either a glamorous good girl vibe:

Good Girl Shapewear

Photo Courtesy of La Magia

or make you seem darkly dangerous:
Black Corset Set

Photo Courtesy of La Magia

Next time we will cover girdles.