How Fashion Reclaimed the Corset:

Written by: Laraib Javed



Time to read 7 min

 If there's one item of clothing that has caused controversy throughout history, it's the corset. From its origins in the 16th century to its current modern-day revival, the corset has been praised for its ability to shape and contour the female form, but it has also been criticized for its potential harm to the body.

However, despite its controversial reputation, the corset has made a significant comeback in recent years, with many fashion designers incorporating the garment into their collections.

So, how did the corset go from being a symbol of oppression to a fashion statement?

Short History of the Corset

The corset can be traced back to the 16th century when it was initially worn by men to shape and support their bodies. However, it wasn't until the 17th century that the corset became a garment specifically for women. 

During this time, the ideal female figure was one with a small waist, and the corset was the perfect tool to achieve this look. The corset remained popular throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, with women using it to achieve the coveted "hourglass figure."

The Corset Controversy in the 20th Century

By the turn of the 20th century, the corset had fallen out of fashion. Women were starting to embrace more comfortable and practical clothing options, and the corset was seen as a symbol of oppression.

However, the corset made a brief comeback during the 1950s, with actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor sporting the garment. The corset was used to enhance their curves and create a more feminine silhouette.

The Modern-Day Corset Revival

In recent years, the corset has made a significant comeback in the world of fashion. Many designers have incorporated the garment into their collections, using it to create unique and eye-catching designs.

The modern-day corset is typically made with more comfortable materials, such as stretchy fabrics or even plastic boning. This new version of the corset is less about creating the ideal female form and more about creating a unique and avant-garde look.

The Corset is a symbol of Women’s Power

The corset has been seen as both a symbol of oppression and a symbol of power. In the past, the corset was used to shape the female body into an idealized form, often at great cost to the wearer's health.

However, in modern fashion, the corset has been reclaimed as a symbol of feminine power and expression. Women wear the corset as a way to express their individuality and celebrate their curves. It is no longer seen as a garment that is worn to conform to a certain beauty ideal but as a way to express oneself.

The corset has also been used as a symbol of rebellion. In the 1980s, punk fashion often incorporated corsets, using them as a way to challenge traditional notions of beauty and femininity. Today, the corset is still seen as a symbol of resistance, with many women wearing it as a way to push back against societal expectations and norms.

How Fashion Reclaimed the Corset?

The Role of Social Media

Social media has played a significant role in the revival of the corset. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have popularized the corset, with influencers and celebrities posting pictures of themselves wearing the garment.

This exposure has made the corset more mainstream and acceptable as a fashion statement. Additionally, the rise of body positivity and acceptance movements has made the corset more appealing to women who want to embrace their curves and celebrate their bodies.

 The Corset in High Fashion

 The corset has also made a significant impact on high fashion. Designers like Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Vivienne Westwood have incorporated the corset into their collections, using it to create stunning and avant-garde designs.

The corset has come to symbolize femininity and empowerment, as women use the garment to take control of their bodies and make fashion choices.

The Corset in Street Style

While the corset was traditionally seen as a garment reserved for formal events and special occasions, it has now made its way into street-style fashion. Fashion-forward individuals are now incorporating corsets into their everyday looks, pairing them with jeans, t-shirts, and oversized blazers.

 This combination of high fashion and street style has made the corset a versatile and accessible fashion statement for anyone who wants to try it out.

The Future of the Corset

As the corset continues to make its comeback, it's clear that it's not going away anytime soon. While the modern-day corset is more comfortable and practical than its historical counterparts, it still holds the same allure and mystique that it always has. 

The ever-evolving world of fashion will undoubtedly bring about even more creative and innovative uses of the corset.

As designers and fashion enthusiasts push the boundaries of what's possible with this controversial garment, we can expect to see new and exciting variations of the corset emerge.

Why you should wear a Corset?

If you're interested in trying out the corset trend for yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it's important to find a corset that fits well and is comfortable to wear. The modern-day corset is typically made with more comfortable materials, but it's still important to choose a size and style that works for your body type.

When it comes to styling the corset, there are endless possibilities. You can pair it with jeans and a T-shirt for a casual daytime look, or dress it up with a skirt and heels for a night out. You can also layer the corset over a blouse or turtleneck for a more modest and sophisticated look.

Final Words: How Fashion Reclaimed the Corset?

The corset has evolved from a body-shaping garment to a symbol of feminine power in fashion. It's now a staple in many wardrobes and comes in various styles and materials. Women of all shapes and sizes wear it, as it represents resistance against societal norms.

Fashion has given women the power to express themselves and celebrate their curves by reclaiming the corset. It has transformed a once-oppressive garment into a symbol of feminine expression and power.

FAQs: How Fashion Reclaimed the Corset?

Are corsets coming back into fashion?

Yes, corsets are coming back into fashion. They have been making a comeback for a few years now, with designers incorporating them into their collections and celebrities wearing them on red carpets and at events.

When did corsets come back into fashion?

Corsets started to come back into fashion in the early 2010s, with designers such as Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Jean Paul Gaultier incorporating them into their collections.

How did corsets influence fashion?

Corsets have had a significant influence on fashion over the years. They were once a staple of women's fashion and were worn to create an hourglass figure. Corsets helped to shape fashion, from the Victorian era to the present day. The corset has also inspired many fashion trends, from the cinched waist to the bustier top.

Who brought back the corset?

Designers such as Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Jean Paul Gaultier helped to bring the corset back into fashion. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, and Katy Perry have also been seen wearing corsets, further increasing their popularity.

How did corsets make a comeback?

Corsets made a comeback due to a renewed interest in vintage fashion and an appreciation for the hourglass figure that corsets can create. Designers began incorporating corsets into their collections, and celebrities started wearing them, making them popular again.

Why did people wear corsets back then?

People wore corsets back then to create an hourglass figure and to conform to the beauty standards of the time. They were also worn to provide support and correct posture.

What is the history of the corset?

The corset has a long history, dating back to ancient Greece. The corset evolved over time and was worn by women of all social classes throughout history. The Victorian era saw the corset become a staple of women's fashion and was worn to create the desired hourglass figure.

What does a corset symbolize?

A corset symbolizes femininity, beauty, and sex appeal. It is a garment that has been associated with women's fashion for centuries and has become a symbol of femininity and beauty.

What is the theory of corsets?

The theory of corsets is that they can create an hourglass figure by cinching in the waist and lifting the bust. They were once worn as a way to conform to the beauty standards of the time and to create the desired figure. Today, corsets are worn as a fashion statement and can be incorporated into a variety of outfits.

Is the corset still seen as an oppressive garment?

In the past, the corset was often seen as a symbol of oppression, as it was used to shape the female body into an idealized form. However, in modern fashion, the corset has been reclaimed as a symbol of feminine power and expression.

Are corsets still worn for waist training?

Yes, some people still wear corsets for waist training, which involves wearing a corset for extended periods of time to gradually reduce the waistline. However, it is important to note that waist training can be dangerous and should only be done under the supervision of a trained professional.

Are corsets still popular for bridal wear?

Yes, corsets are still a popular choice for bridal wear, with many brides opting for a corseted wedding gown for a touch of old-world elegance.

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