Monday, August 2, 2010

Enhancing the Girls

People who think our ancestors were uptight haven't looked at the back pages of the popular magazines of the day.  People were just as concerned about baldness, weight, pimples, and the size of their - ah - embellishments.  All the ads below are from magazines dating from 1907 through 1909.

You'd think Skinny would wear a corset that fit!  Do you think anyone noticed the change?

This girl looks a little dubious.  I wonder how the medication was administered?  If you look in magazines today the sweat-it-off salesmen are still at it.

Skinny probably had  some of these, too.

Do you think this girl looks healthy?
You'll have noticed that all these women are wearing chemises under their corsets and that all the corsets stop right under the bust with no support unless the corset is a high one.  At this point in fashion history the corsets were getting lower and longer as the silhouette got slinkier with skirts that fit tighter around the hips.  Some women were designing proto brassieres for comfort and control, and had been since the 1880's.

This looks like a better alternative than the blow-up ones.  This also gives support to the bust and shifts the load-bearing to the shoulders, which the rational garment people knew all along.

This looks like a good idea.

Check this out.  Arthur Frankenstein!  How evoctive.  This one can be worn for sports without a corset!!  Horrors!
Now for something from my collection.  This is the College Girl Bust Supporter, size 36.  It is new old store stock and is nice and clean and crisp.  Made of cotton with a woven design, the little hangy thing in the front is to secure around a stud on your corset and also to hang your skirt waist from.  It held the garment down to make a clean line and also held the skirt up.

Straps are woven twill tape, and it hooks up the back.  I believe it is from the early 'teens.

By 1915 they are being called brassieres.

Notice that all the adult corsets are below the bust models.  Their extreme length made it hard to sit down.  I know.  I've worn one.

I'm wearing a chemise, but not a bust supporter.  Probably because I didn't have one at the time.  This was 26 years and several sizes ago.  I was doing a fashion show at a local house museum and the group (women) requested to see my underwear.  I wasn't too thrilled about it, especially when I came downstairs and there was a man there, too.  I don't have a picture of the beautiful midnight blue 'teens dress that goes with those stockings.  It has side panels faced in light blue silk that are connected under the hem.
Here's a beautiful silk slip.  There is a long lace flounce with hanging silk ribbons with ribbon flowers at the top of each.  That is a breakfast cap I'm wearing, crocheted by me.  I love the little dangly balls at the ears.  And make sure you notice the vintage shoes, though you can't see the steel seed bead decorations on the tops.  The stockings have embroidered flowers on them, too, because skirts were ankle length.  Once, when we gave a show for a nursing home I gave the old men a flash of ankle for a thrill.

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