corsets

Elegance Exhibition - Killerton House, Devon

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Today I went to a costume museum exhibition. It was hosted by the
National Trust at Killerton House in Devon, and was called ‘Elegance’. It was great fun. I learned many new and interesting facts. And got to try on some 150 year old underwear…

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Did you know pregnant women about 150 years ago had to wear corsets? And when they got too big to wear one they were put into confinement.

Did you know that in the 20's it was popular to have the figure of a man? If you had curves you would get things rather like bandages to tie your breasts down?

I met a very nice lady called
Shelley Tobin and I talked to for at least an hour. She is a curator at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, and was very helpful. She is obviously very passionate about her job and it was nice to talk with a person with such shared interests.

I am very happy that I went and have many souvenirs to show for it, including pictures of me in corsets and an under dress (pics coming soon).

Now I'm going to go through a few things I learned with you:

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This is a stay busk.


It helped to make the breasts stay in place. It was a popular gift a man would give his female lover as a token of love. If he did that he would often have carved it himself. These days I think a girls parents might be a little anxious if a boy made her something to keep her breasts in place.

My theory is that one of the reasons women wore bustles is it made them less self conscious about how fat their bum's were, just my opinion.  

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They also made people look bigger boned which was the fashion. Because if you were fat you had food to spare.

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To make the bustle look bigger they used hip pads.


The corset crushes the diaphragm, liver, kidneys and bladder making it so girls had to nip to the loo quite a lot. Since children from a young age wore corsets its believed it stopped people from growing properly.

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Also because it squished the body so much it altered how the body functions and made for a shorter life. If you wear a corset for a number of years it starts to twist the spine and make the bones easier to break.

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Note: if you wear a corset long enough you start to get thinner even without wearing one.

My review on corsets:

All in all, I think corsets are works of art, though they were made to imprison women and shorten their life span. I am glad the world is finished with hardcore corset wear. And I hope it never comes back. But I respect the love of pretty underwear, which I share and can see why people think corsets are so amazing.


If you are near Killerton please go, its so much fun!

I enjoyed it and I think you would too.

Cheers!