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article of dress designed to support or modify the figure. Greek and Roman women sometimes wrapped broad bands about the body. In the Middle Ages a short, close-fitting, laced outer bodice or waist was worn. By the 16th cent. it had become a tight inner bodice, sometimes of leather, stiffened with whalebone, wooden splints, or steel; fashion demanded the slenderest possible waist in contrast with the enormous farthingales and stuffed breeches that were worn. Stays and tight lacing were made for both men and women from the 17th through the 19th cent., except for a brief period following the French Revolution. By 1900 the corset had become primarily a female garment, and it was gradually modified to conform to the natural lines of the body.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a broad belt that is worn tightly around the thorax and waist. It is an article of women’s clothing. In medicine, orthopedic corsets are used to correct curvature of the spine and spinal injuries. Corsets are meant to restrict movement of the spine, to relieve pressure on the spine, and to correct deformities. A corset can be stiff, semistiff, or soft and elastic. As a rule, corsets are made from a plaster cast taken from the patient; they are made out of leather, gelatin glue, aluminum, or fabric with metal or plastic bones.

The construction of the corset and the material from which it is made are determined by the location and character of the spinal injury. For injuries to the thoracic or cervical regions, the corsets are made with neck braces; corsets made for lumbar injuries only come up to the shoulder blades. For example, in cases of tuberculosis, stiff corsets are prescribed; for small spinal injuries, semistiff corsets; and for spinal curvatures, soft elastic corsets with busks made of plastic and flexible steel. A corset should be worn constantly only upon the advice of a physician.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
At just 23, Claire has her own lingerie shop within Glasgow's Italian Centre and also supplies individually designed corsetry to her clients' specifications.
Expect corsetry to be worn to be seen, under tailoring, sheer dresses and teamed with retro circle skirts.
Bra pounds 84.50, pants pounds 62.40 by Lise Charmel from Liaison Corsetry, The Italian Centre, Glasgow.
His Galaxy dress, which costs pounds 800 but is currently sold out all over the UK, perfectly captures the Grace Kelly look: its secret is a boned waist 'restrainer', made from an elastic fabric first used in 1950s corsetry. This 'mesh' flattens the stomach, nips in the waist and gives the wearer a flattering hour glass figure.
Celebrities often rely on good old-fashioned corsetry to keep everything in place and Madonna and Victoria Beckham are both fans.
And top British model Erin O'Connor stole the show in a spectacular boned corset in a gauzy leaf trimmed bronze fabric made by corsetry specialist Mr Pearl.
"Their illnesses were often caused by the corsetry they wore.
Next comes the mid-life crisis Wonderbra to correct what nature gave and cruelly took away and then it's a short ride to support hose and corsetry.
Janet was born into a Jewish family in London's East End of London and studied corsetry and underwear design.
Dressmakers back then knew the art of corsetry and underpinning, which helped create Marilyn Monroe curves on even the most slender frames.
Dr Gray says: "The lack of corsetry today and the introduction of more natural styles has meant everything has headed South.
Like Zeta, who chooses Versace gowns for nearly every red carpet appearance, Camilla fell in love with the plunging necklines, hidden corsetry and clever tailoring cut to flatter the female shape.