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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Dene Adams recommends the petite corset if carrying a micro pistol up to 5.8 inches in length.
In the Victorian era, women wore elaborate corsets - narrow waists were an essential part of the stylish figure.
The 5ft 2in mum of three started wearing corsets nearly three years ago after losing her figure following the birth of her four-year-old twin boys.
The real trouble was not with the idea of the corset, which did much to give women a shapely and attractive form; the trouble was with its construction.
( In the video , Kardashian explained that the corset was simply a design and not the actual accessory known for causing damage to vital organs.
A vivid pink An austerity corset made from paper was available during the First World War.
She now struggles to stand up without her corset, because the muscles in her back and stomach have wasted away too much to support her.
About the Company: Over 10 years in the making, Taylor Lane began researching and developed a passion for constructing high quality and comfortable corsets in her early 20s.
The corset's profile was first upped in the late Renaissance and remained popular in many forms through the early 20th century.
At the beginning of the diet programme, people don a corset for a few hours every day and eventually work their way up to 12 hours a day.
The actress wore the corset continuously for three months and managed to get rid of the extra pounds.