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corset, 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.
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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Exposing intimate figure problems to a corsetiere, and granting her the probing access to the body required for measurement created a special relationship between customer and corsetiere.
A corsetiere especially benefitted from customers with identifiable figure faults, as women's desires for rectification promoted dependence upon the corset fitter's expertise.
The relationship between corsetiere and customer was not without tension.
The professionalization of corset fitting through specialized training, and assumption of the title "corsetiere" also bolstered these saleswomen's status with both customers and department store managers.
But whatever she can accomplish helps to increase beauty and in this respect is a work of art." Ethel Allen noted that women seek "the services of a thoroughly competent and trained professional corsetiere, one who understands all the alluring intricacies of the human form divine." [49]
But hubby Mark and her two grown-up children didn't like the idea so Sue turned to a costume designer who took her to The Queen's corsetieres - Rigby & Peller of London - for a specially-made bra.
Rigby & Peller have held the Royal Warrant as Corsetieres to the Queen since 1960.
To get my torso to squish down to something at least approaching Dita's, I make an appointment at the Queen's very own corsetieres, Rigby & Peller.
According to royal corsetieres Rigby & Peller 75 per cent of women wear the wrong bra size.