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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
'During the raids, the enforcement officers checked the premises that were found to be selling the imitation corsets using the popular brand name,' said Zubir at the Johor KPDNHEP's office in Menara Ansar here today.
But corsets and girdles became a way for women to play freely with the silhouette of their bodies.
I did find the zipper-fastened corset fits a little tighter of the two styles, causing me to have to order one size up.
A corset advert from the 1880s Streets were strewn with horse muck, as well as mud and all manner of waste material that fell off carts and waggons.
A MUM who was worried about body fat has taken to wearing a corset 23 hours a day to reduce her waist to just 18 inches.
To most people the very notion of wearing a corset seems odd.
The reality star posted a video on Twitter explaining the origins of the outfit for those who believed she dressed her daughter in constricting corset. "I would never put my daughter in a corset!
"It is not riotously funny to be in corsets and a wig from seven o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night.
The 25-year-old from Berlin, Germany, is a tight-lacing enthusiast, a craze which sees fans use corsets to drastically change their bodies.