Corsets have been a controversial fashion accessory for many years, especially in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Many questions and assumptions are being raised on how corsets actually work, are corsets even comfortable, and the most common of all – should you wear corsets? All the misconceptions around corsets have made it a vintage fashion trend.
But, are corsets coming back? Since the new generations find ways to empower themselves by creating bold and unique outfits with corsets, corsets are becoming popularized yet again. So if you’re hesitating about whether or not to buy a trendy corset, let’s take a moment to walk you through all the realities of wearing a corset. Also to make it easier for you here’s an awesome corset guide that can give additional information about everything you need to know about a corset.
Are corsets uncomfortable to wear?
“Are corsets uncomfortable to wear” – this question has been leaving women and men wary of corsets for decades, as there are too many conflicting opinions on the same. People have a general expectation, or rather misconception, that corsets are pretty uncomfortable for everyday use. Well, let me tell you that the right kind of corset is anything but uncomfortable.
Long before they were turned into fashion disasters that sexualize women, the main function of corsets was to provide comfort and support to women and even men of many cultures and regions. Just like bras, everyday corsets are deemed uncomfortable, but if you wear the right size you can feel it uplift your chest and back!
Do corsets cause suffocation?
Corsets and stays were primarily used to train the waists of women and support them, as there were no braziers in the early centuries. But many period dramas and adaptions have portrayed corsets and stays as some sort of evil, sensual and suffocating form of fashion accessories.
To be completely candid, corsets seem pretty scary when you watch women feel breathless trying to squeeze themselves into a corset. But you realize quickly when you try one yourself that all the bruises they show on the backs of female actresses are pretty superficial. A solid reason is that these shows use corsets that accentuate the actresses’ breasts and not actual Edwardian corsets that were created to be a form of support for breasts.
The suffocation that they portray is not caused by corsets but by the intentionally tiny waist short-stays that they make their actresses wear. Corsets allow you to breathe freely by straightening your back and spine, they don’t cause suffocation but they do help you seem slimmer and taller.
Are corsets’ effects on the body really dangerous?
A very commonly assumed “demerit” of wearing corsets is that they are hazardous to women’s bodies as they are tight and uncomfortable. BUT, if you read above, you can be sure that a corset’s effects on the body entirely depend on the size, type of your corset, and your body’s compatibility with it.
If you wear the wrong size shoes, they would quite obviously cause rashes, cuts, and maybe infections; but that doesn’t mean that wearing shoes, in general, can be harmful to your feet. Wear the right-sized corsets that suit your body and you’ll see how comfortable corsets can be!
“Corsets are inherently patriarchial”
Patriarchy is a system that looks down on anything feminine or deemed feminine, at the same time it sets unrealistic standards of femininity that all women are expected to adhere to. A common notion amongst many people is that corsets, as a form of clothing are a patriarchal instrument to force women into a certain body image.
The thing is, any true fashion historian would argue otherwise. In earlier centuries, corsets weren’t a patriarchal concept, but a form of clothing accessory that made working and traveling a little easier for women. The invention of everyday corsets was to make sure that having breasts did not inhibit women from moving around or working as much as men did. If you think about it, corsets are quite feminist in many ways.
Does wearing a corset cause back pain?
Most people instantly the word corset with “back pain”, and they couldn’t be more mistaken. Corsets have been a form of pain relief for many people with back problems. Not just women, even men wear medical corsets as corsets are one of the easiest forms of back relief.
Comfortable corsets help with posture and back or spinal issues by keeping the back upright. This has been a proven and effective measure to fix your posture and relieve back pain easily, and give your spine solid support. Corsets lift your breasts which proves quite helpful in keeping yourself from slouching.
Many fashion historians would agree that corsets are not suffocating and binding piece of clothing that makes your back hurt. But the contradicting debates around the hazards of wearing a corset and the benefits of comfortable corsets can cloud out any voice of reason. The harmful portrayal of corsets can be dismantled but only if people have the means and information of all there is to know about corsets.
Corsets need to be tailored to fit the body of the person wearing them, so they can provide the comfort and support it’s supposed to. Wearing the wrong size of any clothing or accessory can be harmful, and choosing the right corset will help you realize how beneficial and refreshing it is.
Images from MUGLER Spring Summer 2022 Collection – See the full story here