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Corset History and Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Corset Terms

  • Lace: Ribbon like fabric designed to tie and tighten the corset.
  • Corset: A woman's tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure.
  • Tight lacing: The practice of wearing a tightly-laced corset. Normally this is done to achieve cosmetic modifications to the figure and posture or to experience the sensation of bodily restriction.
  • Eyelet (also see grommet): Used to prevent lacing from tearing or causing excessive wear of corset material. 
  • Waist band:
  • Bones/Boning: Long, thin rods that provide the rigid structure of a corset. They were originally made from whale bones. You'll find versions made of steel, plastic, and other materials, but steel boning is preferred for waist training. 
  • Bodice:
  • Modesty panel: A flap of material covering the gap under the lacing of a corset for the purpose of hiding the skin.
  • Grommets: the metal-ringed holes through which you thread the laces.

Corset History

For several  centuries the corset has been an important piece of clothing.  It continues to change as fashion trends evolve.  Women and some men continue to use it to change the appearance of their bodies.  Becoming popular first in 16th century Europe, it's popularity was highest in the Victorian era.  Today we see corsets making a comeback gaining renewed popularity as Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and other well known celebrities wearing corsets are not hard to spot.