Corset

It has been suggested that Waist cincher be merged into this article or section. (Discuss) Hourglass corset from around 1880. It features a busk fastening at the front and lacing at the back.

A corset is a garment worn to mold and shape the torso into a desired shape for aesthetic or orthopaedic purposes (either for the duration of wearing it, or with a more lasting effect).

Both men and women have worn – and still wear – corsets.

Corsetry

The skill of making corsets is known as corsetry, as is the general wearing of them. Someone who makes corsets is a corsetier (for a man) or corsetière (for a woman), or sometimes simply a corsetmaker. The word corsetry is sometimes also used as a collective plural form of corset.

Uses

The most common use of corsets is to slim the body and make it conform to a fashionable silhouette. For women this most frequently emphasises a curvy figure, by reducing the waist, and thereby exaggerating the bust and hips. However, in some periods, corsets have been worn to achieve a tubular straight-up-and-down shape, which involves minimising the bust and hips.

For men, corsets are more customarily used to slim the figure. However, there was a period from around 1820 to 1835 when an hourglass figure (a small, nipped-in look to the waist) was also desirable for men; this was sometimes achieved by wearing a corset.

Woman having her corset laced tight, from an 1899 stereoscope card. Original caption: Reducing the Surplus. "Now, Pull Hard!" A small waist between a full bust and ample hips, such is the shibboleth of fashion, and the poor girl that relies on her figure to make a good impression, is sorely put to it, if nature has denied her the shape of a wasp or if she has not learned to rely on physical exercise to model her frame. A vigorous walk of ten miles a day, supplemented by ten minutes of lung gymnastics, would do wonders for her.

An overbust corset encloses the torso, extending from just under the arms to the hips. An underbust corset begins just under the breasts and extends down to the hips. Some corsets extend over the hips and, in very rare instances, reach the knees. A shorter kind of corset, which covers the waist area (from low on the ribs to just above the hips), is called a 'waist cincher'. A corset may also include garters to hold up stockings (alternatively a separate garter belt may be worn for that).

Normally a corset supports the visible dress, and spreads the pressure from large dresses, such as the crinoline and bustle. Sometimes the corset has been supported by a corset cover.

Construction

Corsets are typically constructed of a flexible material (like cloth or leather) stiffened with boning (also called ribs or stays) inserted into channels in the cloth or leather. In the Victorian period, steel and whalebone were favored. Plastic is now the most commonly used material; spring or spiral steel is preferred for high-quality corsets. Other materials used for boning include ivory, wood, and cane. (By contrast, a girdle is usually made of elasticized fabric, without boning.)

Corsets are held together by lacing, usually at the back. Tightening or loosening the lacing produces corresponding changes in the firmness of the corset. It is difficult — although not impossible — for a back-laced corset-wearer to do his or her own lacing. In the Victorian heyday of corsets, a well-to-do woman would be laced by her maid, a gentleman by his valet. However, many corsets also had a buttoned or hooked front opening called a busk. Once the lacing was adjusted comfortably, it was possible to leave the lacing as adjusted and take the corset on and off using the front opening (This removal method does not work if the corset is not sufficiently loose, and can potentially damage the busk). Self-lacing is also incompatible with tightlacing, which strives for the utmost possible reduction of the waist. Current tightlacers, lacking servants, are usually laced by spouses and partners..

Waist reduction

By wearing a tightly-laced corset for extended periods, known as tightlacing, men and women can learn to tolerate extreme waist constriction and reduce their natural waist size. Tightlacers usually aim for 40 to 43 centimeter (16 to 17 inch) waists. Until 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Ethel Granger as having the smallest waist on record at 13". After 1998, the category changed to "smallest waist on a living person" and Cathie Jung took the title with a 15" waist. Other women, such as Polaire and Spook, also have achieved such reductions.

These are extreme cases. Corsets were and are usually designed for support, with freedom of body movement an important consideration in their design. Present day corset-wearers usually tighten the corset just enough to reduce their waists by 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches); it is very difficult for a slender woman to achieve as much as 15 centimeters (6 inches), although larger women can do so more easily.

Corset comfort

A woman putting a corset on. She is wearing a chemise underneath, and the corset has bosom pads.

In the past, a woman's corset was usually worn over a garment called a chemise or shift, a sleeveless low-necked gown made of washable material (usually cotton or linen). It absorbed perspiration and kept the corset and the gown clean. In modern times, an undershirt or corset liner may be worn.

Moderate lacing is not incompatible with vigorous activity. Indeed, during the second half of the nineteenth century, when corset wearing was common, there were sport corsets specifically designed to wear while bicycling, playing tennis, or horseback riding, as well as for maternity wear.

Many people now believe that all corsets are uncomfortable and that wearing them restricted women's lives, citing Victorian literature devoted to sensible or hygienic dress. However, these writings were most apt to protest against the misuse of corsets for tightlacing; they were less vehement against corsets per se. Many reformers recommended "Emancipation bodices", which were essentially tightly-fitted vests, like full-torso corsets without boning. See Victorian dress reform.

Some modern day corset-wearers will testify that corsets can be comfortable, once one is accustomed to wearing them. A properly fitted corset should be comfortable. Women active in the Society for Creative Anachronism and historical reenactment groups commonly wear corsets as part of period costume, without complaint.

Modern history

Book cover for Fetish Fashion: Undressing the Corset Woman in a corset

The corset fell from fashion in the 1920s in Europe and America, replaced by girdles and elastic brassieres, but survived as an article of costume. Originally an item of lingerie, the corset has become a popular item of outerwear in the fetish, BDSM and goth subcultures.

In the fetish and BDSM literature, there is often much emphasis on tightlacing. In this case, the corset may still be underwear rather than outerwear. Another angle is the wearing of a corset while having an enema; the theory is that the corset prevents the belly distending, enhancing the effects of the enema. (Putting on the corset after giving the enema will almost certainly cause the enema to be expelled.)

There was a brief revival of the corset in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the form of the waist cincher. This was used to give the hourglass figure dictated by Christian Dior's 'New Look'. However, use of the waist cincher was restricted to haute couture, and most women continued to use girdles. This revival was brief, as the New Look gave way to a less dramatically-shaped silhouette.

Since the late 1980s, the corset has experienced periodic revivals, which have usually originated in haute couture and which have occasionally trickled through to mainstream fashion. These revivals focus on the corset as an item of outerwear rather than underwear. The strongest of these revivals was seen in the Autumn 2001 fashion collections and coincided with the release of the film Moulin Rouge!, the costumes for which featured many corsets.

The majority of garments sold as corsets during these recent revivals cannot really be counted as corsets at all. While they often feature lacing and boning, and generally mimic a historical style of corset, they have very little effect on the shape of the wearer's body.

Advantages and disadvantages of corsets

  • Corsets can reduce pain and improve function for people with back problems or other muscular/skeletal disorders.
  • Some large-breasted women find corsets more comfortable than brassieres, because the weight of the breasts is carried by the whole corset rather than the brassiere's shoulder straps. (Straps can chafe or cut the skin.)
  • Corsets can instantly improve the figure without dieting, slimming drugs, or cosmetic surgery.
  • Due to their tightness and close proximity to the body, corsets can make the wearer feel very warm. They have been most often worn in cool climates.
  • The best corsets are custom made and personally-fitted. The more closely clothing or lingerie clings to the body, the more carefully it must be fitted to look and feel right. In modern times, when labour costs much more than materials, custom clothing can be extremely expensive. Even finding a competent corsetiere can be difficult.
  • A badly-fitting corset can chafe, impede digestion, damage ribs and pinch nerves.

Types and styles

The various types of corsets include:

  • Bondage corset or discipline corset
  • Hourglass corset
  • Redresseur corset
  • Training corset
  • Waist cincher

Styles include:

  • Wasp waist

Media


References and further reading


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. Common formats in digital camera images are DCF, DPOF, EXIF, JPEG, RAW, TIFF; formats for movies are AVI, DV, MPEG, MOV, WMV etc. Styles include:. Some DVD recorders and television sets can read memory cards too. The various types of corsets include:. The camera connects to the printer, which then downloads and prints its images. While they often feature lacing and boning, and generally mimic a historical style of corset, they have very little effect on the shape of the wearer's body. An autonomous device, such as a PictBridge printer, operates without need of a computer .

The majority of garments sold as corsets during these recent revivals cannot really be counted as corsets at all. Earlier consumer-based digital cameras used floppy disks. The strongest of these revivals was seen in the Autumn 2001 fashion collections and coincided with the release of the film Moulin Rouge!, the costumes for which featured many corsets. In common use are Compact Flash (CF) (which includes microdrives, as they use the same format), Secure Digital (SD) cards, xD cards, and for Sony devices, Memory Stick cards. These revivals focus on the corset as an item of outerwear rather than underwear. Most dedicated cameras, however, use a removable memory card to store data. Since the late 1980s, the corset has experienced periodic revivals, which have usually originated in haute couture and which have occasionally trickled through to mainstream fashion. Cheap cameras and cameras secondary to the devices main use (such as a camera phone) use onboard memory, such as flash memory.

This revival was brief, as the New Look gave way to a less dramatically-shaped silhouette. Digital cameras need memory to store data. However, use of the waist cincher was restricted to haute couture, and most women continued to use girdles. Mobile phone cameras are even more common than standalone digital cameras. This was used to give the hourglass figure dictated by Christian Dior's 'New Look'. Some devices, like mobile phones and PDAs, contain integrated digital cameras. There was a brief revival of the corset in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the form of the waist cincher. Some cameras such as the Kodak EasyShare One are able to connect to computer networks wirelessly via 802.11 Wi-Fi.

(Putting on the corset after giving the enema will almost certainly cause the enema to be expelled.). USB is the most widely used method, though some have a FireWire port or use Bluetooth. Another angle is the wearing of a corset while having an enema; the theory is that the corset prevents the belly distending, enhancing the effects of the enema. Early cameras used the PC serial port. In this case, the corset may still be underwear rather than outerwear. Many digital cameras can connect directly to a computer to transfer data. In the fetish and BDSM literature, there is often much emphasis on tightlacing. In some cases, extra resolution is interpolated into the image by shifting photosites off of a standard grid pattern so that photosites are adjacent to each other at 45 degree angles, and all three values are interpolated for "virtual" photosites which fall into the spaces at 90 degree angles from the actual photosites.

Originally an item of lingerie, the corset has become a popular item of outerwear in the fetish, BDSM and goth subcultures. The luminous intensity color values not captured for each pixel can be interpolated (or guessed at) from the values of adjacent pixels which represent the color being calculated. The corset fell from fashion in the 1920s in Europe and America, replaced by girdles and elastic brassieres, but survived as an article of costume. This provides a wider color gamut, but requires a slightly more complicated interpolation process. Women active in the Society for Creative Anachronism and historical reenactment groups commonly wear corsets as part of period costume, without complaint. Sometimes a 4-color filter pattern is used, often involving 2 different hues of green. A properly fitted corset should be comfortable. The high proportion of green takes advantage of properties of the human visual system, which determines brightness mostly from green and is far more sensitive to brightness than to hue or saturation.

Some modern day corset-wearers will testify that corsets can be comfortable, once one is accustomed to wearing them. A Bayer filter pattern is a 2x2 pattern of light filters, with green ones at opposite corners and red and blue elsewhere. See Victorian dress reform. The Bayer filter pattern is typically used. Many reformers recommended "Emancipation bodices", which were essentially tightly-fitted vests, like full-torso corsets without boning. A normal sensor element cannot simultaneously record these three values. However, these writings were most apt to protest against the misuse of corsets for tightlacing; they were less vehement against corsets per se. This is because in digital images, each pixel must have three values for luminous intensity, one each for the red, green, and blue channels.

Many people now believe that all corsets are uncomfortable and that wearing them restricted women's lives, citing Victorian literature devoted to sensible or hygienic dress. The software specific to the camera interprets the information from the sensor to obtain a full color image. Indeed, during the second half of the nineteenth century, when corset wearing was common, there were sport corsets specifically designed to wear while bicycling, playing tennis, or horseback riding, as well as for maternity wear. Image color or resolution interpolation is used unless the camera uses a beam splitter single-shot approach, three-filter multi-shot approach, or Foveon X3 sensor currently used in Sigma SD10 DSLR and Polaroid x530 point and shoot. Moderate lacing is not incompatible with vigorous activity. However, the higher color fidelity and larger file sizes and resolutions available with multi-shot and scan-backs make them attractive for commercial photographers working with stationary subjects and large-format photographs. In modern times, an undershirt or corset liner may be worn. It is usually inappropriate to attempt to capture a subject which moves (like people or objects in motion) with anything but a single shot system.

It absorbed perspiration and kept the corset and the gown clean. The choice of method for a given capture is of course determined largely by the subject matter. In the past, a woman's corset was usually worn over a garment called a chemise or shift, a sleeveless low-necked gown made of washable material (usually cotton or linen). These CCDs are usually referred to as "sticks" rather than "chips" because they utilize only a single row of pixels (more properly "photosites") which are again "stamped" with the Bayer filter. Present day corset-wearers usually tighten the corset just enough to reduce their waists by 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches); it is very difficult for a slender woman to achieve as much as 15 centimeters (6 inches), although larger women can do so more easily. The third method is called "Scan" because the sensor moves across the focus plane much like the sensor of a desktop scanner. Corsets were and are usually designed for support, with freedom of body movement an important consideration in their design. A third version combined the two methods without stamping a Bayer filter onto the chip.

These are extreme cases. Another multiple shot method utilized a single CCD with a Bayer filter but actually moved the physical location of the sensor chip on the focus plane of the lens to "stitch" together a higher resolution image than the CCD would allow otherwise. Other women, such as Polaire and Spook, also have achieved such reductions. The most common originally was to use a single CCD with three filters (once again red, green and blue) passed in front of the sensor in sequence to obtain the additive color information. After 1998, the category changed to "smallest waist on a living person" and Cathie Jung took the title with a 15" waist. There are several methods of application of the multi-shot technique. Until 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Ethel Granger as having the smallest waist on record at 13". The second method is referred to as "Multi-Shot" because the sensor is exposed to the image in a sequence of three or more openings of the lens aperture.

Tightlacers usually aim for 40 to 43 centimeter (16 to 17 inch) waists. Single Shot capture systems use either one CCD with a Bayer filter stamped onto it or three separate CCDs (one each for the primary additive colors Red, Green and Blue) which are exposed to the same image via a beam splitter. By wearing a tightly-laced corset for extended periods, known as tightlacing, men and women can learn to tolerate extreme waist constriction and reduce their natural waist size. The first method is often called "Single Shot," in reference to the number of times the camera's sensor is exposed to the light passing through the camera lens. Current tightlacers, lacking servants, are usually laced by spouses and partners.. the camera body had multiple lenses, viewfinders, winders and backs available for use with it to fit different needs.) Since the first backs were introduced there have been three main methods of "capturing" the image, each based on the hardware configuration of the particular back. Self-lacing is also incompatible with tightlacing, which strives for the utmost possible reduction of the waist. (This is because most of the large- and medium-format camera systems in professional use at the time that digital capture overtook film as the professional's medium of choice were modular in nature, i.e.

Once the lacing was adjusted comfortably, it was possible to leave the lacing as adjusted and take the corset on and off using the front opening (This removal method does not work if the corset is not sufficiently loose, and can potentially damage the busk). High-end digital camera backs used by professionals are usually separate devices from the camera bodies which they are used with. However, many corsets also had a buttoned or hooked front opening called a busk. For our purposes, a chip sensor is a CCD. In the Victorian heyday of corsets, a well-to-do woman would be laced by her maid, a gentleman by his valet. CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) sensors are differentiated from CCDs proper in that it uses less power and a different kind of light sensing material, however the differences are highly technical and many manufacturers still consider the CMOS chip a charged coupled device. It is difficult — although not impossible — for a back-laced corset-wearer to do his or her own lacing. chips comprised of a grid of phototransistors to sense the light intensities across the plane of focus of the camera lens.

Tightening or loosening the lacing produces corresponding changes in the firmness of the corset. All use either a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) or a CMOS sensor, i.e. Corsets are held together by lacing, usually at the back. The actual transfers to a host computer are commonly carried out using the USB mass storage device class (so that the camera appear as a drive) or using the Picture Transfer Protocol and its derivatives. (By contrast, a girdle is usually made of elasticized fabric, without boning.). They are rated in megapixels; that is, the product of their maximum resolution dimensions in millions. Other materials used for boning include ivory, wood, and cane. Among digital still cameras, most have a rear LCD for reviewing photographs.

Plastic is now the most commonly used material; spring or spiral steel is preferred for high-quality corsets. In addition, some newer camcorders record video directly to flash memory and transfer over USB and FireWire. In the Victorian period, steel and whalebone were favored. However, modern digital photography cameras have a video function, and a growing number of camcorders have a still photography function. Corsets are typically constructed of a flexible material (like cloth or leather) stiffened with boning (also called ribs or stays) inserted into channels in the cloth or leather. Initially, a digital camera was characterized by the use of flash memory and USB or FireWire for storage and transfer of still photographs, and this is still the common meaning of the unadorned term. Sometimes the corset has been supported by a corset cover. Digital still cameras are cameras whose primary purpose is to capture photography in a digital format.

Normally a corset supports the visible dress, and spreads the pressure from large dresses, such as the crinoline and bustle. In addition, many still digital cameras have a "movie" mode, in which images are continuously acquired at a frame rate sufficient for video. A corset may also include garters to hold up stockings (alternatively a separate garter belt may be worn for that). Digital cameras can be classified into several groups:. A shorter kind of corset, which covers the waist area (from low on the ribs to just above the hips), is called a 'waist cincher'. Mavica worked off magnetic disks and was based on television technology that inherently limited image quality. Some corsets extend over the hips and, in very rare instances, reach the knees. Sony marketed Mavica, the first filmless camera in 1981.

An underbust corset begins just under the breasts and extends down to the hips. components, a Kodak movie-camera lens and the tiny CCD chips introduced by Fairchild Semiconductor in 1973. An overbust corset encloses the torso, extending from just under the arms to the hips. For his device, Sasson used an analog-to-digital converter adapted from Motorola Inc. However, there was a period from around 1820 to 1835 when an hourglass figure (a small, nipped-in look to the waist) was also desirable for men; this was sometimes achieved by wearing a corset. No one, however, had attempted a completely solid-state digital-video device. For men, corsets are more customarily used to slim the figure. Before that time television cameras had converted images into analog electrical signals, cameras aboard robot space probes had digitized photographs using vacuum tube components and relayed them back to Earth, and Texas Instruments had designed a filmless but analog-based electronic camera in 1972.

However, in some periods, corsets have been worn to achieve a tubular straight-up-and-down shape, which involves minimising the bust and hips. The question was simply 'Could we build a camera using solid-state imagers?' At that time (1970s) the CCD had just come out, and people were curious about its applications. For women this most frequently emphasises a curvy figure, by reducing the waist, and thereby exaggerating the bust and hips. Sasson's masters supervisor, Gareth Lloyd, set him an open ended assignment. The most common use of corsets is to slim the body and make it conform to a fashionable silhouette. Steven Sasson, an engineer working for Eastman Kodak, is credited with developing the first digital camera, an 8-pound toaster sized box that captured a black-and-white image on a digital cassette tape at a resolution of .01 megapixels. The word corsetry is sometimes also used as a collective plural form of corset. .

Someone who makes corsets is a corsetier (for a man) or corsetière (for a woman), or sometimes simply a corsetmaker. Modern digital cameras are typically multifunctional and the same device can take photographs, video, and/or sound. The skill of making corsets is known as corsetry, as is the general wearing of them. A digital camera, is an electronic device to transform images into electronic data. . They are superb for portraiture and artistic photography because they can be customized for various applications with a comprehensive range of exchangeable lenses. Both men and women have worn – and still wear – corsets. They are also bulkier and frequently much more expensive than their casual-use oriented counterparts.

A corset is a garment worn to mold and shape the torso into a desired shape for aesthetic or orthopaedic purposes (either for the duration of wearing it, or with a more lasting effect). They resemble ordinary professional cameras in most ways, most with replaceable flash and lens components, which give the user maximum control over light, focus and depth of field. Website containing information and photographs about corsets & corseting through the ages, including celebrity photographs. Digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLR) share the optical layout of single-lens reflex cameras and typically have a sensor many times larger than that of a standard digital camera, and are targeted at professional photographers and enthusiasts. Ann Beaumont has published the series "Corseting the Human Body". They excel in landscape photography and casual use. At the same site, Dr. It is also part of the reason professional photographers find their images flat or artificial-looking.

Two doctors' opinions and advice on corset wearing can be found at the website of the Long Island Staylace Association. This allows objects at multiple depths to be in focus simultaneously, which accounts for much of their ease of focusing. Routledge (December 1, 1990), ISBN 0878305262. They have an extended depth of field. Norah Waugh, Corsets and Crinolines. They are characterized by great ease in operation and easy focusing; this design allows for limited motion picture capability. ISBN 1931160066. Standard Digital Cameras (also called compact digital cameras or digicams): This encompasses most digital cameras.

Larry Utley, Autumn Carey-Adamme, Fetish Fashion: Undressing the Corset Green Candy Press, 2002. Webcams can capture full-motion video as well, and some models include microphones or zoom ability. Yale University Press, 2001, ISBN 0300099533. Webcams are digital cameras attached to computers, used for video conferencing or other purposes. Valerie Steele, The Corset: A Cultural History. They generally include a microphone to record sound, and feature a small LCD to watch the video during filming and playback. Wasp waist. These are a combination of camera and VCR to create an all-in-one production unit.

Waist cincher. Camcorders used by amateurs. Training corset. Professional video cameras usually do not have a built-in VCR or microphone. Redresseur corset. These typically have multiple image sensors (one per color) to enhance resolution and color gamut. Hourglass corset. Professional video cameras such as those used in television and movie production.

Bondage corset or discipline corset. A badly-fitting corset can chafe, impede digestion, damage ribs and pinch nerves. Even finding a competent corsetiere can be difficult. In modern times, when labour costs much more than materials, custom clothing can be extremely expensive.

The more closely clothing or lingerie clings to the body, the more carefully it must be fitted to look and feel right. The best corsets are custom made and personally-fitted. They have been most often worn in cool climates. Due to their tightness and close proximity to the body, corsets can make the wearer feel very warm.

Corsets can instantly improve the figure without dieting, slimming drugs, or cosmetic surgery. (Straps can chafe or cut the skin.). Some large-breasted women find corsets more comfortable than brassieres, because the weight of the breasts is carried by the whole corset rather than the brassiere's shoulder straps. Corsets can reduce pain and improve function for people with back problems or other muscular/skeletal disorders.

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