A corselette is a support and a tight fitting foundation undergarment / shape wear that fits closely at the bust area and runs down the thighs with the help of tight elastics or bonings.
- A corselette combines both a girdle, usually short, and a brassiere.
- It is made to pull in the stomach and the waist and to provide a smooth shape at the rear.
- The undergarment replaced corsets and became quite popular as it eliminated all need to wear two separate pieces like a corset and a brassier or a girdle and a brassier.
Variations and forms:
1) A merry widow is shorter than a corselette and tighter than a bustier. A corselette is a lighter in weight version of the corset.
2) A short corselette that features no garters and no shoulder straps is a torsolette or a bustier.
3) A corselette in two separate parts includes the brassiere and a girdle.
4) A corselette with a stiff back and series of laces is a corsage or a corset.
5) A combination of a girdle, a bra and briefs is a panty corselette.
Boning versus spandex:
Modern versions of corselette are mostly made of tight Spandex.
The boned corselette was popular during the 1940’s and 50’s. Such a corselette is tightened by the means of a series of lacing featured usually at the back. The design may also create a need for a helping hand to help tighten the laces at the back. Also, the boning in the garment may be very uncomfortable resulting to itching and restricted breathing.
Styles of corselette:
Corselette styles are many. The strapless version is very popular and is mostly worn under the ball garments or wedding gowns.
- Corselette with straps are suitable for large busted women.
- Laces may appear at the front and the back of the design.
- Some may also feature removable garter belt straps to keep the stockings up.
- Always wear a corselette that fits you pretty well at the bust region or you may face some serious consequences, like the slipping of the garment.
- Remember, the tight construction is not enough, even the bust area has to be kept in consideration. Yet, too tight a corselette may also cause you great troubles.
- Don’t wear the style too often as prolonged and continuous wearing might permanently distort the shape of your ribs and back. Keep the style reserved for rarer occasions.
- Current emphasis in the world of fashion, for women, is to appear more in the natural female form. A corselette interferes with this form to re- shape you and make you appear more like an hourglass.
So, wearing a corselette is totally a matter of choice and not compulsion. You may opt for a corset, if you like, but shape wears are more popular today.