Is She Wearing A Corset?

I’m sorry I’ve not written recently, loads of of things have kept me busy!

So, here are two photos for discussion.  Just for a change I thought I would avoid the obviously tight corset and wasp waist, and go for photos where there may be a doubt about the corset.

First, a photo “stolen” from    This is a photo from around 1890, a defined waist yes, not not a wasp waist.


In fact, there’s very little waist reduction at all!

We must remember that at this time most dressed had a firm lining that was boned, with a waistband that could be tightened.  It is possible that she is not wearing a corset at all, but using the dress to mold the figure a little.  This is probably a photo taken in a professional studio, and therefore would have been a “special occasion”.  IF she is not wearing a corset, then why?  Possibly she’s been ill?  Or she has borrowed the dress?

What do you think?  Please let me know by posting your comment here.


Here’s another “corset or not”  photo. Again from probably 1890, but it is difficult to date.

md33          Le_georgette2

She’s not very old, possibly 10 or 11?.  To me it appears that the dress is just a little tight, it fits her body quite smoothly?  There’s not obvious waist restriction, but her side are a little straight, no natural curves.  In the 1890s a respectably 11 year old girl might well be wearing a bodice rather than a real adult corset – just enough to shape the body a little and give that necessary support.

At the side of the photo I’ve put an 1900 advert from a French mail order company that shows what she might being under the rather pretty dress.

The text in French reads “Corset for young girls aged 9 – 11 years in very beautiful English satin in colors natural or white, buttons in front with shoulder straps.  Real whalebone.  “.   So in the French 1890s young girls were we expected to wear underwear just a little tight, and just a little stiff.  She would probably be wearing a stiffer, tighter corset by the age of 13 or so.  However, the corset come quite low over the hips and even gentle whalebones must have restricted movement a little?

Note how the drawing shows a childish body with straight sides, just like the photo above.  I think the photo shows a girl wearing “something” a little tight under her dress.  What do you think?

Please post your comments here.


Love to you all, Mintie