The Birth of the Tight Lacing Corset

In this article I will take you through the modern meaning of the term "Tight Lacing corsets" and how it was brought into this world!

It is a fairly new term that has come about due to the watering down of it's predecessors as high street manufactures reinterpret their meanings. They make up enough of their own words, why do they steel and redefine ours!

I will start with the original term: "Corset".

It never needed further definition in the past, a corset by definition was an item of clothing that pulled your waist in generally up to 8" (20cm) sometimes more. This where the term "corseted waist" came from. A century ago a corset was a corset and that was that.

The high street manufacturers started producing so called corsets (lingerie corsets) made with stretchy materials and boned with plastic, this in turn rendered the corset a useless name.

In response the "Steel Boned Corset" arrived.

The addition of steel boned to corset became the new corset, separating itself from the lingerie corsets by the boning used. They were generally cut for a 4" (10cm) reduction, steel boned throughout and busk fronted. This worked great for a for a few years, but it was never meant to be! The marriage of "Steel boned" and "Corset" could never last as it was open to interpretation by the powers of the high street. So called "Steel boned corsets" were being made without a waist reduction and with zips or hook and eyes instead of busks. The Corsetiers of the world needed something new, something definitive, something that could not be misinterpreted.

The Tight Lacing Corset was born.

The "Tight lacing corset" was the evolved child of the "steel boned corset", it came about before steel boned corsets had lost their meaning. The tight lacing corset was originally a steel boned corset that pulled in more than 4" (10cm).

This child had a promising future, it was definitive, it couldn't possibly be misinterpreted...could it?
With the divorce of "Steel Boned" and "Corset" this child lost it's way, it was demoted to replace it's parents rather than exceed them.

Tight lacing corsets are now meant for a reduction of up to 4" (10cm), Typically made with 2 layers, busk fronted and steel boned throughout. Most mass produced corsets are made to these specifications.

The Illegitimate child: Extreme Tight Lacing Corsets.

Thankfully there was a second child, one more suited to the 21st Century. It took on the role of it's sibling and has held it's place so far.

The "Extreme tight lacing corset" is typically made with 3 layers of fabric, steel boned throughout, busk fronted and suitable for a 4-8" (10-20cm) reduction. Good Corsetiers (Corsets makers that predominantly make custom and made to measure corsets) will use these specifications.

What does the future hold for this term, is it definitive enough to withstand attack from the high street, will it succeed where all it's predecessors failed, only time will tell!

Do you know what will replace the previous terms, make suggestions or predictions below by adding a comment! (Sarcasm is welcome)

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