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C is for Corsets

Spilling out boobs and narrowing waists, all hail the corset

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Since they first appeared in the 16th century, corsets have been in and out of fashion more times than a Versace-sponsored stripper. Initially, people were driven all kinds of crazy by the newfangled garment that could make fat women look slimmer and flat-chested women spill out all over the place. And rightly so. But over time their popularity ebbed and flowed as tastes evolved, mostly influenced by disagreements about what was the ideal female form.

Weirdly enough, one brief corset resurgence in the 19th century was curtailed by claims that wearing one could lead to all kinds of internal malfunctions and even temporary madness, so people started regarding the wearing of a corset as the very pinnacle of vanity. And, just when you thought there was no end to the pain that World War I caused, another revival in the early 20th century was strangled in its infancy because restrictions on civilians using steel meant that there weren't any steel bones to hold all the garments together.

Still, thankfully there was no such freakish ill fortune when corsets were becoming popular again in the mid-1980s, and they found a new home in the world of established fetish wear as the antidote to crotchless panties and thongs. Fast-forward to the present and everyone is wearing them: Kylie Minogue, Dita Von Teese – even Sophie Howard.

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