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Newbie Corner > Wants to wear a corset

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message 1: by Abigail (new)

Abigail (AbWatkins) | 7 comments hello. My name is Abigail Watkins and I am 14 years old. i read the enitre Jane Austen collection when i was 12 and have continually picked up my copy to stay connected to the jane Austen world. Mansfield Park is my favorite novel. it must be the youth connection.

Anyways.. I am always interested to hear what people know and think about jane Austen and her novels. So please share with me what you find important in her writings.

Thank you

message 2: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Hi again Abigail. You might be interested, if you haven't already started, in looking around the threads here in the group and reading the things we most often comment about in discussing Austen's different writings.

Feel free to reopen or restart some of the discussions of the particular books -- especially your favorite, Mansfield. The discussions jumpstart better if you bring out a few things yourself that you think about the book. Enjoy chatting.

(If you are new to GoodReads, we can help with the wheres and hows if you need those kinds of tips. So happy you are here.)

message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) As far as the subject is concerned, I would not want to wear a corset. It looks like it would have been too restrictive. I don't know how those women breathed in those contraptions.

message 4: by M (new)

M (Umichgirl) | 18 comments I think there were cracked ribs involved!

message 5: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I am sure and also how could you move and walk in them with the whalebone being so tight and rigid.

message 6: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Really! I mean, there are days I complain about a sports bra out of the softest cotton. Can you imagine every single day struggling into one of those things? And wearing it all day? No wonder their life span was lower than ours! Oh, and it reminds me of Louisa May Alcott's Rose in Bloom, where one of the first things that Uncle Alec does when he assumes guardianship of Rose is to get rid of her tight clothes and supplies her with comfortable ones that don't pinch and bind.
Brilliant man!

message 7: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Yes, i do think the people who manufacture bras nowadays may get secret enjoyment out of seeing women complain. In GWTW, the stays that Scarlett struggled to get into, and in Meet Me in St. Louis, poor Judy Garland. I think those mammography machines are designed by men.

message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan Robin wrote: "Yes, i do think the people who manufacture bras nowadays may get secret enjoyment out of seeing women complain. In GWTW, the stays that Scarlett struggled to get into, and in Meet Me in St. Louis,..."

Tall men. (I'm 5 feet nothing).

message 9: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Same here, height wise. But getting back to corsets, or not, I guess that was before the days of brassieres, and the outfits they wore, I guess it had to have some form to it, but my gawd to use whalebone, or some poor other animal for the invention of their times.

message 10: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum As far as comfort goes, though, is there anything worse than plastic? But at least there aren't any plastic animals being tortured for our beauty. Hmm, but ecologically speaking.....

message 11: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) yes talk about those aluminum can plastic things that are choking the dolphins, and the birds, don't talk about the oil leak off the coast of Louisiana, that is a bad one.

message 12: by Robin (new)

Robin | 12 comments Robin wrote: "I don't know how those women breathed in those contraptions."

I don't think they really breathed...hence all the fainting and the need for smelling salts!

I have never worn a real corset but I do have a tight bodice that goes with my Tudor style dress and it is quite uncomfortable at times. It does nothing but push "the girls" up and makes me walk ramrod straight. Lol!

message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) yes that is why they all looked pretty peeved in those days.

message 14: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum And died young from lack of breath. Looking peevish the whole time. Have men ever been crazy enough to dress so uncomfortably? Well, some of the men in that time period did wear corsets and pad their calves. But, that's just funny! In fact, I'm laughing as I think of it!

message 15: by Ericastark (new)

Ericastark | 1 comments "As far as the subject is concerned, I would not want to wear a corset. It looks like it would have been too restrictive. I don't know how those women breathed in those contraptions."

I think you're confusing Regency Stays, which Jane Austin and her characters would have worn, with the later Victorian tight-lacing corsets.

These are stays http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/181...

Here is a link to a costumer wearing her stays
http://www.freewebs.com/behindthetape... No more uncomfortable than a long-line bra.

This is a Victorian corset-
Quite a different shape, as you can see.

message 16: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) regency victorian, this is a general if you would or would not wear a corset. We are just saying what we wouldn't want to wear it. Stays and corsets I do know are different, In any case at the times, they had to wear what society dictated, and if that was the dress code then that was it. Thank god we don't do that nowadays.

message 17: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum "No more uncomfortable than a long-line bra"? I just shuddered. I think the difference is that if you didn't wear stays, or, later, a corset, you were seen as slatternly. Nowadays you pretty much have the options to decide how you'll look, and most of us go for comfort (within reason -- I don't know any nudists!).

message 18: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Yes, but even the underwire ones are constricting. I like comfort any day. I wonder if there were women in those days that just dressed for comfort, nah they all conformed to the rigid society.

message 19: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum It really would have taken an amazingly strong-minded woman to buck the status quo if it meant being taken for a slattern (kind of a cross between a slob and a slut). And, of course, when you're living in the times, you don't always see the options that can be seen from a few decades distance. Women bobbing their hair and waving it was seen as horrifying in the 1920s -- until the majority of women took it up.

message 20: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Yes, I guess in those days they had to follow what the norm dictated. And I am sure that bobbing their hair, and curling was something you just did not do. I think once, they did that it liberated women more. Very apt on your part.

message 21: by Luciana (last edited Mar 17, 2011 04:39AM) (new)

Luciana | 8 comments I would never want to wear the type of corsets they used to wear at that time: first because an animal had to die for them to be made, which is unacceptable, and second because they were really painful.

On the other hand, nowadays there are corsets that don't hurt you, and they aren't made of whale bone (some aren't even constricting at all), and I think they look fine. I'd wear those.

message 22: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) They have corsets in this day and age. Or are they called Spanx, or some such name. I am glad that I wasn't around when the "Girdle" was in vogue. Ugh!

message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 162 comments If I had to wear a corset and those low dresses and dance with total strangers and marry someone I don't even know or like. I wouldn't, couldn't do it!! I mean Mr. Darcy is nice and all but I just couldn't allow myself to do get settled and have a total stranger as my husband.

message 24: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley You may not want to wear a girdle, but they had more value than the average "yuck don't touch me" modern person would believe. Smoothing out the lumps was just one of them. And I believe you are all speaking with modern brain pans.
No way in this day and age would the total desperation and repression be understood that those women were subjected to.

message 25: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 162 comments Thank you for Ms. Patricia for making us think more clearly and clearing up this discussion so nicely.

Please write more.


message 26: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) yes, you do put it quite succintly, Patricia. Always food for thought with your postings.

message 27: by Xenia (new)

Xenia (collarcitybrownstone) | 63 comments I would not want to wear a corset from the 19th century, but we have our own versions today that are just fine. I am talking about the girdle and other items that are made to slim and tighten you up. I just purchased some of those items a few weeks ago.

message 28: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments I would. Helps to slim you down and show off toe figure. And mainly, i want to live back then and that was what you wore so I would :)

message 29: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Thank you for your kind words. Slimming is the main point, however the skinniest women still wore them through the 50s and 60s. They helped you avoid jiggle under what was then called straight skirts and how, I believe, called pencil skirts. Most nurses, waitresses, and any women who worked on their feet wore them for support, and the ones that cover some or most of the thigh was best.
The materials today are less binding. I've seen and felt those new body suits. Way more comfortable.

message 30: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (atomicempress) | 58 comments I don't think there would have been a corset fittable for me, I would not have exisited in my current body shape in regency england, though to be fair, since I have am a bigger woman. Anyway I think it might be fun to wear one of the more modern versions of the corset we see today but as far as the old fashion ones that were so painful I don't think I could manage that.

message 31: by Shea (new)

Shea | 117 comments I am going to be Elizabeth Bennett for Halloween but I am STILL not going to wear a corset :-)

message 32: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments I want to do that! But I don't do Halloween ;)

message 33: by Vavarra (new)

Vavarra | 10 comments Soph wrote: "I want to do that! But I don't do Halloween ;)"

I love that idea - forget halloween, just bring that style back. Start a movement.

message 34: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments YES! Seriously want to...

message 35: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 162 comments I know right! I have this awesome dance lessons that teach Pride and Prejudice style dancing and the men have to ask the ladies to dance except sometimes I ask Abby (she acts like Georgina Darcy) and she totally says yes and we dance like two fools but hey! I have fun. :D

message 36: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 4 comments I think that had we all been around at that time, we wouldn't know that being clothed could be any less painful than they're garb. There was no alternative. Women wear and do plenty of things now that are painful just to be in fashion. I mean look at platform high heels. I wonder what future generations will say about those when they read about us. And if hair removal ever becomes not the norm, they'll think we were crazy to have gone along with it (sometimes I feel that way now). It's all relative. They say hindsight is 20/20.

message 37: by Sam (new)

Sam Schoenback | 8 comments I would rock a corset!! Tuesday wear a corset to work day is going in my suggestion box! :)

message 38: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Yes!! That would be a great day! I would happily wear a corset to school!

message 39: by Sam (new)

Sam Schoenback | 8 comments Soph wrote: "Yes!! That would be a great day! I would happily wear a corset to school!"

Hopefully schools will be that progressive one day LOL!

message 40: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Ahaha!! I only have a year left so they better be quick about it!

message 41: by Sam (new)

Sam Schoenback | 8 comments Soph wrote: "Ahaha!! I only have a year left so they better be quick about it!"

Right! I'm starting college, hopefully their more lenient. I always wished school was like tv shows where you could do a report and dress up like the character, i feel jipped :( I would rock those dresses!

message 42: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments So would I!! :D high waisted dress is perfect for my shape!!

message 43: by Sam (new)

Sam Schoenback | 8 comments Soph wrote: "So would I!! :D high waisted dress is perfect for my shape!!"

With pretty ribbons of course!

message 44: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Naturally naturally!!

message 45: by Rose (new)

Rose (plainsrose) | 4 comments I do not ever want to wear a corset. The question makes me think of The Pirates of the Caribbean.

message 46: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Well she just had her corset done up to tightly!

message 47: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (stephanie-jo) | 79 comments I am waiting to lose some of the weight that I want to lose and then I am going to make my Regency dress with the appropriate undergarments so that will include a corset.

message 48: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments I want to do that as well! I want to start a regency wardrobe! :D I don't really no how to go about it not being a competent sewer myself ... I may have to talk to you about it Stephanie!!

message 49: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (stephanie-jo) | 79 comments Soph, i don't sew very well either so will need to find someone to help me! I also want to make sure that I cam easily adjust the seams as i lose more weight.

message 50: by Julie (new)

Julie  (plumcrazy22) I believe that there was also alot of women who had ribs removed at the same time. I recently read an article about women today who are having toes removed so that they can fit into smaller shoes. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.

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