the edwardian corset

1900s Combination Corset Bloomers: It has little shell buttons all the way down the back.  soft sheer white cotton with the finest Valenciennes lace details all over front & back. There’s a small name embroidered on the front side it says “Helene”, There are little delicate ribbon “belt loops” inside the front lace near bust for a silk ribbon that will tie it in tighter for shape.This has that wonderful antique Gibson Girl style/shape commonly called a pigeon front, for the way it billows out full in front.                

rienerose  asked:

Thank you so much for your previous answers! They have helped quite a bit. I have a follow-up quick question--what type of fasteners were used at this time? I am assuming there was not yet a rubbery-grip for stockings, so did they use garters or ribbon side-ties? Ties for slips? Did we have snaps, hook-and-eye closures, or zippers yet? Thank you!

Hi again! I’ll do my best to answer your question. :)

For closing and holding clothes in place, here was a multitude of techniques. Hooks and eyes seems by far the most common. The bodices could simply be closed in the front or the back with a row of hooks and eyes. Since they were usually worn over the corset, it was the corset who got the straining, and not so much the bodice itself.

It was common to insert a broad waistband, “anchoring” the bodice in the waist. This was usually closed in front with hooks and eyes. The bodice could then be buttoned over, as seen in this 1876 one:

Another common thing was to combine two methods. This 1879 bodice (from The Met) has a sturdy front-buttoned panel under a decorative “stomacher” attached with hooks and eyes at the left side:

Last but not least, bodices could also be laced together. This had been one of the preferred methods historically, as it allowed the garment to be adjusted in size. But it became less common in the Victorian era, and was often used as a “statement” detail rather than a practical detail.

Skirts were typically held together with hooks and bars, or buttoning, or lacing/tying. With overlapping panels and lots of drapes, it only needed to be firmly anchored in the waist, and whatever method enabled this could be used.

Zippers were however not in use in Victorian fashion. Simply because they were invented in the 1890s, and first came into use in the 1910-20s. Even then they were not common, and only used for jackets and the like.

As for stockings, they could have a rubber facing on the inside/top to make them less slippery, similar to what’s found today. Women often wore a belt-like construction in addition, with straps attached to the top of the stockings to hold them in place. One ad from 1897 shows the straps going down the side of the leg, but it could also be in the front and back of the leg:

But more common was the garter, which could be tied, buttoned, buckled or eventually also held together with elastics. Stockings usually were over-knee, or tied right under the knee. It’s how socks were held in place for centuries, and despite newer inventions also how many Victorian ladies did it. In the Edwardian era corsets became longer, extending down over the hips, and here corsets could replace the separate “hose supporters” as seen in the 1897 ad. This was in use until the socks themselves became more elastic and self-supporting.