4CORSETS AND CLOSE-FITTING PATTERNS§7

CORSET SELECTION

7. That a knowledge of how to proceed in the selection of corsets is a valuable asset for any woman will not be denied. The accuracy and care with which the dresses of today are designed and made absolutely demand correct-fitting corsets. No one can afford to build a garment or a costume smart and stylish to the last detail and then have all its distinctiveness lost by wearing it over a corset that does not fit properly. Again, every woman or girl interested in the making of dresses for herself wants to appear to the very best advantage in them, and to do so she must know just what type of corset is most suitable for her. Women who sew for others are frequently called on to make suggestions about the corsets of their customers, for it stands to reason that garments will not fit so well or hang so nicely on broken-down, ill-fitting corsets as they will on good-fitting ones. Sometimes considerable tact must be exercised to suggest that a new corset is necessary or that a certain kind would add much to the improvement of a person's appearance, but in most cases better fitting garments result.

8. Of course, in purchasing corsets, any woman will do well to consult the salesperson of the corset shop or the corset department of a store regarding the kind of corset that is best for her build; yet, she herself must know the kind of corset that she can wear with the greatest comfort and, also, the kind that gives her the very best lines. It is reasonable to believe that any woman will select corsets with care if she knows how to proceed; therefore, a few suggestions relative to corset selection are here given. Corsets are made to open in the front and in the back. Physicians, as well as women, differ in opinion as to which is best, and as one opening seems to be equally as popular as the other every woman must use her own judgment as to which is best for her.

9. Some manufacturers claim that there are nine types of women to be fitted with corsets, and all up-to-date corset makers provide corsets for these types. They are: (1) the short, slender figure; (2) the tall, slender figure; (3) the short-waisted figure; (4) the short, heavy figure; (5) the tall, heavy figure; (6) the full-hip figure; (7) the full-bust figure; (8) the swayed-back figure; and (9) the perfect figure.

10.   Corsets for Slender Figures.—A woman possessing a short, slender figure must never appear stiff; rather, she must strive to retain the figure of a young girl, which means that a corset moderately short, light in weight, and with few stays should be worn, and, of course, never worn tight.   For a figure of this kind, as well as for a tall, slender figure, a corset that is not more than 2 in. smaller than the original waist measure should be selected, because such a corset has a tendency to increase, rather than decrease, the figure at the waist line.   The person having a tall, slender figure must also wear a soft corset with a few bones, but it should be longer over the hips than that worn by her shorter sister, in order that the line from the waist line over the hip will appear unbroken.   It is distressing, to say the least, to be able to detect the termination of the corset through a skirt or a gown, and when corsets are worn loose this line shows almost as prominently as when they are worn tight.

11. Corsets for Short-Waisted Figures.—A woman with a short-waisted figure, whether she is tall, of medium height, or short, should strive for one result in corset selection, namely, the appearance of a long waist. The corset should therefore be fitted loose and should be pulled down well on the figure. If such details are carefully attended to, it is a very easy matter to add at least an inch to the length of the waist. A woman with such a figure requires a corset that is short below the waist line in front, so that, when she sits down, there will be no danger of its pushing up and thus making her figure appear more short-waisted than it really is.

12. Corsets for Short, Heavy Figures.—The woman whose figure is short and heavy should select corsets of suitable length, for if a corset is a trifle too long she may be made very uncomfortable. A long corset makes a woman having a short, heavy figure appear as if she were "all corsets" when she sits down, as the length below the waist line pushes the corset up so far under her arms as to cause her to appear short-waisted.

To remedy a corset that is too long in front, proceed as follows: Rip the casing of the corset open at the top of each of the front bones, with the exception of the center-front bones, pull each bone up until it is short enough for comfort, taking care that all the bones are even at the lower part of the corset, and cut or break each one off. Then stitch just below each bone a couple of times with the sewing machine, so that it cannot slip down, and finish the ends that were opened at the top by overhanding the casing down.   Shops in which such corsets are purchased will usually make such alterations if requested.

13.   Corsets for Tall, Heavy Figures.—The tall, heavy figure means the large woman.   Such a woman should choose a corset with much forethought, for it must support the body well and still be comfortable. She should wear a corset with a very long skirt, in order to have good lines.   As they are made today, corsets with such skirts are not uncomfortable, provided they are properly fitted, and any large woman who wears a well-fitted long corset for even a short length of time will notice a decided improvement in her figure.   The large woman, though, must avoid corsets that are too long in the front, either above or below the waist line, as they have a tendency to make her appear decidedly uncomfortable. The length should come at the sides and the back, below the waist line, but not at the center front, for no woman can sit down comfortably with a corset that is too long in the front. The mistake of buying a corset too small should be guarded against; one that is 2 or 3 in. smaller than the waist measure is generally satisfactory. Such a corset, provided it is not laced too tight, gives good lines and makes a large figure appear much more graceful than does a tight corset.   A very large woman who has a graceful carriage is less conspicuous than a smaller woman who is made to appear stiff and clumsy by tight lacing. Well-confined thighs make a large, stately woman appear more stately, but if the corset is in the least tight through the thighs it must be looser through the waist and above the waist line in order to impart the necessary freedom to the wearer.

14. Corsets for Full-Hip Figures.—The full-hip figure is perhaps the most difficult to fit with a corset. However, corsets that are especially suitable for persons with such figures may be purchased, and if a corset fitter understands her work thoroughly a wonderful improvement may be brought about with the very shortwaisted corset, which is long and is closely boned over the hips. The person possessing a full-hip figure should have several elastics attached to her corset so as to fasten it down, and the elastics should be secured to the hose so as to avoid any break at the bottom of the corset.

15.   Corsets for Full-Bust Figures.—The woman with a full bust and heavy shoulders should select a corset that is loose enough above the waist line to permit the flesh to fall into the corset. and thus make it appear less prominent.   If the flesh is pushed up from the waist line, it makes a
Picture
FIG. 1
woman appear both uncomfortable and out of proportion; whereas, if the corset is fairly loose above the waist, her appearance will be pleasing and she will be free from discomfort.

16. Corsets for Swayed-Back Figures. The woman with a swayed-back figure is not difficult to fit with a corset and she need take only ordinary precautions in making a selection.   However, if her back is verY much curved and if she is especially flat below the waist line, a small corset pad similar to the one shown in Fig. 1 will prove to be an excellent help. Such a pad consists of a covering of China silk or light-weight muslin, as in (a), and in (b).   BY sheet wadding is meant cotton pressed into flat sheets that are about 1/8 in. thick and are held together with a solution that in no way affects the cotton, but makes it very convenient to handle. The pad should be sewed to the underneath part of the corset, so that it will not interfere with garments that are being fitted or worn.

For very slender women whose hip bones are prominent, smaller pads than those just mentioned are very satisfactory. When secured to the inside of the corset, just in front of the hip bones, they give the wearer much comfort, as they tend to lift the corset so that the stays do not press hard on the hip bones. In addition, they serve to make the hip bones appear less prominent.

17.   Corsets for Perfect Figures.—A woman fortunate enough to possess a figure that requires no special attention must not select her corsets at random, because, as is well known, an ill-fitting corset can do much to distort or mar even the most perfect figure.   She should see that the corset is of the proper size for her waist and is of a length that is comfortable and becoming to her. She will do well, also, to see that the material used in the corset she chooses is of the proper weight to give the necessary support without making her figure appear as if it were bandaged.

A correctly proportioned woman should select a corset that is from 2 to 4 in. smaller than her waist measure; for instance, if her waist measure is 24 in., then a No. 21 or No. 22 corset will be suitable. The small woman should, as a rule, select a corset that is just 2 in. smaller than her waist measure, while the very large woman, rather than go by her waist measure, should always have her corset fitted, for the size of the thighs will have much to do with the size of her corset.