EVERY little while some writer, some "dress reformer," some one wishing to advance a theory of her own, opens up a tirade against corsets. They are generally represented by these "agitators" as a death dealing instrument of torture. If these people have personally found them injurious, they have made them so. Presumably, if the inventor of the much-abused corset had for one moment thought it necessary to furnish brains in the shape of written directions as to the use of his popular invention he would gladly have done so, or have made the attempt to get a bill passed prohibiting women from committing suicide by the aid of an invention intended only for comfort, grace and beauty. This unending war against corsets that has been raging for about two score years and ten is certainly as good an advertisement as the most enterprising manufacturers can wish for. It proves conclusively that the corset wins all of the battles. If, in the fight, it has even wiped off from the face of the earth a few brainless women it is difficult to understand why the corset should be held responsible. If a woman's vanity, poor taste or ignorance leads her to "draw the strings" until a serious injury is the result, she should by all means discard the corset, just as she would flee from any other temptation she has not the will power to resist. The evil, however, should not be laid to the corset.
So much has been said and written upon the subject that, as we hear the word, a vision of a compressed waist floats through the mind, and yet one never heard a strong, healthy, well-developed, woman acknowledge that she could get along without one. Some kind of a support is positively necessary. The most enthusiastic reformer always has a substitute, not differing materially excepting in name. I know a slender, thin woman that insists upon parading the fact that she never wears the "horrible things." Her underwaists are corded and whaleboned, her dress waists are padded to fill out the hollows, and each seam whaleboned. In addition her waists are fitted so snugly that it seems marvelous the buttons do not fly to the four corners of the earth. Yet, this woman considers because she does not wear a corset she is not imjuring herself. There is nothing more com fortable than a well-fitting corset. In these times of rivalry among the different manufacturers there is no reason why any one should wear ill-fitting ones. There are innumerable kinds and shapes to select from. Long-waisted, short-waisted, high and low in the bust, short and long on the hip, adjustable to the fleshy lady and "improved" for the slender ones. A woman must study the different styles and decide for herself which is the one suited to her figure. If fitted, as they should be, no ill will result from wearing them, providing the wearer has the common sense to understand there is no beauty in a compressed waist. To be graceful one must be comfortable. Comfort does not mean wearing clothes loosely, quite the contrary. There is decided discomfort in wearing clothing loose enough to hitch out of place. A snug fit is desirable, just tight enough to convince us our clothes were made for ourselves and belong to us individually. See to it that your corsets fit you perfectly, and more than half the battle is won in the fit of a dress. The French are particularly attentive to the matter of corsets. No first-class dress maker will fit a dress over an illfitting corset. The highest priced ones are much more pliable in shaping to the figure, and in the end more economical. Being made of better and firmer material they do not lose their shape, and outwear one to three of the cheaper qualities.