‘Now, there is a right way and a wrong way of putting on a corset, and as this lesson should appeal to every woman, young or old, it should be learned with care and followed scrupulously.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
How To Put On A Corset
Loosen the corset laces, then ‘hook the fronts together. The corset will be very loose;’ there must be no strain on the corset. Adjust the chemise or combination under the corset if necessary.
Now begin to pull the corset laces, ‘making a very great point of giving the lungs ample play. Fasten the laces on the waist-line at the back first of all, then pull in the lower part from the waist downwards, and tie them also. It is not a good plan to bring the waist laces round to the front, because the extra bulk of ties in front is awkward and unnecessary, and a feeling of restraint is given to the waist by the ties. Some stay-makers provide three laces for their long-pattern stays, one above the waist, one for the waist, and the other below.’
Pull the corset down in front. Tie ‘in a bow the little ribbon ends beneath the bust at the top of the corset, whilst sitting, so that plenty of freedom and comfort may be secured for that part of the figure.’
Wear stockings which ‘come high above the knees, in order that the action of the knees in walking shall not drag the corset out of place.’ Attach the front and side suspenders to your stockings to keep the corset down. (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
How To Lace A Corset
‘Few women know how to lace a corset properly. When first tried on it is better to have the help of an intelligent assistant. Many ladies are in the habit of beginning the lacing from the bottom, leaving the corset well open at the top. This practice is wrong, and is not necessary if the corset is of the proper proportions.
In preparing to try on a new corset, first lace the corset loosely from top to bottom. In inserting the lacings at the waist line, pass them through two consecutive eyelets on the same side, thus making a loop in the lacing. Then put on the corset and draw it up first at the waist line to the required tightness by means of these loops. In this way the smallest part of the corset will find the smallest part of the waist, and it will settle into its natural position.
Then tighten the lacing from the waist to the bottom, and lastly from the waist to the top, until the whole corset conforms properly to the contour of the body. Corsets that become crooked are often made so by improper lacing. Too great pains cannot be observed in properly lacing and fitting the corset when it is new. Never tie the lacing around the body; it is sure to ruin the best corset and is also the worst form of tight lacing.’ (Talk Upon Practical Subjects, 1895)