What: Corset stays were strips of metal inserted into corsets to create a rigid shape to the corsets women wore under their dresses as part of their underclothes. The metal stays replaced the use of whalebone stays, which were even stiffer. For about 500 years, women wore corsets as part of fashion. Corsets of different shapes, altered the woman's figure to fit the clothing styles of the different time periods. Many women hated wearing them, while to others it was a sign of status. Can you imagine trying to do housework or other types of labor wearing a stiff corset around your waist?
Who: Pioneer women wore corsets. They began wearing corsets in their teens.
Last updated: February 24, 2015