Corsets: Picturing Canterbury

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An advertisement for corsets sold by J. Ballantyne & Co., Christchurch and Timaru
[1902]

4 thoughts on “Corsets: Picturing Canterbury

  1. Mojo Jojo 13 April 2012 / 9:26 am

    Note the male corset-fitter. It may seem somewhat surprising given our impression of Victorian propriety, but corset making and corset fitting were quite male-dominated professions (though not exclusively – Christchurch had at least one female corset maker, Mrs Sharland: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/heritage/photos/disc1/img0050.asp).

    I guess Gok Wan would have fitted right in. :-)

  2. Donna 13 April 2012 / 1:34 pm

    Interesting! I had imagined blokes as sellers, but not fitters …

    • Mojo Jojo 13 April 2012 / 1:51 pm

      I’m guessing it stems from the fact that men were the traditional makers of corsets, until sewing machines had been around long enough to change attitudes. (Corset-making was seen as men’s work because the several layers of heavy fabrics that had to be stitched through were considered to be too tough for women to handle.)

  3. purplerulz 13 April 2012 / 4:51 pm

    I find corsets are fun and interesting to wear when dressing up for parties and such, but I can’t imagine having to wear them all day/ everyday. I so much prefer our ‘let it all hang out’ lifestyle! I made a Marie Antoinette style side-ways wired petticoat for a fancy dress ‘do’ once, that was pretty challenging to sew and it didn’t need the precision fit that a corset would require – certainly an art!

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