More from The History of Underclothes
Posted by Marie Bernadette on December 24, 1997 at 15:45:01:
In response to tying together the threads on the Corsets and Permissiveness thread, written by Caroline on December 23, 1997 at 23:12:27
] I'd like to pull together some of the thoughts and ideas put out in the discussion started by Lesley about Corsets and Permissiveness, if only to get the ideas straight in my head. I hope you don't mind me sarting afresh, but I think it's hard to follow any kind of argument in the conversation below, as it's broken up into too many pieces. I'd love to know what you think about all this.
] Here's Lesley's quote from Caffrey's book, shortened and annotated by me
] ".... The permissive society speaks its mind, brings out facts into the open, and discards its corsets. The
] prostitutional society hides its true feelings, conceals the facts, and clings to tight lacings. one statement. (It is perhaps of added interest that tight lacing goes with an expanding economy and nonlacing with a static or variable economy or a slump.) "second , separate statement
First I want to thank Caroline for unraveling our tangled thread.
I have more from The History of Underclothes by C.W. and P. Cunnington (Dover Pubs.) For what it is worth:
"The last quarter of the eighteenth century saw the introduction of two important changes of social habit, both destined to affect costume, and in particular the whole range of underclothes, to a notable extent. The first was the development, spreading from the middle class and eventually reaching far beyond it, of that peculiar attitude of mind associated with the term 'prudery'."
Then it continues on the same page with what I added below entitled 'another quote'.
(Also from the chapter entitled 1791-1820) "A revolutionary change in the structure of costume took place at the beginning of this epoch. The English invention of the high waist crossed the Channel and was shortly returned in the guise of the 'classical' style of dress, accompanied by an extensive shedding of superfluous undergarments. The English spirit of moderation, however, checked the 'near-nudity' movement in this country except for a few daring exponents of the ultra-French modes. For a few years stays were discarded by the 'fashionables', but returned early in the new century."
To me the above suggest the possibility that things varied according to region and country in addition to the economy and attitudes of the time.
Personally I tend to agree with Caffrey's statement of corsets=non-permissive and no corsets=permissive, but I have seen sources that both support and contradict that.
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