Advert for Mrs Leach, dressmaker
Medium: Print on paper
This dressmaker is advertising her sock of corsets. Traditionally we think that the Victorians believed these garments morally and medically necessary; women were the weaker sex and were fragile and vulnerable. It is thought corsets were tightly laced to prevent loose morals and to reduce women’s waists to tiny proportions, damaging internal organs and making breathing difficult. Measurements of corsets in museums indicate that corsets actually measured about 20- 22 inches and their construction indicates that it was not usual to tighten the laces excessively and in fact most were laced out by several inches. Although it was not the ‘done thing’ to go without a corset they were not particularly torturous garments for the majority of women.