Left: Corset / Europe, c. 1890 / Satin, whalebone, lace, metal / Lent by Joy Meier
“The satin corset may be the nude of our era,” said Edouard Manet, whose famous painting Nana (1877) depicted the actress Henriette Hauser in a blue corset. Colorful silk and satin corsets became popular in the late 19th century, as lingerie in general became more luxurious and overtly seductive. This particular corset measures 32-20-31 inches.

Right: Corset / Thompson’s “La Fiancée” / England, 1880s / Satin, whalebone, lace, silk trim, metal / Lent by Mark Walsh
Since white underwear symbolized purity, brightly colored corsets tended to be regarded as appropriate only for women of easy virtue. For example, La Vie Parisienne described a rose-colored corset as “Very elegant and extremely becoming. Evidently destined to be seen and ... looked at!” The bust-waist-hip measurements of this corset are 33-21-32 inches.


  • Title: Corsets
  • Fashion House: Thompson
  • Date Created: 1880/1900
  • Location Created: Europe
  • Type: Corset
  • Rights: Copyright The Museum at FIT
  • Medium: Satin, whalebone, lace, metal, silk
  • Credit: Left: Lent by Joy Meier Right: Lent by Mark Walsh

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