Monday, August 3, 2015

Two Interesting Articles -- Industrial Corsetry & Riding Habits and Women's Rights

The Costume Collection of the Maryland Historical Society is a site the serious historian and costumer needs to spend time with.  I just read two articles that gave me information I had wondered about.  Industrial Corsetry  gives insight into the development of the manufacturing of that apparel prior to the development of the ready-made garment industry. There are several good pictures of different types of corset.

Industrial Corsetry --History
In the beginning of the 19th century, if a woman (or a man) wanted a new corset, she would either make it herself from a pattern or, if funds would allow, she would go to a small shop where the local master would custom make each corset from scratch. By the end of the century, however, these small shops found themselves in a market dominated by large manufacturing companies. While the vast majority of women’s wear continued to be produced by small businesses with un-integrated production models, corset makers chose vertically integrated, large volume production practices beginning in the 1870’s and on into the 20th century.

Riding Habits and Women's Rights
This article links the evolution of riding apparel to the push for women's rights and freedom from the restrictions of society's expectations and limitations for women
"Rather than changing to reflect the common fashion trends of the period, women’s riding gear embraced masculine styles as women demanded more liberty and freedom from restrictive societal expectations, marking equestrianism and riding wear as a symbol for women’s reform movements."
This site is a wealth of information.  Read more here:
 Read more here:

Also check out the main site of the Maryland Historical Society at

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