Lord & Taylor Department Store Corsets

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Victorian women did not consider corsets as an article of fancy or fashion only, but a necessity that gave comfort and shape to the dress of day. In 1876, the Boston Comfort Corset Company introduced corsets without whalebones, these being replaced by strong cords which eliminated broken or loose whalebones in corsets after they had been worn for a length of time. In addition, this change permitted an easy washing of the corset. They were low-priced, opened on the side with small sleeves. The Worcester Corset Company had a large collection of corsets of various prices and shapes. One design featured an arrangement of sewing the front parts of corsets which contained the breasts.


Generally these parts of the front were made of two pieces of cloth, one for each side. Between them were placed whalebones, or parts sewed through to press the breast in the middle. This corset design used three pieces thereby relieving pressure. Moreover, these corsets had, outside of the usual back-lacing, a side-lacing. This permitted a regulation of the waist of the corset. Nearly all their corsets had suspenders for skirts, hoop-petticoat, etc. Some had shoulder braces, entirely unknown in European design corsets at the time. They also had a universal corset, which could be made to fit most any form of the body by adjusting the shoulder-straps, belt, and lacing; this being very useful for pregnant women. The Harriet M. Chapman firm of Philadelphia featured the buff corsets which gave a “nice appearance to those who have small-developed breasts.” These corsets were high and covered the breasts with the front made in the shape of two buffs (pad) to receive the breasts.


In 1881, the Lord and Taylor Department Store Catalog featured pages of the latest styles of women's corsets. The corset department  described their listing: "With the continuance of basques, fitting with armor-like exactness, not only in the waist but over the hips, the extra fit of the corset should be a matter of the greatest care. A badly fitting corset destroys the effect of the most elegant toilet. Corsets are quite short and quite long to suit the fancy of the wearer. There is scarcely any more tendency to the return of elaborate bustles than last year. It is the custom of most well-dressed ladies to wear a small bustle, more to support their skirts than to add fullness to the bouffant drapery."


1] "Imperial"  corset made to order especially suited to stout figures, $10.

corset2]  French coutil ("Bernhardt"), abdominal corset, with narrow clasps, extra heavy bones, and side steels, 6.00.


3] French coutil, narrow clasps, extra long, 3.00, 3.25.

corset4] French coutil Victorian corset ("Lord & Taylor's Belt"), abdominal, broad side steels, laced, and with deep band of webbing for stout figures, 4.50.


corset5] French coutil corset (" The Jersey"), broad steels, 4.00

corset6] French coutil, corset according to quality and weight of bones, 1.75, 2.50, 3.75, 4.50, 5.


corset7] French coutil, broad steels, white or grey, 3.00.

corset8] Thompson's glove-fitting corset, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 4.


corset9]  French woven corset, according to quality, 1, 1.35, 1.75; embroidered, 2.25.

10] French woven corset, extra long, 1.50, 1.90, 2.25, 2.50.


corset11]  French woven, broad steels, for stout figures, 2.35.

corset12]  French corset of red rep, stitched in black or old-gold, 3.00


13] French Momie-Cloth corset, in pink, blue, buff and white, 2.50, 2.75.

corset14] "Our own," a good domestic corset, 1.00


15] French woven short corset, for evening dress or riding, about forty bones, 1.00 shorter, 1.75 six hundred bones, 2.00

corset16] Bridal corset: white, with embroidery, 3.25
white, with colored gores and embroidery, 3.50.