an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Vintage Friday: Modern Corsetry

Posted by Rosepixie on September 25, 2009

This is an ad for corsets from a 1934 catalog by National (a mail-order company).

Corsets 1

(click on the image for full size)

The text reads:

Silhouettes are made… not born

That is the Marvel of Modern Corsetry!

You will have lovely curves youthful bust If You Wear This Foundation!

Gently Molds the Figure to a Sleek… Graceful Smoothness  $1.98

Fits figures with hips 3 to 6 inches larger than bust.

Whether you’re just a “wisp of a thing” or need rigid control, this garment is an excellent foundation for the 1934 fashions.  Concealed boning over the diaphragm gives you a nice flat “tummy”; elastic inserts at the sides mold your hips and thighs… and a special insert at the bottom takes up the strain when you bend.  Rayon-figured Cotton Poplin with Rayon-and-cotton Jersey bust section.  Wonderful for only $1.98

Tearose or Pink.  Sizes: 32 to 44 bust.  Shpg. wt. 1 lb. 2 oz. $1.98

Skinlike Lastex Foundation

You never felt such freedom

You’ll look pounds slimmer

So comfortable you’ll never know it’s on!  $1.98

Not even the tiniest bulge will show after you have put it on!

Fits figures with hips 3 to 6 inches larger than bust.

“Skinlike” takes every little wayward bulge and puts it firmly in place.  “Skinlike” moulds to your figure into a smooth, unbroken line, straight hips, small waist – and mind you, there’s not a bone in it.  Two-way stretch Lastex right to the bust-line “does the trick”, and above that it’s softest mesh and definitely shaped to give you bosom that new uplift look.  For that slim, supple, youthful look, wear “Skinlike.”

Colors: Tearose or Pink.  Sizes: 30 to 38 bust.  Shipping weight, 10 oz.  $1.98

Backless

Boneless

Hookless

Won’t bulge

Won’t ride up

Lastex foundation

The Smart 1934 Contour… from the uplifted bust to the flowing back line… $1.98

Fits figures with 3 to 6 inches larger than bust.

Rayon-Brocaded Poplin front with the new pointed bust.  Two-way stretch Lastex back to assure smooth hips and thighs and a nice flat seat.  It’s backless for evening frocks.  It’s boneless, yet it gives all the necessary support to the figure, and is absolutely guaranteed not to “ride up.”  Shoulder straps are elastic.

Tearose or Pink.  Sizes: 30 to 38 bust.  Shipping weight, 10 oz. $1.98

This ad just made me laugh with all of it’s assurances that the corsets are super comfortable, but also capable of totally reshaping your body and making you appear magically thinner!  I’m sorry, but corsets don’t work that way.  Not that they can’t be comfortable, because they totally can, but if it’s really a corset, you absolutely know that you’re wearing it.  Anyway, I thought it was interesting.  I have a few more corset ads (and a bunch of ads for other stuff) from the same year that I’ll post in later weeks that are also interesting for other reasons.

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2 Responses to “Vintage Friday: Modern Corsetry”

  1. Kathleen said

    It might be that 1934 women were so accustomed to wearing girdles like this that one that was particularly well made COULD be considered comfortable and unnoticeable. I’m betting that someone who didn’t grow up with a bra would find wearing one very strange and be constantly aware of it, but modern advertising talks about them in many of the same terms as above.

    I was just thinking about the unnaturalness of bras yesterday and yet how vital they are to the modern woman: for “comfort” and “support.” And it’s true that we’ve become so accustomed to them that we feel naked and uncomfortable without them. That must have been how women felt about corsets and girdles too.

  2. Rosepixie said

    Oh, I totally agree that it all has to do with time and perspective. But even today I’d rarely describe a bra as something you’d “never even know [is] on”. And you’re right that a lot of modern advertising is amusingly very similar, but this still amused me quite a bit. 🙂

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