Cadolle corselet, c.1933

  • By The Museum at FIT
  • In Objects
  • On 9 Sep | '2014
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Cadolle corselet / Satin, lace, elastic, c.1933, France | Photo: Eileen Costa copyright MFIT

Cadolle corselet / Satin, lace, elastic, c.1933, France | Photo: Eileen Costa © MFIT

Clothing of the 1930s required a slender yet womanly silhouette. Many women relied on all-in-one girdles, also called corselets, which supported the breasts, cinched the waist, and smoothed the hips. This example, made by the French luxury lingerie brand Cadolle, features an attached lace skirt that acts as a slip. These streamlined, one-piece garments were especially recommended for wear under evening dresses.1

Slinky 1930s evening gowns necessitated a variety of specialized undergarments: some corselet styles were nearly backless, for example, and strapless bras – a style pioneered by Cadolle – were introduced for wear beneath new halter-neck and strapless dress styles.2

Renewed emphasis on the bust is underscored by this corselet’s softly molded bra cups, which subtly enhance the natural breasts. While a shapely figure was again fashionable, however, women were advised to steer clear of undergarments that created an hourglass silhouette.3

1. Corsets and Brassieres (January 1933): 34.

2. Ibid.

3. “The Paris Influence,” Corsets and Brassieres (October 1934): 26.

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