Is there a history of men wearing corsets, and are there corsets available for men today? Read on to find out about corsets for men, including the history and modern day solutions...
Whenever anyone writes or speaks about corsets, the focus is almost always on women wearing corsets. In the media, in history and among conversation, when we speak about corsets, the topic naturally falls into corsets for women, but what about men? You might be thinking that there would be no conversation to be had here, but you’d be wrong….
Read on to discover the history of corsets for men, and the modern day solutions for the men that do want to benefit from wearing a corset…
Corsets for Men: A Brief History
Today the ‘metrosexual’ man is considered a fairly modern phenomona. Referring to a man that is interested in his appearance and spends time grooming and investing in skincare, haircare and fashion, a metrosexual man is far from a 21st century development.
While men of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries might not have been as upfront about their interest in fashion and taking care of their appearance, there certainly was a trend for men to be well groomed and fashionable. This translating into men wearing corsets might seem like a step too far for some, but just like women, men wanted to fit in with a certain shape and look that was considered attractive at the time.
Some men wore corsets during the 18th and 19th centuries. Towards the late 1700s and early 1800s, the most popular look for men included form-fitting trousers and jackets. To achieve this look at the highest standard, some men turned to corsets to create the required smooth silhouette.
At the time this wasn’t necessarily common practice, and so men tried to be discreet about wearing corsets. Towards the mid 1800s, it was considered taboo, and the few men that did wear corsets started to become the subjects of ridicule.
Towards the late 19th century, while corsets were still worn discreetly by men, they were no longer quite so taboo. Companies began to offer corsets specifically designed for men and for everyday wear. While corsets were mostly worn for fashion purposes by both men and women, similar designs have also been worn by men for hundreds of years for medical purposes. Andy Warhol is said to have worn a corset to support his weakened back after being shot in 1968 until the time of his death.
Corsets were considered to be most popular among European men in the 19th century, but the analysis of a 19th century skeleton of a British male revealed that he wore a corset. It has been suggested that the man, who was between 25 and 30 when he died, had suffered from Tuberculosis, which can lead to deformity of the spine. It’s likely that he wore a corset to support his back, just as Andy Warhol had.
While corsets generally are considered to be garments for women, it’s clear to see that they have quite a rich history among men too. Worn for both medical and fashion purposes, while men were discreet about wearing a corset, many found a variety of benefits in doing so.
Corsets for the modern day man…
Just like during the 19th century, today men wearing corsets isn’t a common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean to say that it doesn’t happen. Male corsetry is just as popular as ever before, in that while a corset isn’t an everyday garment for men, there are many men that do benefit from wearing a corset.
While corsets can still be worn for medical purposes and offer support to the back, many modern day men choose to wear corsets primarily for aesthetic purposes. For men, wearing a corset accentuates the V-shape from the shoulders to the waist, rather than the hourglass of waist to hips in women. In addition, the corset can also smooth the shape of the stomach in men too.
The general purpose of a corset is to enhance the silhouette to create a more desirable form. Of course men do not have a natural hourglass shape, which might make you assume that a corset wouldn’t work for men, but as with any corset, the effectiveness depends on the quality of the fit.
For men looking for a corset without having to spend a fortune on a specialist garment, an underbust corset may be able to deliver the results they are looking for. An underbust corset covers the ribs and the torso, and can be effective in reducing the waist size in men, as well as flattening the stomach.
As with any corset for both men and women, it is essential to ensure you get the fit right so that your corset is comfortable. Avoid tightening the corset too much too, as this will result in discomfort.
For men that intend on wearing a corset everyday or regularly, we would suggest having a corset made bespoke, whereas for men that would like to wear a corset every now and then, an underbust corset would work just fine. Be sure to check our size guides and make a note of your measurements though, to ensure the best possible fit.
For further assistance in finding your perfect corset, don’t hesitate to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org