A Short Bobbed Hairstyle for Young Ladies called "Shingling" became the RAGE across the South during the War!

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
309
Why do you never hear of women fainting today and yet fainting was so common in the 19th century people carried smelling salts to revive women. The corsets women wore to achieve those slender waists pushed the organs normally present in the abdomen into the chest cavity, leaving less room for the lungs. Any exertion or excitement that required extra air left women light-headed. Crazy to think about! But fashion makes people foolish.
From what I have heard from fashion historians, the whole “women fainting constantly” was more a trope in Literature than something that actually happened in real life. I’m certain that good old heat exhaustion, prehaps panic attacks, and other poorly understood medical conditions probably helps explain the occasional fainting spell outside of the romantic novel.

Tight lacing of course could cause all sorts of ailments, but that was far from the norm. Apparently much of the sources opposing corsets around the turn of the century were written by male journalists who are well known for their intimate knowledge of women’s underwear :wink:. Sensationalist copy to sell the papers, basically. Or perhaps they were sick of unlacing their girlfriends?

In terms of support for the breasts, I really don’t know what other options would have existed at the time, a factor I think gets forgotten about when talking about the corset. I’ll admit to a certain ignorance of the topic, but I do know almost modern styles of underwear existed as far back as the late Middle Ages (which we know because someone stuffed their dirty underwear in a castle wall), and of course the Japanese traditionally bound their breasts so that’s at least two options? I’ve heard tell some women still like the corset as a support, though I don’t believe I’ve ever met one myself.

I want to say one historian quoted something more like a 16” waist being desired, though I’m sure that the fashion varied from decade to decade. The person in question had a rather unique perspective, as she had a spinal condition when young so grew up wearing a brace, which she equates with the corset training of the 19th century.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
309
I’ve always kind of liked the shorter hairstyle, which I think I first saw in of all places on Oklahoma! . I always wondered what was up with the girls in that since they didn’t seem sickly, I guess now we know!
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

lupaglupa

Corporal
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
433
Women wore a form of the corset for hundreds of years - not always tightly laced but always something which held the breasts in place. The modern brassiere which provides support from straps over the shoulders rather than only using pressure from under the breasts is pretty modern - first done in the late 19th century. The Victorian fascination with a small waist took it to an extreme.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top