This cabinet card features an attractive woman wearing a fancy dress. Her waist is very narrow, courtesy of a tight corset. One would expect that she would be feeling very uncomfortable dressed in such a fashion.  Her attire is somewhat revealing due to the tightness of her dress and the exposure of her neck, shoulders and  area above her bust. The photographer is Wohle; and the studio was located in either Munich or Magdeburg.

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 1:14 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Especially when you compare the roundness of her arms with that wee waist – it’s jut not natural, and that lady is in some discomfort!

    There was a dancer named Polaire – I’ve read of her waist being from 13″ – 15″. Hope this link works:


  2. You are correct about Ms Polaire’s wasp waist. There is a picture of her in the cabinet card gallery; please take a look. Unfortunately, the photograph is an upper body portrait and does not include her celebrated waist. Thanks for the link to the interesting Polaire site.

  3. I’ve read that woman frequently had lower ribs removed so they could be cinched up tighter and have smaller waists. What a scary thought, and all for fashion!

    • People choosing surgery in pursuit of being fashionable is a scary thought. However, I believe that many people today would subject themselves to medical risk and pain in order to be fashionable. For example, those who pursue the self mutilation and pain of tattooing and body piercing, often do so, to be fashionable. Perhaps I am being too harsh in the comparison, but it is true that one puts themselves potentially at risk for medical problems by opting for these procedures.

  4. Well, she certainly is well corseted! At this time a “trim waist” was essential if you wanted to be well dressed, let alone fashionable.

    I doubt that she is uncomfortable – she has probably worn some type of laced, boned and stiff undergarment every since she could remember. You can get ads for corsets for young children at this time.

    It is difficult for a modern women to accept a corset like that today.


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