Burlesque corsets are a staple piece of any showgirl’s costume. They offer rigid support while accentuating the soft feminine form. The wearing of burlesque corsets started in the Victorian era, when women were limited to wearing supportive undergarments made of steel. These corsets magnified the female figure to attract male attention in burlesque shows. The practice was carried to America, where the corset was modified to include a tight fitting dress that went down to the top of the knees, paired with soft blouses and crinkled drawers that were visible to spectators.
During this time, burlesque costumes were largely regarded as scandalous and were limited to entertainment houses. However, the wearing of burlesque costumes began to be accepted as an art form in the 20th century. In the 1940s, softer lace and satin corsets became all the rage when they were worn by the world’s most popular pin-up models and Hollywood actresses.