Corsets and Crinolines  book cover
1st Edition

Corsets and Crinolines

ISBN 9781138665668
Published October 4, 2017 by Routledge
206 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $10.59
was $52.95
USD $42.36

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In this classic book, Norah Waugh explores the changing shapes of women’s dress from the 1500s to the 1920s. Simple laced bodices became corsets of cane, whalebone and steel, while padding at shoulders and hips gave way to the structures of farthingales, hoops and bustles. 

Corsets and Crinolines explains the cyclical nature of these fashions, and how waists and skirts changed shape and size through three distinct eras:

  •  The 1500s to 1670—farthingales and whaleboned bodies.
  • 1670 to 1800—Stays and hooped petticoats.
  • 1800 to 1925—corsets, crinolines and bustles.

Each section describes how these garments originated, how they became popular and how they emerged as central to the fashions of the time. Extracts from diaries, journals, poems and newspapers, as well as over 100 illustrations, demonstrate the variety of these ubiquitous items of clothing throughout modern history.

Corsets and Crinolines also contains a wealth of practical notes and resources for today’s costume makers and designers, including:

  •  Scaleable patterns for the construction of 25 different bustles, crinolines, corsets, corselets, stays, pocket hoops, hooped petticoats and bodices.
  • Detailed appendices on the manufacture of corsets and crinolines, including farthingales, supports and hooped petticoats.
  • A list of further reading, including costume histories; textile and weaving histories; reconstruction of period clothing; contemporary application of foundational garments; and a list of museums and institutions with period clothing collections, for first-hand study.
  • A glossary of terms and materials.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter I. Beginning of the Sixteenth Century to 1670

1. The Whaleboned Body

2. The Farthingale

3. References to Whaleboned Bodies and Farthingales from Contemporary Sources

Chapter II. 1670 to the End of the Eighteenth Century

1. The Stays

2. The Hoop Petticoats

3. References to Stays and Hoop Petticoats from Contemporary Sources

Chapter III. Beginning of the Nineteenth Century to 1925

1. The Corset

2. The Crinoline and the Bustle

3. The Corset—from Contemporary Magazines

4. The Crinoline and the Bustle—from Contemporary Magazines

5. References to Corsets, Crinolies and Bustles from Contemporary Sources 

Appendix I: The Construction of Corsets

Appendix II: The Construction of Farthingales, Hoop Petticoats, etc.

Appendix III: Supports for Corsets, Crinolines, etc.

Appendix IV: Whalebone



Selected Further Reading

Selected Museums with Costume Collections


View More



Norah Waugh taught courses on historical costume at the Central School of Art and Design in London, as well as being head of the costume department at Michel Saint Denis' London Theatre Studio.

Judith Dolan is a Distinguished Professor of Design at the University of California San Diego. Her costume designs for Harold Prince’s production of Candide won a Tony Award in 1997.