Boobs are such an issue in the Regency.
Seriously, they’re just in such *weird* places!
Naturally, or rather unnaturally, we as costumers want to try to achieve these, um, heights, and do so by trying to re-create the undies that created such effects.
I’ve made a lot of Regency stays, which is odd since I hardly ever dress in this period, but the reason is because I never seem to get it right with the silhouette. So I asked the famous Maggie, Regency fairy-queen extraordinaire, her advice on how to achieve the proper early 19th c. boob shape. Here’s what she had to say:
- Gussets – make them shallow and wide, to the point of needing a drawstring to bring them in.
- Add boning or cording under the gussets, to keep the girls from creeping down.
- Bits hanging out/over the top of the stays is okay – these bits are controlled by the shift.
- Try back-lacing with a front busk.
- Make LOTS of mock-ups.
My aim is to make short stays, so naturally I went looking for inspiration and reference first. Here is what I found…
|V and A, 1790 – transitional stays. Not the overall shape I want, but some serious support as well as separation for the bust.|
|Corset, Epoque Empire, musee Galliera, Paris – this might be a style to try. It doesn’t have the double-bust-gussets, but is of a length that could accommodate a busk nicely.|
In my hunting, I found this article from the Oregon Regency Society to be extremely helpful – complete with very clear and clever illustrations! So now it’s on to testing out these patterns and theories…