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Today, we are going to talk about Anachronistic Corsets. These are obviously Victorian/20th-century corsets that appear in pre-Victorian films and TV shows. Usually worn as outerwear. Because no one has any standards anymore.
If I had to hazard a guess, it would be that Anachronistic Corsets make their appearances in flicks set when there was no obvious form of breast support available to women (not that there wasn’t breast support, but it was frequently built into the clothing itself through super close fitting garments). Also, corsets are modern visual shorthand for either “sexy” or “evil sexy.”
And what is it about Robin Hood remakes and corsets, anyway? The BBC’s Robin Hood (2007-2009) had kind of a thing for modern corsets worn as outerwear:
No time period is spared. Even as far back as ancient Rome, the Anachronistic Corset will suddenly appear because nothing is sacred and no one has any time for research. Here, it makes an appearance in the tragic climax of the film Gladiator (2000):
I know this probably comes as a shock to some of you, but Ancient Rome didn’t have Victorian corsets. In fact, there’s a reason why they’re called “Victorian.” I’ll give you three guesses why, and the first two don’t count.
And Kendra brought these two examples from Frontier (2016-) to my notice with her Snark Week review earlier this week:
Even our old fave Amadeus (1984) gets this wrong:
So, what does an 18th-century corset look like?
Notice the distinct lack of hour-glass shaping. Notice the straight front. Notice the conical shape. Notice that there is absolutely no tabbed or latched busk at the center front. Do you notice these things? Is it just me? Am I the only one who knows how to do a Google search, here?