Elizabethan corset, circa 1600

"Item a payre of bodies of linen edged with kidde."

This front-lacing corset is a reproduction of the corset worn by the Queen Elizabeth's effigy, recently dated to 1602. The corset itself is of cream-colored linen. The edges are bound with fine, cream-colored kidskin. Two steel bones going down the front take the place of the original strips of whalebone. The eyelets are bound with heavy linen thread, and the straps attach to the front outer neckline of the corset with similar eyelets. The corset itself is boned with bundles of broomstraw, like the original was. As you can see, this boning gives plenty of support. It also breathes well and stretches to conform to the body. This is the corset that I wear under my 1585 Kirtle & Doublet.

For more information on the construction of this corset, visit The Effigy Corset: A New Look at Elizabethan Corsetry. Visit The Elizabethan Corset Page for more information on the history and construction of Elizabethan corsets in general.

The smock worn underneath is patterned after the italian smock, or camicia, currently in the Victoria and Albert museum. It is of fine linen as well, and fastens with hooks and eyes at the wrists and neck. Visit The Smock Page for more information on Elizabethan smocks.

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