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The Big Squeeze: Test Your Corset Knowledge
by Staff
Lace up! See what you know about history's most misunderstood undergarment.

Which of the following words does NOT come from the same root as the word "corset"?

  • corporation
  • corser
  • corpse

What's considered the "ideal" body size for women in the Western world?

  • 37-20-32
  • 36-24-36
  • 38-22-32

What's the healthiest waist-to-hip ratio?

  • around 0.7
  • there is no such thing
  • closer to 1.0

What are the four primary reasons people wear corsets?

  • fashion, fashion, fashion and fashion
  • fashion, fetish, weight management and tradition
  • fashion, re-enactment, medical and fetish

What Greek island is considered to be the birthplace of body-shaping garments?

  • Rhodes
  • Crete
  • Lesbos

What formerly panned foundation garment made a comeback in 2011?

  • the corset
  • the chemise
  • the bodysuit

True or False: In the early part of the 19th century, it was commonly believed that women required corsets to support their naturally weak bodies.

  • True
  • False

Which three garments are most alike?

  • girdle, corset and stay
  • chemise, corset and bustier
  • camisole, corset and brassiere

Which one of these is, historically, NOT an actual corset shape?

  • hour-glass
  • pipe stem
  • butterfly

Someone who wears corsets for extreme body modification is called a what?

  • masochist
  • ambitious
  • tight-lacer

Genard's Disease, caused by chronic tight-lacing to the point that the wearer's internal organs shift lower or higher than they should be, is also known by what more medically-sounding name?

  • intestinitis
  • parasaurolophis
  • visceroptosis

Which material was NOT historically used to make corset busks?

  • wood
  • iron
  • cloth

Which of these materials has been commonly used as corset boning?

  • whale bones
  • whale cartilage
  • whale teeth

Which of these is a common reason for a man to wear a corset?

  • to achieve a masculine v-shape
  • to support a weak or injured core
  • all of the above

Corsets in the 1920s often tried to do what?

  • push up the bust
  • push back the butt
  • flatten the chest

What pre-20th-century period saw a brief decline in corset use?

  • mid 18th century
  • late 17th century
  • early 19th century

Though they didn't use boned corsets to do so, approximately how many women bound their chest to disguise themselves as men so they could fight in the American Civil War?

  • dozens
  • hundreds
  • thousands

What year was the word corset first used, according to the Oxford English Dictionary?

  • 1756
  • 1644
  • 1299

Why was it so important for Victorian gentlewomen to wear stiff corsets?

  • to make sure they kept the proper shape
  • to prove they were rich enough to enjoy a life of leisure
  • both of the above

Sandy Powell, who designed corsets for Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman in "The Other Boleyn Girl," also designed them for performers in what other movie?

  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • The Aviator