500 Years of Women's Corsets, Stays, and Bras | A Dress Historian Explains Bustlines & Necklines

500 Years of Women's Corsets, Stays, and Bras | A Dress Historian Explains Bustlines & Necklines

Yeah..I decided that making a video about the history of women’s bustlines and necklines needed to be done…and wow was there a lot to unpack.

We’ve all seen 100 years of women’s dresses/shoes/hairstyles/etc. etc. etc. but the evolution of fashion isn’t that simple. As this video will show you, ideals in female body proportions, shapes, and positions change constantly. It’s not just about big sleeves, bustle, or a hoop skirt. The upper body changes as well, from up at ’em to low and wide, it’s all over the place.

So, in this video, we’re going to explore the 500-year history of women’s dress through the necklines and the bustlines. Beginning at the Tudor period, through the Elizabethan, the 1630s, Louis XIV and the Restoration, all of the 18th-century, Regency era, and every damn decade of the Victorian era (cause wow, is there a lot there.🤯) We’ll also discuss how bodies, stays, and corsets changed and affected the female body shape via padding, wadding, compression, lift, and support, so if you enjoyed the Corsets vs. Stays video, then you’ll also really enjoy this video.

🤩 Resources & Images Used Can be found here: http://bit.ly/500YearsRefs (there’s too much to fit in the description…

00:00 Intro
02:16 1500s
05:05 1600s
10:24 1700s
17:47 1800s
25:27 1900s
28:39 Bloopers

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abbyelyn
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📚My books:
The American Duchess Guide to 18th-Century Dressmaking: https://amzn.to/2GrkAIQ

The American Duchess Guide to 18th-Century Beauty: https://amzn.to/2TTwJtq

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  1. Crazy Cat Dragon on May 12, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    the situation you found yourself in with YouTube reminds me of the same situation Pretty Pastel Please found herself in with a try on haul in September!!!!!!!!
    her try on haul that got demonetized
    her "revenge" video

  2. Lynn DT Hershberger Hefferan on May 12, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    So will you be doing a sleeve episode??? That would be so fascinating.

  3. Alicia F on May 12, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Elizabeth Bolling’s babies seem to need a shave.

  4. Molly on May 12, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    How on earth do you get demonitized when "naked yoga" is allowed on YouTube?

  5. Taylor Fisher on May 12, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    This breastfeeding mom of 4 now knows where my figure would look best – 1870s! Lol

  6. Lynn DT Hershberger Hefferan on May 12, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    My Gramma Ruthie was a flapper in small town Minnesota. She had pendulous large breasts and bound her chest in one way or another to look fashionable. I hear she would later roll up her grrlz to fit them into her bra… comes from a good source but there is no way to confirm.

  7. Heart on May 12, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Ok but, mom thing maybe, but… how does one nurse in these styles? Boobs have a job to do.

  8. Maria Efstratiou on May 12, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    The music 💀

  9. Me Bee on May 12, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Really enjoyed this & butts 😄 Thank you for these vids x

  10. Miss Odango on May 12, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Does anyone know the name of the paintings @12:20 and @17:02 ??

  11. moleary42 on May 12, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    My exhausted brain picked up these 3 facts: I would have been fashion-ready 150 years ago, and women in both the 1890’s and 1980’s were victims(?) of very different, but equally large shoulder pads. Lastly, the ladies from the 1600’s and 1700’s dodged a bullet existing hundreds of years before TMZ.

  12. Iara Sofia on May 12, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    love the 1800s <3

  13. ShadowoftheDude on May 12, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    … Is it weird that I want a threequel: 500 years of balls?

  14. Bronwyn Wheldon on May 12, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    I sooo hear you Abs! Btw, looove your blouse in this vid!

  15. warm porridge on May 12, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    I’m having a kind of weird overwhelming day and this video is giving me LIFE!

  16. Lynn DT Hershberger Hefferan on May 12, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Swollen tick?

  17. No smart username found on May 12, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Love at first 30 seconds 🥰😂

  18. Darle Balfoort on May 12, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    No torpedo tits or bullet bras?

  19. Aubrey on May 12, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    This answers all my burning questions. Somehow asking how body parts are supported are weird.

  20. Skulls World on May 12, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    YouTube: *demonetise women for having breasts*
    Women: guess I’ll go flat

  21. Marion Visser on May 12, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    I cannot believe a tiny glimpse of cleavage gets flagged, whilst on TV and YT the underwear/lingerie/swimwear advertisements fly around our heads. I feel society around the world is growing more and more squeamish and overly sensitive every year in talking about bodies in general, so weird.

  22. Crystal West on May 12, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    I have large sweater puppies and have oft mused the joy of a more demure silhouette.

  23. Madison Myers on May 12, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Is it possible to fix the captions or contribute or something? I noticed an error and want to help out. At one point it says And Belinda instead of Anne Boleyn.

  24. Lauren Matthews on May 12, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    For some reason my headcannon is that Filthy Fithian is jealous that he can’t wear women’s clothes. He wanna be a drag queen.

  25. Armoury-Terrain on May 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    This was both informative and entertaining. Also because screw youtube censorship – Bewbs!

  26. Kittyowlblu on May 12, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Cosplay of a spaniel…Rofl!

  27. Jennifer Moss on May 12, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    As a Virginian I’d like to apologize for Filthy Fithian 🤦🏻‍♀️

  28. Dick Gozinya on May 12, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Bemused spite. It’s a fairly large part of my life, and now I have a phrase to describe it. Thanks.

  29. Kaitlin Klassen on May 12, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    That “yabos” line from Hocus Pocus becomes extra hilarious after watching American Beauty, and seeing hers front and center on the screen.

  30. h0lda on May 12, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    can’t believe the hate for the 1600s, the last part of the century is so beautiful :'(

  31. EarthChild Belle on May 12, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Can anybody give me an artist for those beautiful late 17th century portaits? They were so gorgeous

  32. iya on May 12, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    pls help why does the woman in the painting at 8:20 look so much like That doja cat meme

  33. Connor's Corner on May 12, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Ha I never wear bras anymore

  34. Ka0s Kitt on May 12, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Noticing something from May, here. The dog in the picture at 19:10 is really attacking itself in that mirror. Look at those eyebrows! The dog on the other side of the mirror just looks mildly surprised. Or high. Not sure which.

  35. Callum Footitt on May 12, 2021 at 5:36 pm


  36. Sarah Mongold on May 12, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    Someone ought to start a band and name it the Ladies Snowy Bosoms. I don’t care what genre of music they will play, frankly the name is suitable for any genre imo

  37. Nerolia_Gaming on May 12, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Abby: 29:15
    Subtitles: blows raspberry
    Me: whaaaaa?

  38. TheRussianPrincess on May 12, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    …should I be worried that I recognize that “emotional vampire” clip?

  39. Kaitlin Klassen on May 12, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    I saw the word “boobs” across the screen and clicked immediately. That’s all I need to know.

  40. JojoStudies on May 12, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    the 1600s really said Tits OUT

  41. Alba Spire on May 12, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    As a lesbian, I would like to say, politely, Thank You 😊

  42. NarcoASA on May 12, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    The was amazing…lol. I now know more about bust lines than I ever wanted, but clearly this was information missing from my life, because it was fascinating. It’s also nice to know that I’m not the only one not wearing a bra these days. 😂

  43. Irishapples Quilts on May 12, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Bras are evil.

  44. Sarah Heyes on May 12, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Oh god, if I could get away with wearing my Victorian style corset everyday I would.

  45. Alexis TwoLastNames on May 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    goodness gracious. i am so desperately trying to find a comment that i swear was on a video about undergarments and clothing silhouettes that brought up the idea that, as clothes became more form fitting, people began to alter their actual bodies to fit the fashionable silhouette rather than altering their undergarments. i really thought it was going to be under this video lol

  46. MaryLC Lc on May 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    It’s ridiculous! I’m sorry your video was messed with. Evidently U Toob has a problem with boobs.

    I am a lactation consultant and I have a video titled, "Cup Feeding a Breastfed Baby." There are no "naked" breasts in the video, there isn’t even any cleavage (that I am aware of.) It is just me and the baby of one of my clients (and two of my daughters, off camera, helping with filming) showing how to cup feed a baby who can’t take a bottle. That’s it. I’m fully clothed holding a baby who is fed with a small cup. After racking up (ha ha) views quickly, I was suddenly told that my video needed to be deemed "for adults only" due to the *word* "breastfeeding." The views drained to a trickle and I was a bit too YouTube unaware to realize I should have just changed the title of the video.

    I was going to shoot and produce a number of breastfeeding related videos, but if they are all deemed "adult material" it seems a bit ridiculous. It’s feeding an infant, not sex!

    It makes no sense.

  47. Lydia Cole on May 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Could you do a video on people who went against the fashion trends of their time. And maybe even the effects toward real woman.

  48. Clara C on May 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Some one had fun, searching for songs specifically about boobs 🤣

  49. CassandraHouse on May 12, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    My wedding dress was 1877 ish Natural Form and my corset was so comfortable

  50. Alexa Faie on May 12, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    I always wonder how I’d have managed in different eras of fashion. Like I can’t even wear bras which have the underwire come up between my boobs because they are just that close set on my chest. And I have great issues finding bras with enough projection – they’re all so wide in the cup as if I have breast tissue under my arms. Nope, its all on the front. And I find the bras which try to separate really uncomfortable like my skin is being torn.
    So I doubt that I’d have been comfortable with Regency era stays with such a wide busk trying to separate the boobs.
    I’d probably be ok with turn of the century era late 1890s to 1905 ish since my boobs are basically a monoboob. But not quite so low simply because they happen to be attached quite high (I have issues with bras being too "tall" too because they expect the torso to be longer, or if petite in torso length to have smaller boobs).

    I know my boobs don’t really suit now, so I’d love to really figure out which era they’d be happiest in.

    I do enjoy the chest pillows for impromptu naps. Don’t need to be wearing a bra for that, I also have quite a short neck. A tiny head too. ROFL.