1880 Red Corset Worn Over A Chemise, or Shift. Wool, silk, steel, whalebone, and a spoon busk, back lacing, edged with a delicate white cotton lace trim and lined in white silk. There is contrasting cream stitching on the bottom edge and along the numerous bone channels, as well as cream embroidery on the bust gussets.
In the 1880s, brightly colored corsets with steel boning and front-opening spoon busks were an essential and fashionable part of a lady’s underwear. Highly structured foundation garments like this were used to exaggerate the sexual curves of a woman’s body. The correct silhouette was created by careful shaping of fabric panels and a combination of whalebone and steel boning to give a smooth look. Corsets in the late Victorian era were designed to give a smooth hourglass silhouette with a large bust, small waist, and full, rounded hips.
In 1873, the invention of the spoon busk helped corsets lie flat at the front and tight against the body. Named for its spoon-like shape, these busks curved along the front of the abdomen to give a gentle rounded look and to make sure no harsh edge from the bottom of the corset poked out beyond the belly. Having a busk closure on the front made it easier to put on and take off.
Via Fashion Museum N.Y.C. U.S.A. fashionmuseum.fitnyc.edu