Back in the 1500s, European women would not be caught dead without wearing a corset as an undergarment.
According to Champagnecorsets.com, the garments gradually began to incorporate the use of a “busk,” a long, flat piece of whalebone or wood sewn into a casing on the corset in order to maintain its stiff shape. This gave wearers a tighter, smaller waistline. The front of the corset was typically covered by a “stomacher,” a stiff, V-shaped structure that was worn on the abdomen for decorative purposes.
Today, many formal dresses still make use of corsets for alignment and shape. Corset bodices can be very flattering, creating a curvy look with well-accentuated features. We love these corset-incorporating gowns: