This blog post details the Underpinnings Museum Twitter conference presentation from Cassidy Percoco, entitled Hold On and Suck In: 20th Century Views of the 19th Century Corset.

Since the early twentieth century, ‘modern’ society has been distancing itself from the Victorian era. One of the major methods used has been the mainstreaming of the once-fringe view that wearing corsets was an incredibly dangerous and painful practice done for the purpose of appealing to men. In this presentation, I will explore the ways that this tendency has manifested and how it distorts the actual women who wore corsets on a regular basis in the nineteenth century.

Cassidy Percoco is the author of Regency Women’s Dress: Techniques and Patterns, 1800-1829, and a graduate of the Fashion and Textile History, Theory, & Museum Practice master’s program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Currently, she runs the blog and podcast A Most Beguiling Accomplishment.

We will share each of the conference presentations via its own blog post over the coming weeks. If you’re on Twitter, you can join the discussion via the Underpinnings Museum’s account and the conference hashtag #UPMTC

The header image for this post is of a red midbust corset with flossing and gores (c.1860s) from the Underpinning Museum collection. Photography by Tigz Rice.