Green Silk Swiss Waist With Ruffled Trim

Green Silk Swiss Waist With Ruffled Trim, c. 1860s, USA. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date: c. 1860s

Origin: United States

Fabric: Silk

Brand: Custom made


The term ‘Swiss Waist’ refers to a boned, typically pointed cincher or corselet, initially popularised in the 1860s and later returning as a trend in the 1880-1890s. This garment is not actually a piece of underwear, but was worn over skirts, blouses and dresses to accentuate the waistline. In many ways, this style was a precursor to wearing the corset as a piece of outerwear.

This example is created with an outer layer of green silk and a cotton lining, trimmed with pinked and ruffle silk trim at the underbust. It fastens with lacing and hand sewn eyelets at the centre back. It is mostly machine sewn, with notably small stitches, and hand finished on the interior seams and trims.


A print of this garment can be purchased here.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2017-014


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