Button front children’s corset constructed in a single layer of dove grey sateen coutil. Double back lacing supported with flat steel bones on the outer edges of the eyelets. Seams are covered with single casings of coutil encasing the boning to the exterior of the garment. The top and lower edges are bound and the top edge features a lace trim. The button to the lower sides of the corset would have held up other lingerie items such as drawers stockings or petticoats.
Most children wore stay bands until around the age of 8 years, when girls would go to specifically designed corsets. The Double laced back panel and adjustable over the shoulder straps allows for some growth and development of the body. Almost all corsets for children would feature adjustable elements. Although the corset appeared heavily boned, there was no attempt to define or create a waist reduction for the wearer. The emphasis was on supporting the body.
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Olian, J (2003) Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogues. Mineola, N.Y. Dover Publications
Child’s stay band from the Symington collection of corsetry. Constructed from red sateen with hessian interlining and cotton twill lining. The stay band has an adjustable wraparound strap and fastens using hooks and eyes. The front and back of the garment are corded for support as well as providing additional warmth for the infants body.
Stay bands would have been worn by both sexes from babyhood through early development. They were flat panels of cloth that wrapped around the body and fastened with straps that passed through slots at the front. They were typically made from cotton and interlined with hessian and corded or quilted at the front and back. Whilst there was no shaping or restriction to the stay band, the garment supported the body and believed to prevent deformity of the spine. Children wore stay bands until around the age of eight when boys were breeched and girls would begin to wear specifically designed corsets. Almost all children’s corsets had adjustable features to allow for growth of the body.
Front view shows vertical cording either side of the centre
Opened stay band shows further sections of cording around the garment in vertical strips