W.B. NuForm and Reduso Corsets, 1911

I got a fun little package in the mail today of a few lovely old magazines.  On the back cover of one is this lovely image on the ad for corsets from 1911.  I thought I’d share with you!  There’s a corner torn off, but it was too lovely to not share on that account.  Click on the image for a larger version

I am particularly amused by one sentence of the description of the W.B. Reduso corset:

“The measurements at the hips and abdomen are reduced from one to five inches, by the scientific shaping and placing of gores.”

Emphasis on that last bit, since that’s the part that struck me.

When I was looking at the available corset patterns of this period I was taken by the variety of versions available. I went with one that’s straighter, with no set in gores, similar to the version on the  left in this ad, posted by Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre on her website, but I noticed the version in the Corsets and Crinolines book has several gores to be set in.  I am entirely a corset novice and am not knowledgeable about them, but am interested in this period description of them.  Look at the construction at the one on the right! Talk about piecing!  Absolutely fascinating to me.

I believe the sizing on here, 18 to 30, or 19 to 36, were the waist size measure of the corset, not including “spring” at the back. Does anyone know?  If not including spring you’d add 2-4 inches to that measure, if I understand correctly, which would make the waist sizes seem much more reasonable by modern standards.  If there’s any corset historians out there, I’d love to hear your input on this and the optional construction with gores of this period.

I am pleased to say that the pattern I drafted for the first 1910s pattern for Wearing History, a blouse, is just finished after a lot of time in preparation several revisions to get it “just so”- but I’ve still got a ways to go before it’s ready to release.  Got to make instructions and all that first, of course! But one step closer! Woohoo!  Hopefully pretty soon here I’ll have some pretty photos to share with you of a sneak peek :)

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4 thoughts on “W.B. NuForm and Reduso Corsets, 1911”

  1. I’m pretty sure that I found an ad, possibly in Corsets: A Visual History, for “reducing corsets” where they explained that the size was the waist measure of the corset. (The method of reduction was essentially “buy a smaller corset than you usually wear and tighten it”.)

  2. I believe that the measurement is the actual measurement of the corset, not including the spring. This is based on the Bridges on the Body extant corset/pattern which is labelled as 23 and has a 23 inch waist measure. That is a really pretty ad, especially the pink and blue bows on the chemises. I wish I knew how to get that hair!

  3. “. . . constructed in accordance with the natural lines of the perfect figure.” So if your corset doesn’t fit comfortably, it’s not *their* fault; your figure is imperfect! Oh, well, body-image problems and how to fix them have a very, very long history . . . .

  4. Oh, I do neeeeeed a Reduso corset! And someone with pluck and skill to lace me in. Okay, it would be easier and healthier to lose weight and exercise to get some better tone. I’ll get right on that.

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