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Corsetiers cutting out and fitting in the 18th century

A corsetmaker is a specialist tailor who makes corsets. Corsetmakers are frequently known by the French equivalent terms corsetier (male) and corsetière (female). Stay-maker is an obsolete name for a corsetmaker. The word corset replaced the word stays after the Great Exhibition in 1851, because a prizewinning type of French stay was called the Hygienic Corset.[1]

The best corsetmakers are highly skilled tailors with a knowledge of anatomy that enables them to make well-fitting, long-lasting corsets. Corsetmakers who reproduce historical styles must be familiar with historical fashions and costumes that span centuries of history.

Individual corsetmakers often favour a certain style, and frequently have differing theories and opinions about the physical impact and benefits of various corsets, thereby influencing their corset design and creation.

Famous corsetmakers[edit]

Travelling corsetiers[edit]

Some companies had travelling saleswomen, corsetières who order the tailored corsets from the company. Well-known are Spirella (1904–1989), Barcley , and Spenser .


Corsetiers cutting out in 1928.

The main consideration of corset design is duration of use. For short-term use, e.g. used for a special event such as a wedding, a corset will be worn briefly and so is not subject to wear, therefore need not be of the highest quality of construction. For long-term use, e.g., by tightlacing or waist training, corsets must be made to exact standards and are best custom-fitted and designed for the individual wearer. Single weakness or flaws tend to be visible. Some custom-made gowns have corsets built into the design; a talented dressmaker may also be a skilled corset-maker.

See also[edit]