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Forgotten History of Men and Corsets

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Whenever the word ‘corset’ comes up, we history buffs imagine women adorning tight-laced clothing pieces. Some may even remember women from historic dramas or movies like ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘Enola Holmes’ adorning these garments. However, if you turn back the clock, you’ll be shocked to know that men wore corsets too. There were various reasons why men used to wear corsets. Want to know why men wore something that was deemed to belong to a women’s wardrobe? Grab an overcoat, a velvet collar and boots, for its time to travel into the forgotten history of men and corsets.

If we surf the internet about corsets in the present scenario, we’d learn that countless men still don corsets. Although, the majority of men wear them either as a costume or as a waist trainer.

If we delve into the history of corsets, we’d learn about an infamous tight-laced, snug fitted undergarment that was typically worn by women to achieve a wasp waist. Corsets have been so popular among women that it is unlikely to think of a man wearing one.

You’ll be shocked to know that men have been involved in corsets since their advent.

Going centuries back, it was evident that corsets were a staple garment for men to cinch their waist and attain a desirable body shape. As for many men from the era, it was crucial to have a narrow waist. 

Towards the late 1700s and early 1800s, corsets became a customary garment for men to achieve a desirable silhouette. It was noted that men wore corsets for aesthetic intent,

although it was not only the purpose to look good.

Let’s learn more about the forgotten history of men and corsets:

Men serving the army

It was common for men in the army, especially to wear corsets with their uniform. For them, it was a matter of pride and vanity to have an upright posture that was attained with the help of a corset. In some cases, officers wore corsets to support their back, in case of an injury. Corsets were even worn during strenuous exercises and hunting.

Men who wanted to lose that belly fat

Corsets were just an archaic form of waist trainers that celebrities use today. Men who wanted to lose weight wore corsets as they caused pressure on the stomach, causing them to feel full much quickly. This prevented one from overeating. Wearing corsets also slowed down the digestion process, putting a stop to one’s hunger pangs.

However, if you rely solely on corsets to elude that belly fat, the effects will bounce back to the earlier state once you stop using them. It is important to follow a trusty routine with a healthy lifestyle of proper diet and exercising. 

Men with medical condition

While corsets were generally worn by men for fashion and aesthetic purposes, men with medical conditions too wore corsets. Men who suffered from spine deformities due to an injury or disease like tuberculosis wore corsets to provide support for their back.

Men who wanted an improved posture

Corsets were a savior for those who wanted to get rid of bad back pain. They helped men to improve posture through the mid and lower back, creating a strong foundation in carrying a good stance. 

If you simply want to improve your posture while sitting or even running errands, you can wear a corset made specifically for back support. The most crucial thing is to find a corset that fits you well. 


Corsets have been in the men’s wardrobe since ages. It is only because of the trends and new fashion statements that this clothing apparel kept on being pushed behind further and further.

Male celebrities have started adorning corsets as clothing apparel. In MET Gala 2022, the Gossip Girl actor Evan Mock wore a buttermilk blazer with corseted details along with a neck frill and white shirt. Well, what better way a man can honour the Gilded Glamour theme?

Words go around that corsets are not a healthy piece of clothing, as it can damage organs and restrict breathing. However, if you avoid wearing it in a tight way and choose the right fit, corsets can be your game changer in the world of dressing up!

As RuPaul loves to say, “we’re born naked, the rest is all drag”.

Gentlemen, cinch or no cinch, if you love corsets, wear them and slay them!

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