Another example of a corset well used by a widow is shown here.
The corset has six suspenders, the traditional requirement to anchor any form of support stocking, however, they are all clustered as close to the front as possible.
In the course of a year, my husband and I will look at hundreds of corsets.
These may be additions to our collection, photographs from journals and brochures, or simply pictures of articles for sale or auction.
Had she lived permanently in a hot climate, then all the corsets would have been light-weight.
The absence of rear suspenders denotes widow-hood (the beasts are difficult to do up when one is old.) The stretched suspenders on one of the corsets is testimony to the power of her stockings.
Her waist probably bulged a little above the top rim of the corsets as the horizontal creasing shows.
Certainly, corsets are like shoes, if you have a comfortable pair that you can wear all day, you will look after them. The lady would have had excellent posture (there was little choice in such a garment), and I imagine this elderly lady, well-dressed and quite fussy about her appearance, would have been mortified if her corsets had announced their presence either aurally or visually.
The second corset (unlike the one in the photographs) shows all the signs of regular use, yet it has been well looked after.
Small repairs, inevitable in a well-worn corset, are present but expertly executed.
The elastic of the middle suspenders is worn indicating that the wearer needed stockings stronger than normal. All the indications are that this was worn by a fashionable lady, probably after her last pregnancy at a more advanced age than normal.
Worn in the 1960's, the lady would be in her early 40's, well-groomed, elegant and with four or more children.