Bodice


Bodice

A bodice is an article of clothing for women, covering the body from the neck to the waist.

The term comes from "pair of bodies" (because the garment was originally made in two pieces that fastened together, frequently by lacing).

In common usage, "bodice" refers to an upper garment that has removable sleeves or no sleeves, often low-cut, worn in Europe from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century, either over a corset or in lieu of one. To achieve a fashionable shape and support the bust, the bodice was frequently stiffened with "bents" (a type of reed), or whalebone. The bodice was also different from the corset of the time because of the way it laced. The corset was laced in spiral fashion, with one continuous lace. The bodice was laced like the modern tennis shoe, with eyelets facing one another. This was more convenient for women who had to dress themselves.

Bodices survive into modern times in the traditional or revived folk dress of many European countries (see, for example, Austrian dirndl or the Aboyne dress worn by Scottish highland dancers).

"Bodice" continues in use to refer to the upper portion of a one- or two-piece dress to distinguish it from the skirt and sleeves. The bodice of a dress was called the "corsage" in the nineteenth century.

Bodices are commonly seen today at SCA events or a Renaissance Fair.

ee also

*Dirndl

References

Arnold, Janet: "Patterns of Fashion: the cut and construction of clothes for men and women 1560-1620", Macmillan 1985. (ISBN 0-89676-083-9)

Steele, Valerie: "The Corset: A Cultural History" Yale University Press, 2001.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:
, / (of a dress),


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bodice — Bod ice, n. [This is properly the plural of body, Oe. bodise a pair of bodies, equiv. to a bodice. Cf. {Corset}, and see {Body}.] 1. A kind of under waist stiffened with whalebone, etc., worn esp. by women; a corset; stays. [1913 Webster] 2. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bodice — 1560s, oddly spelled plural of BODY (Cf. body), name of a tight fitting Elizabethan garment covering the torso; plural because the body came in two parts which fastened in the middle …   Etymology dictionary

  • bodice — ► NOUN 1) the upper front part of a woman s dress. 2) a woman s sleeveless undergarment, often laced at the front. ORIGIN originally bodies, plural of BODY(Cf. ↑body) …   English terms dictionary

  • bodice — [bäd′is] n. [altered < bodies, pl. of BODY, in obs. sense of “part of dress above the waist”] 1. the upper part of a woman s dress 2. a kind of vest formerly worn over a blouse or dress by women or girls, usually laced in front 3. Archaic a… …   English World dictionary

  • bodice — [16] Originally, bodice was identical with bodies – that is, the plural of body. This use of body began early in the 16th century, when it referred to the part of a woman’s dress that 67 bolt covered the trunk, as opposed to the arms; and it soon …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • bodice — [[t]bɒ̱dɪs[/t]] bodices N COUNT The bodice of a dress is the part above the waist. ...a silky green floral cocktail dress with a fitted bodice and circle skirt …   English dictionary

  • bodice — UK [ˈbɒdɪs] / US [ˈbɑdɪs] noun [countable] Word forms bodice : singular bodice plural bodices the part of a dress that covers a woman s body from the waist up …   English dictionary

  • bodice — [16] Originally, bodice was identical with bodies – that is, the plural of body. This use of body began early in the 16th century, when it referred to the part of a woman’s dress that covered the trunk, as opposed to the arms; and it soon became… …   Word origins

  • bodice — noun Etymology: alteration of bodies, plural of 1body Date: 1566 1. the upper part of a woman s dress 2. archaic corset, stays …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bodice — /bod is/, n. 1. a usually fitted vest or wide, lace up girdle worn by women over a dress or blouse, esp. a cross laced, sleeveless outer garment covering the waist and bust, common in peasant dress. 2. the part of a woman s dress covering the… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.