The liberty bodice (Australian and
British English), like the emancipation bodice or North American emancipation waist, was an undergarment for women and girls invented towards the end of the 19th century, as an innovative alternative to a corset. In the United Kingdomthey were well-known for decades, with some older women still using them in the 1970s. A liberty bodice was a simply-shaped sleeveless bodice, often made of warm, fleecy fabric, usually with suspenders (US garters) attached. It might be straight or slightly curvy, and sometimes had buttons to fasten on other underwear: drawers(knickers or US panties) or petticoat/slip. A vest(US undershirt) might be worn underneath. The bodices had no boning, unlike corsets, although some had firm cloth strapping which might encourage good posture.
While some writers discuss liberty bodices as a restrictive garment imposed on children, [For example, Lionel Rose in "The Erosion of Childhood" (Routledge 1991): "Even ... when restrictions on girls were easing ...
Edwardianschoolgirls would wear woollen combinations, 'liberty' bodices, stockinette knickers, flannelpetticoats ..."] these bodices were originally intended to liberate women. They derived from the Victorian dress reformmovement which wanted to free women from body-compressing corsets and excessive layers of underclothing. The concept was related to women's emancipation, ["The emancipation bodice referred to the emancipation of the body, but the emancipation of the mind was a key item on the dress reformers' agenda." (Science Museum)] but in practice some of the early liberty bodices in the UK were advertised for maids ["Maids' Liberty Bodices", advertised in " the Scotsman", 21 November 1896] who would be freer to get on with their work without a constricting corset. Later the liberty bodice came to be thought of as something practical for a child who could be buttoned up warmly.
Liberty bodices are famously associated with R. & W. H. Symington of
Market Harborough, Leicestershire, but the name had already been used before they made their first bodice: a version for girls aged 9 -13 which sold for one shillingand nine pence-halfpenny in 1908. The name has also been used for products from other manufacturers or for home-made garments.
* [http://museums.leics.gov.uk/collections-on-line/BrowseCollection.do?groupOrCollection=BROWSE_GROUP&key=79 Symington liberty bodices] in
* [http://www.fathom.com/course/21701733/session2.html London Science Museum: "The Corset Controversy"]
* [http://www.phm.gov.au/collection/database/?irn=39096 Liberty bodice showing buttons at side for attaching other underclothes]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
liberty bodice — noun An undergarment like a vest formerly often worn by children • • • Main Entry: ↑liberty … Useful english dictionary
liberty bodice — noun Brit. trademark a girl s or woman s bodice made from thick or quilted cotton, formerly worn as an undergarment … English new terms dictionary
liberty — n. (pl. ies) 1 a freedom from captivity, imprisonment, slavery, or despotic control. b a personification of this. 2 a the right or power to do as one pleases. b (foll. by to + infin.) right, power, opportunity, permission. c Philos. freedom from… … Useful english dictionary
Corsage (bodice) — Corsage refers to the bodice of a dress. In the 19th century, corsage was a common term for a woman s bodice or jacket. In modern usage, corsage is often confused with a corset, but a corset is tighter. A bridal corset is often a corsage.… … Wikipedia
Sweet Liberty — Infobox Film name = Sweet Liberty image size = caption = Theatrical release poster director = Alan Alda producer = Martin Bregman writer = Alan Alda narrator = starring = Alan Alda Michael Caine Michelle Pfeiffer Bob Hoskins Lillian Gish music =… … Wikipedia
Undergarment — Underwear redirects here. For other uses, see Underwear (disambiguation). Women s panties or knickers … Wikipedia
Corset — A drawing of a luxury hourglass corset from 1878, featuring a busk fastening at the front and lacing at the back A corset is a garment worn to hold and shape the torso into a desired shape for aesthetic or medical purposes (either for the… … Wikipedia
Corselet — The inside of a Corselette A corselet or corselette is a type of foundation garment, sharing elements of both brassieres and girdles. It may incorporate lace in front or in back. The term originated by the addition of the diminutive suffix ette… … Wikipedia
Warnaco Group — Warner Brothers Corset Company redirects here. For the film studio, see Warner Bros.. Warnaco Group, Inc Type Public (NYSE: WRC) Industry Textiles, Apparel Luxur … Wikipedia
Waist cincher — A short corset, 1860, of one part. A waist cincher (sometimes referred to as a Waspie) is a belt worn around the waist to make the wearer s waist physically smaller, or to create the illusion of being smaller. Contents 1 … Wikipedia