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Homespun linen stays, Tasha Tudor Collection, 1810-25
Linen stays (American), Met, c. 1740-60
Silk stays (probably Spanish), Met, third-quarter of the 18th century
A glimpse of one of the stays worn by Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. My current project is a pair of handsewn pink linen stays with white stitching and white leather binding - inspired, as I’m sure you can see, by Marie’s stays!
Linen Stays, c. 1770-90, MFA Boston
Moiré Stays, late 18th century, Metropolitan Museum
Hi, I didn’t ask the question, but I love to see the women’s waist coats. I was wondering what ‘stays’ are. I love looking at your blog!
Stays was the pre-Victorian word for a corset. More fully, they are called “a pair of stays”, because they were originally cut in two parts. Even the Regency support garments were called stays! Not until the body started looking like what we think of as Victorian - the hourglass figure helped along by the corset we all know - did they have a name change. I’m not entirely sure why, although now that I think about it, that is something I would love to research! If I ever find out in the future, I’ll be sure to let you all know :)
Here are some examples of stays:
From Kyoto Institute, 1819
French Stays and stomachers, 1710-20 from the Musee du Costume, Paris Galliera
Early 18th century stays (1715) from Maurice Leloir’s Histoire du Costume