The Toilet of a Victorian Venus

Published on Author Corset Manager

Dear Sir, – Vanity and excessive devotion to fashion are two of the charges levelled at the head of the modern girl. I contend that the Victorian Miss could have given points to her modern sister in both respects.
I send you an extract from a letter written to me by a highly fashionable lady, thirty years ago.
Speaking of her seventeen year old daughter, she says: “For a whole week prior to the Rogers dance Margaret was all excitement and scarcely ate anything. As I had had her ball gown made extra small in the waist, I did not trouble her to eat too much, so that on the day of the dance the difficulty of lacing her smaller than usual would be minimized a little. Magaret is, of course, so delightfully vain of her figure and feet especially, and simply loves to pose before her mirror. When it came to pinching her waist in the extra two inches, I encouraged her, but the dear girl fainted. She soon revived, however, and Mrs. Hartley skilfully drew the stays close, and with a hook the gown was fitted.
“Margaret’s shoes and gloves were the most difficult things to put on but one must have these things as tight as possible if one wishes to avoid a dowdy appearance. She was very delighted when, as a special favour, I enamelled her face and carefully made up her lips, eyes and brows.
“When her toilette was complete, she posed very prettily for our inspection. She laughingly remarked that her shoes pinched so much that she felt as though she was walking on air, and in spite of her squeezed in waist she intended to enter every dance, which, as a matter of fact, she did.” And so on, etc.
Yours truly,
Mabel.