Period Foundation Garments and the Changing Standard Form: Using 3D Body Scanning and Standardized Size Charts to Examine the Malleability of the Female Figure
Foundation garments have long been used to transform women’s bodies into the fashionable ideal of a period. This study explores some of the effects of shapewear; specifically, historic foundation garments and the relationship of these foundation garments to body proportion. This was an exploratory study to evaluate the transformation of a female body with different types of historical foundation garments; one female body was scanned in a variety of period shapewear and size charts from period publications were compared. Measurement and visual comparison of the scans revealed differences in the form of the bust, waist, and hips, including the position and form of the breasts, the overall shape of the torso, and the curves of the hips/buttocks. Comparing the measurements from the early 1900s to current sizing documents, waist circumference has increased relative to bust circumference over time. Changes are compatible with the measurement ratios from the body scans, indicating that some of the increases in women’s waist measurements may be attributable to the decreased use of shapewear.
Keywords: corsets, foundation garments, shapewear, sizing, body scanning
How to Cite:
Armstead, C. C., (2019) “Period Foundation Garments and the Changing Standard Form: Using 3D Body Scanning and Standardized Size Charts to Examine the Malleability of the Female Figure”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.8813