W is for Wasp-Waist
At the turn of the twentieth century, the feminine ideal, at least in the United States, was the Gibson Girl. Drawn by artist Charles Dana Gibson, the Gibson Girl was recognized by her pouffy updo, high-necked blouses, swan neck, and proportionately small waist. This silhouette was sometimes called a “wasp waist” because of it’s narrowness in proportion to the rest of the body … like a wasp. This look was achieved with the aid of a tight corset. Looks very elegant, had to have been uncomfortable at times. By the late 1910s, waistlines were more natural, until by the 1920s the look was boyish, straight up and down, with no waist definition at all. I think most women look best with some waist definition, but not as exaggerated as the Edwardians liked it. After all, a girl’s gotta breathe!