So, sportswear companies are selling "corsets" now. Let's investigate.

Jan 16, 2021
648 441 Views

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For a closer peek at a real Khiva-style corselet, Redthreaded has just acquired an extant one and has put out a fantastic examination video!
Super special thanks to Constance Mackenzie for the athletic corsetry chats and for reviewing my research; I reserve any factual errors or misinterpretations as my own. Constance's lovely channel:
Labor ethics disclaimer from the brand which the corset was purchased:
Despite this disclaimer, however, I was unable to find satisfactory evidence to prove that the brand have established contractual requirements with their manufacturers to ensure that the factories commissioned to manufacture products are paying their employees at living wages. Furthermore, I was disappointed to find that this brand is one of the many guilty of cancelling partly- or fully-completed orders this year without paying manufacturers for labor performed. For this reason, I do not endorse this brand and I do consider this purchase to be in violation of my anti-fast fashion endeavors. Though I won’t be returning the item, as that doesn’t do anything productive, I will upcycle it into something I can use-and intend to give the purchase of this garment a net-positive outcome by donating the ad revenue from this video to the Clean Clothes Campaign (, an organisation which is dedicated to improving garment worker rights and conditions worldwide.
2019 report on brands and ethical labor policies/future plans:
Due to character limitations, the full page of footnotes can be found here:
Gartland, Elizabeth. "The American lady-tailor glove-fitting system of dress making". Philadelphia, PA, 1884.
Hill, Lucille (editor). "Athletics & Outdoor Sports for Women, 1903 edition: The First Book of American Women's Sports". The Lost Century of Sports Collection, December 20, 2014.
Warner, Patricia. "When the Girls Came Out to Play: The Birth of American Sportswear". Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Press, August 2, 2006.
*I actually disagree with this; I mean, yes, it *could* probably be worn over another corset, but the advertisement declares that this corselet 'supersedes the corset' and highlights its intention to be worn only on the upper part of the body, allowing for perfect freedom of movement in the lower. I think they've drawn this conclusion because of the strange little buttoned tabs coming out the bottom of it, but the advertisement shows the woman using these tabs to button the waist of her skirt in place. Since the Khiva corselet is very short in length, it wouldn't provide that secure anchor point at the waist that normal, bust-to-hip corsets do.
Footage and images from the Symington Collection are used with permission from Leicestershire Collections.
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Due to current ongoing project commitments, requests for dressmaking commissions, individual research or project consultation are not considered at this time.
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  • A general reply to comments on the fit: it is *extremely* roomy, but this was the smallest size they offered and, judging from the likewise extremely loose fit on the model, I can only presume that this is meant to be the intended fit of this design. They've deliberately dressed her in a S rather than an XS for the product photo, and this isn't anything out of the ordinary in modern clothing construction: clothing nowadays tends to automatically be built with tons of ease, because consumers just aren't comfortable in tight-fitting non-stretch clothing anymore; even corset patterns produced by modern 'big four' pattern companies come built with this roominess built into the pattern, which, while comfy and convenient for modern everyday clothes, rather defeats the purpose of a tight-fitting corset. The footage you see of active performance in the garment is following a slight alteration to narrow the body of the garment by taking a small amount out of straight seams in the back to increase the snugness, whereas I had not yet altered it for the initial try-on; there was not enough difference in support to warrant mentioning: it only ended up constricting my ribcage and limiting breathing without still providing any bust support, since the bones are not pushing up from an anchored point at the waist as in historical stays and corsetry, but are pre-bent into their own curved position with the intent of building out an Ideal Bust Shape rather than working *with* the bust to create a supported shape. Yes, I could have made a more substantial alteration under the bust, tapered some of the seams and re-shaped the bones, but then the entire experiment would be pointless as I would be deviating too much from the original pattern shapes to give a fair assessment of its effectiveness. There is also the glaring obviousness that I am a very small-busted lady to begin with, and so my assessment of this cannot necessarily speak for the supportiveness of this garment on larger busts. (Any larger-busted costubers who want to give this a try and might fit into my XS, hit me up before I upcycle this into a bust bodice. ;D) It should also be said, in case this wasn't clear from the video, that this is not a "roast" of this garment. It is a genuine investigation of a thing that clearly has historical influence, and I was curious to see how it performed. While obviously it wasn't up to historical standards, this clearly wasn't the goal; I commend its nod to historical dress nonetheless.

    Bernadette BannerBernadette BannerMonth ago
    • @penguine342 Absolutely true now I think. There used to be three-The three stripes triangle was performance, the trefoil was Originals (old school, retro) and another logo for sports style. Now adidas (never capitalized) just has the two.

      D TD T20 days ago
    • @Catherine Just Catherine I spent my first 10 years in the corporate world working for that company, including doing fit testing. While I loved my team, all that I learned and the work I did, other parts of the company left much to be desired. Their biggest female promoted athlete was Anna Kornicova-known more as a model and Enrique Iglesias’ GF than for actually playing tennis. The vast majority of women’s product produced at that time were “take downs” of men’s product, i.e., it was designed for them and altered to fit a woman. It was not designed ground-up for a woman. And even when it was, like my foray into fit testing, the pattern-maker was a literal ballerina who just could not understand why plus-sized (albeit FIT) women would not want to wear skin tight, belly-bearing, baby pink ensembles. 🤦🏽‍♀️ It was such a breath of fresh air when they started working with Stella McCartney, though she maxed out at about a size 10. Still, an improvement. So long way to say, this corset surprises me little.

      D TD T20 days ago
    • @Marlju Sweety I completely agree with you. The logo front and center is extremely off-putting. This is a hard NO for me.

      Linda MyfatcatcowLinda Myfatcatcow24 days ago
    • Goddamn you cut a figure in a black dress like Vivienne leigh.

      Almeda RiddleAlmeda Riddle26 days ago
    • @Bernadette Banner I’m genuinely interested in watching you upcycle it into a bust bodice and doing what you need to to add structure to the back to make it more supportive. Maybe its because I have back problems/chronic pain problems but I genuinely like having tighter clothes on. Ive been thinking about trying to find a place that makes/specializes in corsets for years. I think it would really be worth it. Can’t wait to watch that video!

      Erica McGhieErica McGhie27 days ago

    CallMeNIBSCallMeNIBS8 hours ago
  • I'd love to see Bernadette make a modern day sports corset with modern materials

    dakota manchettedakota manchetteDay ago
  • It wouldn't support your posture at all would it

    Somethin mSomethin mDay ago
  • isnt it a little too big for you?

    Greta BartelsGreta BartelsDay ago
  • The idea of moving as someone with hobbies is horrifying. What if stuff gets lost? What is actually worth giving up when you'll have to rebuy? Ughhhhhhggghuuhggaah!

    khaxjc1khaxjc1Day ago
  • I lived in japan for a chunk of my life and when I saw a movie where someone was having a corset tightened in one scene, I specifically remember thinking, "wow, that's a weird looking obi" 😂😂😂😂

    herman beanherman bean2 days ago
  • It seem like in every film involving corsets EVER seems to involve someone fainting. If everyone fainted every time they wore a corset they probably would have been abandoned fairly quickly🤣

    Poppy SandsPoppy Sands2 days ago
  • I really enjoyed your videos that included the New York skyline and the plumes of steam from nearby buildings :( but i hope you have tons of new adventures in London!!! I can’t wait to see how you include the scenery in your videos.

    comradepeggyhillcomradepeggyhill2 days ago
  • watching bernadette as a reward for finishing my math test

    Ari MarkovAri Markov3 days ago
  • If this were structured like an actual corset do you really think athletes would want to do heavy physical activities in an actual corset? It’s impractical in modern day times. Dry fit material helps transport sweat, heat, and moisture away from the skin to the outside garment where it evaporates. This modern athletic “corset” will do that job better than any impractical old “athletic” corset can offer. I rather work out in the modern athletic corset than put myself in an old “sport” corset to be very honest.

    Bria TiaBria Tia3 days ago
  • 12:26...those colours intentional, or? 👁👁

    rosejamrosejam3 days ago
  • I suspect, they actually had a very educated designer, whom couldn't execute what they wanted to and is now having nightmares of historically correct corsets screaming to them in side boning.

    Brunhilde BurninghamBrunhilde Burningham4 days ago
  • Bernadette, if you ever happen to see this, I remember a while back you mentioned in a Skillshare ad-read that you were doing some learning on there about storytelling, camerawork, etc. and I just gotta say that it's really payed off. Your videos have never been bad by any means but its abundantly clear that you've steadily increased and improved your filmmaking and visual storytelling abilities with each video. It's fun to see someone grow and evolve, and I just wanted to give you some credit for your effort and tell you that it noticeably shows.

    Conner KnightConner Knight4 days ago
  • Do you ever wear blue jeans? Just wondering...

    George GriersonGeorge Grierson4 days ago
  • Where did you get the cake from? Asking 4 me cause I live in NY and like cake:)

    Nicky RoyalNicky Royal6 days ago
  • Does anyone have advice on where to get a practical daily wear corset? My online shopping ventures have only lead me to costume and sexy ones.

    Ella YorkElla York7 days ago
  • Why are you just allowed to literally pick at the museum collection corsets, what 😅 1. How did you get them and 2. Is that not unnecessary wear and tear? 🤔

    Caroline GraceCaroline Grace7 days ago
  • 9:47 is that a Scottish flag?

    DSQueenieDSQueenie7 days ago
  • I want one.

    Holl MightyHoll Mighty8 days ago
  • I MUST know what type of animal is in the cage!

    IceBetweenEyelinerIceBetweenEyeliner8 days ago
  • Imagine if they went all the way with this piece with a more structural fabric, layers on the inside, boning on the back, lacing and adidas logos for the corset flossing! zz * 3 *)// bibit bobit bum!

    EruytEruyt8 days ago
  • I fell in love with Notion all over again

    Lisa CatarsiLisa Catarsi9 days ago
  • I mean.... it's at least kinda cute? lol

    Photini ThorpPhotini Thorp9 days ago
  • Could you do a general corset overview, like what kind of corset should you get for what purpose

    AzmuelAzmuel9 days ago

    sneaky_ zombiesneaky_ zombie10 days ago
  • Is that thing comparable to the tank tops with a shelf "bra" sewn in?

    Marsha AMarsha A10 days ago
  • Dear Miss Banner, how can I send you a small gift?

    Melody LacyMelody Lacy10 days ago
  • sport corset - sportset

    Josh RussellJosh Russell11 days ago
  • I love your ace mask! I've just been using the cloth masks my work gave me, but now I want to make one for myself...

    AlexandriaAlexandria12 days ago
  • Just coincidently bought this a couple of weeks ago. Honestly I love it, and I find that it does improve my posture a tiny bit, because the bones in the front prevent me from slouching. Loved the video and the historical take. Thank you.

    Nadzeya SinitsaNadzeya Sinitsa12 days ago
  • 1:08 what's this plastic corset called ?

    Hussi PettyHussi Petty13 days ago
  • The women's suffrage mask lol I think the green would be substituted for a gold color for the United States. Correct if I'm wrong although I don't think I am lol

    Teaira ShanholtzTeaira Shanholtz13 days ago
  • Is that a non-binary pride flag face-mask?

    Elise GElise G13 days ago
  • Why did I watch this?

    Bradley GibbsBradley Gibbs13 days ago
  • Wait a minute about the flossing. If that kept boning from poking out in a corset, would it work if I did that to my modern bras, to prevent them eventually trying to kill me by shivving me in the side-boob. Please someone tell me if this would work ...

    Fairytale FarmFairytale Farm13 days ago
    • I mean would it prevent the underwire squirming out and stabbing me ...

      Fairytale FarmFairytale Farm13 days ago
  • Seeing the genderqueer pride flag on your mask warmed my heart so much.

    Prince VincentPrince Vincent13 days ago
    • It's probably the women's suffragettes movement flag. Easy to confuse. Some people also thought it's the ace flag.

      Krissy MKrissy M10 days ago
  • Was that a genderqueer flag mask?? 😍💜🤍💚

    the808songbirdthe808songbird14 days ago
  • I have a 19th century ad of a rowing corset. It looks very uncomfortable

    Marjolein TomassenMarjolein Tomassen14 days ago
  • I couldn't focus my whole mind on the video, because I kept thinking that the lighting and how you did your makeup made you look even more like a fairy than you already do! I think I need to request a makeup tutorial...

    lyric curranlyric curran14 days ago
  • So basically they engineered a non-corset corset.

    Aaron GlettAaron Glett15 days ago
  • You know, I was just looking through some vintage photos and it hit me over the head like a brick! I always thought Anna Held (1872-1918) looked SOOO familar to me. Then I found this photo Was Bernadette Anna Held in a previous life?!

    kerkiekerkie15 days ago
  • sports corset: sportset??????

    Pallas CPallas C15 days ago
  • 12:27 hm the genderqueer flag

    RiotiroRiotiro16 days ago
  • Just binged your videos and I'm so inspired (and intimidated) to make myself a coat. I hope one day in the future you'll make a blouse... Til then I'll keep watching your marvelous endeavors

    AwkwardTurtleAwkwardTurtle17 days ago
  • Just selling sex. As per usual.

    AK BauerAK Bauer18 days ago
  • Bernadette, where are you moving to??? i love your view out west 47th street. i spent two months in the Hotel Edison and love the neighborhood.

    Joni LongJoni Long18 days ago
  • The fact that it only has a zipper in the back suggests to me it does not provide any support at all. For example, bras have 3-4 rows of hooks in the back and the straps are adjustable, so the support can be adjusted to your body. With just the zipper, how would the garment be able to support mine/other’s bodies without proper adjustment?

    AppleJack64AppleJack6418 days ago
  • where tobuy corset fasteners

    Rose Marie prudhommeRose Marie prudhomme18 days ago
  • Adidas should have got you as a consultant for this one.

    DanceofmasksDanceofmasks18 days ago
  • This is not a corset. More like a "wannabe 18th century stays". But much shorter, way less boning and made out of cheap materials of course. I see this kind of tops on Instagram a lot lately.

    Ru-ann MartinaRu-ann Martina18 days ago
  • This is just Adidas' way of cashing in on the current Vivienne Westwood "corset" trend. I agree it's a bodice haha

    Rozelyn RouxRozelyn Roux19 days ago
  • I was wondering why your videos weren't popping up on my page... turns out, my sister unfollowed your account on my account, because and I quote, "The way she speaks makes me insecure in my pronunciation..." so, instead of letting me watch it and her just not watch it, she chose to remove your channel from our entire family's life..

    Groff SauceGroff Sauce19 days ago
  • the suffragette mask (12:27)made me squee and I had to go tell my boyfriend about it. (not done watching yet)

    Vered BrandmanVered Brandman19 days ago
  • Caaake 😻😻 I hope you're enjoying your new place... Shame about the 'corset' but at the very least you can wear it under things as an extra layer of clothing for warmth... 💗

    Ziyanda ZwaneZiyanda Zwane20 days ago
  • My boobs hurt just watching this.

    Can't SayCan't Say20 days ago
  • Great article, more power to you Bernadette Banner, I have a sportswear manufacturing company for sale hope you could help me out to promote, regards! Business Broker Marc Bate😀

    Business Broker Marc BateBusiness Broker Marc Bate20 days ago
  • I hope the move is a good thing, the space was probably tight but your old sewing room was beautiful.

    Elouj Time ReaverElouj Time Reaver20 days ago
  • Love the pride flag mask!!

    ay4uay4u21 day ago
  • I have one question..WHY???🙄😷🇨🇦

    Margot GullifordMargot Gulliford21 day ago
  • i like that it cannot roll-up in front.

    Carol DeanCarol Dean21 day ago
  • It’s just a tank top with extra steps

    Orochimaruswife1Orochimaruswife121 day ago
  • I don't think corsets nowadays are for support, they're more like tank tops with boning, just for the aesthetic

    Ariane De NavAriane De Nav21 day ago
  • 11:12 conducive to

    TuralcarTuralcar21 day ago
  • LOL I knew you were moving, I got this awesome apartment on my fb marketplace, and I recognized the book cases. Been trying to find a video where you say you are moving ever since. LOL.

    RayneSaltairRayneSaltair21 day ago
  • More than anything I think this «corset» looks like the the safety vests used by equestrians! Minus the padding. 😅 Strong horse girl vibes, minus the safety.

    Mari MartinussenMari Martinussen22 days ago
  • i still dont fully understand the defense of the corset

    scared fullyscared fully22 days ago
    • @Iwannabeastarshiprangerrr3 but thats the thing. i came here bcus im one of those people who watch corset videos. I think corsets are absolutely gorgeous and im fascinated by them. ive heard the points delivered about the defense. and of course i am with the people who loves the art and the craft of corsetry, all up to them for loving something that passionately. what i still cant understand tho, is why the defense for it is needed. why does it need to be denounced from the torture title so bad? sure its not a torture device, but it wasnt necessarily making things easier either. its a piece of fashion iconography, its not the pinnacle of some political statement. its a corset. why the discourse?

      scared fullyscared fully18 days ago
    • You need to watch some USworlds videos then. Most ‘facts’ that’s are widely believed about corset (you know like how they were evil torture device 🙄) aren’t true.

      Iwannabeastarshiprangerrr3Iwannabeastarshiprangerrr322 days ago
  • So it’s basically a glamorised sports bra

    Hannah YamauchiHannah Yamauchi22 days ago
  • Ugh Victorian British and Puritan American clothing is such an elephant dart to the face. Imagine being Italian, French, Dutch, Asian, African during the same period and just feeling sorry for these folks.

    It’s Viola RoseIt’s Viola Rose22 days ago
  • Ngl, this channel tempts me to buy and wear a corset especially since I have minor scoliosis and my back posture is bad. I wish there's someplace I can buy it online here in Southeast Asia 🥺

    Iceria HikariIceria Hikari22 days ago
  • I got a corset ad before this video. Hahahahahahaha

    Tess CrelliTess Crelli22 days ago
  • I have this exact corset in pink and can confirm I bought it as a fashion item!! I have pretty big boobs and wear a S, it gives a surprising amount of support!!!

    tarachoudsxtarachoudsx22 days ago
  • omg i have the pink one of this

    tarachoudsxtarachoudsx22 days ago
  • I love your channel and The Seams Channel. So talented

    Ski BlueSki Blue23 days ago
  • Seeing the Acorn streaming advert, seeing shows that we get for free on TV, haha~ How the turn tables.

    DrGrukar McNinjaSixthGunDrGrukar McNinjaSixthGun23 days ago
  • I'd like to comment from the perspective of my enormous boobs: this works wonders that no other bras do. I am an M but for boobs I have like a 105D/E in Spanish measures. And this corset is the only thing that allows me to jump and dance and run without to have to constantly grab them with my arms for impact. 10/10 as sports wear. Really would recommend it to my fellow friends who were in first row the day God was giving away boobs.

    PlimPlamPlum DocPlimPlamPlum Doc23 days ago
  • Does anyone else get heavy ed vibes from this girl

    mariamaria23 days ago
    • @The Hearth Fairy well I looked it up and she's on proanna as thin spo, so def not just me. But go off

      mariamaria14 hours ago
    • Nah, it’s just you

      The Hearth FairyThe Hearth Fairy5 days ago
  • this corset feels like it isn't really sure what it wants to be.

    JJollaJJolla23 days ago
  • Even as an athletic-style fashion accessory it's done poorly. The fit on the model looks terrible. What is the point of boning if the garment is loose?

    Shannah D.Shannah D.24 days ago
  • I watched this while wearing an 1860s corset 😂

    Gillian MoserGillian Moser24 days ago
  • I WISH I could get a corset.

    RayRay24 days ago
  • 12:27 is that a suffragette flag mask?

    SQ38SQ3824 days ago
  • We are going full circle!!!!

    Amanina A.RAmanina A.R24 days ago
  • I have been watching a lot of ballet dancers lately. The Ballet tutu seems like some sort of corset. It seems like the ballet community embraced some particular era of the corset and kept the vibe from that style of corset. What era do you think the tutu is from?

    Amanda LitwakAmanda Litwak24 days ago
  • I live in Texas, and I am researching summer corsets for my future history bounding plans.

    Megan TousignantMegan Tousignant24 days ago
  • To me is kistch, ugly and useless

    Torii SamaTorii Sama24 days ago
  • Why on earth is Adidas selling a corset?! I know 2020 was hard for all of us...but a sport cosert?? jeez....And what's the pont of this piece at all??

    Mily AlvarezMily Alvarez24 days ago
  • Looks like a waste of money to me. This is for the women that wear gym clothes but only walk to get their mail then drive to Starbucks.

    Iris CastanedaIris Castaneda25 days ago
  • I feel like sometimes people have a very loose idea of what a Corset is.

    No ContextNo Context25 days ago
  • You're moving? But....what about your beautiful sewing room I just watched you put together and that I love?

    Christine BradyChristine Brady25 days ago
  • I was looking at the Adidas website and it seems this is meant as a top, not really any kind of support garment.

    Chris CChris C25 days ago
  • Wish we could stop blaming everything on patriarchy. And get back to real talk. The whole narrative is just trying to divide us.

    Emppu T.Emppu T.25 days ago
  • Well if one see woman with no boobs advertising corset or bra, one can suspect company didn't think about functionality (support) of the garment but how it's look ...

    Paulina BakhshayeshPaulina Bakhshayesh25 days ago
  • It's sporty 2020 lingerie

    Tiffany KriegerTiffany Krieger25 days ago
  • Wow I missed one, I was so sad 😢. Watching happily now😁

    Tiffany KriegerTiffany Krieger25 days ago
  • Looks like a waste of money and time to me at least you can make something out of it

    Clare DohertyClare Doherty26 days ago
  • the girlies have been hand-making these and selling them on depop for a while now...

    hello kittyhello kitty26 days ago
  • Watching Americans move house is so strange. Just shove it in the car and go.

    D JD J26 days ago
  • I'll be honest, I bought one of these in pink and I really like it! The fabric/logo isn't for everyone but I really like the silhouette of it and get compliments on it cause it's cute. I didn't want it to actually function as a corset (and it doesn't, it's basically just a regular top with some light boning), I just like it as a fashion piece. I really appreciated hearing the historical background and context of corsets from someone so knowledgeable though!

    Ale30Ale3026 days ago
  • I got an add for a sport corset just before watching it like wtf youtube 😱

    Natacha De vicqNatacha De vicq26 days ago