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How Waist Cinchers Can Help You Achieve Christian Dior's 1950's

Women's wear during the 1940's reflected the sensibilities of the wartime era. Rations on textiles were required, as many of the raw materials were needed to support the war effort. Even nylon stocking were in limited supply, since the nylon was being used in the production of parachutes. The prevailing silhouette for this era was a streamlined, tailored look. Skirts were straight and below the knee, blouses were simple, and the typical jacket would have square, angular shoulders with a belt cinching the waist.

The tailored look of the 40's took a radical turn in 1947 when a French clothing designer named Christian Dior took the fashion world by storm by reintroducing the wasp-waisted feminine form. History tells us that the internationally influential editor of Harper's Bazaar, Carmel Snow, was present at the fashion show when Dior's collection was introduced. In her enthusiasm she exclaimed, "It's such a new look!" Hence the moniker "The New Look" was born and would be forever associated with the haute style that is commonly associated with the 1950's. Suddenly, body shapers for women were back in fashion again.

Dresses representing the New Look emphasized an ample bosom, a svelte waist, and a full, mid-calf length skirt. This signature fashion was instrumental in reviving the "hourglass" silhouette, which had last seen popularity towards the end of the Victorian Era. Socialites, celebrities, and matinee idols enthusiastically embraced the look, and the rest of the world took notice.

A tiny waist, disproportionate to the size of the hips and bust was required to make the look. The waist cincher would become the undergarment of choice to create that hourglass shape.

Today's woman can recreate Dior's classic look by wearing a modern body shaper or corset to serve as a waist cincher. Look for a garment that will support and elevate the breasts, as that will lend greater authenticity to the look.