The Edwardian Era is my personal favorite period in fashion. No not because of Titanic. This has been a personal favorite of mine since I was a kid. I always thought the S line silhouette was gorgeous. I mean just look at the photo above. Look how gorgeous they are in the front window!
That is until I learned what it meant to actually wear a corset! WOW! I don't think your ribs are suppose to do this!
The S shape corset was nothing less than torture. The goal of this corset was to give a very mature look and to create every mans ideal woman. Very small waists and boosted breasts. This remained popular until 1907.
After 1907, a Corset was designed to promote a more health wise garment. Finally someone put a popular end to this. Not just a protest but; a solution. The waists were let out a bit more. The silhouette was a longer and straighter.
Here is an authentic Edwardian corset I found at http://www.allvintageclothing.com/. You can see the huge shift in the waist and bust in this corset. I can already feel my lungs expanding comfortably. Unfortunately, this corset was known for creating what we commonly call "uniboob". Although comfortable and better for your health the appearance was not quite the same as previous corsets.
By 1912 some corsets were reaching nearly to the knees. And ofcourse the unforgiving "uniboob" the corset was reinvented once more. This corset above was the last style of the Edwardian period. This corset allowed the breast separation for a better fit in dresses. More feminine but; still a healthy choice.
Soon after WWI women found corsets to be dated and no longer needed. With the invention of elastic belts and bands. These became the new way to hold breasts and waists in place.