Outside of my love of anime, one of the things which I have an interest in is sewing and garment construction, with an extra interest in foundation garments (or well… underwear), and also historical clothing. Good foundations make you neatly turned out. Ill-fitting or poorly chosen foundation garments mean that even lovely clothes won’t sit quite right. It’s certainly not the be all and end all of life, but it’s something which I tend to notice wherever I go, including in anime.
This brings me to my major offender; Izetta the Last Witch.
There are so many things wrong with this picture. There’s definitely a bias, based on surviving sensationalist media from the time when corset wearing was prevalent that corsetry is uncomfortable and bad for you. Like many things, if you go overboard it can be bad for you, and if you have something which fits poorly it can be uncomfortable, but they were the preferred undergarments for females during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and even working women and those caring for children wore them, so while it may take some adjustment for the modern user, they didn’t interfere with the lifestyle of the wearer. Anthropological studies* suggest that corseting was no disadvantage to the women who chose to wear corsets. I would argue that at least a comparable percentage of women today if not more suffer from wearing bras which fit them poorly owing to lack of size availability and general fit education and the more precise fit requirements of a bra as compared to the relative adjustability of a corset, but I should probably leave this soapbox subject of mine alone on my anime blog.
The having a second person strain to fasten your corset is such a sensationalist thing. While having another person help you get dressed was not unheard of (upper class women did often get help from servants, and lower class women may have had a family member lend a hand), straining like that is just going to damage your expensive piece of clothing or the wearer. Izetta’s corset doesn’t have much lacing gap visible, so it’s not even going to really close up much further than it already is.
Also this style of corset is more of a Victorian style. While the wearing of a corset or girdle was not unheard of in the 30s and 40s, they tended to just cover the waist, plus they went out of fashion during war time as the materials used in corsets were needed for wartime production. (Women also used to paint fake nylon seams on their legs and go without stockings, wartime fashions are quite interesting but perhaps not super related). As the leader of the country, Fine would probably have more access to new clothing than the average person, but as the young leader of the country who is shown to want what is best for her people, it’s also likely that she would have been trying to set an example of economy.
I would have been far more excited if it was 40s accurate underwear, as like I mentioned, this is totally one of my other nerd subjects, and it seems that many of the vehicles and weapons are either based on existing WWII models, or plans for them. It’s these little moments which will stand out in my mind even after the anime is long over.
*https://journals.mcmaster.ca/nexus/article/view/983/905 (An anthropological study on corset wearing)
https://lucycorsetry.com/2015/10/05/corsets-skeletal-deformities-anthropological-study/ (a great explanation of the study with applications for a modern corset wearer)