Fashion History Is Pretty But Painful

Has anything changed for women since the 1880s? We’re still stuffing ourselves into too-small clothes like skinny jeans and wreaking havoc on our feet with dangerously steep platform shoes. But that’s nothing in comparison to what our foremothers went through to look good — or stay incredibly thin). “Suffer for Beauty,” an exhibition at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn, Washington, offers a historical look at how ladies have subjected themselves to fashionable torture.The retrospective covers the turn of the century to the ’50s, exposing the evolving progression of “ideal” body types through a display of corsets and bustles. One hilarious aspect includes the changes in breast fashions, whether they should sit up high, have a flat shape, or be separated. By the end, you’ll thank your lucky stars that the corset survived as a novelty lingerie item. [SeattleTimes.com, Wrvmuseum.org]

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