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Bust improver

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dickins & Jones (retailer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lace and ribbon, mother-of-pearl

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Christina McMillan

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Bust bodice made from lace and interwoven figured silk satin ribbons, boning, mother-of-pearl buttons.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1910 (made)


Dickins & Jones (retailer)

Materials and Techniques

Lace and ribbon, mother-of-pearl

Object history note

Registered File number 1995/2064.

Descriptive line

Bust improver, lace, satin ribbons and boning, mother-of-pearl buttons, Dickins & Jones, Great Britain, ca. 1910.

Labels and date

Fitted to the figure

Around 1909, the fashionable s-bend silhouette gave way to a more elongated body shape and upright posture. This new figure required differently shaped underwear to control and support it.

Bust bodices were designed to lift and contain the bust, which was largely unsupported by the low, straighter, hip-confining corset.

Bust bodice
Dickins & Jones
Britain, London, 1910s
Figured silk satin ribbon, machine-made lace, front fastening with mother-of-pearl buttons, boned and laced at the back
V&A: T.33-1996
Given by Christina McMillan [16/04/2016-12/03/2017]
Around 1910, the voluptuous ideal of the preceding years was gradually replaced by a more slender silhouette, as Parisian couturiers introduced a more elongated line. Foundation garments were increasingly required to compress and smooth the figure. Bust bodices similar to this were advertised as 'bust confiners', designed to wear over the top of the corset to smooth the contours under the blouse or dress and to control and shape the bust, which was largely unsupported over the low, hip-confining corsets.

Bust bodice
Dickins & Jones
Britain, 1910s
Figured silk satin ribbon, bobbin lace, mother of pearl buttons and boning
Given by Christina McMillan
V&A: T.33-1996 [2013-2015]


Silk (textile); Mother of pearl; Lace


Satin weave; Boning


Fashion; Underwear; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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