Some of you may be wondering - what exactly is a basque?... and what's the difference between a basque and a corsette... and a bustier... and a torsolette....? Yeah, it gets kind of confusing.
Don't bother googling it - that way lies madness. There are so many contradictory definitions, so many confusing explanations. But have no fear, I will explain all... and provide a heaping helping of beautiful illustrations that will make your heart glad.
Joan Collins' iconic outfit in The Bitch is a basque. But what's the difference between this and a corset, bustier, or Merry Widow?
If you could give a flying shit about the terminology, just sit back and enjoy the pictures. The only reason I know a thing or two is because, looking through my old catalogs, the terminology started to drive me nuts. I couldn't keep it straight. So, let's have a look...
|(left) JC Penny catalog Fall-Winter 1989, (right) 1984|
|(left) 1991, (right) 1984-5 catalog|
I'm not really sure what Lydia's wearing. I know she's hot and bothered, but I'm not sure if it's a basque, a nightie, a teddy or a bodysuit. I can't tell if it covers like a leotard. Get the picture?
Look at the picture on the far left, and look at the middle picture - you can see that the basque is just an extended bra. But it can also be cupless (as in the picture on the right).
The torsolette,and bustier basically are just variations of the basque, of varying length.
Of course, the terminology can get get contradictory and confusing depending on what catalog you're looking in. Take the two basques above - they're too long to be bustiers, and they're too short to be torsolettes. So, in this case, they're called "mini basques".
Think of it in this spectrum (although, it's a bit overly simplified): bra, longline bra, bustier, long bustier, mini basque, then torsolette. All of these will require panties (again, in polite company).
These look like textbook basques (or torsolettes), right? Yes, but you have to be careful. A corset can look similar. The key difference is the corset is rigid, with laces at the back (not very comfortable looking), and they are always high backed.
|Torsolette Basque at left; the other two are Body Briefs|
|Basque at left, Camisole at right|
So, I'll end the lecture with these textbook basques. I suppose I know more about this stuff than any guy has a right to know... and probably got a few details wrong. But it's good enough to get by - enjoy a gallery of black basques....
|Basque left, Playsuit right|
|Two basques and a corselette|
|Two mini basques, the one on the left is a French Lace Mini Basque|
|Two basques from 1988|
Whoa! Hold the phone. This is not a f***ing basque. You can call it a bustier, you can even call it a strapless longline bra, but you damn sure won't be calling it a basque on my watch.
(I think I may be taking this a bit too seriously. Sorry. Moving right along...)
|Elaine Devry (also at the top o' the post)|
Can you spot the basque in the next picture?
Very good. You passed. In our next lesson we'll be covering the teddy. Class dismissed.