Tag Archives: corsets

Should Life Be This Hard? Linda Knight Seccaspina

Should Life Be This Hard? Linda Knight Seccaspina

One day this week I decided to wear a polka dot jumpsuit instead of pants. At my age I should know better, and the days of wearing a bodysuit with snaps at the crotch are over- so are  buttons in the back of anything. I had worn the jumpsuit before, but could not remember who did the buttons up in the back. So that day I had to program any trip to the washroom lest I just walk around with the top part hanging around my waist.

I made it through the day, but once again I asked myself why I kept this jumpsuit. Rescuing a designer jumpsuit at a steal for $7.00 at a thrift shop should not be the answer. It’s not like it was trapped at the store.

Skinny Jeans

For most of my lifetime I have suffered for fashion beginning with skinny leg jeans.  My legs are not skinny, so why am I wearing them?  Did you know skinny jeans have been known to cause weakness in your ankles? I once read a news article about a woman who spent the day packing and moving for a friend wearing her skinny leg jeans. Apparently after the event she could no longer walk and spent several hours lying on the ground.

Skinny jeans didn’t put her in the hospital, wearing a pair of skinny jeans that were probably at least 2 sizes too small did. Back in the day, the only way to zip super tight jeans up was to lay flat on the floor, or on your bed and use a fork to get the zipper up! Then you had to find someone to pull you up and stand you up straight!  We didn’t listen then, and  I am still not listening now.  For some people like myself “Fashion Week’ lasts all year, and every single day that I am alive.


Why am  I also interested in the fashion trend called waist training that has been around since the 1800s? Do I really need to follow this fad at 71? Aren’t my bones cracking enough? I can’t sit, I can’t breathe and my body is really from McDonalds ‘and loving it’. The goal for wearing a waist trainer– if you can wear it for 10 hours a day for at least 8 weeks– is a miraculous transformation. But, how do you get through the first 5 minutes?

Putting on the waist trainer was enough of a workout for the first day. I don’t think my organs moved at all, and my health seems fine after I got it on. “After I got it on” should be the keywords here.  But who really knows what’s up with my insides anyways? They aren’t talking!  Just curious, what part of the mirror thought I looked spectacular in one of these things.

When I was a child, my grandmother wore one. I loved the Eaton’s flesh coloured model, the salmon satin, and the lace. My grandfather used to have to put his foot on her back and heave ho.That was so romantic and it did nothing for her very ample waist except freeze it in place for eternity.


Thirty seven years ago I delivered a ten pound male child. There isn’t a month that goes by that I don’t remind him, like Beverley Goldberg, that I was in labour for 28 and one half hours. What did I get from that day in August of 1985 besides a beautiful healthy baby boy? Well, the next day the top of my left foot became very puffy and has remained that way for 37 years. The nurse said not to worry at the time because it was only postpartum fluid swelling– and it would go away. Well that fluid moved its home furnishings and plants and has squatted on top of my foot since that day in 1985.

Anytime I buy shoes the right foot takes a size 9, and the other foot needs the box the shoes came in. I wore trendy heels every day of my life until that day, and now when I find shoes that fit I buy what they have in my size. Black, size 10 and flat.

You don’t need a “warning” for this craziness. It’s called common sense. Do you see warnings on hammers saying: “Striking repeatedly on the head may cause brain damage”?

Life is always full of interruptions and complications isn’t it? Or, do I now consider common sense like deodorant? The people that need it most  just never seem to use it.

Related reading

Glitter Shine and Satin – Ottawa Fashion 1978 – Flash Cadilac

Fashion Faux Pas in the Cemetery

The Stack Perm or the Disco Wedge ? 1970s Hair Fashion

The Best Little Chin Hair Post on the Prairie

Saved by Her Corset




August 15 1884

Yesterday afternoon Mrs.George Kudlyn, wife of George Rudlyn, and her niece, Miss Annie Wilcox, were in an orchard attached to the family residence engaged in picking cherries, when they were derailed by the loud report of a gun close at hand.

Mrs. Kudlyn w as nearly knocked from the stepladder by a sharp blow on her left side. Before she had recovered from her surprise her niece exclaimed : “I am shot!” and the blood gushed from a wound on her left elbow, where it was afterwards seen the shot had entered from a gun fired by George Ellery, who was standing in bis own garden.

He fancied Mrs. Kudlyn’s dress was a pigeon, and blasted away at it over the fence. The ladies hastened into the house, where Mrs. kudlyn found that her life had been spared by her corsets, nearly the whole charge having lodged among the steel  ribs. The charge came with such force as to shatter the skin and leave the impressions of the steel ribss. Doctors were summoned by telegram and arived to the house. They did not succeed in extracting the shot from Miss Wilcox’s elbow, but it is hoped that it will be removed eventually; otherwise a stiff arm will re­sult.


Among the anecdotal examples of the corset as undergarment of death and destruction:

  • A 21 year old prostitute who died of syphilis, consumption, and corsets while sitting in a police station.
  • A chambermaid who was found dead after suffering from extreme stomach pains. Upon her death, her stomach was found to be nearly severed in half “leaving a canal only as narrow as a raven’s feather.”
  • Part of the reason was that 19th century medicine held that women’s internal organs needed support. It was said that a woman’s midriff was weak and not up to the job of supporting her womb. Ironically, this was a self-fulfilling prophecy because the constant use of corsets weakened the abdominal muscles.



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun


Related Reading

It’s Electrifying! Dr Scott’s Electric Corset

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions!

Tales of the Chatteron House Corset — Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place

“Sex in the Pan” Memories – A RIP Fashion Violation Photo Essay


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions!


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Ever hear of death by corset? According to one tall local tale a pretty twenty-two year-old was sitting in church when she was suddenly taken ill and carried out of the church to the minister’s house. Unfortunately, before her friends got to her she was already dead. Her cause of death?—her corset was too tightly laced.


In a time when dentures were made from the teeth of the recently deceased, there was talk that there was great physical benefits of wearing a corset: Two women have mentioned in stories I have read that that wearing a corset has helped improve their asthma. The upper lungs and bronchi may not be fully open or utilized with very poor posture, and correcting posture using a corset may help to open up the chest, relax the windpipe and allow easier breathing. *asthmatics please consult with your doctor before trying a corset, as not everyone has the same experience

Death by burns for women were caused by a combination of open hearth cooking and the use of highly flammable fabrics in their clothes.Wearing corsets (even under your clothing, so no one is the wiser) was said to help you climb the corporate ladder, earn respect of yourself and your peers, help you understand how to make better economic purchases and help you appreciate the finer things in life – even if relatively nothing else in your life has changed. Were women really climbing the corporate ladder in those days? More like a library ladder.


If they heard a clap of thunder following a burial it indicated that the soul of the departed had reached heaven– or other noises might have been caused by a too tight corset. For those questionable noises try minimizing gas productions when wearing a corset. If social situations allow for it, and you feel that you’re going to burp or pass wind, just go for it. Your body has this function for a reason, and trust me, you’ll physically feel better for it.


McCarthy Sisters-Leeds County


Margaret Larocque- Lanark


Our Haunted Heritage Event Page- but tickets soon! October 15th

St James Cemtery Ghost Walk Event Page- October 28th


Stairway to Heaven in a Cemetery? Our Haunted Heritage

Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Walking With Ghosts — Tales of the Chatteron House Corset – Zoomer



Walking With Ghosts — Tales of the Chatteron House Corset – Zoomer.