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Bodice vs. Corset — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on November 5, 2023
A bodice is the part of a woman's dress that covers the torso, while a corset is a close-fitting undergarment that shapes the torso.
Bodice vs. Corset — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Bodice and Corset

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Key Differences

A bodice refers to the upper part of a dress or garment, covering the torso, and is often tailored to fit snugly. A corset, by contrast, is a separate undergarment designed to shape and support the torso, historically constructed with stiff boning and lace-up closures for tight cinching. The bodice is an integral part of a garment's structure, providing the shape and fit for the upper body, while a corset is an undergarment or accessory that specifically aims to contour the body and often enhance the waistline.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023
Bodices are generally designed for comfort and ease of movement, conforming to the body's shape without drastically altering it. Corsets, historically, were designed to alter the body's silhouette, reducing the waist and accentuating the bust and hips, often at the expense of comfort and mobility. The primary function of a bodice is as a part of everyday apparel, while corsets have been used for both daily wear in certain historical periods and for special occasions to achieve a particular fashion look.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023
In modern fashion, a bodice is often seen as a part of women's dresses, blouses, or tops, often without the same structural elements as a corset. Modern corsets can be worn for aesthetic, fashion purposes, or for waist training, and they are generally not as restrictive as their historical counterparts. While bodices can be made from a variety of fabrics, corsets are typically made from stronger, more durable materials capable of providing significant support and shaping.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023
Though the bodice is a term mainly used in the context of women's clothing, corsets have gained a more unisex appeal in fashion, with men also occasionally wearing them for style or posture correction. Both bodices and corsets have evolved over time, with the bodice reflecting changes in fashion and fit, while the corset has transitioned from an everyday undergarment to a statement piece in the modern wardrobe.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

Upper part of a dress
Supportive undergarment
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Nov 05, 2023
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Function

Provides shape and fit for the upper body
Shapes and supports the torso
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Nov 05, 2023

Construction

Part of a garment
Separate garment or undergarment
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Nov 05, 2023

Historical Use

Integral to women’s clothing
Used to cinch the waist and support the torso
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Nov 05, 2023

Modern Use

Remains a key element in dresses and tops
Worn for fashion, waist training, or support
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Nov 05, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Bodice

Bodice refers to a garment that covers a woman's body from the neck to the waist.
She adjusted the bodice of her dress for a perfect fit.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Corset

Corset denotes a garment worn to shape and support the torso.
The Victorian corset was an essential part of a woman's attire.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Bodice

Bodice is the upper part of a woman's dress.
The embroidered bodice of her gown was exquisite.
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Nov 05, 2023

Corset

Corset is a tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips.
She laced her corset tightly to accentuate her waist.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Bodice

Bodice also signifies a close-fitting vest or jacket for women.
Her lace bodice complemented the flowing skirt.
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Nov 05, 2023

Corset

Corset can also refer to something that constricts, confines, or binds.
The rigid social norms were like a corset around her independence.
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Nov 05, 2023

Bodice

Bodice is sometimes used to describe the upper part of a blouse or shirt.
The ruffled bodice added a touch of femininity to her outfit.
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Nov 05, 2023

Corset

Corset is used to describe a modern garment or fashion piece that resembles historical corsets.
She wore a corset top with jeans for a modern twist.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Bodice

A bodice ( ) is an article of clothing for women and girls, covering the torso from the neck to the waist. The term typically refers to a specific type of upper garment common in Europe during the 16th to the 18th century, or to the upper portion of a modern dress to distinguish it from the skirt and sleeves.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

Corset may imply the practice of waist training or body shaping.
Her corset regimen was part of her daily routine.
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Nov 05, 2023

Bodice

The close-fitting upper part of a dress, covering the chest and back above the waist.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Corset

A corset is a support garment commonly worn to hold and train the torso into a desired shape, traditionally a smaller waist or larger bottom, for aesthetic or medical purposes (either for the duration of wearing it or with a more lasting effect), or support the breasts. Both men and women are known to wear corsets, though this item was for many years an integral part of women's wardrobes.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

The fitted part of a dress that extends from the waist to the shoulder.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Corset

A woman's tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure.
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Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

A woman's laced outer garment, worn like a vest over a blouse.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

A close-fitting undergarment, often reinforced by stays, worn to support and shape the waistline, hips, and breasts.
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Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

(Obsolete) A corset.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

A medieval outer garment, especially a laced jacket or bodice.
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Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

A sleeveless shirt for women, sometimes provided with detachable sleeves.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

To enclose in or as if in a corset.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

Blouse; any shirt for women, particularly the upper part of a two-piece dress or European folk costume.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

A woman's foundation garment, reinforced with stays, that supports the waistline, hips and bust.
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Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

The upper portion of a women's one-piece dress, equivalent to a shirt.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

(historical) A tight-fitting gown or basque worn by both men and women during the Middle Ages.
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Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

Underbodice: an undershirt for women, particularly a corset or other undershirt stiffened with whalebone.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

A regulation that limited the growth of British banks' interest-bearing deposits.
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Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

A kind of under waist stiffened with whalebone, etc., worn esp. by women; a corset; stays.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

(transitive) To enclose in a corset; to wear a corset.
Mabel dreaded the upcoming ball and the preliminary corseting it would entail.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

A close-fitting outer waist or vest forming the upper part of a woman's dress, or a portion of it.
Her bodice half way she unlaced.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Corset

(figuratively) To restrict or confine.
"I will not remain corseted by your notions of what is and is not proper!" she exclaimed.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

Part of a dress above the waist
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Corset

In the Middle Ages, a gown or basque of which the body was close fitting, worn by both men and women.
Fiza Rafique
Aug 16, 2019

Bodice

Bodice can mean the part of a costume or dress that resembles a bodice in form or function.
The ballerina's costume featured a stiffened bodice.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Corset

An article of dress inclosing the chest and waist worn (chiefly by women) to support the body or to modify its shape; stays.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

To inclose in corsets.
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

A woman's close-fitting foundation garment
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Aug 16, 2019

Corset

Dress with a corset
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Aug 16, 2019

Common Curiosities

What is a bodice?

A bodice is the part of a woman's dress or top that covers the torso.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Can a bodice have boning like a corset?

Yes, some bodices have boning for structure but less than a corset.
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Nov 05, 2023

Are bodices comfortable?

Bodices are designed to be comfortable and allow movement.
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Nov 05, 2023

Can men wear corsets?

Yes, corsets can be worn by men for fashion or for waist shaping.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Are corsets bad for your health?

If worn properly and not too tight, corsets are generally not harmful.
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Nov 05, 2023

Do bodices require special care when washing?

It depends on the material, but they often require gentle care.
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Nov 05, 2023

How do you put on a corset?

By wrapping around the torso and tightening the laces or fastening hooks.
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Nov 05, 2023

What is a corset?

A corset is a structured garment worn to shape and support the torso.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Are corsets still popular?

Yes, for fashion, historical reenactment, and waist training.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

What materials are bodices made of?

They can be made from cotton, silk, linen, or synthetic fabrics.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Are bodices and corsets the same?

No, a bodice is part of a dress, while a corset is a separate undergarment for shaping.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Is a corset worn over or under clothing?

Traditionally under, but modern styles can be worn over clothing as fashion statements.
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Nov 05, 2023

Do all dresses have a bodice?

Most traditional dresses have a bodice section, but some modern styles may not.
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Nov 05, 2023

What materials are corsets made of?

Corsets are usually made from stronger fabrics like cotton, satin, or leather with boning for structure.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 05, 2023

Can bodices be altered?

Yes, they can be altered for a better fit.
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Nov 05, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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