We are just as excited as you are about Bridgerton season two now on Netflix — and to binge-watch it while daydreaming about twirling around a ballroom and holding hands with royalty. But what about needing a team to tie us into structured corsets, curl our hair in perfect ringlets and dress us up in gowns? According to the show’s newest leading lady, the reality of this is not nearly as glamorous as it seems.
Simone Ashley, who plays the role of Kate Sharma, the newcomer in town, recently shared with Glamour UK what it’s like (hint: not comfortable) to step into Regency-era looks in 2022.
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The painful side of corsets
While we may love the contrast of Regency-style looks to today’s fashion, achieving the cinched-waist and snatched-bodice looks that many women of the time were obliged to obtain comes at a price. Ashley shared the raw truth behind the iconic looks with Glamour UK.
When it comes to wearing a corset, Ashely said of the experience: “That was… interesting,” she told the interviewer with a grin. Because of the type of dress, Ashley had to have a wardrobe crew help her get into costume, “because when you’re in a corset, you can’t put your shoes on.” And, once you’re in a corset, you’re in it.
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Not only can you not put your own shoes on, but the leading ladies also lost lunch privileges in order to fit snug into the corsets — Ashley learned this lesson the hard way on her first day on set.
“On my first day, I was like, ‘OK, first day as a leading lady, got to eat lots of food, be really energised.’ So, I had this massive portion of salmon and that’s when I needed to be sick, basically because I was wearing the corset,” she said. “I realised when you wear the corset, you just don’t eat. It changes your body. I had a smaller waist very momentarily. Then the minute you stop wearing it, you’re just back to how your body is. I had a lot of pain with the corset, too, I think I tore my shoulder at one point!”
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While the dresses may look beautiful, and their corseted waists may look flattering, we would much rather lay in bed eating popcorn while watching the show, daydreaming about a world where these looks weren’t so painful — because beauty isn’t always worth the pain.
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