Style Glossary: Throw Me a Bone, Here

Once upon a time, the strapless dress was flimsy, structureless, and apt to fall down. Then, along came something called boning, which gave the dress form, and girls all over the world rejoiced! The end.

Okay, so that’s not quite how the story goes. Boning, originally used in corsetry, is a fossil compared to the modern strapless dress, and was originally made of you guessed it bone. Nowadays, boning is a bit more vegan-friendly; it’s the structure-enhancing flexible plastic strips that you’ll feel sewn inside the bodice of many a well-fitted garment, from the strapless dress, to the bustier-style top and more. So, next time you wear an item with this elegant endoskeleton, you can feel grateful to the very marrow of your being for this upstanding detail!


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  1. Avatar
    veronika 06/28/2010 at 3:27 pm #

    that peaches and cream dress is absolutely gorgeous.

    and boning is definitely the way to go if you’re trying to slim your middle! quick and easy and painless.

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    Dani 06/28/2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Perfect for a summer wedding! Love these.

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    Liz, Love. 06/28/2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Those are all so cute, but the debate on which is my favorite is between peaches and cream and living in luxury.


  4. Avatar
    Richard (ModCloth) 06/28/2010 at 8:35 pm #

    Good to see that boning is no longer a ‘skeleton’ in the closet!

  5. Avatar
    Sophie 06/28/2010 at 9:11 pm #

    ^ props to that pun Richard!
    And boning is awesome 😀 The peaches and cream dress is so beautiful!

  6. Avatar
    Rosie Cooper 06/28/2010 at 9:12 pm #

    love the peaches @cream dress

  7. Avatar
    Alyse 06/29/2010 at 1:04 am #

    How interesting! I’m wearing a “boned” dress right now! And i had made a comment how much i loved how the boning slimmed my midsection and gave my bosom extra support

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    Jacky 06/29/2010 at 8:59 am #

    love the first two dresses!

    Boning is greating for all figures, I’m really petite and most strapless would NOT stay up without it.

  9. Avatar
    Noel 01/16/2011 at 9:50 pm #

    ‘Boning’ wasn’t exactly bone – it was made from baleen, the toothy filters many whales have to collect minuscule krill out of mouthfuls of seawater. The fashion industry also highly valued ‘spermaceti’ — the oily substance found in the head of sperm whales — for use in cosmetics and perfumes. Who knew whales could have such impacts on fashion?

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