The corselette has been called by many names: corsolette, all-in-one and latterly body suit. The all-in-one describes the garment well (although in America it suggests a corselette with panty-legs), however, I prefer the name corselette, since it sounds rather feminine.

Spirella made corselettes for much of its history although the traditionalists might prefer the combination of girdle or corset and long-line brassiere. Indeed, in a similar fashion to Spencer's Spen-all, Spirella also made a corselette that was in one piece at the back but came round at the front to form a separate brassiere and girdle or corset section as shown below.

From 1958, and unusually for Spirella straying from their beloved numbers, the Escapade corselette.  


The 700 series corselette (1960) was the basis for the 1960 range. The 700 itself was a much stronger garment than its derivatives that would appear in the late 1960's and early 1970's. 


The 709 on the right  echoes a style that was used by several manufacturers where the back of the garment is in one piece but the front brassiere and corset/girdle are separate. 

The corselette was popular with brides and for wearing with evening dresses. The examples below show the lighter garments from the end of the 1960's. The models on the right are essentially identical, however, the name changes from the 707 to the Coppelia 91. The Coppelia range was a departure of Spirella from its strict made-to-measure policy, and the Coppelia range could be purchased direct from the Spirella brochure.

Spirella corselettes 707 from 1966 and 1969. On the right, the identical but 'off the peg' Coppelia from 1968.

The subject of James Bond was mentioned in the pantie-girdle section. The picture below prompted my husband to remark that, surely this had to be the interview board from SMERSH that selected the Russian female spy to seduce James Bond in the famous film based on Ian Fleming's novel "From Russia with Love".

In fact, this photo comes from the Spirella Company's files of 1964, not from the KGB.  In some respects it would have made a really good scene for a James Bond movie !

Corselettes at the Swimming Pool

Spirella latterly experimented with clothes and other accessories including swimsuits. If you can make a powerful corselette, you can design a swimsuit to shape the figure and they did so very successfully. Some of Spirella's swimsuits are far stronger than any foundation made today. They zipped and hooked at the back, and beneath the trendy helanca fabric lay layers of powerful elastic. Boning, hooks and a back or side zip were all part of the suit. Concealed lacing was not a Spirella option, however, it was used by a number of actresses in the 1950's.