A bodice is an article of clothing for women, covering the body from the neck to the waist. The term comes from pair of bodies, in dressmaking, the term waist was also used. During wear, the parts might be connected by hooks and eyes, one-piece construction became more common after 1900 due to the trend for looser, more simply-constructed clothing with narrower skirts. To achieve a shape and support the bust, the bodice was frequently stiffened with bents. The bodice was different from the corset of the time because it was intended to be worn over the other garments, in earlier periods, bodices and corsets were laced in spiral fashion, with one continuous lace. In later periods, both were laced like the tennis shoe, with eyelets facing one another. This was more convenient for women who had to dress themselves, one mid-19th-century style included the Agnes Sorel bodice, named after 15th-century royal mistress Agnes Sorel. This style was a day wear bodice, with a square cut neckline that had a front and back. Bodice continues in use to refer to the portion of a one- or two-piece dress. The bodice of a dress was called the corsage in the 19th century, bodices survive into modern times in the traditional or revived folk dress of many European countries. They are also seen today at Society for Creative Anachronism events or a Renaissance Fair. Dirndl Arnold, Janet, Patterns of Fashion, the cut and construction of clothes for men and women 1560-1620, steele, Valerie, The Corset, A Cultural History Yale University Press,2001
Line art drawing of a bodice
Countrywoman's bodice, 19th century (Detail of The Hay-Harvest by Joseph Julien).