Bodice [bah-dihs] is a noun meaning EITHER "a lace-up vest or lace-up girdle worn over a blouse or chemise" OR "the part of a woman's clothing between neck and waist, often form-fitting."
The term is found in usage in 1566 (according to my Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymolgy--no household complete without one ;-) and at that point refers to the 2nd usage I listed. The first usage is a bit more specific (and seems to be later) but the whole concept (and spelling) doesn't get firmed up until the 1800s.
The inspiration for this Word of the Day came from the Word Wenches' discussion of "bodice-rippers" as an "urban myth" or reality. Check out their site for more info. :-)
Here's a sentence (or three):
"Oh, Hell," she muttered, pushing him back with a firm hand and slitting the top lace of her bodice so that her breasts seemed to leap free from their fabric confines. She would make him replace the lacing later...
Eh, I'd want to check the bedpost thing to see if it'd jive with the time of bodices (vesty-type) being popular, but it's a sample, nonetheless. ;-)