French: godfather, comrade. A kind of false stomacher.

Instead of pinning the front edge of the robe onto a stomacher or the corset or lacing over it, women in the last quarter of the century adopted the convenient method of buttoning by sewing a compère in.

Imagine a stomacher cut in half vertically, each half sewn to one edge of the robe, and the two joined with buttons down the centre front. Alternatively, a hidden closure with hooks and eyes could be used.

Compère with hooks and eyes