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Dark Garden Cincher Review

This post is a summary of the “Dark Garden Cincher Review” video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:


Fit, length Center front is 11 inches long, the side-front (princess seam) is 9.5 inches, the side seam is 9 inches, and the enter back is also 12 inches. Circumferential measurements: waist is 22″, ribcage 28″ (measured about 4 inches above the waist), high hip 32″ (measured about 5 inches below the waist). Gives an hourglass silhouette; a very slightly rounded ribcage and moderate curve.
Material Fashion fabric is silk/rayon brocade with a black diamond motif, and the strength fabric (lining) is densely-woven black canvas.
Construction 4 panel pattern. It seems as though all layers were flatlined for each panel, panels were assembled with seam allowances facing outward, and these seams were then covered with external boning channels (2 bones per seam).
Binding Bias strips of matching black diamond brocade, machine stitched on both sides, with a slight topstitch visible on the outside. 6 garter tabs.
Waist tape 0.75 inch wide black cotton twill waist tape, exposed on the lining side of the corset. It starts at the seam between panels 1-2, and ends at the center back seam.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is around 5″ wide, finished in the same fashion fabric (black diamond brocade) and black canvas lining. Stiffened with 4 steel bones and left separate to slip under the laces when worn (or you can choose to not wear the modesty panel). There is a teensy seam in the center front which is not a modesty placket per se, but it does help prevent a visible gap between the busk.
Busk 10.5 inches long with 5 pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk (half inch on each side). There is also a 1/2″ wide flat steel on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 18 total bones not including busk. 1/4″ wide bones, double boned on the seams. The side seams must be flat steel since they are pre-bent. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side, as well as one 1/2″ flat steel by the busk, making a total of 9 bones on each side.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #00 with medium flange, finished in black and set equidistantly. A few splits on the underside, but for the most part they’ve rolled nicely and don’t catch on the laces. Washers are large to prevent the grommets from falling out.
Laces 3/8″ black double faced satin ribbon. Zero spring. They glide well through the laces.
Price Available from sizes 18-38, and at the time that I’m writing this review, the corselette costs $315 for plain black poplin, and $365 if you want an identical style to this (with black diamond brocade).
Cincher: Dark Garden. Photo: Remedy Photography. Model: Me (Lucy Corsetry)
Cincher: Dark Garden. Photo: Remedy Photography. Model: Me (Lucy Corsetry)

This is the second of four reviews of Dark Garden’s ready-to-wear signature corset line, including the Corselette, the classic Valentine and the Risqué Valentine

While I normally categorize a “cincher” as being a shorter underbust corset (8″ or less on the side seam), this cincher fits average length torsos very well and extends down 5″ below the waist. The thing that I noticed about this corset in particular is how incredibly quickly it seasoned to my body and how comfortable it is. As this was a sample and I didn’t know which fashion fabrics to expect, I was really pleasantly surprised with the black diamond brocade – it looked polished and professional, and it would have been easy to add this to a business suit. I did a photo shoot on the hottest day in June with this corset, and found that this cincher was surprisingly more cool and breathable than I had anticipated.

But one of the things I appreciate most about Dark Garden is their ethics. Every one of their corsets are made from start to finish in the US and they take enormous pride in their construction, which is evident in the pattern matching in their lace or brocade corsets for a luxurious final effect.

The Cincher can be viewed on Dark Garden’s website HERE.

2 thoughts on “Dark Garden Cincher Review

  1. I bought a Dark Garden corset in 2011 at their SF shop.
    I was surprised at the… low quality compared to the price. I had been following Dark Garden’s works since roughly 2005, and had been in love with them for a long time. So when I arrived at the store and began trying corsets on, I was shocked that they no longer used coutil. The basic black cincher is 2 layers of cotton poplin, which has a lot of stretch. The 4 panel pattern did not conform to my body at all and the corset had massive wrinkles running from the sides of the waist to the center front and back.
    Despite the drawbacks however, I find that I wear this corset WAY more than my incredibly well made ones from Morgana Femme, as it is insanely light, springy, and comfortable. The stretch fo the poplin makes it conform to my body very well, it laces up very easily, and the silhouette it creates is really nice looking. I was rather surprised that the things I didn’t like about the corset (the light weight and stretch of the fabric I consider very cheap compared to the coutil of other corsetmakers) are the things which make me like it the most. I am quite happy with the purchase which was $250 in 2011, but consider the $315+ price now to be absurd. The corsets are still full of wrinkles, laying flat or on the body! I’m surprised to see the ones they sent you fit so much better, as every customer in the shop every time I’ve visited has had serious wrinkling issues, and I have seen enormous amounts of complaint about the way DG corset prices have skyrocketed while the materials and pattern quality have actually declined. The stitching on mine is even slightly sloppy. Nothing like the creations I adored so much in high school.

    1. Here are some examples of what I mean:–63.jpg

      After almost 4 years my corset still has the same wrinkles, though they’ve faded a bit as the corset has stretched (over 1″ in the waist, despite only occasional wear. Maybe 2 dozen times in 4 years).

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