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Review: Lara Mesh Underbust (Glamorous Corset)

This entry is a summary of the review video “Review: Lara Mesh Underbust (Glamorous Corset)”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here. See the quick stats in the table below the video, and my written personal opinion at the bottom!

Quick Stats:

Fit, lengthCustom drafted to my measurements: Center front is 12.5 inches long, princess seam is 10 inches (5.5 inches from the waist up, 4.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 11 inches and the center back is 12.5 inches long. Rib spring is 7″, hip spring is 10″. Ribs are relatively conical and brings in the floating ribs, hip very slightly curved.
MaterialEssentially one layer of open weave fishnet style fabric. Vertical panels at center front, back, and boning channels are black cotton twill.
Pattern6 panel pattern (same pattern as their other Lara underbusts in different fabrics).Panels 1-2 converge towards lower tummy, panels 3-4 give space over the hip, panel 5 has a bit of curve for both the back and hip, and panel 6 is fairly straight.
ConstructionStraightforward single-layer construction; the mesh fabric is sandwiched between the boning channels to reinforce the seams and provide a place for the bones to go.
Waist tapeVery apparent waist tape present of the inside of the corset, 1 inch wide black grosgrain ribbon.
BindingBias strips of black cotton twill, machine stitched on both sides. Stitched in the ditch on the outside, and edge serged and stitched flat on the inside (probably to reduce bulk). Garter tabs also included.
Modesty panelBack modesty panel is 5.5 inches wide (covering lacing gap of about ~4 inches). Made from 2 layers of black cotton twill, unstiffened, stitched to the side (easily removable if desired). There’s also a small modesty placket in the front, also made from black cotton twill (1/4″ wide).
BuskStandard flexible busk (1/2″ on each side), 11 inches long, 5 loops and pins with the bottom two closer together for better control at the lower tummy. Adjacent spiral steels add some support.
Boning26 bones total in this corset, 13 on each side (not including busk or modesty panel). Double boned on the seams (5 seams on each side, so 10 spiral steels on each side). There’s also the spiral bone by the busk (see my thoughts at the bottom for more on that) and two flat steels sandwiching the grommets (these are stainless steel so they’re less magnetic than mild carbon steels.
GrommetsThere are 24, two-part size #0 grommets (12 on each side). They have a small/medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in silver. Unfortunately a couple of the grommets at the waistline are loose / wobbly. (See Final Thoughts for more)
LacesThe laces are your standard workhorse of the lacing world: 1/4″ wide black flat nylon shoelace-style laces, which are extremely long, with a little bit of spring or stretch, and they’re abrasion-resistant.
Price & size range The Lara Mesh is available in sizes 18″ through 40″ and priced at $84 USD. Glamorous Corset has generously provided a discount for my followers, which you can find through this link!

Final Thoughts:

The first thing that stood out to me about the Lara Mesh is that it’s a lower-price point affordable OTR open-weave mesh corset, but it manages to retain its relatively conical / straight rib silhouette. Normally in fishnet-style corsets, the wearer’s ribs push out the corset to give a rounded silhouette. This doesn’t happen with fine-weave mesh, but fine-weave is usually a less cool and breezy option. Part of the reason that this corset retains its conical silhouette (apart from the pattern, obviously) is its heavy use of double-boning channels, leaving relatively little space between the panels for the ribs to allow expansion. I surmise that the smaller the corset (i,e. the less space between the panels), the more this retaining of the conical silhouette is true — and the larger the corset, the wider the panels, and the more likely the ribs are to show some roundness. But it’s an interesting observation nonetheless!

One odd choice in construction includes the spiral steel bones adjacent to the busk – spiral bones only contribute to maintaining vertical tension (helping to reduce wrinkling or collapsing of the fabric) but they tend not to add rigidity and flatness the way flat steels do. The purpose of the busk is not only for vertical tension, but it provides quick access in and out of the corset (obviously) and also flattens the tummy in the center front. The purpose of adjacent flat steels by the busk is to further flatten the tummy, so flat steels should always be used adjacent to the busk.

It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a corset with grommet issues, but unfortunately this corset did show some wobbly grommets right at the waistline. This might be due to less fabric for the grommet to “bite” into (compared to the all-cotton or velvet Lara corsets, assuming that all corsets have the panel-6 fabric extend right to the grommet system), and the mesh fabric obviously doesn’t have much to bite into. Another possibility is simply the property of the fishnet fabric itself being more flexible and allowing distortion of the back panel. This is not a slight against the company; as my fishnet style corsets from other brands have also eventually had grommet issues. If panel 6 were made entirely cotton twill and the grommet system were reinforced perhaps with one more layer, the grommets would have less chance of pulling out. But again, I’m not personally faulting Glamorous Corset, because to my memory, all of the curvy fishnet OTR corsets I’ve owned for 3+ months, regardless of the brand, had at least one grommet pull out.

Whether you go for the mesh or another finish for the Lara Underbust, Rachel from Glamorous Corset has generously provided a discount code for my followers.

Have you tried this mesh corset or another mesh piece from Glamorous Corset? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below!

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Review: Emerald Queen Art Bespoke Silver Ribbon Corset

This entry is a summary of the review video “Review: Custom Silver Ribbon Cincher (Court of the Emerald Queen)”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here. See the quick stats in the table below the video, and my written personal opinion at the bottom!

Quick Stats:

Fit, length Custom drafted to my measurements: Center front is 13 inches long, princess seam is 11 inches (5.5 inches from the waist up, 5.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 10.5 inches and the center back is 13.5 inches long — longer than the average ribbon corset.
Rib spring is 7″, hip spring is 12″. Ribs are relatively conical and brings in the floating ribs, hip is more curved than usual in a ribbon cincher.
Material Essentially one layer of synthetic ribbon. Vertical panels at center front, side, and back are lined in black herringbone coutil.
Pattern Ribbon cinchers may be considered one of two ways: all horizontal pieces are considered a single pattern piece (in which case there are ~2 main “pattern pieces”) or you can consider every piece of ribbon its own pattern piece (in which case this corset has 14 “pattern pieces”) and the vertical ribbons don’t necessarily affect the shape.
Construction Straightforward single-layer construction; the horizontal ribbons are sandwiched between layers of coutil in the vertical panels at the center front, side, and center back.
Waist tape By default, most ribbon cinchers do not have a waist tape – however, if one single long piece of ribbon were used at the waistline (not cut into individual pieces at the seams), this would essentially function identical to a waist tape.
Binding Instead of separate binding sewn onto the vertical panels, Urszula chose to fold under the ribbon and stitched tidily to make a kind of “self binding” and finish the raw edges. The horizontal ribbons don’t need any binding as their edges are finished.
Modesty panel Back modesty panel is boned and suspended on the laces, 5.5″ wide, made from two layers of black coutil. A vertical piece of ribbon runs down the center so that if the corset were worn with a >2.5 inch gap, the modesty panel would match the rest of the corset. The modesty placket in front is 3/4″ wide, made from matching ribbon, and the center front is expertly mirror-matched (a great attention to detail).
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ on each side), 11 inches long, 5 loops and pins with the bottom two closer together for better control at the lower tummy. Adjacent flat steels add more rigidity.
Boning 16 bones total in this corset, 8 on each side (not including busk or modesty panel). On each side: one flat steel adjacent to the busk, 3 flat steels in the center back panel, and 4 spiral steels all butted next to one another in the side panel.
Grommets There are 28, two-part size #0 grommets (14 on each side). They have a medium flange and are spaced a bit closer together at the waistline, and finished in silver. They may be Prym brand 2-part eyelets, which are high quality and tend to roll nicely and not pull out.
Laces The laces are 1/2″ wide black double-faced (DF) satin lacing. They have no spring or stretch, they are lovely and flat so they wear nicely under clothing, the satin is a bit slippery but it holds bows and knots well (if tied properly).
Price The price for a custom ribbon cincher from the Emerald Queen Art ranges from $170 – $250 USD, and of course since this is a custom commission, you can choose any ribbon that Urszula can source, or possibly provide your own if it’s high enough quality. You can start a custom commission by messaging Emerald Queen Art on Etsy.

Final Thoughts:

I’m going to get right to the point: this is my new favorite ribbon corset. As I progress through my corset journey, I find more and more that I’m gravitating towards more lightweight, flexible, breezier corset with an expertly patterned silhouette designed for cinching while accommodating my body’s natural idiosyncrasies, instead of working against them or forcing my body into a silhouette not right for my frame. And this custom ribbon corset felt almost like a second skin the moment I put it on.

Most ribbon cinchers are somewhat U-shaped in silhouette and are not designed to accommodate any convex curves around the ribcage or dramatically wrap around a hip shelf, but Urszula (the Emerald Queen herself) has somehow discovered a way to do it.

I love how Urszula mirror matched the vertical ribbons in the center front and center back – a fantastic attention to detail. It might seem like a small thing to others, but to incorporate a modesty placket in the front (thus creating a structurally asymmetric garment on the left and right halves) but still a thoughtfully mirrored center front aesthetically requires some planning and careful placement.

One thing that I love about this corset is the flexible busk and how it plays with the pattern and silhouette of the corset itself, creating a soft inward curve at the center front while still keeping the lower tummy relatively flat. Some of you may remember my previous post on how different corsets create different silhouettes in the side-view, which many consider a feature and not a bug. While I usually like a corset with a more rigid busk and straight front, I have to admit that the profile in this corset and the slight curve in the front is both comfortable and flattering on my figure.

While the modesty panel contains plastic bones instead of steel bones, I don’t mind this — I’ve seen plastic bones in modesty panels of other corset brands (and in fact, in previous sewing tutorials, I have used plastic myself to stiffen modesty panels). The primary concern around plastic bones is that they may warp or kink when put under a strong curve on the body — but when it comes to modesty panels, they typically don’t curve on the body much at all, unless you count the gentle swoop of the lumbar curve. The biggest advantage to plastic bones in a modesty panel is that the panel can be removed and hand-washed on a regular basis without worry of the bones rusting with repeated exposure to water.

Emerald Queen Art has extremely affordable prices for custom (it’s a well-observed trend that many corsetieres in Poland tend to offer lower prices), where her custom corsets can be less than many higher-end OTR corsets. This would be a great entry-point option for someone just starting to dip their toe into the world of bespoke corsetry. You can start a custom commission by messaging Emerald Queen Art on Etsy.

Do you have a piece by The Court of the Emerald Queen? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below!

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Pirate Fashions “Buxom Bodice” Corset Review

"Buxom Bodice" by Pirate Fashions - price ranges from $139 to $159 USD.

This entry is a summary of the review video “Review: Buxom Bodice Underbust Corset (Pirate Fashions)”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is 13.5 inches long, princess seam is 11.5 inches (5 inches from the waist up, 6.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 12 inches and the center back is very high at 16.5 inches long.
Rib spring is 4″, lower hip spring is 9″ (but can be expanded to 14″ or more!). Ribs are very conical and brings in the floating ribs – this corset would fit someone with a long torso and pear shape best.
Material Two main layers (poly brocade fashion fabric, cotton twill lining).
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 2,3,4 and 5 all have a little bit of ease over the hip. Panel 2 is cut very long to create the shoulder straps, and panels 4, 5, and 6 are high to create the high back. Layers were flatlined and treated as one; panels were assembled with seam allowances facing inward and topstitched. Internal boning channels were laid down on the lining side and straddle the seams. Single boned on the seams (for sizes 20″ through 32″).
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape made from satin ribbon, exposed on the lining of the corset, secured down at each boning channel. It’s a partial-width waist tape, starting from panel 2 and extending to panel 5.
Binding Commercially-sourced black satin bias tape, machine stitched on both sides. Also includes 6 garter loops (garters sold separately).
Modesty panel 4 modesty panels in this corset (large one at the back, 8.5″ wide, will cover back lacing gap of at least 5 inches), front narrow modesty panel (3” wide), and two small panels to protect hips under the hip ties (widest part 4.5” wide). All of them are finished in the same black brocade fashion fabric and cotton twill lining. (See Final Thoughts for extra details.)
Busk No busk – the front is a lacing panel, 24 grommets. (see Final Thoughts for getting into and out of this corset!)
Boning 18 bones total in this corset, 9 on each side. Mostly single boned on the seams, and mostly flat steel bones (exception being the bones on the side seam that run over the hip). Sizes 34-40 are double boned (they have 24 bones).
Grommets There are 32, two-part size #0 grommets (16 on each side). They have a small/medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in silver. They’ve rolled nicely and they’re not pulling out, but I don’t tightlace in this corset (it’s a gentle reduction on me). A few grommets catch on the laces (the laces get “fuzzy” but they haven’t snapped).
Laces The laces are black round nylon cord. They have no spring or stretch, but they hold bows and knots well enough, and they are definitely long enough (almost too long!).
Price Available in the red, blue, green, brown, silver, and black brocade. All colorways are available in waist sizes 22″ through 38″, while the black brocade is also available in two extra sizes (20″ and 40″). The price is $139 USD for sizes 20-32 but the price goes up another $20 (up to $159 USD) for sizes 34-40, because these larger sizes are fully double boned.

 

Final Thoughts:

The Buxom Bodice somewhat qualifies as a waistcoat corset, as it has a high back and flexible shoulder straps.

"Buxom Bodice" by Pirate Fashions - price ranges from $139 to $159 USD.
“Buxom Bodice” by Pirate Fashions – price ranges from $139 to $159 USD.

I tend to see plenty of OTR corsets that feature halter straps, but not too many that include a high back and adjustable shoulder straps that can either go straight back or be criss-crossed for varying support. The high back prevents any back squidge (“muffin top”) whatsoever, and the straps pull the shoulders back to correct posture and prevent rounding of the shoulders. If this corset has the right measurements for you, it might even be an okay support garment if you’re looking to avoid postural kyphosis, at a fraction of the price of other corsets with shoulder straps. (Of course, if you have a medical condition and you need a therapeutic brace, please ask your doctor first!)

Because this corset is so long in the waist, I wouldn’t recommend this for someone who is short of stature/ short-waisted and spends the majority of their time sitting down, as the top edge will push up and lift your bust (hence “Buxom Bodice”) and the bottom edge may hit your lap. This corset best suits those with a longer torso – and because this corset is longer from the waist down than it is from the waist up, it would especially suit someone with a high waistline / deep pelvis. It’s very narrow through the ribs while the hips can be freely expanded, so it best suits straight or pear-shaped corseters.

While the chart above mentions that the hip ties can be expanded an additional 5 inches, in reality they can be expanded a bit more than that – however the little modesty panels under the hip lacing area will not stretch across the gap. I quite like the panels under the hip ties especially, as this is a fairly unique feature. (I’ve reviewed plenty of corsets with hip ties but this is the first that features cute panels underneath to protect the hips from the grommets/laces). But these panels can be tucked back or removed with a seam ripper if you dislike them.

The biggest issue I found with this corset is the time it takes to get the corset on and off, particularly because it doesn’t have a front busk (Pirate Fashions explained that they wanted to stay true to the Piratey aesthetic). How I put this corset on:

  1. I first loosen the laces in the back by about 8 inches.
  2. Then I undo the lacing knot at the bottom of the center front, and unthread the laces to about waist length.
  3. Once the front is loosened enough, I can step into the bodice and pull it up over my hips, and slip my arms through the arm holes.
  4. I quickly rethread the front of the corset (I might skip a few grommets for speed) and tighten just enough to test that everything is sitting properly on my body. I needed several try-ons to get the straps to a comfortable snugness. (This is so much easier with another person helping!)
  5. Once the straps are at the right length and the bodice is positioned properly, I’ll rethread the front properly (not skipping grommets), knot it off at the bottom, tighten up the front and pull it closed, and tuck the “bunny ears” up into the top edge of my corset.
  6. Then I lace up the back like a normal corset so it’s comfortably snug.

It’s definitely a process to get into and out of, and does take longer than a busk – but it does get easier after several wears!

Do you have this corset, or another corset from Pirate Fashions? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below! See the Buxom Bodice and other themed clothing on Pirate Fashions here.