Many of my readers wish to start with an affordable OTR corset, but they may feel moral or economical obligations to purchase from the US or UK, as working conditions are generally better regulated here than in developing countries. For conscientious corset shoppers, the following list features some well-known corset manufacturers or businesses that have at one point or another stated that their corsets are produced locally, and are highly likely to employ corsetieres under fair working conditions.
UK Corset Businesses:
Axfords Corsets is one of the UK’s oldest corset companies, having been in business since 1880. Their standard-sized corsets are made by a team of corsetieres in their facility in Brighton England. They still have a competitive edge on the industry due to their affordable prices, and their plain-weave coutil is milled in England exclusively for Axfords. Axfords also sells some men’s corsets that still maintain a masculine physique.
Vollers: The Corset Company has been around since 1899 and also employs corsetieres in Portsmouth, England. Their corsets are usually standard-sized but they do offer a made-to-measure service for a markup. As of July 2013, they have also established a lifetime guarantee on all of their corsets.
Morgana Femme Couture is a relatively recent corset manufacturer, but they have made a huge impact on the corset industry with their affordable prices for custom couture pieces. All of their corsets are made in their UK atelier, including their ready-to-wear, standard-sized pieces available from their Etsy shop.
US Corset Businesses:
Romantasy Exquisite Corsetry has been in business since 1990, and the president, Ann Grogan, is one of the world’s most respected modern corset mentors and educators. Romantasy offers both in-stock corsets and custom corsets, standard-sized or made to measure. Every corset is quality-checked and wrapped by Ann herself. The Romantasy corsetiere team proudly featured notables such as the late Michael Garrod (True Grace Corsets) and Ruth Johnson (BR Creations), and Romantasy continues to employ talented corsetieres in the US today.
Versatile Corsets had its beginnings in “Versatile Fashions by Ms. Antoinette” in the 1990’s. After the company had switched hands to Cameo Designs some years ago, their quality has only improved and they’ve dressed performers like Mosh, Ru Paul and Dita Von Teese. Versatile’s corsetieres have always been based in California, USA, and have over 20 years corset-making experience. They offer both standard-sized and made-to-measure corsets, and carry a small stock of ready-to-wear pieces.
Period Corsets employs a team of corset makers based in Seattle to make some of the most gorgeous historically-accurate corsets I’ve ever seen, basing their pieces off genuine vintage patterns. They have made some modern/contemporary corsets for the likes of Madonna, Fergie and the base corsets in Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and they are also regularly employed by opera houses – but they also offer standard-sized and custom-fit corsets from 16th to 20th centuries on their regular site and their Etsy shop.
As of the last several years, Isabella Corsetry‘s pieces have been hand made in California. Isabella is ‘home’ to the famous Josephine underbust, which is said to be the curviest of OTR corsets (having the largest hip spring I know of) and is also strong enough to stand up to daily wear. The business offers ready-to-wear corsets in a variety of colours and styles, and also accommodates custom/ made-to-measure orders.
Dark Garden Corsetry & Couture was created in 1989 by Autumn Adamme, and like Ms. Grogan she also employs a team of talented corsetieres in California, having included respected designers like Anachronism in Action and Pop Antique. Dark Garden offers corsets for men and women alike and accommodate both ready-to-wear and custom-fit pieces, promoted by celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Kelly Osbourne.
*Please note that I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company in my Guided Galleries. This is for informational purposes only. Please contact the corset makers for more information about their locally made, ready-to-wear corsets. Tiddly links are Etsy affiliate links which help keep this site running and the galleries free for everyone.