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4th and 5th Corset Seasoning Sessions

Firstly: why didn’t I record the 4th seasoning session on its own?

I actually did record it, but my memory card malfunctioned and had to be reformatted, so I lost that material. Rather than put on different clothing and “pretend” to have day 4 all over again, I decided to just go ahead and post a “double update” because this seasoning mini-series is intended to be as natural as possible. Hopefully that hasn’t confused everyone!

Is it possible to break in your corset faster, so that it’s fully seasoned in less than two weeks?

Theoretically, yes. If, for instance, you only receive your corset one week before a big event, you may be able to double up on your seasoning sessions. Although different corsets may require different break-in durations (depending on their construction and how “tough” they are), it’s possible to squeeze two different seasoning sessions in one day – you can wear your corset for a couple of hours in the morning before work, and a couple hours again in the evening after work. I tend to do this with my own corsets whenever possible, and I feel okay doing this in my corsets because my body is accustomed to wearing corsets. However, remember that for a first-timer, the seasoning period is just as important for you body as it is for the corset – if you’re not accustomed to wearing corsets more than 1-2 hours a day, then two break-in sessions several days in a row may leave you feeling a bit sore. Just remember to pay attention to your body and ease off the corseting if you feel achy.

This is, of course, if you’re seasoning your corset by the Romantasy method (to which I tend to prescribe).  But if you poke around the web, you may be able to find different methods of breaking in your corset. Some of these methods may be as good as the Romantasy method, while others I disagree with. For instance, a number of years ago I saw one person say that one should pull their corset as tight as possible, for as long as bearable, the very first time they put the corset on. I would never personally do this, nor would I condone that others do this. It can result in injury to yourself or damage to the corset.

How do I feel about brides who don’t break in their corsets before their wedding day?

IMO, that would be a very good way to not enjoy your wedding. You’re going to be wearing a new, stiff garment for an essentially all-day event, and you’ll likely be expected to eat, drink bubbly, dance, and entertain people. If you’re not used to wearing a corset and you try to pull something like this, it’s not impossible to get skin issues and bruising, not to mention rib or hip soreness and/or numbness, or an upset stomach. Every once in awhile I get a comment or message from a woman who says, “I only wore a corset once in my life (for my wedding) and it was the most uncomfortable experience ever!” and I inwardly groan because it only contributes to the myth that all corsets must be painful. In reality, these issues are USER ERROR, and if they had just taken the time to get used to the corset (and have the corset get used to you) before the event, all this could have been avoided.

How do I know when my corset is seasoned enough?

Break-in durations vary from corset to corset, and different people also consider their corsets seasoned after different times.  Orchard Corset had mentioned that after wearing one of their satin underbust corsets 5-7 times (which would be perhaps 10-15 hours) it should feel seasoned. On the other end of the spectrum, Contour Corsets says that their corsets are seasoned after 100 or so hours. I try to wear my corset a minimum of 30 hours before I call it seasoned, even if it feels well-seasoned before this time. Tougher corsets may take longer than this to feel seasoned, though.

Although it’s sometimes hard to put this into words, this is a general list of things I look for and feel for:

  • The corset feels as if it’s smoothing around my body and the top/bottom edges are not dramatically flaring away from my body.
  • The corset is more comfortable, warming to my body and becoming softer and less “crispy”.
  • My muscles are not fighting the corset anymore; my body is relaxing and settling into its neutral posture in the corset.
  • My skin doesn’t feel sore or tender, I don’t have any particular areas where the corset is putting considerably more pressure than others (apart from the obvious higher tension at the waistline compared to, say, the hips. What I mean to say is that I don’t feel that one spot on my ribs feels particularly compressed more than another part, or I don’t really feel that the left side of my body is under more restriction than the right side, etc).
  • The corset becomes familiar and welcoming, as opposed to feeling like a restrictive foreign object that I have to fight off. In other words, both the corset and my own muscles become more complacent.

If you would like to see a close-up of how the corset looks on my body (to demonstrate how the seams look wobbly when the corset is off but look straight when the corset is worn), and other changes to the corset after the first 12-ish hours of wear, please see the video (starts at 3:45):

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3rd Day of Corset Seasoning – what to do during corseting?

Today, I’m answering some viewer questions before explaining how I feel after 6-ish hours of breaking in my corset:

Are you supposed to just sit still for two hours and not do anything while you’re breaking in your corset?

No, you don’t have to sit still. You can if you want to, or if you happen to be a pretty sedentary person to begin with. But however active you would like your lifestyle to be when you’re fully corseted, it’s a good idea to start practicing those activities while you’re seasoning your corset, especially if this is your first corset.

When I say “activity” I don’t mean heavy sports, but if you know that you will have to sit down and stand up frequently in your day-to-day life while corseted, then practice doing that while you’re seasoning. If you have to stoop down to pick things off the floor, if you have to do laundry, if you have to perform certain activities for work, then it’s a good idea to get used to those activities while seasoning. Remember that seasoning your corset is not only good for the corset, but it’s a way for you and your corset to become “acquainted” so your movements feel and look more natural while corseted. The corset will also get to “know” your movements, so if it knows that you often lean to one side or stoop and bend in a particular spot, the corset will eventually soften in that spot to accommodate your movements. Whatever I intend to do in my corset when fully laced, I will also do in the corset while seasoning it. The corset will still be receiving some tension as I go through my daily activities, but it will just be less tension compared to when it’s laced fully later on.

However I would advise caution when you’re trying to drive in your corset. When sitting in a car, especially with your corset laced loosely, it may become very easy for the corset to ride up uncomfortably on your ribs and push up your bust (if you have a bust). If you try driving in your corset and you find that you cannot safely and comfortably check your blind spot or perform other important functions, then I would recommend taking off your corset while driving, and then put your corset on again when you get to your destination.

Is there any corset that will last the rest of my life? How long will the very best corset last if I wear it every day?

Some other viewers were slightly surprised when I mentioned that even the best of corsets should be replaced after awhile (if worn on a daily basis, it might have to be replaced every couple of years depending on its construction/quality and how rigorous your regimen is). But the truth of the matter is, you will never find a corset that will last you 50 years if you plan to wear it daily.

A good quality corset may last you perhaps 10,000 hours. If you only wear your corset for a few hours a week (say for weekend cocktail parties) then you may expect your corset to last 20+ years, but if you’re wearing a corset strictly 23/7, then those 10,000 hours may be used up quite quickly; after only about 14 months! Compare this with a cheaper corset that may only last you 1000 hours, or perhaps 6 weeks with rigorous use. What a more expensive corset may provide (in additional to longer wear, but not infinite wear):

  • better fit, allowing the corset to be more comfortable
  • safer training, because the corset is less likely to create pinching or hot spots
  • better quality materials, which often means better support, breathability, and might be more sturdy or more lightweight as you prefer
  • more effective training to POTENTIALLY help you reach your goals faster (please be safe about this, listen to common sense and DON’T rush your body to the point of pain)

Remember also that top quality doesn’t always reflect that a corset is going to last a long time. Some professional ballet dancers may go through their pointe shoes in a week or so (I had mentioned 3 months but perhaps that’s just for casual students).

How I feel in the corset today:

The corset is beginning to gently cup and contour around my ribs today, and somewhat hook underneath my ribcage to prevent it from uncomfortably riding up. Contrary to how it might sound, having a corset hook under the ribs actually makes it MORE comfortable, not less.

When I first donned this corset, I mostly felt the corset applying pressure to the oblique muscles, but today I feel more pressure or tension on my lumbar area – this is probably the next area of the corset that needs to be softened, so the back panels can properly fit the natural lordosis of my lower spine.

You can see the changes to the corset in my video for the 3rd day (starts at 4:18):