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Axfords Peach Vintage Overbust Review (Style C140)

This entry is a summary of the review for the “Axfords Peach Vintage Overbust (C140) Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Quick Stats:

Fit, length Full bust: 31 inches (79 cm) (bust spring of 9 inches)
Closed waist: 22 inches (56 cm)
Low hip: 35 inches (89 cm) (hip spring of 13 inches)
Length: 14.5 inches in front and side. 8 inches are from the waist up, 6.5 from the waist down.
Silhouette is conical through the bust/ribs, rounded through the hips due to the hip gores.
Cut relatively straight across at the top, and “scalloped” on the bottom between the attached garters.
Material Two main layers: the fashion fabric is peach satin (rayon viscose / cotton blend), the lining is 100% cotton in a lightweight but dense canvas weave – the grain looks to be quite straight.
Construction 8-panel pattern (16 panels total): On each side, 6 of the panels are full length (and the 1st and 2nd taper slightly towards the lower tummy), while two large hip gores on each side contribute to the fullness and roundness of the hip.
Construction: fashion fabric and coutil were flatlined, Panels assembled with a topstitch, seam allowances facing inward. Herringbone twill tape was laid down on the inside to cover seam allowances, provide channels for the boning, and reinforce the seams.
Waist tape None.
Binding Skinny peach grosgrain ribbon which matches the peach fashion fabric very well; neatly applied (no fold-under as the edges are already finished).
Modesty panel None.
Busk 13 inches long, wide heavy-duty stainless steel busk (1 inch wide on each side). 6 loops and pins; the last two are a bit closer together.
Boning 14 bones (not including busk). Single-boned on the seams with 1/4″ spirals (attracts magnet well); and contains 1/4″ flat steels along the back by the eyelets.
Grommets 42 two-part tiny eyelets, probable size #X00 (smaller than standard; reminiscent of antique corsets), with very small flange. All have rolled nicely, no splits; washers present on the underside. They are placed 3/4″ apart (relatively close together) which allows for good control while lacing up.
Laces 1/8″ wide (made of 44% cotton and 56% polyester) white flat lacing – “workhorse laces” with no stretch and plenty of strength. Just wide enough to fit through the eyelets easily.
Price £160 GBP (around $217 USD) for a made-to-order corset in your choice of fabric.

 

Other Thoughts and Observations:

White bridal version of the same corset (C140) on a model with different proportions to myself.

Axfords is a corset brand from Brighton, UK. They are one of the oldest corset companies in the world, having been in business since 1880.

Many of their overbust patterns are the same patterns from antique corsets in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and some of their methods (lack of waist tape, lack of modesty panel, copious tiny eyelets, very lightweight construction) are also reminiscent of the way many corsets were constructed during the late Victorian / early Edwardian periods.

Axfords offered me a new sample for review, and because I have a long torso, I had asked Axfords to send the longest overbust style they currently make. At 14.5 inches, it is definitely a better fit lengthwise for me compared to my previous review, but much of that length ended up being from the waist down: this corset is designed to extend a bit beyond the lap level; the bones are deliberately shorter and pushed towards the top, to allow the fabric at the bottom to bend at the hip and allow you to sit comfortably.

The circumferential measurements unfortunately weren’t a perfect fit for my body, but this corset wasn’t made-to-measure so it would be unfair to expect this corset to fit like a custom-fit or bespoke piece. I can see this corset working fantastically with someone who has a more ‘pear-shaped’ figure: someone who has broader hips than mine, but a smaller bust or more narrow back.

Michael from Axfords mentions that all their in-stock satin is made and processed to their specifications (dyed to the perfect shade and reinforced for extra strength). I remember when I reviewed some of their other corsets over 6 years ago, I was very surprised to see that they chose to use a lightweight cotton canvas as a strength / lining fabric. However, since then I’ve come to realize that a few other brands (namely Dark Garden in the US) also use a dense-weave canvas, and this seems to work fine as long as it is carefully cut on grain (which this is).

There are other details about this corset: 2-inch wide frilly white floral lace covers the top and bottom edges of the corset, and along the bottom there are 6 wide, white elastic suspenders (garter straps) directly attached to the corset. These have a good amount of spring and contain high quality metal hardware.
There are also a few tiny, delicate-looking white satin bows along the top and bottom lace.

This corset might be the frilliest, most feminine corset I’ve reviewed to date – it reminds me of a frothy sherbet punch! But as each of their corsets are made to order, you can choose the color and even order the corset without lace, if you prefer.

See more at Axfords website here.

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Where to Buy Corsets for Men

 

Fakir Musafar as “The Perfect Gentleman”, 1959 This photo has inspired many other gentlemen to consider waist training. Click through to learn more about Fakir.

I’m pleased to announce that a new Guided Gallery is now up! Gentlemen wear corsets too, but sometimes it can be difficult to find a corset that both cinches the waist and maintains a stereotypically masculine silhouette. In the new gallery, Corsets for Men, you’ll find nearly 40 makers who cater to this specifically.

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Where to Buy Ribbon Cinchers

Note that this post is a copy of the same one under the “Research Corset Brands –> Guided Galleries” menu. It is part of a collection of articles to help corset enthusiasts shop more wisely.

While ribbon cinchers are not the best choice for waist training, they are lightweight, fun, and when constructed correctly they can give considerable waist reduction! Some historical sources mention that ribbon cinchers can be used during sleep or while horse riding. Today they can still be used for the same purposes, or worn over clothing as a great statement piece.

Pop Antique Vixen ribbon underbust, from $329

Pop Antique makes some of the curviest ribbon cinchers I’ve ever seen. The corsetiere, Marianne, includes a waist tape on the underside which is almost never seen in other ribbon cinchers; it helps to strengthen the corset where it takes the most tension – at the waistline. These corsets are made from double-faced satin ribbon, which is strong, non-stretch and come in a bevy of colours.

Ribbon cincher from Orchid Corsetry

Orchid Corsetry also makes strong custom-measured ribbon corsets from double-faced satin ribbon, and can be patterned to give gentle curves (above) or to give almost a wasp-waist effect. Bethan can make these cinchers curved (above) or pointed, multi-tone or single-colour, simple or embellished with crystals or other details as you see here.

Silvia Alphard Couture Victorian Steampunk ribbon corset, $305

Silvia Aphard Couture is an Italian corsetiere who primarily sells through Etsy. Her gorgeous ribbon corsets are also made with wide double-faced satin ribbon and coutil. Silvia’s corsets are made-to-measure and available in several colours.

sin_and_satin_ribbon
Sin and Satin standard ribbon cincher

Sin and Satin from NYC makes some of the most unique and gorgeous ribbon cinchers in standard sizes 18″ – 36″. They’re different in that they have no vertical side panel, which means uninterrupted contouring from front to back. They can be styled to your liking using petersham or satin ribbon (or even adding eyelash lace, seen above right) and they’re cut for devastating curves, boasting 11″ hip spring and 8″ room for the ribs.

Kiran-Lee Swing Hook Rainbow Patchwork Corset, $290

Kiran-Lee is another underestimated corsetiere on Etsy, based in London, England. Her ribbon-style corsets are fun and different, like this patchwork design made from recycled fabrics and old saris. Each of Kiran-Lee’s designs are one-of-a-kind.

Axfords C210 ribbon underbust, £95

Axfords Corsets offers an affordable standard-sized ribbon corset (style C210) in white, black or two-tone (seen here). It’s made from Petersham ribbon (also quite strong) with satin vertical panels, and a flap to hide the busk loops.

Vollers “Storm” ribbon cincher (shown in leather), £195

Vollers Corsets also has a standard sized ribbon cincher called the “Storm” (style number V50) which is available in various shades of petersham ribbon. They also offer leather ribbon (shown above) which is interesting! This corset can also be upgraded made-t0-measure for a fee.

Versatile Corsets Ribbon underbust (shown in purple glitter PVC) $158

Versatile Corsets also makes interesting ribbon cinchers in standard sizes or made-to-measure. They specialize in funky PVC ribbon, with almost any satin or brocade you like for the vertical (boned) panels. If you prefer a little less rigidity with the same look, Versatile can also make these cinchers with elastic strapping.

Madame Sher mesh ribbon-style cincher, $220

Madame Sher has many gorgeous ribbon-style cinchers to choose from. Most of the styles are not genuine ribbon but rather made from horizontal strips of satin, denim, leather or mesh (shown above, on yours truly). Since they can be made from nearly any material, there is incredible room for creativity here. My review of Madame Sher’s mesh cincher can be found here.

Ms. Martha’s Geometric underbust, $175

Ms. Martha’s Corset Shoppe offers this “Geometric” ribbon-style cincher in leather and in silk, with several two-tone selections: black/brown, black/red or black/white. These cinchers are standard sized for natural waists 18″ up to 52″. My review of the Geometric cincher is here.

I tried my own hand at a few ribbon corsets and found them rather fun to make! Although I don’t take commissions for ribbon corsets, I’ve shared some tips and tricks on how these were created. Click the photos below to see my case studies on how I constructed them.

*Please note that I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company in these guided galleries. This is for informational purposes only.

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Ready-to-wear corsets made in the US and UK

Note that this post is a copy of the same one under the “Research Corset Brands –> Guided Galleries” menu. It is part of a collection of articles to help corset enthusiasts shop more wisely.

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 C210 ribbon underbust corset, £95

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, but they still have a competitive edge on the industry due to their reasonable prices. Axfords also sells some men’s corsets that still maintain a masculine physique.

Vollers Paradise overbust (1808) in white satin and lace, £295

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 MF1323, starts at £310

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 Custom Fundamentals line: Victorian underbust by Jill Hoverman, $285

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, and every corset is quality-checked and wrapped by Ann herself. The Romantasy corsetiere team proudly featured notables such as Michael Garrod (True Grace Corsets) and Ruth Johnson (BR Creations), and Romantasy continues to employ talented corsetieres in the US today.

Versatile Corsets Valerian overbust, $438

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 have 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.

Meschantes Thunder overbust, starts at $255

Meschantes Corsetry was established in 2000, and makes their corsets in their North Carolina studio in the USA. The business offers custom-fit corsets in 21 different styles and literally hundreds of fabrics, and they also offer deals on their RTW corsets in their Etsy shop.

Period Corsets Victorian reenactment corset, $725

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.

Isabella Corsetry Edwardian overbust (immediate line), $199

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 colors and styles, and also accommodates custom/ made-to-measure orders.

Dark Garden Risqué Sweetheart overbust with lace, $505

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 on this list. This is for informational purposes only.

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Axfords C242 Lace Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Axfords C242 Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Circumferential measurements are very comfortable; no pinching in the hips or ribcage. Much curvier than I was expecting. This is a longline corset, starting lower on the ribcage and ending low on the hips – center front is 11″.
Material 3 layers: the strength layer is the inside lining – a tightly-weaved white cotton coutil (made especially for Axfords). Coral satin fashion fabric is flatlined to the coutil, and then the white real lace is laid ontop of the satin.
Construction The seams are top-stitched; bones are in internal boning channels at the seams made from twill or Prussian tape.
Binding Satin on one side and grosgrain ribbon on the other side. Quite unique from commercial bias binding used in other corsets. Neatly machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel Attached 6″ wide protector, not boned but it is stiffened, so it’s flexible but stands on its own. When I’m lacing down it doesn’t need to be adjusted, and it curves nicely with the contours of my spine. Very comfortable. Has a placket overtop of the busk to hide the hardwear.
Busk Heavy busk, 10″ long and one inch wide on each side. Quite a bit stiffer than the standard flexible busk.
Boning 14 bones total. There are 10 hefty spiral bones – they’re 7mm wide instead of 5mm wide. Also four ¼ inch wide spring steel bones which are also very sturdy and quite thick.
Grommets 30 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly. Axfords says that they use smaller grommets set closer together for more controlled tightening of the corset. Some splits along the back of the grommets but they do not catch on the laces and are not pulling out.
Laces Strong tightly woven braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are very long. No stretch or spring to the lace.
Price Currently £125 ($195 USD) for the lace overlay style, but £115 ($180 USD) without the lace.

Final Thoughts:

This corset is adorable, feminine, pretty, shapely… I think this is the girliest underbust I own – pink with floral lace. I’m impressed at how smoothly the delicate lace lays (say that five times fast!) over the pink satin – do I detect some roll-pinning? ;) Even when worn at large reductions, the lace does not pull away from the seams or wrinkle up with stress.

I was initially concerned about the strength fabric as it was said to be coutil but didn’t have a herringbone weave – this was my first experience with a plain-weave coutil – yet it has stood up the test of time, even without a waist tape. The grommets are also still holding up well several months later – I find my preferences now leaning towards more and smaller grommets on my lacing panel as it’s easier to make fine adjustments when lacing up.

The fit of this corset is flattering as well (in my opinion); I like the conical ribcage, and the hip gores make this longline corset very  comfortable over my hips. The shape is quite similar to the Mae Extreme corset by What Katie Did – I am able to cinch down further in this corset than I was able to in the regular Mae.

All of Axfords’ corsets come with a complimentary storage bag as well – of course, don’t buy a corset just for the bag, but only if you think the corset is as lovely as I think it is. You can see this corset in other colors, and other corset styles on their website here.