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Review: Wearing The Genie Bra with Corsets

Disclosure: I purchased these bras at a local store to satisfy my own curiosity, but I do wear them regularly. This article also contains affiliate links which help my blog stay online!

I’ve made a video on Corset Bra Compatibility in the past and the issue with wire entrapment and the “double lift” that comes with wearing conventional bras with underbust corsets.

It just occurred to me that I never made a blog post specifically about my Genie Bra review, although I have made posts about my Enell bras and Knixwear Evolution bra, as well as the Underworks binder. Today I’m rectifying that. Below you’ll see a summary of the video (and some updated opinions about these bras, since it’s been nearly 6 years since this video came out).

There are many similar bras to the Genie bra, like the “Air Bra” and the “Ahh Bra”, and although I haven’t tried them, I imagine they work similarly. If any readers have tried these substitutes, let me know how you liked them (or if you didn’t like them) in a comment below.

While the silhouette is not perfect, the Genie bra helps prevent exaggerated back rolls below my bra band and above a cincher that stops short on my ribs – and because it doesn’t have any underwire, I don’t have to worry about the underwire being shoved into my ribcage from a taller corset, or any underwire slipping overtop of the corset and making my bust look oddly asymmetric. The Genie bra gives less support than an underwire bra (this is to be expected) but gives about the same amount of support as a low-impact sports bra. I can wear it under my fitted tees and it gives a slightly minimizing effect, but I would not do contact sports in this type of bra.

There are also no seams and the bra leaves no marks on my body, and there’s a 2-inch-wide band around the ribs that is also comfortable and long enough to overlap with the top line of my corsets (which helps with smoothing). Since there are no bones in this bra, it means that the band does have a tendency to roll or fold a bit though, so it has its pros and cons.

The bra also comes with bust pads which create marginally more fullness over the bust, as well as nipple coverage – but they’re also removable if you don’t care for these features. My favorite part of the bra is that it can be thrown in the washer and dryer (remove the bust pads first, as they can disintegrate in the wash). Washing the bra helps restore some of its tightness, but do keep in mind that this type of bra will definitely stretch out over time. (By the way, I own these bras in size Small, but they continued to fit me through a 40-lb weight gain and 4-cup size difference, because my underbust / back measurement didn’t change all that much. However, after the weight loss, the bras were too stretched out to wear and I will probably replace them.)

The coverage is moderate; I can wear it with most of my scoop-neck and V-neck shirts, just not with my plunge shirts (although the black one especially just looks like a camisole under your shirt if exposed). The wide arm straps are comfortable on my shoulders, but it means the straps are highly visible under tank tops.

If you’re the type to sleep with a bra, I have also forgotten to take this bra off a few times and found it very comfortable to sleep in, even as an active sleeper that moves around a lot.

While the Genie bra is no longer available at the stores I mentioned in the video, they are easily accessible on Amazon here and because they’ve been out for such a long time, they’ve dropped in price. Check out the Genie Bra on Amazon.

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Knix / Knixwear 8-in-1 Evolution Bra Review

As you know, I’ve been on the lookout these last few years for a good wireless bra that is compatible with most of my corsets.

I’ve reviewed the Enell Sports and Lite bras in the past, as well as the Genie Bra and the Underworks Binder, trying to find the perfect bra that is comfortable to wear with my corset.

I define the “perfect bra” as:

  • it has no underwire (so there is no metal for the corset to shove into my chest, as well as no wire to pop forward over the top edge of my corset)
  • the band is wide enough that it doesn’t cause a thin roll of flesh pinched under the band and the top of the corset
  • it doesn’t cause “muffin” or flesh spillover in the back
  • it’s comfortable enough to wear all day, and doesn’t leave marks or scars on my skin
  • it still gives moderate support and a relatively flattering shape in the cup (which my Genie bra didn’t really do)
  • Bonus points if the bra is also low-cut enough to wear with my scoop-neck shirt (which is the one thing my Enell Lite didn’t do).

Knixwear is a Canadian company that started by making menstrual underwear, and they launched a Kickstarter for the Evolution bra in September 2015 to revolutionize the modern bra. They well surpassed their original goal; in fact I was one of 13,642 backers to help crowdfund over a million dollars on their project. I received my bra this summer and tried it out for a couple of weeks.

The Knix says it’s 8-in-1 because it’s reversible so you can have two different colors (I chose the black and beige), and comes with black and beige convertible straps which can be worn traditionally, criss-cross (racer) back, or even halter if you wish (although I wouldn’t recommend strapless).

My true bra size is 30F, but I normally sister-size to 32DD because it’s easier to find in my local shops. The way that Knix sizes their bras is by the “+2 inch” system, which puts me at an approximate 32C (size 2 in the Evolution bra). As my underbust (bra band) measurement is naturally 29 inches, I anticipated the band to feel loose on me while giving a bit of “quad boob” in the front, and I was right. So if you have a full bust and small band like I have, you will likely have to heavily sister size as well.

However, when I wear a corset, my body tends to “squish up” and my natural 29″ ribcage becomes closer to 30-31 inches in a corset – so the loose band of the bra fits me better in a corset than without.

Support-wise, it’s equivalent to a light support sports bra (for low-impact activities – I would not do contact sports in this bra). It gives slightly more support than the Genie bra I reviewed previously, and it’s comfortable and moisture-wicking in the heat of the summer.

One feature I like about it is the bonded seams instead of sewn, so it lies flat against my body and doesn’t cause welts or marks on my body. (Because I have a darker complexion, I also get hyperpigmentation scarring on my skin – this bra doesn’t leave marks on my body, even after wearing it for hours.

Knixwear says that their bra band doesn’t roll up, and I’ve found this to be mostly true. The one thing I would love is for the band to be a little longer, even by an inch or so.

I got the padded version, not because I want extra fullness in my cup but rather for coverage and smoothness, and it does its job. Regarding the shape of the cup – it’s not a shape I personally find the most aesthetically pleasing, but I may be biased towards my underwire, molded-up balconette bras that I wear almost daily. But I like how the Evolution bra looks under fitted t-shirts, especially graphic tees where I don’t want to stretch out the design in front.

The scoop neck design also prevents the bra from peeking out under my scoop-neck shirts. I’d be interested in trying one of their V-neck bra designs to see if it gives less “boobling over” in the front.

If you’d like to try their Evolution bra for yourself and support my reviews at the same time, click here! (referral link)

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Chest Binders and Corsets – my experience

Back in May 2104, I wrote about compatibility between corsets and conventional bras, and how to avoid possible issues like underwire entrapment (when the underwire of your bra gets pushed uncomfortably against your ribcage) or the double lift effect (when the top edge of your corset pushes up on your bra, which then pushes up your breasts unnaturally high).

However, a number of followers have asked me if it’s possible to wear a bust binder in conjunction with a corset (whether to prevent accentuating a larger bust when seen in contrast to a smaller waist, or to present a more androgynous figure, or attain a particular silhouette for a costume). This may also apply if you have a very high-compression sports bra (I notice that I have a similar, but not identical, effect in my Enell Sport bra).

I’ve always been fascinated with fashion and how the line of clothing could change the apparent figure of the wearer – when I was in high school, even before discovering corsets, I used to play around with fashion and had no problem wearing a frilly dress one day and my brother’s button-down shirt the next day. I might have worn a padded bra with one outfit and a minimizer or binder with the other outfit, based on how I felt that day. So fortunately when a few people asked what it was like to wear a corset and chest binder together, I already had this experience.

Since I’m full-busted, my Underworks Tri-top binder doesn’t completely flatten my chest, but it still does an impressive job at taking down my apparent bust by at least 2 cup sizes. However, this flesh has to be displaced somewhere, and on me, some of my tissue is pushed upwards toward my collarbone, giving me a “pigeon-chest” effect (which means I only wear my binder with higher-cut necklines), and I get a bit of squishing out of the sides around my armpits. (I have squidgy armpits to begin with, as anyone who’s seen one of my overbust reviews can attest. I simply hide this by wearing a looser shirt.)

One other thing that’s important to note when combining a corset with a binder is to be aware of which way your binder is pushing your mammary tissue. Some have told me that when they normally put on a binder, they pull it straight down so their breast tissue is pushed down – however if your underbust corset extends quite high on your ribcage, you may run the risk of trapping some of your bust under the corset. When I wear my binder with a corset, I first pull the binder on downwards, but then reach inside and redistribute my flesh upwards a bit so as not to trap any of that tissue uncomfortably under the top edge of my corset.

There are some advantages to wearing a binder with a corset, however, including some elimination of muffin-top in the back – and since my Tri-top binder extends down to almost the navel, I find that it also acts as a semi-liner underneath my corset as well. Another corseter also told me that for people with a smaller cup size, the corset can control any bumps on your chest left over by the binder and create a more smooth effect overall – so the corset can compensate for the binder in the front, and the binder can compensate for any muffin top caused by the corset in the back.

In my experience, wearing a binder with a corset is a bit more restrictive on my breathing (compared to wearing one or the other separately) and I admit that I prefer to just wear a well-fitting underwire bra with my corset as I don’t tolerate much pressure on my upper chest – but on occasion, I do appreciate the minimizing effect a binder provides. Click the following links if you’d like to see my reviews of the Genie Bra, the Enell Sport and Lite bras, and the Goddess longline bra in conjunction with corsets.

Do you prefer to minimize your bust when wearing a corset? If so, what products do you use?

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Wearing a bra with your underbust corset

One question I get semi-frequently is whether you have to wear a bra with your underbust corset. With an overbust corset, it’s easy to go without a bra as the corset itself provides support, lift, and shaping – but what about underbust corsets?

As a wearer of corsets and a keeper of long hair, I’m no stranger to confrontation. On a regular basis I have people telling me that I’m not fashionable; that I’m gross or disturbing or an eyesore. I often stealth my corsets and wear my hair up, because what makes me happy and is not hurting others doesn’t necessarily have to be flaunted. And this experience has made me hyper-aware of what I say to others in terms of fashion and dress.

So what does this have to do with wearing a bra with your underbust corset?

I am in no position whatsoever to make you wear a bra or not wear a bra with your corset. End of story.

But if you are expecting your underbust corset to lift, support, and shape your breasts the way that a conventional bra will, you may be disappointed to know that this isn’t the case. An underbust corset doesn’t cover the breasts and cannot support what it doesn’t touch. So if you want the support /shaping of a bra, you can wear a bra in conjunction with your underbust corset.

I understand that there can be some incompatibility between underbust corsets and certain bras. I’ve been through the frustration of trying to wear mainstream underwired, push-up bras with your underbust corsets. If your corset is just a little too long in the torso, then the top edge of the corset can push up on your underwire and cause a “double-lift” effect – and this is often made worse when sitting down! Many fuller-busted women have complained to me that this looks and feels unnatural, and they don’t like the end result that has become colloquially known as a “chin-rest”. Also, if your corset is too tight around the ribcage and your underwire becomes trapped between your body and the corset, the wire can dig quite uncomfortably into your ribs (I call this “underwire entrapment”).

This is the reason why I always ask for a person’s torso length along the princess line, from the underwire to the lap when sitting down. This is the maximum length that an underbust corset can be before the top edge starts pushing up on the bust, or the bottom edge starts digging into the lap.

So, what can you do if you’d like to avoid the modern bra/underbust corset compatibility issues, but you’d still prefer to wear bras and corsets at the same time?

If you look closely, my left underwire slipped to the outside of the corset. My right underwire is still under the corset, hence the asymmetry. If I had just worn both wires overtop, it probably would have been less noticeable and more comfortable for me as well.
In one of my old, looser-banded bras. My left underwire slipped overtop of the corset. My right underwire is still under the corset, hence the asymmetry. If I had just worn both wires overtop, it probably would have been less noticeable.

 

  1. Opt for shorter corsets or cinchers, which stop lower on the ribcage and steer clear of the underwire of your bra. If you are savvy with a sewing machine, you can shorten some of your own corsets along the top edge.
  2. Wear a well-fitting wire-free bra with your corsets. I don’t have a huge collection of these, but I like my Enell Lite as it’s wire-free and has a non-rolling band. I like the bust-shaping and support it gives, and it works well under my graphic tees and high-neckline shirts.
  3. If you can’t afford or don’t have access to wire-free bras /shorter corsets, as another resort you can simply lift up your bra and position the underwires overtop of your corset instead of underneath. This works best if you wear your corsets under your clothing instead of overtop, and it really only works with a bra that’s slightly big in the band. Does it mean slightly less support from your bra? Yes. Does this look a little unusual if you’re wearing the corset on the outside of your clothing? Perhaps a little. Are the passionate bra-fitters pulling their hair out at my even suggesting this? Maybe. But I used this technique regularly before I got new well-fitting bras, and I found it resulted in a more natural-looking bust (compared to wearing the bra under the corset and getting the “double-lift”) and it was more comfortable too.

In conclusion: are you required to wear a bra with your underbust corset? Not necessarily, but know that an underbust won’t give you the same lift, support and shaping that your conventional bra will. If you have bra/corset compatibility issues, try out one of the three solutions I listed above and see if any work for you.

Do you have any alternate solutions to avoid “double-lift” or “underwire entrapment” caused by bra/corset incompatibility? Let me know in a comment below!

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Enell Sport / Enell Lite Bras (combined with Corsets)

Back in November 2013, I was consulting with a lovely lady who confided in me that she loved to wear Enell bras with her corsets. I have seen Enell here and there online, but this is the first time the name really caught my attention. I looked into it; the bra was supposed to be “The Terminator” of all sports bras; the one that leaves no room for movement. I nearly only got the Enell Sport because its use in my high-impact workouts (kickboxing) looked very appealing; but I’m glad I had consulted with Mara from Enell beforehand, who suggested that I try both the Sport and Lite versions.

It is not hyperbole to say that these bras have changed me. Although the Enell Sport gave me a flat profile and tended to accentuate my underarm pudge. It didn’t look quite as natural under clothing, and the way that it paired with the corset was *okay*. It was definitely comfortable, being a well-supportive, wire-free bra designed for large busts, but it wasn’t the look I was going for everyday wear. But when I wore this bra during my workouts, I found that they instantly became more intense as I wasn’t afraid of boobling out all over the place. My jumps were higher, my sprints were faster, I was moving with more confidence and motivated to work out more because I was finally being supported the way I was supposed to.

However, the Enell Lite really shone when paired with a corset. The Enell Lite was designed to be a daily-wear or low-impact sports bra, which can be used during yoga, Pilates, or anytime. The cups lift and separate, and create a lovely shape without smooshing you. I also found that since the band at the underbust was not as OMG constricting on this piece, that it created a beautiful smooth transition between the top edge of the corset to the bra, with very little muffin top. The 4″ back came up high enough although not too high, so it wasn’t creating back rolls above the band, and the lack of underwire meant that an underbust corset could come up as high as you want on your torso and you don’t have to be afraid of pinching.

Both types of Enell bras have a different sizing system compared to other bras – you simply measure your underbust circumference and your full bust circumference, in cm or inches, and get the size whose range you fall into. Some people don’t like this sizing system, but in the confusing world of different cup sizes and band calculations depending on what country is manufacturing a bra, I find Enell’s system extremely simple to use, and rather fool-proof. If you don’t fall into the regular size range, you can also check out Ebay where factory seconds are sold at discount, which often have different ratios of band to cup compared to their standards.

The only thing I wish is that this bra were not so high-cut on the chest, as it does show under even simple V-neck shirts. If this bra were somehow available in a more balconette or plunge version and still provided the same wire-free support, I would buy two in every colour and wear them everyday.

If you’d like to see both the Enell Sport and the Enell Lite bras in detail, as well as how they pair with an underbust corset, you’re welcome to check out my video review below:

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“Corset Hacks!” 5 Non-Obvious Corset Tools I Can’t Do Without

When I bought my very first corset, I thought I was pretty much set. Some accessories like liners are obvious, but there are certain accessories that have made my lacing MUCH easier. This is a list of objects that I never knew I needed until I had them.


1. Mount mirror

Before I had access to one of these, I managed tying up my corset by looking behind my shoulder in the bathroom mirror, or just going by feel. It works pretty well, but every so often I might end up with one bunny ear longer than the other (a pet peeve of mine) or worse, if the gap in the back of my corset were accidentally twisted or not parallel because I could only see behind me on an angle! And what if your neck isn’t that flexible enough to look behind you?

This flexible mount mirror is designed so you can see the back of your hairdo, but it also makes your life MUCH easier when you need to tighten your corset, as you can see exactly what you’re doing with no neck strain, and you can use both hands to work with the laces.


 2. Spare laces. Lots of them.

Alright, laces aren’t exactly “non-obvious”, but many people think you only buy new laces when you want to switch up the color, or when you don’t like the ones that came with the corset. Don’t wait until you need new laces. I have snapped them before. It’s not impossible. It’s also not fun, especially on the day of a special event.

And corsets aren’t exactly the type of garment where you can simply tie the two broken ends together and be on your way, because it’s difficult to tighten a corset with a giant knot in the laces (not to mention these laces have an incredible amount of tension on them and if you don’t tie the knot properly, it can loosen on itself at a very inopportune time!). I highly suggest having a pair of backup laces to avoid Murphy’s Law.

If you don’t live near a fabric/ notions store like FabricLand or JoAnn’s, try a place online that sells laces. I like the polyester flat braided laces from Timeless Trends (I can also get you an extra pair of laces when ordering a longline or Gemini corset through me); or the double-face satin laces through Strait-Laced Dame on Etsy.


3. Sponges or memory foam

Whether natural sea sponges or thick makeup sponges, these have come in so handy that I can’t even.

Sometimes I have a corset with a busk that is just at that length that the top edge of it digs into my solar plexus. Sticking a sponge under the busk or a bone can help take the edge off steels digging into your skin. Or sometimes I feel a sore spot coming on, so I’ll pad slightly around the sore area (but directly not on top of it, so that the corset is “pushed away” from the injured area). Or sometimes (rarely) I’ll have a corset that’s wider than usual in the hips for me, and I don’t want that loose area to wrinkle and collapse on itself, or (less rarely) I will need some way of evening out the girls in an overbust corset. Do like a cross-dresser and pad out those curves! The sponges are also cheap enough that you won’t feel bad about cutting them to size.


 4. Fingerless leather gloves (or equivalent vegan options)

You know that you can cinch down more, but the laces are cutting into your hands too much! For all the help that the doorknob may be in getting that extra half-inch of reduction, if you can’t hold that cinch while you’re tying it off, it might be for naught. Maybe it’s just because I spend so much time around corsets, but my hands can get pretty sore when lacing down.

But one day I saw an old pair of fingerless leather driving gloves lying around and was amazed at how much they helped to prevent sore and  chafed hands. (They’re also a cute fashion accessory!)

You can still feel what you’re doing so you can properly pluck the X’s in back, but when you pull on the bunny ears, they don’t cut into your palms. These would be great for those who work in a boutique that sells corsets, if you lace up customers all day and haven’t yet developed those callouses.


5. Cocktail / wine glass charms

For those who are new at lacing up or might have spacial awareness difficulties, and you might not be able to grab onto the “X” in the laces but tend to only pull one side, these charms will keep the “X”s tidy and give you a tactile guide to tell your hands which laces to pull at the same time. Get the charms that hook or clip on, so you don’t have to unthread and rethread the entire corset, and use charms that are big enough to allow the laces to glide freely through them (so the “hole” should be about the same size as your grommets, or bigger if you like. If you don’t like these dangly charms, you can also use large beads that easily clip onto yarn or hair.

The color and type is really up to you, but if you’re going by tactile lacing up (if you haven’t picked up one of those mirrors yet), then try to find a set of charms that are different shapes and sizes so you can tell them apart just by feel.

These charms or beads can also be pretty when showing off your corset, although they might make “stealthing” a little more difficult as they can add little bumps along the back under thin tops.


(Bonus) A wire-free bra

I admit it: with my long torso, the vast majority of my underbust corsets don’t come up to my bra so I don’t often have a problem with my corset making my underwire dig into my ribs. But on those corsets that DO cause this – OUCH! If you wear corsets underneath your clothing, try wearing your bra overtop of your corset – this way, the corset won’t make the wires dig into your skin. (It will also prevent that “double lift” that the bra and the corset provide together, so you don’t end up with a chin rest.)

But many people wear corsets over their clothing – in this situation, wire-free bras are definitely useful. I’m not putting a photo of any specific bra style here because all women are different and have different needs. If you’d like to know which wireless bras I’ve tried with my corsets, you can see my reviews on the Genie Bra, Underworks chest binder, Enell Sports and Enell Lite bras, and the Knixwear Evolution bra.

What are your non-obvious “can’t-live-without” items when it comes to making your corseting easier? Tell me in the comments below!

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