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Avoid Getting Scammed by Corset Re-Sellers

WKD Baby cincher Luna waspie avoid scam second hand corset sale

Settle in kids, today I’m going to tell you a story of how I possibly got scammed on a Facebook Buy / Sell/ Trade group.

I thought I was a savvy corset thrift-shopper – after all, I’ve made videos on how to prep and pack your gently used corsets for shipping, as well as tips and tricks when buying gently used corsets – but in this most recent transaction, there were so many red flags that I disregarded, and I wound up getting burned for it. So in this post, I’ll be pointing out the red flags and discussing what should have gone differently. (You can watch the video above, or read the written version below.)

 

Disclaimer:

I’m going to start off by saying that I’m not giving any identifying information about the other party in this video – this video is not about slander, I’m not going to name and shame the person, but I do want to share a cautionary tale so others learn from my mistakes.

The corset I tried to buy was What Katie Did brand, but I have never had any issue with this brand’s customer service or quality – I’ve reviewed this brand a dozen times on my channel before – their corsets have stood up over time. So there is no issue with WKD themselves.

 

It was a regular August afternoon, just like any other.

Each month I put up a poll on my Patreon page asking my lovely patrons which corset brand and style they want me to review next. In July there was a tie between an Etsy sample and one of the new WKD style (since they recently redesigned all their corsets).

I was about to purchase a corset directly from WKD’s site, but I decided to check some BST (buy, sell, trade) corset groups in various forums and social media pages, just in case someone posted a WKD corset in my size.

Almost serendipitously, there was someone selling their Luna waspie in my size! I messaged them right away. The price new would be £140 while this person was selling theirs for £100 plus shipping. (This is a reasonable price for a 2nd hand corset; I usually look for a savings of 60% to 75% of the original price, if it’s gently used with no damage and little signs of wear.)

I am very experienced with buying and selling lightly used corsets, so I didn’t anticipate this situation to be any different than the others.

 

Red Flag #1: Asking that I cover the Paypal fees.

First, the seller asked that I cover the Paypal fees. This is against Paypal’s terms of service (which I’ll explain later) but I know that this sort of this is common in these groups. So I made a mental note of this, but I thought “Whatever… adding another 3% on top of the discounted price is still a good deal.” I agreed to pay £119 total: £100 for the corset, £15 for shipping and £4 on top of that (which amounts to ~ 3% fees).

 

Red Flag #2: Asking additional fees after I had already paid what we agreed on.

I sent the payment through Paypal and when they received the money, they told me it wasn’t enough and wanted me to pay an additional amount on top of the fees I had already paid for. At that point I was getting a little bit suspicious, but I kept it polite and cordial – I explained that we did not agree to pay more than what we had previously discussed, so if it was going to cost more than that, I change my mind about the purchase and could they kindly give a refund. (The corset hadn’t shipped yet so it was still fair to ask this).

The seller said “It’s fine, don’t worry about it, the price is close enough,” and shipped the corset. (They said they would ship it on the 10th, but the stamp said it was not shipped until more than a week later – but this is small enough that I don’t consider it too big a red flag; after all, life gets busy sometimes.)

 

Red Flag #3: Overstating the value of the corset in the customs forms.

Several weeks later, I went to the post office to pick up my new corset, and was shocked to hear that I owed them $126 in taxes and duty. The reason for this is because the value stated on the parcel was (for some bizarre reason) £200, or $348 when converted. That is not what the Luna corset was even worth brand new (even with the price of shipping, VAT, any additional fees, etc, it still would not have come up to that much). This is twice the purchase price we had agreed on for the corset itself. The only reason I could think of for them overestimating the value of a parcel is if they:
a) wanted to cash in on extra money if the parcel were lost in the post (which is deceitful anyway), or
b) they might have been bitter about my refusing to pay more, and wanted me to get dinged by the post once delivered.

I had no choice but to pay the $126, but I will be contesting it because I still have the Paypal receipt for what I paid – but from what I’ve read, people do not often successfully get reimbursed when they’re overcharged duty.

Over $330 dollars later (more than I would have paid if I just bought the corset brand new), the corset is finally in my hands.

Finally, I unboxed the corset during this month’s Patreon livestream. I noted that it was very similar in its cut and construction to WKD’s old styles, but it was dark at the time so I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until the next morning that I was taking a closer look at it, that I realized it’s not the Luna corset at all.

 

Red Flag #4: It’s not even the right corset!!

After looking closely at some archived images and dimensions (thanks to the Wayback machine and my Corset Database), I realized that I had received the Baby waspie, one of their WKD’d old styles, which I have already reviewed in the past.

  • The measurements match the Baby, and does not match the stated measurements for the Luna.
  • It has a 3-pin busk (like the Baby) instead of a 4-pin busk (like the Luna).
  • It is single boned on the seams, with external boning channels, like the Baby (the Luna has sandwiched double bones).
  • It has an attached modesty panel like the Baby corset (the Luna does not come with a modesty panel, but a floating panel can be purchased separately).
  • The hardware, like the busk width/ quality and the grommets are all old-style, whereas they’ve changed their hardware sources for the Luna.

 

Normally I prefer to assume the best in others – what if this person purchased the corset in WKD’s shop, and they thought it was the Luna corset but they were mistaken? Maybe they couldn’t tell the difference. But then again, the Baby corset has been discontinued for well over a year now.

I also know that in some buy/sell/trade groups, some people will buy out dresses or products in side-walk sales, clearance racks, and liquidation events for up to 80% off, and then re-sell those items in Facebook buy/sell/trade groups for profit. (Oftentimes Facebook marketplace allows this – this type of resale of clothing is technically not illegal). Could this seller have done the same in this situation, snapping up a Baby corset at deep discount and selling it for more?

There was technically only one way to find out: I messaged the seller.

 

Red Flag #5: No response / ignored by the seller.

Again, I tried the sugar approach – I told them that the corset arrived safely, thanked them for the prompt shipping, but mentioned that I noticed that it’s not the Luna corset as advertised, it’s the discontinued Baby corset instead. I noted the evidence of the corset being the Baby and not the Luna (old hardware, old measurements, old construction). I asked them around what timeframe they had purchased this corset. I kept it cordial and asked a clear question, allowing them space to answer, or even give some kind of excuse.

My message was read just a few minutes later, but they never responded.

So, over $330 later, I have a corset that is… wearable (it’s functional!), but it’s not what was advertised and it’s useless for a review. However, I could (and I’m tempted to) re-review this corset out of spite, so that my money wouldn’t be a total waist waste. The last time I reviewed the Baby corset, it was 2011 and I hadn’t yet established my systematic order of doing reviews – so if you want me to review this corset again, comment below and I can do so – but I don’t know who it’s going to serve because this style is not available for purchase (unless you want to buy this corset off me, so I can get a bit of my money back).

I thought I was a savvy and seasoned corset shopper, but even I messed up this time.

 

So, what should have been done differently?

Here are some tips for buyers so you can avoid getting scammed in these BST groups (and sellers, so you can learn to play by the rules properly):

(Also see my second-hand FAQ article for more tips and tricks)

  1. The seller should never ask the buyer to cover Paypal / bank fees. It is a common occurrence in buy/sell/trade groups, but you have to know that this is against their terms of service. If they catch you, they could terminate your account without warning or appeal. If you’re a seller and you hate the idea of losing $3-4 on your $100 corset, you can inflate your sales price (e.g. $105 instead of $100), and it’s up to the buyer if they want to meet your price. But you cannot specifically demand that others cover a sales fee.
  2. Send your payment as “goods and services”. The seller should not specifically ask or demand that you send payment as a family or friend (unless the seller really is family / friend and you trust them a lot). If you send money as a friend, then as far as the system is concerned, you are sending a loved one a monetary gift, and there is no buyer protection – so if your parcel gets lost in the mail or if the seller doesn’t ship anything, you’re not able to easily dispute it.
  3. When you’re sending payment, there is usually a box to write comments – spend the extra 30 seconds or a minute to fill it out with the details of your purchase. Break down the cost for each part – for instance, write, “Hello [seller’s name], here is $80 for the [brand, style name, color, size] dress, plus $10 for shipping.” Sellers: if you are sending an invoice, you can break down the price like this too – so you have absolute proof of what you agreed on, in case you need to contest the value, or you accidentally received something different.
  4. If you are selling and shipping an item, state the purchase price of that item on the parcel as the value, no more, no less. Don’t include the shipping fee in the value of the item. Don’t include the tax of the item (if you’re shipping to a different country, that international customer DOES NOT pay state/federal taxes!). Buyers, DO NOT ask a seller to declare the value of a parcel as less than it is (like stating that a $100 item is only $10 or something) because that’s illegal, and the highest penalty for that could be tax fraud. But there are also problems with stating the value as too much – like the government charging too much duty.
  5. Do save the listing of an independent seller and compare it with the original listing on the brand’s website. Screencap the listing if necessary, and compare both the pictures and the descriptions, side by side. Count the busk pins if it’s a corset. Ask for more info if the listing is sparse. Ask for close-up photos if none are provided in the listing (especially if there’s any damage declared). (In my case, the listing was removed before I could save it, but I do have FB messenger evidence.)
  6. If you doubt the label/ brand of the corset, ask for photo evidence. In my case, I received a real WKD corset (not a knockoff), but if you have doubts about whether someone might be selling a knockoff of a certain dress or design, ask for a photo of the label. Ask the seller to include a post-it note with your name or the date written on it, stuck beside the designer label so you know that the seller didn’t just swipe a picture of the label off the internet and send it to you.

 

What do you think – rookie seller mistake, or scam? What other tips would you include to avoid getting scammed? Leave a comment down below!

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Camellia’s Corsets: Short Torso Mesh Cincher / Waspie Review

This entry is a summary of the review for the “Camellias Women Petite Steel Boned Waist Trainer Corset Short Torso Mesh Body Shaper” made by Camellia’s Corsets on Amazon. Note: I purchased this corset with my own money and reviewed this of my own volition. Amazon affiliate links help support my site and the price does not increase for you. 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 9.5 inches long, the princess seam is 8.5 inches (4.5 inches above the waist, 5 inches below the waist), the side seam is 8.25 inches and the center back is 9 inches long.
I chose the size 24″. When I measured this before wearing, the ribcage was 26.5″ (rib spring of 2.5″), the waist was 23.5″ laid flat, (which stretched to 24″ while I was pulling on it with my hands), and the hip was 30″ (hip spring of 6″).
Material The panels are made from what appears to be 2 different types of mesh, but they’re actually attached to one another. The outer one is a honeycomb, fishnet appearance, which we so often see in many other OTR mesh corsets. The layer underneath is a sort of finer-weave mesh, and it has a bouncy, foamy kind of plush feel. The fabric content says 90% polyester, and 10% spandex so it has some give. The binding and boning channels are thin cotton twill.
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panel 1-2-3 converge downwards, and panels 4-5 create the curve over the hip.
The panels were assembled together with seam allowances facing outside, topstitched on the underside – and then cotton boning channels laid down on the outside, single boned on the seams.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape, made from black single-faced satin ribbon and secured down at each boning channel. Almost full width (extends from serged seam near panel 1, to the boning channel by the back grommets.
Binding Black cotton twill, machine stitched with a slight top-stitch on both outside and inside (may have been done on a single pass). No garter tabs, but there are two loops at the top to hang it from.
Modesty panel Just under 6″ wide, unstiffened, finished in 2 layers of black twill, and attached to one side with a row of stitching.
In the front, there is a 3/4 inch wide modesty placket extending from the knob side of the busk, unstiffened and finished in black twill.
Busk 8.5” long, with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Slightly wider than a standard flexible busk, around 3/4″ wide on each side, and about the same flexibility as a standard flexible busk.
Boning 14 bones total in this corset, 7 on each side. Single boned on the seams with ¼ inch wide spirals. The bones sandwiching the grommets are flat steels, also ¼ inch wide.
Grommets There are 18, two-part size #00 grommets (9 on each side). They have a small flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in silver. Washers present in the back. The grommets at the waist feel very slightly loose in the back after half a dozen wears (2 inch reduction) but have not fallen out yet.
Laces ¼ inch wide, black, flat, nylon, shoelace style lacing (standard workhorse laces).
Price Available in black mesh and white mesh, both $35 on Amazon.

 

Camellia’s Corsets mesh short torso / waspie / cincher, $34.99. Picture courtesy of Amazon (click through for listing).

Final Thoughts:

I was surprised by the curvy, round-rib silhouette it gave, but the fabric is quite moldable to the body because the label states it’s 10% spandex. Although the binding and the waist tape hold the top edge, waist and bottom edge from stretching too much, it definitely has a lot of give.

My corset measured a bit small in the waist when I initially received it, but I could also tell that it did expand over time as I wore it in more – so perhaps they deliberately run a bit small in anticipation of some stretch. If you need considerable mobility, this piece will provide you with that, but expect some ease to also occur over time.

One part I wasn’t aesthetically crazy about was the fact that the fabric gave too much at the boning channels, allowing the steel bones to “flare” away from the body (especially at the hips), creating little spots where they poke out. This gives the impression that the corset isn’t pulled taut against the body, when really the binding is quite snug against my hips but the bones simply don’t lie flat.

Also, the waist tape was found to be uneven on each side at the center front – I would have cared if it were uneven in the back, but as the flaw is front and center, this is unfortunately quite noticeable through the transparent mesh.

The fabric by the back grommets and around the busk seems to not be reinforced with any interlining, which is a concern for longevity. I do see that the grommets are shifting slightly over time as I’ve worn this corset in, although none have fallen out yet. Camellia’s Corsets only recommends 2-3 inch waist reduction in these corsets, so I would not advise this for tightlacing, but more for a temporary gentle cinch and fashion use.

Learn more about the cincher on Amazon.

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Pearls & Arsenic Red Swarovski Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “REVIEW: Pearls & Arsenic Red Swarovski Corset” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is 11.25 inches long, princess seam is 9 inches (3.5″ above the waist, 5.5″ below the waist), side seam is 8 inches and center back is 12 inches.
Underbust 26″, waist 22″, low hip 33″.
Conical ribcage. Comes down low over the tummy, and sweeps up high on the back. This type of corset would fit someone with a high waist.
Material 2 main layers; fashion layer is red satin, with many “garnet” (dark red) and “ruby” (light red) colored tiny Swarovski crystals. The strength fabric (lining) is black cotton coutil.
Construction 6 panel pattern (12 panels total). Panel 3 gives space over the hip, and panels 5-6 give plenty of space in the back. For construction: both layers were flatlined and treated as one. Panels were assembled and topstitched (seam allowances on the inside), and internal boning channels (cotton twill) were laid down to cover the seam allowance.
Waist tape 1.25″ wide waist tape, made from single-faced satin ribbon, exposed on the inside of the corset and secured down at boning channels. Partial width (from seam between panels 1-2 to seam between panels 5-6).
Binding Bias tape made from matching red satin, neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside with a small topstitch (may have been stitched in one pass, using a special attachment). There are also 4 garter tabs (2 on each side).
Modesty panel 7.5 inches wide and finished in red satin fashion fabric / black cotton lining. Unstiffened, but quilted with many lines of stitching. Attached to one side of the corset with a line of stitching (easily removed if desired), and finished with binding on top and bottom. In the front there’s a slightly stiffened placket, 1 inch wide, finished in red satin, extending out from the knob side of the busk.
Busk 10″ long, with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Slightly wider (3/4″ on each side) and slightly stiffer than a standard flexible busk.
Boning 14 steel bones not including busk. On each side, 5 spirals (1/4″ wide) are single boned on the seams, and 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 24 grommets total (12 on each side), size #00 two-part grommets with small-to-moderate flange; set a bit closer together at the waistline, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. I see no splits in the back, and the back panel is very good at not bowing or warping (see Final Thoughts).
Laces Strong 1/4″ black nylon flat shoe-lace style laces; they have a bit of string, they hold bows and knots well, they glide well through the grommets, and they are long enough. (I would love to switch out the laces for some lush double-face satin ribbon to match the rest of the corset!)
Price Although the corset in this review is a sample, Pearls & Arsenic corsets start at $193 USD.

 

Designer Raven Tao (center, in white) poses with her Pearls & Arsenic team Vera Lui (left) and Natasha Noir (right).

Final Thoughts:

Pearls & Arsenic is described as Hong Kong’s first luxury brand, owned by Raven Tao (who has her own Youtube channel, as well as a channel specifically about corsets!).

There are hundreds of small Swarovski crystals encrusting this corset, arranged in a gradient of deep “garnet” red crystals at the top and tapering down to lighter “ruby” red crystals towards the bottom. These were all hand-applied by Raven herself, and you can tell it was done with care – just the right amount of adhesive was used and each crystal was cleanly applied so there were no strings or residue oozing out from under the crystals. There was also care to keep the design symmetric on both sides, and to not have any crystals under the loops of the busk so it could be fastened properly. The crystals are also holding on securely and none of them are falling off.

On the center front and center back of this corset, there is a heavy-duty interfacing / canvas / buckram, or some other stiffener that helps keep the center front smooth (wrinkle-free) and flat, and prevents the back steels or grommets from warping or bowing along the horizontal plane. I seldom see corsets stabilized in this way and I found it interesting.

See more designs by Raven Tao on her Pearls & Arsenic site here, and see the official Pearls & Arsenic Youtube channel here!

Do you own a corset by Pearls & Arsenic? Let us know what you think of it in a comment below!

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Glamorous Corset “Bella” Mesh Cincher Review

This entry is a summary of the review for the “Bella” cincher in black mesh, made by Glamorous Corset. 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 just short of 8 inches long, the side seam is 6.5 inches and the center back is 8.25 inches long.
Rib spring is 4″, upper hip spring is 5″. The waist does tend to run a bit large / expand in mesh corsets. Offers a gentle (modern slim) silhouette.
Material The mesh parts are single layer hexagonal-hole “fishnet” style netting (seemingly industry standard for OTR). The front and back panels, boning channels and binding are all black cotton bull denim (a coarse weave twill).
Construction 4-panel pattern (8 panels total). Mesh panels were assembled together, and seams were sandwiched by boning channels on the outside and inside. The channels straddle the seams and reinforce the seams.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape made from single-faced satin ribbon, stitched on the inside of the corset and secured at boning channels. Full width (extends from center front panel to center back).
Binding Matching black cotton twill, machine stitched on both sides. The front was stitched in the ditch and the back has a top stitch. No garter tabs.
Modesty panel 5 inches wide, unstiffened, made from 2 layers of black cotton twill. Attached to one side of the corset with a line of stitching (easily removed if desired). In the front, there is a ¼ inch wide modesty placket, also finished in black cotton.
Busk 6.5” long, with 3 loops and pins. Heavy duty busk (1″ wide on each side) with an additional ¼” spiral steel bone adjacent to the busk on each side.
Boning 18 bones total in this corset, 9 on each side. Double boned on the seams with ¼ inch wide spirals. The bones adjacent to the busk are also spiral steel. The bones sandwiching the grommets are flat steel (probably stainless steel).
Grommets There are 16, two-part size #00 grommets (8 on each side). They have a small / medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in silver. Only a few splits on the underside of the grommets, and due to the choice in laces, they don’t catch too much.
Laces The laces are black, ¼” wide flat nylon shoelace. They are a bit springy, but they hold bows and knots well and they are long enough.
Price Available in sizes 18″ up to 40″ closed waist.
Comes in black mesh, white mesh, 5 colors of satin, and 5 colors of leather.
Sizes 18″ – 30″ are $79 USD, and sizes 32″ – 40″ are $84 USD.
Only available on the Glamorous Corset website here.

 

Final Thoughts:

Bella Mesh cincher, model unknown. $79-$84 USD. Click through to visit Glamorous Corset.

The Bella is quite possibly the shortest mesh cincher I’ve ever tried – so if you have a very short torso and you’re looking for something you can easily sit down in, which can offer lumbar support through your work day without making you overheated, the Bella may be a viable option for you. However, if you have a longer torso, you might experience a bit of “rib squidge” above the corset and below your bra band like I experienced. For people like us, there are longer mesh corsets available (like the gentle silhouette “Emma” underbust, or the curvy longline “Jolie” corset).

The mesh is the OTR standard “fishnet” type cotton netting, which offers breathability and quite a lot of flexibility, while the sturdy double boning adds body and rigidity to the corset for posture support and vertical tension. Do keep in mind that because the mesh can expand, this mesh corsets (like other mesh corsets) can expand 1-2 inches when worn (I find this is true of nearly all OTR corsets with this kind of fishnet material, regardless of the brand), so if you’re looking for a specific waist reduction, you may need to go one size down from your usual size – but ensure that your ribs and hips will fit that smaller size as well.

Find the Glamorous Corset Bella and other mesh corsets in their shop here.

Do you have the Bella corset, or another corset from Glamorous Corset? Let us know what you think of it in a comment below.

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Timeless Trends Hourglass Cincher Overview/ Comparison

iridescent-purple-cincher

Full disclosure: The hourglass cincher featured in this review is one of the four new designs I helped create for Timeless Trends in 2015, along with the hourglass standard corsets, hourglass longline corsets, and the newest Gemini corset.

If you are interested in purchasing a TT cincher and you would like to support Lucy’s Corsetry, please consider buying through my Corset Shop here!

This entry is a summary of the video “Timeless Trends Hourglass Cincher (Comparison/ Overview)” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This style is standard sized 24″: Center front is about 8.25 inches high, the ‘princess seam’ is 7 inches, side seam is 6.25 inches, and the center back is 9.5 inches.
Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 28″ (4 inch rib spring), upper hip is 31″ (7 inch high hip spring). This corset is designed to stop well above the iliac crest, and fit someone with a very short torso.
Material Three layers of fabric. The fashion fabric is red dragon brocade laminated to cotton twill (alternating with plain black satin panels, also fused to twill interlining) and it’s lined in black cotton twill as well.
Construction 6 panel pattern, constructed using the sandwich method. The curve over the hips and bum are in panels 3, 4, whereas much of the room for the front ribs come from the ‘champagne glass’ shaped 2nd panel.
Binding Matching black satin bias binding, machine-stitched on both sides. Also has 6 garter tabs (the slim silhouette corsets only have 4 garter tabs).
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape, sandwiched between the panels. Full waist tape, from center front to center back.
Modesty panel Modesty panels are not included in with the corsets, because unstiffened panels are somewhat unpopular amongst many customers. However, stiffened, boned modesty panels are now available for separate purchase, and can be suspended on the laces with velcro or grommets.
All hourglass corsets have front modesty plackets in matching fashion fabric.
Busk 7 inches long. 4 loops + pins, equidistantly spaced. It is a standard flexible busk, and it is reinforced with flat steels on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones total, not including busk. On each side, there are ten 1/4″ wide spirals, two flat steels by the grommets, and one flat steel by the busk.
Grommets 20 two-part grommets, size #0, with a small to medium flange. Finished in dark silver and equidistantly spaced. Big washers, most grommets rolled nicely. There are some splits, but they don’t catch on the laces.
Laces Single face satin ribbon in black, 1/2″ wide. It’s relatively long and has no stretch, but single face satin is not quite as strong as double-face satin. Some different styles of cincher are laced with more sturdy shoelace instead of ribbon.
Price This particular style is $79 USD, and the most popular styles are now $74 uSD – you can see more styles here.

 

waist-cincher-creme
Hourglass Creme Cotton cincher by Timeless Trends

The cincher has less of a cupped rib compared to the standard length and longline hourglass corsets – while the standard length and longline TT corsets were based off similar patterns, we started anew with the cincher pattern to be able to cater to people with different body types and different aesthetic. However, you will find that the hourglass cinchers have far more room in the ribs and hips and gives a much more shapely silhouette compared to the gentle silhouette cinchers.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the hourglass cincher, I’m incredibly proud to say that they are available here in my shop!

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Corset Liner Master Post + Comparing 5 Brands

Back in 2011 I made an introductory video on corset liners, what they are used for and what you can use as a substitute (tank top, tube top, etc). But at the time I had only experienced one brand of corset liner, and in the past few years I’ve tried a few more from different companies so I’ll be discussing the pros and cons of each today.

What is a corset liner?

A liner is a thin, stretchy, breathable garment that you wear underneath your corset which provides a barrier or buffer between your skin and the corset.

Liners do two things: they protect your skin against chafing, and they help keep the corset clean. I’ll go into more detail below.

Liners are typically made from a very stretchy fabric and designed to be smaller than your natural waist. A well-fitting corset liner, when unstretched, should be about the same waist measurement as your corset’s closed internal waist measurement, so when you’re lacing down, the liner will shrink back with the corset and remain smooth around your body.

Preventing wrinkles or folds under the corset will help keep you more comfortable and prevent pressure sores that might have otherwise occurred if you wore a bulky shirt under your corset instead.

You can purchase specific corset liners, which look like hourglass-shaped tube tops. Most corset liners are for underbust corsets – they cover only from the underbust to the upper hips.

 

Corset liners help protect your body

If you are lacing without a liner, the rigid corset may drag against your skin and pull it in uncomfortable ways, resulting in chafing and bruising. Laces can also cause rope/friction burn if the corset doesn’t have a modesty panel. Corset liners are sometimes made with a relatively slick fabric which allows the corset (and laces) to glide over the liner, reducing the risk of chafing.

A good liner can also prevent your skin from being scratched by a split or rough grommet. All proper liners will also be breathable and moisture-wicking so will help keep your skin comfortable and feeling cool and dry throughout the day.

 

Corset liners help protect your corset

White corset liner by Corset Connection, one of the liners being compared in the table below.
White corset liner by Corset Connection, one of the liners being compared in the table below.

If you’re wearing a corset on a regular basis, especially in warm weather, you’re going to sweat quite a lot. Your body also produces sebum, and trillions of bacteria and yeast cells grow all over your skin and feed of the oil and cholesterol in your sebum, kept in a careful balance to protect you from external pathogenic germs. You are also constantly sloughing off dead skin cells and losing downy little hairs from all over your body. Also, if you use skin products like lotions and perfumes, these can also transfer onto your clothing! This is why some people are understandably disgusted to learn that corsets are rarely (if ever) washed.

Corsets should not be washed regularly, for several reasons which I discuss this article.  It’s imperative that the corset be kept as clean as possible and washing be kept to a minimum.The catch 22 is that corsets can be damaged by being washed, but they can also be damaged by not being washed! The salt in our sweat and the acidic pH of the mantle of our skin can break down fibers in delicate fabrics like silk. Also, an unwashed, dark, damp corset can create a breeding ground for microbes, and affect that delicate balance of critters on our skin – making us more prone to skin infections – yuck!

But wearing a liner between your body and the corset means that the liner will take this abuse instead, and the liner can be washed regularly, saving your corset and keeping it clean and fresh.

Are you absolutely required to wear a liner under your corset? Of course not; a garment is yours to do with as you wish – but if you want your corset to last as long as possible, then it’s a great reason to start!

 

Thin stretchy shirts can be a corset liner substitute

If you don’t have access or can’t afford real corset liners, there are many products that will do as makeshift liners. Some of my favorites include thin cotton babydoll t-shirts (as they are thin, close-fitting, stretchy and breathable), seamless microfiber camisoles and tank tops in the summer, and microfiber turtlenecks in the winter. I have even heard of people wearing body stockings or leotards – just make sure you have some way of going to the bathroom in these, as you don’t want to be in a rush and discover that you have to remove your corset to do your business!

However, most shirts have their limitations: they are usually cut to suit a natural waist, and they’re unlikely to shrink down enough with a corset – the result is a few wrinkles in your shirt under the corset. This is usually not the end of the world, and many people are fine with this especially if their corset is only a moderate reduction and they’re not training 23 hours a day. In shirts that tend to wrinkle on me, I will slide my hands under the corset before tightening and try to bring the fullness of the fabric away from the sides of my waist (where there’s the most pressure) to the back, where it’s less likely to irritate.

 

Corset liner =/= Faja

Both liners and fajas are stretchy and designed to fit smooth around the body. However, they have some important differences:

A corset liner is breathable and moisture-wicking. It’s not shapewear, it’s not so strong that it’s going to pull your waist in by more than an inch or so.

A “rubber cincher” or faja is still stretchy, but it has more resistance so it may bring in the waist by a couple of inches. But the main difference is that it’s not designed to be breathable. The rubber or neoprene coating keeps you warm and encourages you to sweat. The rubber cincher makes you hot and sweaty, whereas a corset liner keeps you cool and dry – literally opposite effects!

Let’s compare the stats of all the corset liners:

The table is pretty wide, be sure to use the slider at the bottom to see all the brands.
BrandContour CorsetsChabaMeTimeless TrendsMadame SherFabrizia Barros CorsetsHeavenly CorsetsCorset Connection
Price$45 USD each, or $125 for set of 3.$15 USD each$19 USD each$20 USD for a pair$18 USD for a pair£14 GBP (~$18 USD) each$20 USD each
Type of FabricSynthetic 4-way stretch Spandex fabric (not swimsuit fabric).75% Bamboo
20% Polyamide
5% Spandex
Cotton and spandex (4-way stretch)Cotton jersey (4-way stretch knit).Cotton and elastane (4-way stretch knit).Synthetic spandex fabric (feels like swimsuit fabric).Cotton and lycra (thinner than Madame Sher).
# of seams2 seams (I wear the corset with the seams to the front and back, and the tag on the outside).Zero seams (woven tube).2 seams (I wear it inside-out, and rotated so the seams are at the front and back).2 seams (I wear it inside-out, and rotated so the seams are at the front and back).2 seams (I wear it inside-out, and rotated so the seams are at the front and back).1 seam which is designed to be worn toward the back of the body, where the laces are.1 seam, and the seam is kind of lapped so it's flatter than a typical seam allowance.
Custom or StandardCustom to my measurementsStandard (sizes S, M, L)Standard (I wear size small). Available in size XS - XXL (18 inches to 42 inches)Made to match my corset sizeMade to order? (I received samples)Custom to my measurementsStandard (size medium)
Colors availableBlack, beige, BlackBlack, whiteNudeNude / beigeBlack, whiteBlack, white, ivory, nude
Length (Unstretched)14”11” (size medium), 10" (size small)12”10”10.5”12”10”
Circumferential measurements (Unstretched)Waist is 20", underbust is 26", hips are 32”.Size small is 20” along the entire length, size Medium is 24” along entire length.Waist is 24", underbust is 27", hips are 34”. (corresponds to size 24" hourglass corset measurements)22" waist, same as my corsets - but the underbust/ hips were not to my measurements.Waist is 24", underbust is 26", hips are 30".Waist is 21", underbust is 28”, hips are 29”.Waist is 24", underbust is 27", hips are 27”.
Stretch Test190%170%150%150%150%152%155%
ProsElastic ribbon on the top and bottom helps keep it in place. You can fold your liner over the top and bottom edges of your corset, which helps protect the binding from wear, abrasion, or underboob sweat. Very slick fabric and has very little friction. Very thin and stretchy.Smooth, moisture-wicking, soft to the touch, no seams. Mostly natural fibers (good for those who are sensitive too all synthetic liners).Breathable and cool, great for those who have a skin sensitivity to synthetics. Breathable and cool, great for those who have a skin sensitivity to synthetics. The fabric is infused with a skin toning / conditioning moisturizer (lasts up to 15 washes)Very slick fabric and has very little friction. Very thin.Pretty stretch lace on the top and bottom edges, which is flatter/ lower profile than a thick folded sewn hem.
ConsNot quite as breathable as the cotton fabrics. Most expensive option (worth it, in my opinion).Fabric is more plush and less slick. The woven hem may leave temporary marks on the skin.Cotton knits tend to wrinkle a bit more compared to some synthetic knits (like nylon jersey). If you can cinch down more than 6" in the waist, you may want to go up a size.When on my body, it tends to shorten a bit so it doesn't cover the full length of my corset. Cotton knits tend to wrinkle a bit more compared to some synthetic knits (like nylon jersey).Needs to be hand washed to maximize the moisturizer. Stretches out the more you wear it.Not quite as breathable as the cotton fabrics. Also it's a weird shape, and the seam creates a point at the top and the bottom that tends to extend beyond the edges of my corset.The lace has a habit of rolling over on itself - if this annoys you, go with one of the other corsets with a more sturdy hem. Also, cotton wrinkles a little more than the synthetic liners.
Award:Most stretchy, most smooth under corsets. Lucy’s personal favorite.Affordable, moisture-wicking, soft to the touch, 2nd-most stretchy. Lucy’s 2nd favorite.Comes in the biggest size range. Breathable, moisture-wicking.2nd least expensive, most moisture-wicking.Least expensive, unique skin moisturizing properties.Most slippery.Softest to the touch, most breathable.
Link:http://contourcorsets.com/liners.htmlhttp://amzn.to/2fhEl78https://lucycorsetry.com/product/corset-liners/http://www.madamesher.com/en/designs/tight-confort/1/cotton-liner/1/https://www.facebook.com/fabriziabarroshttp://heavenlycorsets.com/shop-now/#!/Corset-Liner/p/23280799/category=5525899http://www.corsetconnection.com/corset-liner/

Have you tried a corset liner brand not mentioned here? Which brand is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

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True Corset Mesh Cincher Review

This post is a summary of the “True Corset Mesh Cincher Review” videos.

Below you will find the first review I did for True Corset (May 13 2014), when they didn’t have the full waist tape – this was their OLD stock.

When I notified True Corset of a few improvements they could make to their products, they added a few changes (include a full waist tape instead of a partial tape, and seemingly stronger grommet panel) so below is my second review (August 26, 2014)  with the amendments:

Fit, length Front and back are about 9.5 inches long, and the sides are slightly less than 9 inches. I consider this a modern slim silhouette; the ribcage is about 5″ bigger than the waist, and the hips are about 8″ bigger than the waist. (Original measurements: ribcage 29″, waist 24″, high hip 32″) Recommended for people of shorter stature or shorter waists. If you have any issues with lower tummy pooch, choose a longer corset as this one doesn’t extend down to cover the lower abdomen.
Material Single layer of mesh, with twill reinforcements on the busk and grommet area, and grosgrain boning channels.
Construction 5 panel pattern, all panels looking fairly parallel. Single boned on the seams, with internal boning channels straddling each seam to strengthen it.
Binding Commercial black satin ribbon, not folded under. Machine stitched on the outside and inside. 6 garter tabs (3 on each side).
Waist tape 1-inch wide black satin ribbon, exposed on the inside of the corset. It does not extend through all panels though; this waist tape starts between panels 1-2, and ends between panels 4-5, so that panel 1 and panel 5 are not reinforced.
Modesty panel No modesty panel or placket on my corset.
Busk 8.5 inches long with 5 pins (equidistantly spaced). Fairly stiff, just short of 1″ wide on each side.
Boning 12 total bones not including busk. On each side there are four 1/4″ spiral steel bones (in internal channels) and the bones seem to be coated or covered in a kind of black heat shrink tubing, probably to help it match the rest of the black corset. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with small flange; set equidistantly. The NEW stock of corsets appear to have extra reinforcement at the back; the grommets fortunately don’t pull out the same way that they did in the older stock version.
Laces 1/4″ black flat braided nylon shoe-lace style laces. Virtually unbreakable. Has a bit of spring.
Price At this time, it sells for $39 on Amazon.com.

 

This cincher is designed for beginners, as it has an attractive price and a modern slim silhouette. When I tried True Corset’s Dragon cincher in early 2014, I noticed that the size 22″ didn’t close very far in the back due to my ribcage and hips, so I went with the size 24″ this time in the mesh and found that it closed entirely in the back, and fit my circumferential measurements quite comfortably.

La Esmeralda models the black mesh cincher by True Corset. This corset also comes in red and white.
La Esmeralda models the black mesh cincher by True Corset. This corset also comes in red and white.

The mesh is a “fishnet” style (very common among OTR corsets) and on the delicate side – I have noticed that there is some expansion of the mesh at the waistline (which is why they recommend you purchase one size smaller than usual, even though I personally didn’t do so – in fact, I recommend ordering one size up due to the gentle curve).

In the old stock, I noticed the grommets had begun to pull out at the waistline after a few wears. I recommended to True Corset that the grommet panel be reinforced with another layer of twill; this would give the grommets more fabric to “grab onto”. I also suggested using grommets with a wider flange. Their newer stock corsets seemed to use the same grommets, but they must have made some other changes as my newer stock mesh corset didn’t have any grommets pull out.

I must stress what True Corset said to me: that this piece is not a waist training nor a tight lacing corset – I would say it should only be used for occasional light lacing. I used this corset for “stealthing” under some of my favorite dresses in the summer as it provided some shaping while keeping me cool. Mesh corsets are difficult to review, because they really only have resurfaced in the last couple of years and as of yet there is no set standard of quality (the way there is a standard with other strength fabrics e.g. twill, coutil, etc.). Because it is not identical in strength or construction to a cotton twill corset, this piece should not be used the same way as a twill corset.

True Corset is a bit brave to have been one of the first OTR companies to take on the challenge of affordable mesh corsetry. These pieces, despite being single layer, may be more difficult to construct due to the lightweight, easily malleable and porous nature of the mesh. Certain mesh types may be more difficult to source or more expensive than twill. This corset has been the least expensive mesh corset I have ever tried, now priced at less than half it was originally in 2014 – just keep in mind that you get what you pay for when it comes to mesh corsetry; don’t expect it to hold up the way a custom waist training corset would!

You can find the True Corset mesh cincher in three different colors (white, black and red) on here on Amazon.

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Dark Garden Cincher Review

This post is a summary of the “Dark Garden Cincher Review” video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

 

Fit, length Center front is 11 inches long, the side-front (princess seam) is 9.5 inches, the side seam is 9 inches, and the enter back is also 12 inches. Circumferential measurements: waist is 22″, ribcage 28″ (measured about 4 inches above the waist), high hip 32″ (measured about 5 inches below the waist). Gives an hourglass silhouette; a very slightly rounded ribcage and moderate curve.
Material Fashion fabric is silk/rayon brocade with a black diamond motif, and the strength fabric (lining) is densely-woven black canvas.
Construction 4 panel pattern. It seems as though all layers were flatlined for each panel, panels were assembled with seam allowances facing outward, and these seams were then covered with external boning channels (2 bones per seam).
Binding Bias strips of matching black diamond brocade, machine stitched on both sides, with a slight topstitch visible on the outside. 6 garter tabs.
Waist tape 0.75 inch wide black cotton twill waist tape, exposed on the lining side of the corset. It starts at the seam between panels 1-2, and ends at the center back seam.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is around 5″ wide, finished in the same fashion fabric (black diamond brocade) and black canvas lining. Stiffened with 4 steel bones and left separate to slip under the laces when worn (or you can choose to not wear the modesty panel). There is a teensy seam in the center front which is not a modesty placket per se, but it does help prevent a visible gap between the busk.
Busk 10.5 inches long with 5 pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk (half inch on each side). There is also a 1/2″ wide flat steel on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 18 total bones not including busk. 1/4″ wide bones, double boned on the seams. The side seams must be flat steel since they are pre-bent. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side, as well as one 1/2″ flat steel by the busk, making a total of 9 bones on each side.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #00 with medium flange, finished in black and set equidistantly. A few splits on the underside, but for the most part they’ve rolled nicely and don’t catch on the laces. Washers are large to prevent the grommets from falling out.
Laces 3/8″ black double faced satin ribbon. Zero spring. They glide well through the laces.
Price Available from sizes 18-38, and at the time that I’m writing this review, the corselette costs $315 for plain black poplin, and $365 if you want an identical style to this (with black diamond brocade).
Cincher: Dark Garden. Photo: Remedy Photography. Model: Me (Lucy Corsetry)
Cincher: Dark Garden. Photo: Remedy Photography. Model: Me (Lucy Corsetry)

This is the second of four reviews of Dark Garden’s ready-to-wear signature corset line, including the Corselette, the classic Valentine and the Risqué Valentine

While I normally categorize a “cincher” as being a shorter underbust corset (8″ or less on the side seam), this cincher fits average length torsos very well and extends down 5″ below the waist. The thing that I noticed about this corset in particular is how incredibly quickly it seasoned to my body and how comfortable it is. As this was a sample and I didn’t know which fashion fabrics to expect, I was really pleasantly surprised with the black diamond brocade – it looked polished and professional, and it would have been easy to add this to a business suit. I did a photo shoot on the hottest day in June with this corset, and found that this cincher was surprisingly more cool and breathable than I had anticipated.

But one of the things I appreciate most about Dark Garden is their ethics. Every one of their corsets are made from start to finish in the US and they take enormous pride in their construction, which is evident in the pattern matching in their lace or brocade corsets for a luxurious final effect.

The Cincher can be viewed on Dark Garden’s website HERE.

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Orchard Corset CS-301 Waspie (Mini Corset) Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Orchard Corset CS-301 Waspie Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is about 8 inches high, and the side seam is 6.5 inches high. Hourglass silhouette. Waist is 22″, top edge is 26″ (whether that is the underbust or lower ribcage on you depends on the length of your torso), bottom edge (iliac crest) is 28″.
Material 2 main layers: Outer layer is black suiting fabric with a pile/nap and herringbone design, and lining is cotton twill.
Construction 4 panel pattern, panels assembled using a topstitch and is single boned with internal boning channels on the seams.
Binding Bias tape is a commercial black satin; machine stitched on the inside and outside.
Waist tape 1 inch wide partial waist tape, exposed on the inside of the corset on the side panels (panels 2-3). Unfortunately I don’t see that it extends through the entire corset.
Modesty panel 5.5 inch wide unstiffened modesty panel attached to one side finished in the same fabric as the rest of the corset. There is also an unstiffened modesty placket in the front, made of black twill.
Busk 6.5 inches long, standard width busk (half inch on each side) with 3 knobs and loops, equidistantly spaced.
Boning 10 bones total (5 bones per side). On each side, there are three 1/4″ wide spiral steel bones, single boned on the seams. There are two flat steels sandwiching the grommets as well.
Grommets 16 two-part grommets, size #00, small to medium flange, quite sturdy. Finished in silver and set equidistantly. The washers are nice and large. The corset is laced higher than I would prefer, which is typical of Orchard Corset.
Laces Laces are 1/4″ wide nylon flat laces, a bit springy but difficult to break.
Price At the time I’m writing this, the price starts at $65 for sizes 16-30″. Starting at size 32″, the price increases by $1 per size, up to a maximum size and price of $73 for size 46″.
Not the same fabric style, but another pretty version of the CS-301 shown on the Orchard Corset website

The CS-301 is the newest cut offered by Orchard Corset, and it’s called the “waspie/ mini-corset” for a reason – it packs a surprising amount of curve for such a little corset! Because this piece is only 6.5 inches high at the side seam, nearly everybody (whether their torso is long or short) should be able to sit down comfortably in this corset – however, be aware that if you have any protrusion of your lower tummy, this corset is not likely to cover and pull it in, and indeed may make a lower tummy look more pronounced (if you would like to prevent lower-tummy protrusion, a longer corset will help, as well as a ‘tucking’ technique shown here). Additionally, if you have a fleshy torso like I do and you have a tendency of getting ‘muffin top’, you may want to consider a different corset with a higher back if you are interested in preventing this. However, if you have a ribcage that is the same size or smaller than your natural waist or you don’t carry much weight on your upper torso or back, then muffin top shouldn’t be an issue for you.

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to try this (so far exclusive) design with the lovely plush fashion fabric, but in retrospect perhaps this was not wise in the context of a review, because I don’t have the ability to test their currently-available black satin version and see how well it stands up to the test of time. So while I will keep an eye on how this corset fares with use, please be aware that it may not directly apply to how the satin version behaves.

This corset is stocked from size 16″ to 46″. It starts at $65 in price up to a maximum of $73, but you will be able to save 10% by using the discount code CORSETLUCY . Be aware that I don’t earn a dime from this coupon code; it is simply a token of thanks by them to be used for any of my Youtube subscribers. Purchasing and additional information can be found on the Orchard Corset website here.

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Electra Designs Pointed Cincher Review

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

Fit, length Center front is about 11 inches long, side length is about 6.5″ long. Wasp waist silhouette. Standard size 20T cincher – the low ribcage is 24″, waist is 20″, hips at the bottom edge is 32″ (which is where my iliac crest hits).
Material Fashion layer is black floral broche (strong in itself, but fused to a sturdy interlining to help it lie smooth); strength layer (lining) is cotton coutil.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Top-stitching between panels, stitched 4 times between panels (extremely sturdy). Many many sandwiched bones. No garter tabs, but they can be added if you commission a piece.
Binding Black bias strips of satin, machine stitched on both sides and very tidy.
Waist tape 1″ wide waist tape invisibly secured between the layers.
Modesty panel Unstiffened floating modesty panel in the back, and unstiffened placket in front (made by the first owner of this corset, not by Alexis the corsetiere).
Busk No busk in this corset, the original owner had requested both front and back functional lacing.
Boning 36 steel bones (18 on each side!), an average of 3-4 spiral bones on each panel, plus flat steel bones in front and back, and special lacing bones in the back.
Eyelets 18 in total, size #00 two-part eyelets with small flange; set equidistantly (they have to be because they’re set into a lacing bone); high quality – no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. Washer on the back is larger than flange for extra support. In the front, the eyelets are set between two flat bones, unlike the special lacing bone in the back.
Laces Matching black double-face satin ribbon on the back and also the front. They glide smoothly through the eyelets, they grip well and they are long enough. Very easy to lace up. Zero spring.
Price At the time I’m writing this, the standard sized pointed cincher is $260. There’s a $60 markup for functional front lacing instead of a busk, and another $50 markup for double boning, for a total of $370. You can see the options on her website here.

Final Thoughts:

This corset was purchased 2nd hand from my friend and corset double. The only difference between our measurements is that she is a bit shorter in the torso than I am, so where this corset would come up higher on her ribcage, it fits like a cincher on me and only nips in my floating ribs and waist underneath. This is Electra Designs’ standard sized corset from her old size chart, and it’s a little small in the ribcage for me, as I have a fleshy torso and broad back – but the hips fit nearly perfectly, I get no pinching or irritation in the hip area. In her newer size chart, the fit is close to perfect for me (which you will see in a future review!).

The flexible lacing bones follow the natural curve of my spine, allowing me to hold a neutral posture in this corset – I feel that this style of lacing would be excellent for those who have lordosis (swayback) as it doesn’t force the wearer to “flatten” the lumbar spine or hunch over.

The construction is remarkably strong and it’s sturdy enough for waist training – Alexis remains one of my favourite corsetieres and I look forward to commissioning her for a custom in the near future. At the moment she is busy creating a multimedia corset making instructional course, which you can learn more about on this page.

To see other styles from Electra Designs, do visit the official website here!

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Vollers “Aida” Review and Revision

This entry is a summary of the two video “Vollers Aida underbust review” and “NEW & IMPROVED Aida Corset (Mini Review)” which you can watch on YouTube here:

*****

 

Fit, length Center front is 9.5″ high, center back is 9″ high, side seam is 7″ high (cuts over the iliac crest) – I would consider this a cincher. Modern slim silhouette; this size 24″ corset has an underbust 28″ and high hips of about 30″. But Vollers has a made-to-measure service, you can get this corset made to your specifications for a 25% markup.
Material 2 main layers; outer layer is ivory satin and inner layer is ivory twill.
Construction 13 panel pattern (closed front), panels assembled with a top-stitch and single-boned on the seams (internal boning channels). The original Aida corset had twill channels, while the revised Aida has herringbone coutil boning channels.
Binding Hand-made bias strips of commercial black satin ribbon, machine stitched on the outside and inside (not folded under, as the ribbon has a finished edge)
Waist tape The original Aida had no waist tape, but the revised version does have a partial internal waist tape.
Modesty panel 6-inch wide modesty panel finished in same ivory satin/ twill under the laces in the back, and a modesty placket under the side zipper (the revised version has a boned placket).
Zipper Closure The Aida has a 6″ long heavy-duty metal Riri zipper; the original version had no bones around the zipper, while the revised version has double boning in the modesty placket under the zipper for greater stabilization.
Boning Original Aida had 13 bones total, with none in the center front and none by the zipper. Revised Aida has 16 bones; a large 1-inch wide heavy duty bone in the center front, and two in the zipper’s modesty placket.
Grommets 18 one-part eyelets, size #00, small-to-medium, quite sturdy. Silver finish, and set equidistantly. The eyelets splay outwards in the back and grab onto the back of the twill; they are not coming out but then again I don’t lace this corset very tightly (about a 3-inch reduction)
Embellishment Closed front with black decorative laces; the original Aida corset had a bow at the bottom, while the revised Aida omitted the bow.
Price At the time I’m writing this, the Aida is £195 in the UK, or $310 USD.

Other Thoughts:

Model shows the location of the heavy zipper.

After the first review of the Aida corset, I’m quite pleased that Vollers had decided to make some revisions and improvements to the Aida corset and loan me their newer version for a mini review. The differences in the new Aida include sturdier herringbone weave boning channels (instead of twill); an added waist tape on the inside of the corset (the original had none); more bones including a double-boned modesty placket under the zipper, and a heavy-duty 1-inch bone in the center front; and the omission of the little black ribbon bow in the center front of the corset. The extra bones contributed to a sturdier-feeling corset, and helped to keep the corset’s silhouette more symmetric on the body. I also feel that the extra stability around the zipper would potentially lead to a longer-lasting corset in general.

Vollers mentioned that they wanted to introduce this new line of zip-up corsets to cater to their Burlesque clientele, who need quick and easy access into and out of their corsets onstage.

It shows great integrity in a corset company that they are willing to listen to the ideas of their customers and change their construction accordingly, so I have to thank Vollers for giving me this opportunity to try out their products and share them with my viewers and readers. You can read more about the Aida corset on the Vollers website here.

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Romantasy “Simple Pleasures” Victorian Cincher Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Romantasy Simple Pleasures Reversible Cincher Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is about 10″ long and the shortest part of the corset (close to the side seam) is about 6.5″ – so this corset would be able to fit short waisted wearers. Gentle hourglass silhouette; the ribcage is about 4-5″ larger than the waist, and the hips are about 6-7″ larger than the waist (but it comes high over the hips so doesn’t squeeze my iliac crest).
Material 2 layers; the outer fabric is denim and the inner fabric is satin coutil (cotton-backed satin).
Construction 6 panel pattern, panels are assembled using a top-stitch, single boned on the seams (sandwiched).
Binding Bias binding in matching bias strips of satin coutil, machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape A 0.5″ wide invisible waist tape – sandwiched between the two layers.
Modesty panel No back lacing protector, no front placket. This corset is designed to be economic without add-ons. Also with its reversibility, a modesty panel would somewhat complicate its use. (They can be purchased from Romantasy separately, though!)
Busk Standard flexible busk with 4 pins (bottom two are closer together), about 9.5 inches long. Further reinforced by a wide flat steel on either side of the busk.
Boning 16 bones (not including busk): single boned on the seams with 1/4″ spirals, flats sandwiching the grommets and stiff wide flat steels beside the busk.
Grommets 18 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; absolutely no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommet.
Laces 1/2″ wide, double-face satin ribbon. Great strength, no stretching, but a little slippery. Can be easily replaced with your favourite type of laces though.
Price Starts at $185, with pricing markups for natural waists 32″ through 60″.

Other Thoughts:

This little Simple Pleasures cincher (from the Romantasy private label) was made by Jill Hoverman, just one of the team of 4-5 corsetieres that represent Romantasy. It was introduced as an answer to the cheaper OTR corsets out there, but designed to have a more comfortable fit and more flattering silhouette. It also gives you a more personal experience since you still get to choose your fashion fabric and can talk to Ann about other small upgrades and embellishments, while still paying the same amount as you would for some higher end OTR corsets.

Because this is a lightweight corset, it’s designed to be used for lighter reductions of 3-4 inches (perfect for beginners), for some gentle back support, and to be used as a sleeping corset.

This is my first corset from Romantasy but will certainly not be my last, as it is very comfortable and doesn’t cut into my ribs or hips. Because I have a bit of a fleshy torso, I personally get a bit of muffin top while wearing it, but that is something I usually experience anyway in almost all of my cinchers. I was surprised at how remarkably smooth this corset is for being a reversible piece; I was always under the impression that a corset must be roll-pinned in order to create a smooth line on the body, which is not possible with reversible corsets. However, this one was clearly not roll-pinned yet still super smooth on both sides!

Since this is a standard size, I’d recommend this for lacers who are rather balanced in their weight distribution on top and bottom, and are looking for light support. I’m quite pleased with this little cincher, especially as a made-to-order corset for such a small investment. You can find Romantasy’s Simple Pleasures Cincher on this page.

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Where to buy waist cincher corsets for under $200

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.

Please note that this article may be outdated! To be sure that you are getting the most up-to-date selection, see the permanent page for curvy cinchers and waspies under $200.

Waist cinchers are short corsets, usually cut high over the hip and in some cases stop a couple inches below the underbust line. I usually measure cinchers by the height of the side seam – if it’s 8″ or less on the side, it may fall into the “cincher” range, and most cinchers are 6-7″ high (although I have seen cinchers or ‘waspies’ as short as 4″ on the side!).

Those with shorter waists (or who are short of stature) may wear a cincher and have it fit like a full-length corset, so petite women can save money on waist training by purchasing a made-to-measure cincher, so it fits her body perfectly. A cincher can also accentuate outfits as a wide belt on those with longer waists. There is one caveat though; many companies don’t make cinchers in larger sizes as they don’t provide any support for soft and low-hanging tummies. The following corsetieres and businesses deliver curves in a teeny package.

Orchard Corset CS-301, starts at $65

Orchard Corset has taken the OTR corset industry by storm due to their curviness and affordability. Their CS-301 waspie (mini-corset) has a front length of 8″ and a size length of 7″ and is offered in sizes 16″ up to 46″ (they recommend natural waists up to 54″). Be sure to use the code CORSETLUCY to save 10% off any purchase for an even better deal.

Isabella Corsetry Octopus classic cincher, $180

Isabella Corsetry offers incredibly curvy ready-to-wear cinchers made in the USA. She offers novelty prints, like the Octopus Classic Cincher above, or more conventional designs like floral and pinstripe in sizes up to 36″ (for waists up to 41″). Isabella holds constant sales where you can sometimes catch cinchers for as low as $95.

Aranea Black made-to-measure waspie cincher, $150

Aranea Black is a one-woman corset company in Croatia whose creations are underrated. She offers this curvy made-to-measure waspie/ cincher for only $150 on Etsy, made with closed front and your choice of coutil, spot broche or floral broche.

SnowBlack Corsets made-to-measure raw silk cincher, $170

SnowBlack Corsets is another underrated corsetiere, although Marta’s designs have been featured many times in Polish alt fashion magazines. She offers custom-fit cinchers with a maximum side length of 18cm (7″), finished in raw silk for only $170.

Morgana Femme Couture MF1329 cincher, £95

Morgana Femme Couture makes a beautiful and simple made-to-order silk dupion cincher for £95 (about $150). It’s only 6″ on the side seam and is offered in 19 different colours of silk. The only caveat is that they’re only offered in sizes 18-24 (they recommend up to 28″ waist).

Meschantes Corsetry Mischief waist cincher, $160

Meschantes Corsetry offers two shorter-style corsets, both made-to-measure: the Mischief corset (shown above) or the Etoile corset which is more pointed. These corsets start at $160, but if you check their Etsy shop, they often have ready-to-wear Etoile cinchers for as low as $99.

Sugarkitty Corsets Waspie, $164.

Sugarkitty Corsets offers the tiniest waist cincher I’ve ever seen. The front and back of the corset are around 7″ high, and the side seams are incredibly short (likely 4-5 inches). It’s still made curvy to nip in the waist and is offered in standard sizes up to 32″ (natural waists up to 36″). Please note that Sugarkitty is only offering custom corsets up till the end of 2013.

Heavenly Corsets Bébé cincher, £120

Heavenly Corsets‘ newest addition is the Bébé corset, which is less than 7″ high. For £120 (about $190) it is made-to-measure, and Elle guarantees that it will hold up to even 23/7 tightlacing/ waist training. Elle recommends a maximum natural waist of 32″ for this corset.

If you can stretch your budget a bit more…

Pop Antique Bombshell buskless waspie, $205

Pop Antique‘s Bombshell waspie is so close to $200 that it may as well be up in the other section! Marianne’s super curvy and fun waspie for $205 is standard-sized but will fit most figures like it was made-to-measure. It’s sure to liven any outfit, and can be upgraded with a front closure for $50.

Madame Sher mesh ribbon-style cincher, $220
Madame Sher mesh ribbon-style cincher, $220

Madame Sher offers this breezy mesh cincher for a cool $220. This custom-fit cincher is perfect for summer days and hot climates, and with a side seam of a bit over 8″, it should fit most body types. As Madame Sher’s corsets are made-to-measure, the range of sizes is unknown.

What Katie Did Baby corset, £130

Where would we be without WKD? I wouldn’t feel right not mentioning What Katie Did‘s Baby corset, even though it’s a little over the $200 budget. At only 7″ high and boasting at least 10″ hip spring, this is the curviest of OTR cinchers (it’s patterned from their famous Morticia underbust!). It’s made up to size 34″ (may fit natural waists up to ~40″).

*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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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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Timeless Trends Short Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Timeless Trends Short Underbust Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is about 8″ long and the shortest part of the corset (close to the side seam, from underbust to lap) is about 6.5″ – so this corset would be able to fit short waisted wearers. Gives an extremely slim silhouette; the ribcage is about 2″ larger than the waist, and the hips are about 3-4″ larger than the waist.
Material 3 layers; the outer nude/sand poly fabric is fused to twill interlining. Lining also in twill.
Construction Seams appear to have been lock-stitched with seams pressed open; the layers of fabric secured to one another by stitching in the ditch, with the boning sandwiched between the two layers of twill.
Binding Bias binding in matching colour and fabric; machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape A 1″ wide invisible waist tape – sandwiched between the two layers of twill.
Modesty panel No back lacing protector, no front placket.
Busk Standard flexible busk with 4 pins (equidistantly set), about 7 inches long. Further reinforced by a flat steel on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones (not including busk), 20 are 1/4″ wide spiral steel; 6 flat steels, 3/8″ wide, beside the busk and grommets.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with small/moderate flange; absolutely no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommet.
Laces 1/2″ wide, single-face satin ribbon. Holds fine for my purposes; I have only ever once experienced SF satin ribbon snapping (after 1.5 years of use, after I ironed it). The laces you get depend on the style of the corset, so be sure to look at the back of the corset to know whether you’ll be receiving ribbon or shoelace.
Price Most are $89 USD or £65 in the UK when not on clearance.

Final Thoughts:

Timeless Trends nude cincher as it appears on the website

This short underbust was a surprise when I first tried it on. I was so used to having at least 6″ space in the ribcage and about 8″ space in the hips compared to the waist, like my standard-length underbust corset from Timeless Trends. However, their short corsets are much slimmer than this, having only a couple of inches flare at the top and bottom. For this reason, I really recommend this corset primarily for those who have quite slim hips to begin with, and/or only carry a lot of their weight around their abdomen. This corset would mostly be marketed to those who would like a corset-belt fashion to accentuate their outfits without having too much waist reduction. It would likely fit best if you ordered a size up from what you usually buy (i.e. about 2-3 inches smaller than your natural waist).

The quality of construction is still the same; in the several years I’ve owned their corsets, I have never once had an issue with a bone poking through, a seam ripping, a grommet coming loose etc. At worst, I had heard of the busk being bent and a pin popping off (which can happen to even the best busks if not handled properly) from one person who achieved nearly 10 inches reduction in the waist in one of their longline corsets. If seams do have a gap, it’s considered a manufacturing flaw that is easily rectified with their exchange policy. I think Timeless Trends’ presence in the corset industry would be much stronger if only their corsets would accommodate more of a curve.

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True Corset “Waist Training Long Cincher” Review

This post is a summary of the True Corset “Waist Training Long Corset Cincher” Review video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

Fit, length Front is about 13 inches long, but on the sides the corset is only 8.5 inches, which I suspect is why this corset was named the “long cincher”. I consider this a modern slim silhouette; the ribcage is about 6″ bigger than the waist, and the hips are also about 6-7″ bigger than the waist. Recommended for average/long waists.
Material Likely 3 main layers: fashion fabric is black taffeta, inside has a “bull-denim” style cotton lining (a bit coarser than twill) and I’m guessing that it has a cotton interlining (the taffeta by itself would normally be too thin to contain the bones on the fashion side, but these ones are holding fast).
Construction Technically 6 panel pattern. Assembled using sandwich method, and double-boned on the seams (this is explained in further detail in the video). Also has 6 garter tabs (3 on each side).
Binding Matching black taffeta bias strips, machine stitched on both sides (the 2nd seam was stitched in the ditch).
Waist tape 1-inch wide black satin ribbon, through all panels of the corset – invisibly secured between the lining and interlining of the corset.
Modesty panel 6 inch wide modesty panel at the back (about 4 inches of useable space), unstiffened, attached to one side, and covered in matching black taffeta. No placket in the front by the busk.
Busk 12 inches long with 5 pins (the lowest two pins are closer together, which is typical). 1/2″ wide on each side.
Boning 24 total bones not including busk. (Double boned on the seams with 1/4″ spiral steel bones, and very stiff 1/4″ wide flat steel bones on either side of the grommets.
Grommets 22 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with small flange; set equidistantly. The taffeta seems to be holding up better around the grommets compared to my True Corset finished in brocade.
Laces 1/4″ black flat braided nylon shoe-lace style laces. Virtually unbreakable. Has a bit of spring.
Price At the time that I’m writing, it is £75 in the UK or $120 in the US.

Final Thoughts

I was initially a bit confused by the name, as “long cincher” is a bit of an oxymoron to me. But I presume they mean that it is long on the front and short on the sides – nevertheless, I would say that those with a very short torso should choose a different corset style, as it may be too long in the front for you.

Bernie Dexter models the True Corset taffeta corset

 

Like I had mentioned in my review for True Corset’s Dragon Brocade cincher, this corset has a very gentle curve which is not designed for a huge amount of reduction. Unless you have quite narrow hips, I would recommend ordering a size up from what you’d usually get from an OTR corset company, because the modern-slim silhouette doesn’t accommodate a huge waist reduction. I initially went with a size 22″ but in retrospect I would have gone with a size 24″ instead, as I like my corsets to be more closed in the back. 

My taffeta underbust seems to be keeping in the grommets much more securely compared to the two brocade corsets I have from True Corset (the dragon underbust and blue overbust). This is surprising, as I’m usually used to taffeta being thinner and brocade being thicker and more hardy in other corset brands. I’m not sure if this case is due to the taffeta having a denser weave, or if it is due to the slightly different construction of their “waist training” style corsets; nevertheless they seem to be holding fast. I am going to continue keeping an eye on these grommets – but if you’re considering a True Corset underbust and you’re indifferent about the fashion fabric, I would recommend the taffeta over the brocade.

Is this a true “waist training” corset? I talk about waist training corsets in this particular video, if you’re interested.

You can find the True Corset cincher on their website and also on Amazon.