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Gemini Corset Review (Timeless Trends / Lucy Corsetry collaboration)

Disclosure: I designed the Gemini underbust in both silhouettes, and it’s manufactured by Timeless Trends. If you’re considering purchasing a Gemini corset and you’d like to support my business and designs, please consider purchasing the Gemini here through my online shop.

 

Fit, length Center front is 11 inches long, the princess seam is 9.5 inches (fairly evenly distribued above and below), the side seam is 11 inches and the center back is 13.5 inches long.
Rib spring is 8″, high hip spring is 12″, and low hip spring is 16″.
Comes in 2 silhouettes (low rib spring of conical rib version is 2.5″, and low rib spring of round rib version is 5″).
Material All designs are 3 layers: The fashion fabric is a choice of creme cotton or black cashmere, and the lining and interlining are always cotton twill.
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 2-3-4 give space for the roundness of the ribs in the cupped rib verion, and panels 3-4-5 make the curve over the hip. Constructed using the sandwich method.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape, secured “invisibly” between the layers of fabric. Full width (extends from center front panel to center back).
Binding Matching strips of fashion fabric (creme cotton or black cashmere), machine stitched on both sides. Stitched in the ditch on the outside, and small topstitch on the inside. Also has 6 garter tabs (3 on each side).
Modesty panel No back modesty panel, but stiffened floating modesty panels are available for separate purchase (the Gemini would fit the long panels). In the front, there is a 1/2 inch wide modesty placket, finished in the same fashion fabric.
Busk 10” long, with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk, 1/2″ wide on each side (with adjacent flat steels on each side).
Boning For sizes 22″ and above, there are 32 bones total in this corset, 16 on each side. Double boned on the seams with ¼ inch wide spirals, and single spirals in the middle of the wider panels, panels 3-4-5 (sizes 18″ and 20″ don’t have these extra bones in the middle of the panels due to the panels being so narrow). The bones sandwiching the grommets are 3/8″ wide flat steel, and one flat steel adjacent to the busk.
Grommets There are 28, two-part size #0 grommets (14 on each side). They have a small / medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in pewter / gunmetal grey.
Laces The black cashmere version comes with black, 3/8” wide flat nylon “workhorse” shoelace. The creme cotton comes with creme, 1/2″ wide single-faced satin ribbon which matches the cotton better.
Price Available in sizes 18″ up to 36″ closed waist. If there is enough demand, this range may increase up to 42″ closed waist.
All Gemini corsets in all silhouettes are $99 USD.
Available in my corset shop here.

 

Gemini Corsets (conical rib on the left and round rib on the right), Model is Eva, who wears a size 18″.

Final Thoughts:

The Gemini is made to fit people with a similar torso length to fit TT’s standard length hourglass corsets, but give a bit more of a longline appearance while not affecting one’s ability to sit down comfortably.

There are pros and cons to each silhouette.

Try the round rib silhouette if any or several of the following apply to you:

  • you have a broad ribcage or barrel chest
  • you are a swimmer / athlete and have a muscular back and torso
  • you are a singer or you play a brass instrument
  • you require your full lung capacity
  • you feel claustrophobic or short-of-breath when you wear a conical rib corset
  • you don’t want to train your ribs
  • your costal joints (where your ribs “hinge” in the back) are rigid and your ribs can’t compress
  • your ribs themselves are sensitive, you might have have broken / injured your ribs from an accident in the past, and your ribs don’t take well to pressure
  • you just love the look of a round rib corset!

Try the conical rib silhouette if any or several of the following apply to you:

  • you have a naturally tapered or narrow ribcage, and you don’t “fill out” round rib corsets
  • you want to train your ribs over time
  • you are interested in waist training to achieve a naturally smaller waist over time (even when the corset comes off – a smaller ribcage gives more semipermanent results, as opposed to very temporary results)
  • you have very flexible floating ribs and flexible costal joints that “hinge” easily
  • you want to fit into vintage clothing that might have a more conical rib than you have naturally
  • you love the look of a conical rib corset, and otherwise you have no health issues that prevent you from wearing one.

For those who have hypermobility disorders and you experience subluxation of your ribs, I would recommend speaking to your doctor, chiropractor, osteopath etc. regarding which silhouette or style of corset (if any) would work best with your condition. Some patients do better if their ribs are tightly bound (such as with a conical rib corset) so the rib doesn’t “pop out”, but some patients cannot tolerate compression on their ribs (as it might push their ribs inward too much) and this may necessitate a more round rib design. So discuss this with your trusted health professional who has a decent knowledge of your personal medical history and personal situation.

For total disclosure: I designed the Gemini underbust in both silhouettes, and it’s manufactured by Timeless Trends. If you’re considering purchasing a Gemini corset and you’d like to support my business and designs, please consider purchasing the Gemini here through my online shop!

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When to Consider an Overbust Corset – and When to Pass

In the past, I have quickly outlined why, if you would like to wear corset on a daily basis, you may want to start with an underbust corset instead of an overbust – however up until now I haven’t dedicated an entire video to this or had gone over this in detail. In this article I’ll outline the reasons why it’s generally better for a beginner to start with an underbust corset instead of the overbust – but if you’re interested in the possible benefits of overbust corsets, you can scroll down for the Overbust “Pros”. You can watch the video below, or you can read the article below the video which has the same information.

There are five main reasons that a beginner may want to start by wearing underbust corsets rather than ovebusts, especially if they plan to waist train:

Overbust Con #1: Reduced Mobility

Overbust corsets are obviously longer and come up higher on the torso – instead of just wrapping around the lower ribcage like an underbust or a cincher would, overbusts extend higher on the chest, and they often wrap around the back as high as the wingbones (or higher!). Because of this, overbust corsets allow a more narrow range of motion than shorter underbusts; they reduce your mobility. This means that you may not be able to reach or bend over as much as you normally would, and you have to make greater adjustments to move ‘naturally’ in an overbust. If mobility is required in your job or it’s something that’s important to you, then an underbust or cincher might suit you better. *However, do note that those who have hypermobility issues may actually desire this reduced mobility from an overbust, as it may decrease the prevalence of overextension/ flexibility-related injuries.

Overbust Con #2: Reduced Full Lung Capacity

A corset obviously differs in structure to that of a bra. Most bras out there have a certain amount of elasticity in their band, which expands and contracts each time you take a breath. With a corset, there is no elasticity (or there shouldn’t be), so the corset’s circumference around your ribcage is relatively fixed.

Take a hypothetical female whose chest measures 32 inches when she exhales completely, and 35 inches when she takes in a full breath. She might want to tie the corset to ~33-34 inches around the bust. This is enough to support the breasts while giving you enough space to take a normal, comfortable (tidal) breath. But each time she inhales deeply, and tries to use her absolute, full lung capacity, she might feel a bit of resistance from the corset. And every time she exhales completely, the ribcage may feel a bit loose and she might have the illusion that she’s not properly supported (even though she probably still is). So if you have breathing issues (or you work in an environment where you need your full lung capacity), you might feel more comfortable wearing an underbust corset that stops lower on the ribcage.

Overbust Con #3: More Conspicuous under Clothing

Cupped overbust made by Doris Müller (Corsets & More)
Cupped overbust made by Doris Müller (Corsets & More)

If you plan to “stealth” your corset underneath your shirts (wear your corsets underneath your clothing), then an underbust corset may look more natural. As mentioned before, the way that overbust corsets support the breasts is different from conventional bras today. Most overbust corsets don’t have individual cups the way that bras do, (although I do have a gallery for cupped overbusts here). But these are often expensive, and the vast majority of conventional (non-cupped) overbust corsets simply don’t give the same bust shape under clothing. An overbust corset may flatten the shape of the bust slightly more, and may not give the defined underwire area where you can see where the breast stops and the ribcage begins. It may also lift the breasts higher than bras, or otherwise make the top half of the breast look fuller – and because of this, overbusts can create more cleavage than bras in some individuals – so wearing an overbust corset under a tight or form-fitting shirt will sometimes make it seem obvious that something is different about you. If you are self-conscious about this kind of attention, you might want to simply pair an underbust corset with one of your regular bras, which will give you a slightly less conspicuous silhouette under your clothes.

Overbust Con #4: More Difficult to Fit Properly

Underbust corsets are much easier to fit a wide range of body shapes compared to overbust corsets. First think about how many bra brands and styles are out there, and how many people still need to go custom fit in their bras to get the right support, shape and comfort they desire. Now think about the number of standard size overbusts are out there – this number is much smaller, and they fit a much smaller range of bust sizes in wearers! If the circumference of your bust is more than 10 inches bigger than your corseted waist size (e.g. 34″ bust, and 24″ corseted waist), you can pretty much forget about finding a standard sized overbust that will accommodate your curves. In order to ensure the best possible fit in overbusts, you will have to go semi-custom or fully-custom, and preferably get professionally fitted with one or more mockups to make sure that the bust fits right. There is a lot to consider when fitting the bust! It must be properly sized – not too big, not too small – the fabric must come up high enough and cover as much of the chest as the wearer desires, the bust must be lifted high enough for the wearer’s preference but not too high, there shouldn’t be any spill over at the armpits/ out of the cup/ over the back, etc. etc. Fitting an overbust can be extremely challenging, and even I have quite expensive custom overbust corsets that didn’t even fit me properly in the end because I didn’t get a mockup.

 Overbust Con #5: More Expensive

If your budget dictates that your choices are limited to standard sized corsets, and you are not of “moderate” or “standard” bust size according to the fashion industry, (whatever “standard” is supposed to mean), then underbust corsets will be much more affordable for you. Even in standard sizes, overbust corsets simply cost more than underbust corsets because they require more fabric, they’re using a longer busk and longer bones, it takes more time to sew over the curve of the bust, etc. So, unless you are dedicated to saving up for a properly-fitted overbust corset, or unless you can somehow be compensated for an overbust by your insurance company, then perhaps an underbust corset would be better for your wallet.

 

At this point it probably sounds like I hate overbust corsets or that it’s difficult to find anything good about them, but this is not true! Well-fitting overbust corsets do have some very redeeming qualities, so now we will discuss the possible Pros about these corsets:

Overbust Pro #1: Better Posture Support

Overbust corsets can be ultimately better for your posture compared to underbust corsets. As mentioned above, overbusts come up higher on the ribcage, and often up to the shoulder blades in the back. This means that it’s nearly impossible to lean over and hunch your shoulders in an overbust corset. Short underbust corsets can help support your lumbar area, but I have seen corset wearers who still hunch or round their shoulders. If a corset comes up higher (halfway up the thoracic vertebrae or higher) then this can greatly reduce the risk of forward-rolled, rounded shoulders, and you might see less forward-head posture as well since your spine is “stacking up” properly.

Overbust Pro #2: Possible Upper Back Pain Management/ Curve Correction

Speaking of the spine, overbust corsets might be more supportive for people with upper back pain, or spine misalignment like scoliosis. Click here to read an article about a middle-age scoliosis patient who used a standard-sized overbust corset in conjunction with special exercises to actually decrease the curvature of his spine over time. Now, please be aware that this is a bit controversial, because this patient used himself as a “guinea pig” in this corrective process. Many corset makers will avoid making “corrective” corsets for those with scoliosis. Some of them can specially draft for an asymmetric corset that will fit a scoliosis patient comfortably, but most makers will not want to make corrective corsets unless they’ve trained with an orthopedic technician or have some experience in making medical prosthetics. But if you have a curvature in your upper or thoracic spine, then perhaps an overbust corset – whether corrective or simply supportive – will help support you better and make for a more comfortable experience as you go throughout your day.

Overbust Pro #3: Support for Large and/or Heavy Breasts

Cartoon by Kat Rosenfield

In some parts of the world, breast reductions are covered by insurance if the patient is able to prove that their breasts impede their lifestyle and cause them pain. Some people have breasts so large that they can cause or exacerbate spinal curvature, they can cause inflammation or even snapping of the scalene muscles and surrounding tendons, among other problems. Having very large or heavy breasts can sometimes lead to very serious medical issues, and one way to help prevent or help these issues is to wear an overbust corset. This is probably the most obvious positive application for overbust corsets, and it’s the one reason I hear most often from people wanting to purchase an overbust. The rigid bones and non-stretch fabric from the overbust corset helps to support the breasts 100% from below, with no pressure or tension coming from above the breast or over the shoulder. The weight from the bust is distributed throughout the rest of the corset, eliminating pressure points or strain in a well-fitting corset. 

Now, in a properly fitting bra, it’s said that at least 80% of the support should come from the band wrapping around the back, and very little support comes from the shoulder straps – but it’s a sad fact that strapless bras don’t work for many people; either the bra doesn’t come in their size, they don’t feel secure in one, or the bra doesn’t stay in place. Consider the damage that has already incurred in many women; think about the hunched shoulders and the permanent indentations in their shoulders and the pain that they’re already experiencing. This is where an overbust corset would be of huge benefit, because it is able to securely support the bust from below without the risk of falling down like many strapless bras do, and without the need for shoulder straps.

Overbust Pro #4: Prevention or Management of shoulder injuries or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Illustration of TOS. Source: Wikipedia.

Heavy breasts can cause muscle strain and tendon injuries, and they can even lead to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The Brachial Plexus is a group of nerves that runs from the neck and clavicle region into the shoulder, arm and hands. It’s part of the thoracic outlet, in the same region, which is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels together. This area can be compressed or stressed from heavy breasts, or a previous shoulder or neck injury, or even repetitive motions like playing an instrument (guitar, drums or violin). Basically, these factors can lead to nerve compression that can lead to a number of symptoms like tingling, numbness and pain in the hands; swelling and circulation isses; it can mimic the symptoms of carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel syndromes and can limit the use or strength of the hands. In extreme situations, other complications can arise as a result of TOS, such as blood clots.

Depending on the severity of thoracic outlet syndrome, it can be corrected with one or a combination of the following: physical therapy, injections (steroids or botox), surgery (often by removing the first rib next to the collarbone, and sometimes cutting the scalene muscles), and in some situations such as TOS caused by heavy breasts, wearing an overbust corset. Preventing and healing TOS may mean that there can be absolutely zero compression or tension around this delicate neck/ shoulder area, so conventional bras with shoulder straps are no longer an option for these patients.

If you’d like to learn more about TOS, here is an easy-to-understand publication by Dr. S. Mackinnon, M.D.

 

Need an Overbust Corset, but Don’t Want to Tightlace? No Problem.

For those that would like to wear an overbust corset to support their heavy bust, improve their upper back pain or help with TOS, but they don’t want to waist train or they’re nervous about the waist compression, the best part about this is that you don’t need to lace very tightly to reap the benefits of breast support or pain relief. So if you think that the use of an overbust corset can help you with any medical issues, I’d highly recommend you talk to your doctor before investing in one. And for those who are currently actively looking for a corset maker that is experienced in fitting heavy-busted clients, feel free to check out this Guided Gallery made just for you.

What are your reasons for wearing an overbust corset, or for avoiding them? Let me know in the comments below!

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Where to Buy Overbust Corsets with Cups

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.

Cupped overbust corsets are often confused with bustiers or Merry Widows, but in the words of Julia Bremble, “a corset with cups is as corsetty as any other corset if it does a corsetty job.” I personally adore my cupped overbusts because they give a more natural silhouette under clothing compared to conventional overbusts (which may flatten the bust or lift the bust too high). Wearing a well-made cupped overbust under clothing looks like you’re wearing a bra, combined with a cinched waist. They work very well under strapless dresses, and in particular vintage shelf-bust dresses.

Those who are particularly heavy-busted may find that a cupped overbust takes considerable pressure off the neck, shoulders and upper back by supporting the bust properly from below and eliminating the need for shoulder straps. If you don’t like the cupped corset aesthetic, I have another gallery featuring corsetieres that make conventional overbusts (without cups) designed specifically to fit top-heavy women.

*Corsetieres, if you have made cupped overbust corsets and you have a photo to submit to the gallery, please feel free to email me here. Safe-for-work photos are preferred. Thank you!

Madame Sher Overbust with Cups, $600 (cupped styles start at $490)
Versatile Corsets Mimosa overbust, $398
Black Cat Corsets “Chocolate 20” corduroy cupped overbust, R$ 600
Morgana Femme Couture MF1305 cupped overbust, starts at £350
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Corsets & More cupped overbust as part of a wedding gown
Cupped and corded overbust by Lost in Wonderland Lingerie & Corsetry
Bizarre Design overbust with cups in leather, starts at €660 (about $900)
Royal Black "Queen of the Night" outfit, starts at €1799
Royal Black “Queen of the Night” outfit, starts at €1799 (about $2450)
Ferrer Corsets “Crimson Passion” overbust with cups, R$ 2790 (Ferrer’s cupped overbusts start at R$ 570)
JC Creations Amsterdam (Click through to see more cupped overbusts, NSFW)
JC Creations Amsterdam (Website is NSFW)
Sinner Couture “Hellbilly Chic” cupped overbust, $450
Anachronism in Action bra-cup-style overbust, custom starts at $435
Anachronism in Action bra-cup-style overbust, custom starts at $435
Cherries Pin-Up Picnic overbust corset with cups by The Bad Button
Ivy Rose Custom Designs hand-dyed cupped overbust (click the photo to see the construction process!)
Totally Waisted! corsets cupped overbust, $900
Totally Waisted! Corsets cupped overbust, $900
Period Corsets c.1950 Stevie Corset, $362
Period Corsets c.1950 Stevie Corset, $362
Orchid Corsetry
Orchid Corsetry “Belle Dame” cupped overbust, Gilded Cages collection
“Alexis” wedding corset, by The Ardent Collection
Luxtenbrae “Aria” overbust with padded, moulded cups
Sparklewren cupped sheer overbust (only available for in-person fittings). Photo: InaGlo, Model: Ivory Flame

*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; please email any of the above makers to learn more about their corsets.

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Versatile Corsets Mimosa Overbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Versatile Corsets Mimosa Overbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 13.5″ inches long, modern hourglass or slim silhouette. Not a longline corset; cut above the hips. Good for women with an average length torso. May not cover lower tummy pooch – I’d recommend this corset to women who have a balanced figure on top and bottom, or top-heavy women who would like more bust support.
Material 3 layers (counting the interfacing); fashion layer is satin which is interfaced with medium weight woven fusible interfacing, and the lining is 100% cotton American coutil.
Construction 9 panel pattern (6 on the bodice and forming the bust cup). Top-stitching between panels, boning channels are interestingly sandwiched such that the bones are not visible on the fashion layer. Also has 8 garter tabs.
Binding Matching turquoise binding made from bias strips of satin.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back; unstiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12″ long (6 pins), with a 3/8″ wide flat steel bone on each side.
Boning 26 (28 if you include the underwire) steel bones not including busk. On each side, 10 spirals (1/4″ wide) double boned on the seams, 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 26 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with large flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong nylon cord-style laces; they’re thin, strong and they are long enough but very slippery.
Price Currently $398 USD for the standard size on the Versatile website (right now they’re having a 25% off sale on all their corsets – enter the coupon code Fall25).

Final Thoughts:

When I first bought this corset and received it in the mail, I wasn’t going crazy for it. As time went on, I found that the more I wore it, the more I liked it. The individual cups are very comfortable – I feel that this is one of the few overbust corsets I own that don’t squeeze my girls into painful little pancakes. When working at my computer, I like to wear this corset because it has a natural silhouette and fit (as opposed to a wasp-waist) and the cups support me like a bra, yet take the weight off my shoulders which further prevents me from hunching over.
Aesthetically I do prefer the more dramatic wasp-waist silhouettes however, so if I were to go back and buy this again, I may invest in the custom size. Although the overall effect is flattering as it is, I feel that it would have been an even better fit if the corset were larger in the ribcage, and had smaller cups (C cups instead of D). This would help support my bust more while preventing muffin top around the back. I also feel that the cups could be placed closer together in the front – perhaps the flat bones on either side of the busk can start lower down, allowing the cups to be pushed closer by about an inch.
The Mimosa corset is also available in various color combinations as you can choose the main fabric, then trim, external boning channels, and binding. I’m actually glad that I didn’t get decorative external boning channels, as this gave me the opportunity to see the unique and clever construction – a style I had never seen before:

Overall, I am happy with this purchase. It’s a totally unique piece in my corset collection, and one of the more comfortable overbusts I own. In retrospect I probably should have purchased this corset in a gold color or other earth-tone so I can wear on more occasions in conjunction with a steampunk outfit, from conventions to Halloween. To see other models in the Mimosa corset, Versatile has a small gallery of women of all shapes and sizes so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.