Tag Archive: mesh

Orchard Corset CS-201 Mesh Waspie Review

This post is a summary of the “Orchard Corset CS-201 Mesh Waspie Review” video, which you can watch on Youtube:

Fit, length Center front is 9.5 inches long, the side seam is 7.5 inches long. (Your torso should be at least 8 inches long from underbust to lap).  Circumferential measurements: waist is size 22 (22 inches), the underbust is 26.5 inches (4.5 inch rib spring), and the low hip is about 32 inches (10 inch hip spring).
Material One main layer made of black, cotton fish-net style mesh. The boning channels and binding are black cotton twill.
Construction Probably a 5-6 panel pattern, but as the corsets get larger in size, the number of boning channels increase (the number of panels do not increase, but the boning channels make it look as though there are more panels). The seams between the panels are reinforced by sewing twill boning channels to both the outside and the inside of the seam, completely covering/ sandwiching it.
Binding Bias strips of black twill, neatly machine stitched on outside and inside. No garter tabs.
Waist tape 1-inch wide black twill tape is exposed on the inside of the corset, anchored by the seams/ boning channels.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is 5″ wide and finished in black twill. Unstiffened and stitched to the corset on one side (easily removable).  No modesty placket in front.
Busk 8.5 inches long with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Slightly wider and slightly stiffer than a standard flexible busk (this one is about 3/4″ wide on each side).
Boning 14 total bones not including busk (7 on each side). 1/4″ wide spirals, single boned on the seams. Two 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side. This is ONLY for the size 22″ (larger sizes have more bones, contact Orchard Corset for more info about other sizes).
Grommets 16 grommets total, size #00 with a small flange and finished in silver. Set equidistantly (about 1 inch apart) and they are holding in well.
Laces Black flat nylon shoelace style lacing, 1/4″ wide. Slightly springy but very difficult to snap. Long enough and comfortable to hold when lacing up.
Price The smaller sizes (up to size 32″) is $65 USD, and the full-figure sizes (up to size 40″) is $69 USD (as of 2016).
Use CORSETLUCY to save 10% off your entire order! (This is a coupon, not an affiliate link.)

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The CS-201 waspie replaced Orchard Corset’s older style CS-301 cincher. I am personally cool with this, as this 201 waspie is more curvy, more comfortable, has better quality construction, and basically I like it better all-around. It contains more bones (and the number of bones increase as the corset size increases!) so it doesn’t have the fabric-buckling issue that the old CS-301 did, and it had more panels which means a smoother form around the body. If you have a very short torso but you also want a cool, breezy mesh corset to wear in hot climates or during the summer, this is your answer – I haven’t come across any shorter mesh pieces on the market!

Brittney models the CS-201 mesh waspie. Photo: Orchard Corset.

Brittney models the CS-201 mesh waspie. Photo: Orchard Corset.

The center front dips down into a small point but still lays relatively flat against my abdomen. If you don’t have any lower tummy pooch (or if you only have a small one), the corset should fit – but if you have a longer torso or if you have a larger, lower hanging tummy, you may prefer to try Orchard’s mesh CS-426 longline corset instead which provides more control of the lower abdomen. That said, I have tried this corset under form-fitting dresses and the point did show through a little more compared to other corsets that are cut more straight across along the bottom edge.

Keep in mind that these mesh-style corsets don’t last forever – if I’m wearing a mesh corset on a regular basis in the summer, I can expect it to wear out within a couple of months – this is true of all “fishnet” style mesh corsets, regardless of the brand, so it’s not a strike against Orchard Corset – it’s the nature of the fabric. The CS-201 corset is available in solid fabrics as well (black cotton and black satin) if you prefer your corsets to be a little more sturdy and last a bit longer.

Use my coupon code CORSETLUCY for 10% off your entire order – this is a discount, not an affiliate code! I get no payment from people using this code.

Learn more about the CS-201 corset here on Orchard Corset’s website.

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.

Corset and Strapless Bra: low-back solution for fuller busts!

In Summer of 2014, I purchased this lovely dress from Zumel & Co in Toronto. Although I love the dress, it has a bit of a low back (enough that my bra band shows in the back). One question I receive quite often, especially from brides, is whether it’s possible to have a low back overbust corset for precisely this reason, and it got me thinking.

This Contessa Gothique corset has a lower back made possible with the help of shoulder straps. Photo: DiaIF. Model: Nea Dune.

This Contessa Gothique corset has a low back made possible with the help of shoulder straps.
Photo: DiaIF. Model: Nea Dune.

If you commission a custom-made overbust, creating a somewhat-low back is theoretically possible (to a point). However, a problem arises especially if you are heavy busted: you’re not going to get the same breast support if you have a very low back. You’ll notice that most overbust corsets don’t have a back that stop close to nipple-height, and not usually lower than under the shoulder blades. This prevents the front of the corset from flopping forward, away from your body. You may be able to adjust that support with halter straps for instance, or even (cringe) heavy duty double sided tape. In any sense, it’s going to be mighty difficult if not impossible to achieve a corseted silhouette with a backless dress.

If there were a cupped overbust corset that allowed you to wear backless, strapless dresses (think Jessica Rabbit) with perfect support, I believe that thousands of people would be all over that! However, in my journey though corsetry, I have never actually found a corset that’s been able to achieve this.

If you want full support along the fullest part of your breasts, you must rely on the fabric wrapping around the entire torso at that same line.
The same premise holds with long line corsets – if you want a lot of control of the lower tummy, you could put many stiff, rigid steel bones in the front, but if you have a protruding lower tummy that resists these bones, the whole bottom front of the corset could end up bowing outwards (especially if the front of the corset extends down into a point and is cut high over the hips). With a longline corset, it helps pull in a lower tummy easily because it has extra fabric that starts at the pubic bone and wraps around the hip area along a similar height, and around to the back.  The tension of the fabric wrapping around the body acts as leverage to help pull that protruding tummy inward.

Seriously, Jessica's dress goes down to the tailbone and has no straps. This defies physics. There has to be skintone mesh, or double sided tape, or something.

Seriously, Jessica’s dress goes down to the tailbone and has no straps. This defies physics. There has to be skintone mesh, or double sided tape, or something.

So, what can be done if you want to wear a low back wedding dress, especially if you’re quite heavy-busted? What I did in the above video was a trick that Ashley (Lisa Freemont Street) taught me a few years back:

Find yourself a well-fitting strapless, longline bra. The Goddess brand strapless low-back bra works great for my purposes, and I love that the lightly boned cups provide support while retaining the roundness of the breast and it gives a slightly vintage shape to my bustline (it doesn’t flatten my bustline like most modern cut strapless bras seem to do). There is a silicone band around the top to help keep it in place on my skin as well.

As it’s a longline bra, it also has a few bones coming down and stopping at around navel height – this helps keep the garment smooth and prevent it from rolling up. If you plan to wear this bra underneath corsets, you can absolutely remove some of the bones in the bra so as not to irritate your skin by having the stays smushed up against your ribs under the corset. I like to wear this bra with an underbust corset (usually a cincher or waspie, which stops lower on the ribcage) worn over the bra – the corset also helps anchor the bra in place so it’s less likely to slide down over the course of the day. Even if I don’t utilize all the hooks and eyes of the bra (you can fold some of the top ones down if you need to accommodate for a lower back), the bra still stays in place due to the silicone strip and the anchoring of my corset.

One thing to look out for, however, is having a bit of “muffin top” with this combination. When you wear very short cinchers or waspies, the more of your ribcage it leaves exposed/ unsupported, the bigger the risk of it giving you “muffin top” (a roll of skin that folds over the top of the corset when worn). The fact that it’s combined with a longline bra in this case does help to somewhat combat this, but how much “muffin” occurs will depend on the person as well (how long your torso is, how low the back of your dress is, and whether your body tends to ‘displace upward’ or ‘displace downward’ in a corset).

The Goddess Longline bra can be partially folded under to accommodate for an even lower back.

The Goddess Longline bra can be partially folded under to accommodate for an even lower back.

There is rhyme and reason to the corset I chose to wear over my longline corset as well! In this video, I’m wearing the True Corset mesh cincher because it’s cut quite straight across at the ribcage and hips – there are no “points” to bow outwards and protrude underneath clothing. As a mesh corset, although it may not last quite as long as other corsets, it makes for more breathable, lightweight undergarments, and therefore a more comfortable experience – especially if you’re planning to wear a warm outfit in a warm venue!

Other inexpensive mesh corsets that hide well under clothing is Orchard Corset’s mesh CS-411 and mesh CS-426 (for those who prefer longline), as well as Madame Sher’s mesh cincher. As much as I adore custom fit corsets, I understand that weddings can be exorbitant. Even the cost of an OTR mesh corset combined with the Goddess bra comes up as cheaper (and quicker to ship) than commissioning a custom overbust corset with a lower back (and, of course, they can be combined with other outfits after the wedding!). Even though a mesh corset may not last a lifetime, it should at least last through your wedding day!

If you have ideas for other corset and bra combinations that work well underneath your low-back outfits, leave a comment down below and help out some other potential brides on a budget!

Corset Embellishments

 

When commissioning a custom corset from an independent corsetiere, you are not required to go with a plain black satin or twill corset! There are many different ways that you can request to have your corset embellished. If you can only afford plain OTR corsets, you still have the option of embellishing them yourself! See the video above for plenty of examples, and refer to the glossary below if you need extra help.

Embroidery – these are decorative densely-stitched motifs, usually of larger size. Most embroidery I see these days are machine stitched, using a specialized machine where you feed in a specific file and it creates the design before your eyes (this is how my Lovely Rats corset was embroidered). Those floral brocade designs can be said to feature floral embroidery in a repeating pattern, on top of a base fabric. Of course, in the past, most embroidery was done by hand. Today you can get embroidered patches/ appliqué, and just stitch or glue the patch to the corset or garment later on.

External Boning Channels – some external boning channels are functional, so they serve a dual purpose: to actually hold the steel boning and prevent it from wearing through the fabric, but to also provide visual interest and contrast to the corset. I personally find that external channels are the most comfortable because I cannot feel the channel against my skin – of course, this also means that the corset is more difficult to stealth under clothing because it will be bumpier. Sometimes though, external channels can be “faux” channels and only used for the sake of visual interest, while the real boning channels are sandwiched inside.

Flossing – floss is traditionally defined as “soft thread of silk or mercerized cotton for embroidery.” Flossing in the context of corsetry is often smaller, relatively simple versions of embroidery, that is typically only done at the tips of boning channels and are usually done by hand (although they weren’t always by hand!). Flossing, like external channels, has multiple purposes for a corset: to anchor the tip of the steel bone in place so it doesn’t slide around inside the channel (which can help keep the corset smooth and also prevent the bones from wearing through the fabric by friction over time), and floss can also help to disguise a repair to a boning channel that has already been worn through. Repeating the same flossing pattern on each boning channel can make that “patch” look deliberate, and can add visual interest to a corset. See my corset by L’Atelier de LaFleur for a detail of the special T4-esque flossing.

Yoke/ “Waist Diamond” – a yoke almost like a ‘belt’ that stretches across the waistline of a corset, and usually is in a different color. It also often widens at the front to create a diamond shape in the center front. When this yoke is reinforced with a very strong fabric, it helps to strengthen the waistline (it can function like a waist tape in the best of situations), and the widening at the center front can add more control to the tummy area. The WKD Laurie overbust had a contrasting yoke that helped to hide the waist tape.

Fun Lining – although this isn’t “embellishment” per se, I enjoy when my corsets have a bright, colorful or cheery inner lining. My own handmade Sebastian corset looks like a typical red satin corset on the outside, but on the inside it features some cute “Little Mermaid” novelty print cotton as a lining, which is a fun secret I get to carry with me when I’m wearing the corset. My corset from Tighter Corsets also features a beautiful linen lining, as well as one of my corsets from the Bad Button features lovely silk-fan lining.

Contrast Stitching/ Contrast Hardware – most visible hardware in a corset (busk, grommets, and sometimes aglets) are silver; however you can also find hardware in alternate colors like gold, pewter, black, antique brass, etc so you can match your hardware with the rest of the corset, or with contrasting embellishment. My Sebastian corset has black hardware which matches the black “shot” red fabric used, and also the black contrast stitching I had used on the external boning channels. As another example, my Ref R corset from Tighter Corsets has antique brass grommets and busk to match the soft gold contrast piping and creates a stunning effect.

Lace Overlay – when a corset is completely covered in a layer of lace, this is called lace overlay. Makers create this effect by taking a sheet of lace and flatlining/roll-pinning the lace overtop of the pattern pieces (usually with silk satin or taffeta underneath), then assembling the panels together as one normally would. This has to be done during construction; it would be very difficult to create a lace overlay on an already finished corset. Examples of lace overlay include my Axfords corsets and also my Boom Boom Baby Boutique sample.

Lace Appliqué – like with embroidery patches, sometimes lace can come in pre-cut pieces and motifs that you can place where you choose and hand-sew to your corset – or if you have a sheet of lace, you can carefully cut out the motifs  yourself. Some lace is black, white, dyed colors, or contain metallic threads. Some laces are lighter, while other lace is heavier or corded. Some lace even comes with beads and sequins already attached – but you can add the sparklies yourself later on.

Crystals, Sequins and Beads – many people love to bedazzle their corsets with flatback rhinestones or genuine Swarovski crystals (like my Waisted Creations corset or my Totally Waisted corset). These are usually glued on (E6000 is a popular choice, although due to some carcinogen worries, some opt for alternate brands). Beads and sequins are usually sewn on since they typically have a hole through which they can be anchored. As mentioned above, some types of patches, appliqué or lace come already beaded so you just have to adhere the appliqué to the corset and you’re set. Sequins can also come in strings that you can drape onto your corset.

Mesh Panels – mesh is quite functional in itself: it helps the skin breathe, it keeps you cool and dry, and it prevents your flesh from poking out of the “windows” from skeleton corsets – but mesh can also be a type of embellishment as well! When I wear brightly colored shirts or dresses underneath, effectively a corset with mesh panels will “always match” whatever I’m wearing because my outfit underneath will show through. Some others may choose to play around with mesh corsets; for instance, if they choose not to wear a corset liner underneath, then they may opt for a crop-top to cover their chest, but the mesh panels may show their skin underneath. Or you can layer your tops so that it looks like there is a different color under the corset compared to the rest of your shirt. I’ve tried mesh corsets from Contessa Gothique, Madame Sher and Contour Corsets.

Fan Lacing – fan lacing actually started as a functional alternative to traditional lacing, as it condenses all the individual cords in the back of the corset into a pair of easy-to-pull straps. For those with limited strength, mobility or coordination, fan-lacing can help you lace up by yourself. However, in recent years, fan lacing has made a comeback as pure embellishment, such as my cincher by Serindë.

What type of embellishment do you like best? Do you own any corsets with special decoration or embellishment? Let me know in a comment below!

Contessa Gothique Semi-Mesh Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Contessa Gothique Semi-Mesh Underbust Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is about 11″ long, from the true underbust to lap (top of the “sweetheart”) is 12″, and the side length is 10″. This is made to my measurements. Hourglass silhouette, just a very slightly rounded ribcage but bordering on wasp. Not quite longline.
Material 2 layers no matter which panel you’re looking at; the coutil panels have black spot broche on the outside, black herringbone coutil on the inside. Mesh panels have a more coarse/ sturdy mesh on the outside, and a more delicate tulle-like mesh on the inside.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Seams appear to have been top-stitched with the two mesh layers sandwiched within the 2 coutil layers. Boned on the seams and also in the middle of the panels.
Binding Bias binding in strong spot broche, machine stitched on outside and hand-finished neatly on the inside.
Waist tape A 1″ wide black waist tape – exposed on the inside of the mesh, but sandwiched between the layers of coutil.
Modesty panel Floating modesty panel made from spot broche and steel bones, contoured so it matches the panel shapes in the center back. Also has 1″ wide modesty placket under the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk with 5 pins (equidistantly set), about 10 inches long.
Boning 22 bones (not including busk or modesty panel), 18 are 1/4″ wide spiral steel; and then 4 flat steels, 1/4″ wide beside the grommets.
Grommets 22 2-part eyelets total, size #x00 (very teeny!) with small flange; spaced closer together at the waist so there is more control while lacing. Absolutely no wear/fraying/pulling out.
Laces 1/4″ flat black cotton shoelace style laces.
Price At the time I’m writing this, a semi-mesh corset made to your measurements starts at $280.

Final Thoughts:

The same semi-mesh corset as it appears on the website

This is my prettiest summer corset. I love how the cool mesh is not only utilitarian, but the sheerness of the alternating panels also adds some visual interest, and the corset immediately matches any shirt I’m wearing underneath. 😉 I wouldn’t have a problem showing this corset over my clothing in the summertime, unlike my other two corsets which I ordered to be more or less designed for under-clothing use. There is quite a bit going on in this corset at one time – spot broche, sheer panels, heavy corded lace appliqué on the hips, Swarovski crystals – but as it’s all black, the embellishment is understated and sophisticated, and it all blends together quite nicely.

I’m quite impressed at how this corset has held up over time; I don’t wear it everyday, but the fine mesh is much more delicate than in my other mesh pieces, yet it shows almost no wear. There is a strong “scaffolding” in the corset created by the strong spot broche surrounding the mesh on all sides (including the binding), added spot broche external boning channels in the center of the panels, and of course the sturdy waist tape. The hardware of the corset (busk and 2-part eyelets) are both black as well, creating a seamless overall look. I appreciate May’s extreme attention to detail. You can learn more about Contessa Gothique corsets on May’s website, and if you’d like to know more about the construction of this corset, her Foundations Revealed article is here.

Madame Sher Mesh underbust corset Review

This post is a summary of the Madame Sher black mesh cincher Review, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

Fit, length Front is about 11 inches long, from the shortest part (close to the side seam) is 8.5 inches long. The top and bottom edges in front and back are slightly pointed, as many ribbon cincher styles seem to be. I consider this a “modern” hourglass shape (cupped ribs and cupped hips) although some may consider it a wasp waist silhouette. I submitted my measurements to Madame Sher, so this corset was custom made for my figure.
Material 1 main layer: it’s mostly a black soft mesh, which feels like cotton (it feels similar to cross-stich canvas). It has a small amount of stretch, but still strong. Vertical panels (in front, side and back) is black cotton twill.
Construction 13 literal panels, but technically you can consider it a 5 panel pattern. The horizontal “ribbon” panels are assembled with a flat-felled seam, then are sandwiched between the twill vertical panels (which are also double-stitched).
Binding Black binding made from bias strips of matching black twill. Machine stitched on outside and inside (Madame Sher mentions that it’s stronger this way).
Waist tape Most ribbon cinchers don’t incorporate a waist tape usually, but the center “ribbon” panels closest to the waist are also lined in black twill, which helps reinforce this area. Although it might stretch a little bit, the corset itself still gives me a great silhouette.
Modesty panel Interesting modesty panel – fully boned (the bones going vertically) and covered in black twill. My corset came with 2 panels (one was 6″ wide, one was 8″ wide) and they are removable/ interchangeable using small ribbons and grommets. Also, this has an unstiffened modesty placket under the busk.
Busk Sturdy special busk, about 3/4″ wide about 10.5″ long (5 pins). The busk is cut on an angle, and te binding is sewn only a couple of millimeters away from the end of the busk! Madame Sher commissions a local jeweller to make her busks, which are easily recognisable from the square loops!
Boning 8 total bones not including busk. On each side there are two 1/2″ wide heavy spiral steel bones. On the back by the grommets there are two pairs  On each side they are double boned on the seams (1/4″ wide), 2 sturdier flat-steel bones sandwiching the grommets which are closer to 1/4″ wide.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with small flange; set equidistantly, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets, but many splits. However they don’t seem to catch on the laces much.
Laces Very thin (less than 1/8″ wide) nylon rat-tail laces, very strong, glides through the grommets quite well.
Price At the time that I’m writing, it is $220 USD on Madame Sher’s website in the Tight Comfort section.

Final Thoughts:

I adore this corset. It is one of my least expensive custom fit corsets that I own, yet it is one of the most comfortable. When I’m having a “lazy” or comfortable day, or if it feels too hot to wear a full cotton corset, then I’ll wear this mesh piece. It feels breezy and looks wonderful under dresses as well.

There is only one small thing to note about wearing this corset under clothing – because the cincher has horizontal “ribbon” panels, then the lines or bulges under a dress is not vertical (as would be usual, due to boning channels, mostly) but rather in this case the cincher creates horizontal bulges. Depending on who you are and what your BMI is, you may find that it looks a little bit like a ribcage under your dress. However, I do find that this corset is MUCH less conspicuous under clothing compared to some other corsets! Another perk is that this corset is so soft and lightweight that it’s one of the few that I feel comfortable directly next to my skin, if I want to wear stealth on hot days. Because it came with two modesty panels that can be quickly and easily switched out, it means I can have one in the wash and one to wear.

I was intrigues with Madame Sher’s corsets because of her unique construction and materials: I have never had a soft summer mesh corset like this before (I had owned the Contour Corsets summer mesh corset, but that one is very heavy duty!), and also have relatively little experience with ribbon cinchers. The modesty panel’s full horizontal boning and attachment are also unique, as is the special square busk, and even the rat-tail lacing! This is a beautiful example of ingenuity, and it goes to show that not all corsets have to be created the same way.

If I were to go back and order another mesh corset from Madame Sher, I would likely spend the $50 more to try out the full mesh underbust (both to try something different, and also because I think it would be more sturdy due to more boning and satin waist tape). I have no complaints about the cincher, but I think I might prefer the full underbust in the future. Although this corset is so unique that I cannot really compare it to anything else, I would say it’s excellent for the value.

You can find the summer mesh cincher and other styles on Madame Sher’s website here.

Contour Corsets Review (Summer Mesh Underbust)

This entry is a summary of the review video “Contour Corsets Summer Mesh Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 12.5 inches long, back is 13.5″ long. Unique silhouette in which the ribcage mostly follows the natural contours, tapering a bit through the lower ribs, but nips in dramatically at the waist for an extreme hourglass shape – almost wasp-waist in silhouette. I had requested this type of ribcage – if you prefer a more natural shape, this can be accommodated. This is called a “mid-hip” cut; coming slightly over the iliac crest but not longline. Extreme hipspring. See the “Final Thoughts” section on other fitting notes.
Material Primarily one layer of very strong, almost no-stretch poly mesh. I chose the “gold” color to match my medium-olive skin tone (it’s a cross-weave of a light yellow and deeper pinkish-copper). Despite being synthetic, the holes in the mesh allow my skin to breathe. Still, I always wear it with a liner underneath. Boning channels and binding are made from somewhat matching light-brown twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern, with most of the hip-curve between panels 3-4. At least triple-stitched: Lock-stitching between panels, seam allowances pressed open and zig-zag stitching to further stabilize the seam, then external boning channels, double-boned on the seams (external channels often contribute to an even stronger seam). No garter tabs (not requested).
Binding Brown twill that matches the boning channels; machine stitched inside and outside.
Waist tape None. This corset is strong enough without a waist tape, and in fact stronger than many of my corsets that do contain waist tapes. (I admit I had my doubts, but this corset has been tried and tested for nearly a year.)
Modesty panel 4″ wide stiffened modesty panel (lacing guard) in the back, suspended on the laces. 1″ wide modesty placket under the front closure, with a very heavy flat steel bone (essentially a boned underbusk).
Front closure Not a busk! The front closure is a “stayed zip” – heavy duty metal YKK zipper, secured into twill panels with the mesh overlayed. A 1/2″ flat bone is on either side of the zipper, and a 1/4″ flat bone sits on top of either side of the zipper as well. The very stiff and heavy 1″ underbusk further stabilizes the zipper so it doesn’t buckle. This has been my first tightlacing corset with a zipper and I’ve had no isssues with it.
Boning 29 total steel bones. On each side, there are 10 bones in external channels, then 2 flats on either side of the grommets in the lacing system, as mentioned before another 1/2″ steel beside the zipper, another flat bone on top of the zipper, and the last 29th bone is the heavy underbusk underneath the zipper.
Grommets 26 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with a large flange; set closer together at the waistline; high quality – no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces I opted for the heavy-duty lacing; nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are long enough. Very easy to lace up; they glide through the grommets well but hold their bow tight. Zero spring.
Price The Summer Mesh underbust costs between $520 – $575 at the time of this review. The price depends on the size and other considerations (see below). Asymmetric patterns (for those with scoliosis, etc) add $100. You can see her full price list here.

Final Thoughts:

When I first recorded the review and did the “first edit”, it was nearly 20 minutes long because I had so much to say about this corset. It is like no other corset I’ve had before, so even for a review such as mine (which is on its own pretty objective, but still comparable if you read across the tables of different reviews on this site), it can’t really be compared to other corsets in my collection. The posture, the materials, the construction, the pattern/ silhouette – everything  about this corset is just… different. Be prepared for a really long discussion (and as model KathTea had once said, “If this is tl;dr then corseting is probably not for you”).

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