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Review: Lara Mesh Underbust (Glamorous Corset)

This entry is a summary of the review video “Review: Lara Mesh Underbust (Glamorous Corset)”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here. See the quick stats in the table below the video, and my written personal opinion at the bottom!

Quick Stats:

Fit, lengthCustom drafted to my measurements: Center front is 12.5 inches long, princess seam is 10 inches (5.5 inches from the waist up, 4.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 11 inches and the center back is 12.5 inches long. Rib spring is 7″, hip spring is 10″. Ribs are relatively conical and brings in the floating ribs, hip very slightly curved.
MaterialEssentially one layer of open weave fishnet style fabric. Vertical panels at center front, back, and boning channels are black cotton twill.
Pattern6 panel pattern (same pattern as their other Lara underbusts in different fabrics).Panels 1-2 converge towards lower tummy, panels 3-4 give space over the hip, panel 5 has a bit of curve for both the back and hip, and panel 6 is fairly straight.
ConstructionStraightforward single-layer construction; the mesh fabric is sandwiched between the boning channels to reinforce the seams and provide a place for the bones to go.
Waist tapeVery apparent waist tape present of the inside of the corset, 1 inch wide black grosgrain ribbon.
BindingBias strips of black cotton twill, machine stitched on both sides. Stitched in the ditch on the outside, and edge serged and stitched flat on the inside (probably to reduce bulk). Garter tabs also included.
Modesty panelBack modesty panel is 5.5 inches wide (covering lacing gap of about ~4 inches). Made from 2 layers of black cotton twill, unstiffened, stitched to the side (easily removable if desired). There’s also a small modesty placket in the front, also made from black cotton twill (1/4″ wide).
BuskStandard flexible busk (1/2″ on each side), 11 inches long, 5 loops and pins with the bottom two closer together for better control at the lower tummy. Adjacent spiral steels add some support.
Boning26 bones total in this corset, 13 on each side (not including busk or modesty panel). Double boned on the seams (5 seams on each side, so 10 spiral steels on each side). There’s also the spiral bone by the busk (see my thoughts at the bottom for more on that) and two flat steels sandwiching the grommets (these are stainless steel so they’re less magnetic than mild carbon steels.
GrommetsThere are 24, two-part size #0 grommets (12 on each side). They have a small/medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in silver. Unfortunately a couple of the grommets at the waistline are loose / wobbly. (See Final Thoughts for more)
LacesThe laces are your standard workhorse of the lacing world: 1/4″ wide black flat nylon shoelace-style laces, which are extremely long, with a little bit of spring or stretch, and they’re abrasion-resistant.
Price & size range The Lara Mesh is available in sizes 18″ through 40″ and priced at $84 USD. Glamorous Corset has generously provided a discount for my followers, which you can find through this link!

Final Thoughts:

The first thing that stood out to me about the Lara Mesh is that it’s a lower-price point affordable OTR open-weave mesh corset, but it manages to retain its relatively conical / straight rib silhouette. Normally in fishnet-style corsets, the wearer’s ribs push out the corset to give a rounded silhouette. This doesn’t happen with fine-weave mesh, but fine-weave is usually a less cool and breezy option. Part of the reason that this corset retains its conical silhouette (apart from the pattern, obviously) is its heavy use of double-boning channels, leaving relatively little space between the panels for the ribs to allow expansion. I surmise that the smaller the corset (i,e. the less space between the panels), the more this retaining of the conical silhouette is true — and the larger the corset, the wider the panels, and the more likely the ribs are to show some roundness. But it’s an interesting observation nonetheless!

One odd choice in construction includes the spiral steel bones adjacent to the busk – spiral bones only contribute to maintaining vertical tension (helping to reduce wrinkling or collapsing of the fabric) but they tend not to add rigidity and flatness the way flat steels do. The purpose of the busk is not only for vertical tension, but it provides quick access in and out of the corset (obviously) and also flattens the tummy in the center front. The purpose of adjacent flat steels by the busk is to further flatten the tummy, so flat steels should always be used adjacent to the busk.

It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a corset with grommet issues, but unfortunately this corset did show some wobbly grommets right at the waistline. This might be due to less fabric for the grommet to “bite” into (compared to the all-cotton or velvet Lara corsets, assuming that all corsets have the panel-6 fabric extend right to the grommet system), and the mesh fabric obviously doesn’t have much to bite into. Another possibility is simply the property of the fishnet fabric itself being more flexible and allowing distortion of the back panel. This is not a slight against the company; as my fishnet style corsets from other brands have also eventually had grommet issues. If panel 6 were made entirely cotton twill and the grommet system were reinforced perhaps with one more layer, the grommets would have less chance of pulling out. But again, I’m not personally faulting Glamorous Corset, because to my memory, all of the curvy fishnet OTR corsets I’ve owned for 3+ months, regardless of the brand, had at least one grommet pull out.

Whether you go for the mesh or another finish for the Lara Underbust, Rachel from Glamorous Corset has generously provided a discount code for my followers.

Have you tried this mesh corset or another mesh piece from Glamorous Corset? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below!

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Comparing Different Mesh Corsets

Over the past little over a year, I reviewed a whopping nine different mesh corsets, and many of them had very different types of mesh (different fibers, weaves, stretchiness and quality), and not all mesh corsets are made equal! It can be a little different to tell them apart on video and confusing when there are so many different terms, so let’s go through the most popular types of mesh for corsets and discuss the pros and cons for each one.

Fishnet

Jolie longline corset in black mesh, by Glamorous Corset (from $74).
Jolie longline corset in black mesh, by Glamorous Corset.

Featured in my past reviews:

This is a very open type netting made with cotton or polyester – it looks a bit like string or yarn twisted or knotted together. It is very flexible, can be a bit stretchy, and usually has a hexagonal shape to it. (As we know from nature, hexagons maximize the area inside each hole while minimizing the materials used for each wall – so the fishnet can cover a large surface area while not using much fabric to do so.)

Pros: fishnet is probably the coolest and breeziest type of mesh, and it comes in many different colors – Mystic City used to sell these with red mesh, blue, orange, green, etc. Orchard Corset regularly keeps these stocked in black and tan (and sometimes white), with occasional limited colors like red, gold, and navy blue. This is the most ubiquitous type of mesh corset, so it’s easy to find.
Cons: this fabric has a lot of give and definitely stretches out over time. Because there’s technically only a few threads holding in each bit of the fishnet within the seams, it can rip over time.

(I don’t know whether you call it a pro or a con, but the net leaves temporary impressions in your skin so when you take off the corset it looks like you have lizard scales. It looks cool but can feel rather itchy.)

Madame Sher mesh ribbon-style cincher

A slightly more tight-knit version of fishnet is used in Brazil, and I noticed that their mesh corsets have smaller, square shaped holes instead of hexagonal – I feel that this might work better for corsets as it has a clear warp and weft to follow.

My Madame Sher mesh cincher is still holding up very well and I’ve worn it every summer for the past 4 years. It can still show a little damage over time, due to the nature of the fabric, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by its longevity.


Corsetry mesh

Featured in my past reviews:

Galaxy Mesh hourglass standard length underbust corset. Available in my shop!

I believe that the newer stock of Mystic City corsets also use this mesh, and this is becoming probably the standard in many custom corsets.

Corsetry mesh is a synthetic fine woven net. It is fairly stiff and slightly reminiscent of the fly screens that you would see on windows and doors (except this is polyester/ nylon, and not aluminum or fiberglass which real window screens are made from).

Pros: corsetry mesh is smoother, stronger, and less likely to warp with wear. You can somewhat achieve a more conical rib with this type of fabric, but I’ve found that it still has relatively more give compared to more rigid, multi-layer cotton corsets.

Cons: this mesh is not as breathable as the holes are smaller (and it’s a synthetic fabric so it can feel plasticky). It can occasionally rip (usually if the seam allowances are not wide enough and it pulls from the stitching. Also, this type of mesh can be quite pokey. If any seam allowances do end up poking into the body, these threads can be snipped off with nail clippers and the rest pushed back under the fabric.

Tips for corset makers on reducing the “pokey” seams while using this type of mesh:

  • Some makers if they’re very particular, they might melt the seams with a small flame or a hotknife, but this can also risk warping the mesh from the heat.
  • Another simple way around this is by sewing the corset with the seam allowances on the outside of the corset (facing away from the body) and putting thick boning channels overtop so they won’t poke through.
  • Vanyanis uses a plush velvet ribbon on the inside to further protect from any pokiness, and she taught Timeless Trends this finishing technique as well when she styled their OTR mesh corsets.

Bobbinet

Featured in none of my previous corset reviews.

“Champagne” underbust made from custom dyed bobbinet, Crimson Rose Corsetry. Photo: WeNeal’s Photography

Bobbinet is almost exclusively used in custom corsets by specialist corsetieres, for very lightweight corsets and foundationwear under couture dresses. It’s been used by designers like Crikey Aphrodite, Morúa Designs, Sew Curvy Couture, Laurie Tavan, Karolina Laskowska, Crimson Rose Corsetry, Ivy Rose Designs, etc.

It’s made from cool and breathable cotton – it flows well over curves and is super lightweight. It has a lot of give, and as such it’s often used in a double layer for extra strength (and a bit more opacity if desired). Because it’s cotton, it can also be dyed – but it’s such a delicate fabric that I wouldn’t train in this. You’re not likely to see this used in OTR corsets.

Tips for corset makers: Ivy Rose Designs made a tutorial on working with bobbinet for Foundations Revealed. If you’re not an FR member and you would like to become one, please use my referral link (there’s no difference in price).


Aida cloth (or Java mesh)

Featured in none of my previous corset reviews.

Summer corset made from cotton Aida cloth (The Bad Button, courtesy of Foundations Revealed)

Aida cloth is less well known, not used in OTR, but some corsetieres have experimented with this for custom corsets, like The Bad Button and Bridges on the Body.

When you look at mesh corsets in the Victorian and Edwardian periods (e.g. their activewear corsets while playing tennis, or the corsets used by British women during the colonialization of India and other places of warmer climates), the mesh they used sometimes looked similar to this. Aida cloth is intended for cross stitching and comes in various weights and counts, so not all Aida cloth is made equal.

Pros: Aida cloth is cotton, so it’s a natural, breathable and cool fiber, and it can also be custom dyed.

Cons: Aida cloth can be difficult to source, and can also fray and shred.

Tips for corset makers: The Bad Button made a tutorial on working with Aida cloth on Foundations Revealed. If you’re not an FR member and you would like to become one, please use my referral link (there’s no difference in price).


Tulle

Featured in my past review: Contessa Gothique semi-mesh sweetheart underbust

Contesssa Gothique tulle semi-mesh corset

This is a beautiful lightweight fabric (think of the stiff tulle you’d find in crinolines / underskirts), but better suited as a semi-mesh corset with plenty of reinforcement. The tulle in this corset is limited to relatively straight panels (not super curvy ones), and the tulle is flanked on all sides – bones on either side (as well as the center of the panel), and even the binding at top and bottom is coutil to prevent stretch or warping.

The waist tape also takes the tension at the waistline, so the tulle is mainly just preventing the flesh from bubbling out of the “windows” but it’s not contributing to the actual reduction of the waist in a significant way.

Pros: it’s pretty, easily sourced, and comes in almost any color imaginable.

Cons: I think if it were forced to take more of the tension, it might risk tearing. The tulle makes for a lovely and delicate look – but I wouldn’t use this for everyday intense training.


Sports mesh

Featured in my past review: JL Corsets / Sultry Confinement “Christine” underbust

JL Corsets “Kingfisher” mesh corset, using 3 colours of sport mesh

This (I’ve been told) is also the type of mesh used by Restyle for their mesh CU underbust, and I think Mystic City has experimented with this in limited styles as well.

Sports mesh is also known as athletic mesh, tricot fabric, or (especially in the US) “football fabric”. This type of fabric is what’s often used in shoes and team jerseys, and also the non-stretch mesh pockets found in luggage and schoolbags, as well as non-stretch mesh laundry bags and gear sacks. It’s made from polyester and can come in a rainbow of colors.

While it may look similar to fishnet at first glance, it behaves very differently – it has little to no give or stretch, and the holes look more circular (or sometimes square), as if they were ‘punched’ out of the fabric (this is what gives it its tricot look) – however, if the holes were really punched out, this would weaken the fabric. Where fishnet looks like the ‘yarn’ is the same width everywhere, the sports mesh will have areas that look thicker and thinner – many of them have an almost ‘checkerboard’ appearance.

It’s a bit difficult to find the right type of sports mesh online, even when trying to use the correct terms and definitions, as fabric sellers on Ebay, Etsy and Alibaba will often use long strings of vaguely related words. If I can find a reliable source for this fabric in many colors, I’ll link it here, but I recommend going to a local fabric store and testing the stretch out for yourself – the right type of mesh should have little to no stretch, whereas fishnet is designed to stretch and give.

But the sports mesh costs only maybe $2 more per yard than the fishnet (therefore costs $1 more per underbust corset, depending on the size), and it comes in as many colors, for better quality and strength – so I would encourage more OTR corset manufacturers to test this fabric.

Pros: Imagine all the pros of fishnet without the cons. Sports mesh has bigger holes more on par with fishnet, so it’s more breathable than the corsetry mesh (which is a “plasticky” feeling fabric). It also doesn’t stretch out or warp as easily as fishnet. Sports mesh can come in a huge range of colors, as JL Corsets demonstrated with the corset to the right.

Cons: while sports mesh is stronger than fishnet, it’s not invincible – where there are holes, there is the risk of it catching on something and damaging the fabric. Also, while I actually prefer sports mesh compared to the fishnet, but I suppose because of the sports connotation some people might think it’s less cute than the fishnet.


Heavy Duty outdoor mesh

Featured in my past review: Contour Corset summer mesh underbust

Contour Corsets blue summer mesh underbust
Contour Corsets blue summer mesh underbust

This is a heavy duty mesh, similar to synthetic outdoor upholstery mesh. The only thing I can compare this to is the type of fabric you’d find on deck chairs or boat seats, but to this day I have not sourced the exact same fabric that Contour Corsets used to use.

Pros: this heavy duty mesh is the strongest type of mesh in this list, and comes in a rainbow of colors (in the video above I showed my gold corset, Strait-Laced Dame has a metallic silver and purple corset, and the one to the right shows the sky blue option).

Cons: this mesh is difficult to wear against the skin, absolutely requires a liner but I pretty much always wear a liner anyway. It takes a long time to form over curves, Fran said that the break-in process for one of her corsets lasted up to 100 hours of wear.


Powermesh

Featured in my past case study: Homemade Sport Powermesh “Corset”

Morgana Femme Couture cupped overbust corset-girdle with brocade and powermesh (from $510)
Morgana Femme Couture cupped overbust corset-girdle with brocade and powermesh

One of the corsetieres who made this famous for corsets and corset girdles is Sian Hoffman. Also Morgana Femme Couture makes an overbust option (shown right) and an underbust option as well.

This is specifically designed to have stretch and give, with mild compression – it has spandex in it. You’d find this more in Merry Widows and girdles as opposed to “real” corsets. However, it has its uses (especially those who love a strong cinch combined with maximum mobility).

The rough version of a powermesh corset I made for myself featured satin coutil front and back, boning channels and diamond waist tap – but never finished the binding on it (it means I can wear it under my clothes and it creates a surprisingly smooth line – and this mesh doesn’t really fray as it’s a knit).

Pros: it makes a very flexible and comfy corset, allowing you a lot of movement.

Cons: are that although it is still a single layer corset, because it’s a finely-woven synthetic material, it can get a little warm compared to the other types of mesh. This corset will definitely not give you a conical ribcage, as it stretches around every natural curve of your body. Also, the bones a not placed relatively close together, there is a risk of parts of the corset shrinking or rolling up in places (which is why it’s most often used in girdles, where the garter straps / suspenders keep it pulled down and smooth).

 

These are the most popular types of mesh and net used in corsets, but if you’d like to see even more examples of mesh, sheer, and summer corsets, (including some made from lace, organza, and horsehair), I have a whole gallery over on this permanent page! Do you know of other types of mesh that are used for corsets that I didn’t mention here or in the gallery? Comment below and let us know.

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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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Timeless Trends Galaxy Mesh Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review for the “Galaxy Mesh” hourglass standard length corset. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Full disclosure: The hourglass corset featured in this review is one of the four new designs I helped create for Timeless Trends in 2015, and I am a retailer for Timeless Trends. If you’re interested in learning more about the corset and you would like to support this site, I’m incredibly proud to say that the galaxy mesh corsets (and over 100 other styles of TT corsets) are available here in my shop!

Fit, length Center front is 11.5 inches long, the princess seam is 10 inches (5.5 inches above the waist, 4.5 inches below the waist), the side seam is 9.5 inches and the center back is 13 inches long.
When I measured this before wearing, the ribcage was 28.5″ (rib spring of 6.5″), the waist was 22″ and the hip was 32″ (hip spring of 10″). Gently rounded ribcage and cut over the hips, just meeting the iliac crest.
Material Single layer of good quality synthetic corsetry mesh, which stretches less than the “fishnet” style netting in many other OTR corsets. The front and back layers are made from the galaxy mesh fabric which is soft to the touch, like a really soft jersey, not quite flocked but brushed material – and that is laminated directly to cotton twill. The boning channels are also made with this reinforced galaxy material.
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panel 1-2 converge downwards, and panels 3-4 make the curve over the hip.
The panels were assembled together and boning channels laid down on outside – one bone on the seams and one bone in the middle of the panel. On the inside where the seams are, plush velvet ribbon was laid down to protect your skin against any pokey seams from the mesh.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape, made from black grosgrain ribbon and secured down at each boning channel. Full width (extends from center front panel to center back).
Binding Matching strips of galaxy fabric, machine stitched with a slight top-stitch on both outside and inside (may have been done on a single pass). No garter tabs in this corset as they would be visible under the mesh.
Modesty panel By default, TT corsets don’t come with a back modesty panel, but boned and floating modesty panels are available for separate purchase.
In the front, there is a 1/2 inch wide modesty placket, finished in matching galaxy fabric.
Busk 10” long, with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk, which is reinforced with a flat steel adjacent on either side.
Boning 24 bones total in this corset, 11 on each side. Single boned on the seams and also single boned in the middle of the panels with ¼ inch wide spirals. The bones sandwiching the grommets are flat steels, 3/8″ wide, as well as the flat steels adjacent to the busk.
Grommets There are 28, two-part size #0 grommets (14 on each side). They have a small flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in gunmetal grey / pewter. Rolled nicely in the back, and washers present.
Laces ¼ inch wide, black, flat, nylon, shoelace style lacing (standard workhorse laces).
Price Available in galaxy mesh, but also a plain black mesh is coming in the future!
Sizes range from 18″ to 36″, $119 USD.

 

Galaxy Mesh hourglass standard length underbust corset. Pattern by Lucy’s Corsetry, styling by Vanyanis, and produced by Timeless Trends.

Final Thoughts:

While the pattern of the hourglass corset was on myself and Sarah (and about 2.5 years old now so nothing new), the stylist, Lowana of Vanyanis, definitely outdid herself on this piece. For many years, TT and myself had said that we might not ever carry mesh corsets – when the factory had experimented with using mesh as a corset material in the past, it was often sports mesh / fishnet style material that’s so popular nowadays, but they hadn’t been able to find a way to have the corset withstand the longevity tests. TT and myself have a lifetime warranty on all our corsets, but most types of affordable mesh simply can’t last a lifetime, and we wanted to be able to confidently stand by our guarantee.

However, during her last trip to Bangkok, Lowana was able to source the same good quality corsetry mesh used by so many reputable corsetieres, and it completely changed our stance on mesh corsets! I can also tell Lowana’s input in the spacing of the boning (one on the seams and one in the middle of the panels for a more even and comfortable distribution), and her characteristic velvet ribbon protecting the wearer from the seam allowances on the inside (corsetry mesh can be “pokey” when cut and the velvet adds a cushion).

If you’re interested in learning more about the corset and you would like to support this site, I’m incredibly proud to say that the galaxy mesh corsets (and over 100 other styles of TT corsets) are available here in my shop!

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Rebel Madness “Ocean Lagoon” Mesh Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Rebel Madness “Boho” / “Ocean Lagoon” Mesh Corset Review”. 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 11 inches long, princess seam is 9.5 inches (4 inches from the waist up, 5.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 10 inches and the center back is 11 inches long.
Rib spring is 7″, lower hip spring is 14″. Ribs are slightly conical, but the mesh allows some flexibility in the ribs. I recommend this for someone with a high waist and full hips.
Material The mesh parts are single layer synthetic corsetry mesh. The front and back panels are 3 layers (fashion fabric is decorative lightweight cotton, another cotton interlining, and black twill lining).
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 2,3,4 and 5 all have some ease over the hip to create ample space over the hips. Panels were assembled with seam allowances facing outward (so as not to scratch the skin) and decorative lightweight cotton boning channels were laid down on the outside.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape made from grograin ribbon, stitched on the inside of the corset (obviously also visible on the outside due to the mesh). Seems to be full width (center front panel to center back).
Binding Commercially-sourced black cotton bias tape, machine stitched on both sides (probably on a single pass, possibly by using a special sewing machine attachment).
Modesty panel 6.25 inches wide, unstiffened, made from 2 layers of black cotton twill. Not sewn into to the corset – it’s suspended on the laces using grommets.
There’s also a 1/2-inch-wide unstiffened modesty placket in front, extending from the knob side of the busk, also covered in the same fashion fabric.
Busk 10” long, with 4 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk, with an additional ¼” flat steel bone adjacent to the busk on each side.
Boning 16 bones total in this corset, 8 on each side. On each side, 5 of them are spirals about ¼ inch wide – single boned on the seams. One of the bones by the grommets is spiral steel (so the back is a but more flexible than usual when lacing up) but the bones at the center back seam, on the outer edge of the grommets, are flat steel. The bones adjacent to the busk are also flat steel.
Grommets There are 20, two-part size #0 grommets (10 on each side). They have a medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in black. They’re very nice quality (similar to Prym brand) and have rolled beautifully – definitely an improvement from the smaller silver grommets used in their old stock of corsets!
Laces The laces are black, ¼” wide nylon cord / shoelace. They are a bit springy / spongey, but they hold bows and knots well and they are definitely long enough.
Price Available in the blue decorative fabric you see here, but also available in a more simple all black design. Sizes 18″ up to 28″ closed waist.
As of 2017, the price is $95 USD. Find it here on Etsy.

 

Final Thoughts:

Ocean Mesh mini underbust corset by Rebel Madness, model unknown. Image courtesy of Awin / Etsy. $95 USD.

This corset goes by several names, like “boho mesh”, “ocean mesh” or “lagoon mesh”. If you search any of those names on Etsy, you will find the listing – or you can find it here.

Because this corset is longer from the waist down than it is from the waist up, it would suit someone with a high waistline / deep pelvis, or it could conceivably be worn as an “active longline” corset (a term coined by Electra Designs, where the bottom edge of the corset covers the hips and lower abdomen, but the top leaves the ribs mostly free for expansion and movement). While I would still not recommend exercising or working out in any corset, this corset does leave my upper ribs more free for deep breathing, as I have a longer torso.

The mesh is a great quality, finely-woven synthetic corsetry mesh. Although we’ve been conditioned to think “natural fibers are superior” when it comes to corset strength fabrics (like cotton coutil) due to their breathability, the truth is that synthetic mesh fabrics tend to be stronger – and because they are a mesh, they are still lightweight and breathable. However, as always, I would recommend wearing this corset with a shirt or liner underneath to prevent chafing and to protect your corset from the sweat and oils from your body.

One concern I had was that the decorative blue fabric seemed a bit transparent (at certain angles, the edge of the spiral bones show through the channels) and I was worried that it would be too thin to keep the bones in place without eventually wearing a hole through the fabric after several months of use. Magda and Maciej (the Rebel Madness team) ensured me this would not happen, as they test all of their designs for at least 6 months before putting them on the market. So far I’ve not seen any damage or wear to this corset (but I have so many corsets that I don’t wear this one daily), so for now my worries are assuaged. However, I’m thinking about adding some decorative flossing on top and bottom of each boning channel in a delicate light blue or deep purple floss, which will add even more security against any future issues.

The prices of Rebel Madness corsets are also extremely reasonable for an entry-level corset (I’ve noticed that corsets made in Poland tend to be lower in price in general), at $95 in their Etsy shop.

Do you have this corset, or another corset from Rebel Madness? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below!

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Glamorous Corset “Emma” Mesh Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review for the “Emma” underbust corset 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 10.5 inches long, the princess seam is 10 inches, the side seam is also 10 inches and the center back is 11.5 inches long.
Rib spring is 6″, hip spring is 6″. 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 5-panel pattern (10 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. 4 garter tabs (2 on each side).
Modesty panel 5.5 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 9” long, with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Heavy duty busk (1″ wide on each side) with an additional ¼” spiral steel bone adjacent to the busk on each side.
Boning 22 bones total in this corset, 11 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 24, two-part size #00 grommets (12 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 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, and 4 shades of satin.
Sizes 18″ – 28″ are $79 USD, and sizes 30″ – 40″ are $84 USD.
Only available on the Glamorous Corset website here.

 

Final Thoughts:

Emma Mesh underbust (available in black mesh and white mesh), model unknown. $79-$84 USD. Click through to visit Glamorous Corset.

The Emma corset is a mid-length mesh corset that offers gentle waist reduction. If you have a seated torso length that is less than 10 inches, you may be more comfortable in their shorter “Bella” mesh cincher, and if you prefer a curvier, longer corset, their “Jolie” longline may suit your preferences.

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.

One viewer on Youtube asked about the similarities and differences between this Emma corset compared to True Corset’s mesh cincher, which I reviewed a few years back. For the similarities, both corsets have the same number of panels, and the top and bottom edges are cut straight across in a similar way, and the type of mesh / fabrics used are comparable, but that’s where the similarities end. The measurements are different (in the True Corset, the rib spring is +5 inches, and the hip spring is +8 inches. In this Emma, the rib spring and hip spring are both +6 inches). The Emma also has a slightly different construction technique (double boned, and the boning channels seem to be reinforced as well) – and because of the heavier boning, it lends a smoother, more mild silhouette than the True Corset. If I recall correctly, True Corset dipped or sealed their steels in a kind of shrink tubing, whereas in the Emma corset, they used cotton channels on inside and outside.

Find the Glamorous Corset Emma and other mesh corsets in Glamorous Corset’s shop here.

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

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Orchard Corset CS-511 Mesh Overbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “CS-511 Mesh Overbust Review”. 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 15.5 inches long, princess seam is 16.5 inches long (10 inches above the waist, 6.5 inches below the waist), the side seam is 14 inches, and the center back is 13 inches long.
Full bust spring is 11″, and lower hip spring is 14″.
The silhouette is hourglass, but the flexible mesh allows for more contouring around curves = giving more of a rounded ribcage, and hips of the corset can contour around your own hips, whether your hips are slanted or shelf-like.
Material Single layer of fishnet style black mesh, and the boning channels / are made with an outside layer of black cotton twill and internal layer of polyester grosgrain ribbon.
Pattern & Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 1-2 give space for the bust, panels 3-4 curve over the hip. Construction: Panels were assembled and then boning channels sandwiched the seams (on outside and inside), covering and reinforcing the seams.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape made from grosgrain ribbon, sandwiched between the boning channels. Full width (center front to center back).
Binding Made from matching black cotton twill. Machine stitched on both sides, stitched in the ditch (between the corset and the binding) in front, and a necessary top stitch on the underside. 6 garter tabs (3 on each side).
Modesty panel 5” wide and unstiffened, made from 2 layers of cotton twill, and attached to one side of the corset with a line of stitching – this is easily removed, and you can also remove the tags in the back by removing that seam with the modesty panel, in case you find that the tags show through the mesh.
There’s no front modesty placket in this corset.
Busk 14” long, with 6 loops and pins (last two are a bit closer together). Standard width busk (half an inch wide on each side), but Orchard’s busks tend to be more rigid (less bendy) than other busks of the same width.
Boning 14 bones total in this corset. On each side, 7 of them are spirals about ¼” inch wide, in single channels, equidistantly spaced. Then there are two flat steel bones, both ¼” wide, sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets There are 24, two-part size #00 grommets (12 on each side). They have a small-medium flange and are finished in silver. They’re spaced equidistantly about 1” apart.
Laces The laces are ¼” wide flat nylon shoe-lace style. I find them to be long enough, a little springy but it “stretches out” and the springiness dissipates over time. Orchard also sells double-face satin ribbon if you prefer.
Price Available in waist sizes 18″ to 40″, in black and in white mesh.
Sizes 18-32 are $79 USD, and sizes 34-40 are $82 USD, but you can save 10% by using the coupon code CORSETLUCY

 

Brittney from Orchard Corset (the very same I consulted with on sizing) models the mesh CS-511 overbust. Click through to see their selection.

Final Thoughts:

Full disclosure, this corset was sent to me as a sample. I normally take a size 24″ in OTR corsets, but as I’ve been shrinking rapidly this year I requested the size 22″. Brittney from Orchard Corset suggested I go a size down, to 20″ because the mesh has a tendency to expand over time. The thought of wearing a size 20″ in an OTR overbust was a bit mind-boggling, but I hesitantly agreed.

The very first time I put on this corset, I thought it would never fit – but as I wore it in more over the weeks, I did indeed notice that it stretched out, to the point that I can wear it with their recommended 2 inch gap in the back. The hips of this corset are quite large (seemingly much larger or has a higher tendency to stretch compared to the bustline) so I would be more comfortable wearing this corset with a “V” shaped lacing gap, which seems to be par for me with OTR overbusts.

However, this is by far the most affordable mesh overbust currently available on the market, starting at $79. The other mesh overbusts include What Katie Did ($375 USD), and Dark Garden ($895 USD) can be out of many clients’ budget. I can see the mesh CS-511 being used by those who would like some breezy bust support in the heat of the summer, or wearing this corset under strapless dresses (there is a white mesh version as well for summer brides). Because my mesh corset has a few construction imperfections (it’s asymmetric over the hip), I’d be more likely to wear this corset under my clothing as opposed to overtop anyway.

CORRECTION FROM THE VIDEO: Orchard Corset’s mesh underbust corsets usually have bones are evenly distributed around the waist – and the bigger the corset size, the more bones are included – this is still true. However, it seems that this isn’t the case for the mesh overbust corsets (at least, not from what I’ve seen in pictures). It appears that all sizes have the same number of bones, same as with their all-cotton or satin corsets.

Shop for the CS-511 mesh overbust corset from Orchard Corset here, and remember you can save 10% by using the code CORSETLUCY (I don’t get any kickback from this, it’s strictly a coupon/ discount code for you).

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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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JL (Sultry Confinement) Mesh Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review for the mesh underbust corset made by JL Corsets / Sultry Confinement. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Circumferential measurements: Underbust 28″, waist 22″, high hip 32″.
Length: Center front is 12.5 inches, princess seam is 9.5 inches, side seam is 9 inches, and center back is 12 inches. Slightly rounded in the ribcage, and a hip shelf.
Material Single layer of mesh made from quality “sports jersey” or athletic shoe type of material. The boning channels and binding are made from fashion fabric of teal silk (sourced by Christine), black herringbone coutil strength fabric, and a cheery bright green lining.
Construction 5-panel pattern (10 panels total). Panels 1-2 converge over the lower tummy, panels 3-4 give space over the hip. Mesh panels were assembled and boning channels sandwich the mesh fabric, straddling the seams and reinforcing the seams.
Waist tape 1-inch-wide waist tape, installed on the inside of the corset and secured at the boning channels. Full width, extending from center front to center back.
Binding Made from strips of matching teal silk, machine stitched on outside and inside (tidy topstitch on both sides).
Modesty panel No back modesty panel.
The front modesty placket is 3/4 inch wide, extending from the knob side of the busk, made from matching teal silk (probably fused to coutil).
Busk 11 inches long, with 5 loops and pins, the last two a bit closer together. 1″ wide on each side (heavy duty busk), fairly stiff.
Boning 20 bones total in this corset, 10 on each side. Double boned on the seams with ¼ inch wide spirals. The bones sandwiching the grommets are ¼ inch wide flat steel.
Grommets There are 24, two-part size #0 grommets (14 on each side). They have a medium flange and are spaced a bit closer together at the waistline, and finished in black. Most likely Prym brand eyelets.
Laces The laces are black, 1/8 inch flat cotton shoelace. They have no spring, they hold bows and knots well, and they are long enough.

 

Final Thoughts:

JL Corsets / Sultry Confinement teal silk and mesh underbust, as it appeared on auction. Model unknown.

JL Corsets / Sultry Confinement is a one-woman business based in Wales.

This corset has a sentimental connection to our mutual friend, Christine Wickham (AGirlFromDownUnder / Ariadne’s Thread). Around 2013, Christine commissioned a couple of corsets from Jacinta of JL Corsets, sending her some lovely teal silk all the way from Australia to Wales to be used as the fashion fabric. Christine adored her mesh corset from Jacinta especially.

Shortly after Christine’s passing, Jacinta had some leftover teal silk from Christine’s previous commission, and she made a second corset in a standard size – a “twin” to one of Christine’s corsets, and auctioned it off on Ebay with 100% of proceeds going to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), an organization that Christine passionately supported and hoped to one day join, once she became a physician.

The measurements of this auctioned corset were similar enough to my own, Christine was a dear friend of mine, I knew that she adored her own corsets from JL Corsets, and the proceeds were going to an excellent cause, so I felt that I had to win this auction.

Although I’m not certain whether Jacinta is still in the business of making corsets, I’m so grateful to her for her charitable work and lovely keepsake that I will cherish for many years to come.

Do you have a corset from JL Corsets / Sultry Confinement? Let us know what you think of it in a comment below! See more corsets from JL Corsets on Facebook and on Etsy.

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Glamorous Corset “Jolie” Mesh Longline Review

This entry is a summary of the review for the “Jolie” longline corset 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 14 inches long, princess seam is 10 inches (5.5 inches from the waist up, 4.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 12.5 inches and the center back is 14 inches long.
Rib spring is 8″, lower hip spring is 12″. Ribs are gently rounded due to the flexibility and expansion of the mesh. Longline corset, coming low over the abdomen and hips.
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 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 1-2 converge and taper towards the lower tummy. Panels 3-4 provide space over the hips. Panels were assembled together, and seams were sandwiched by boning channels on the outside and inside.
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 bull denim, machine stitched on both sides. The front was stitched in the ditch and the back has a top stitch. Also 6 garter tabs (3 on each side).
Modesty panel 5.5 inches wide, unstiffened, made from 2 layers of black cotton bull denim. 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 11.5” long, with 5 loops and pins, the lower two a bit closer together. Standard flexible busk, with an additional ¼” spiral steel bone adjacent to the busk on each side.
Boning 26 bones total in this corset, 13 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 28, two-part size #00 grommets (14 on each side). They have a small / medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in silver. The washers are larger than the top-hat side (which is a perk). Many splits on the underside of the grommets, but 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 / spongey, but they hold bows and knots well and they are long enough.
Price Available in sizes 18″ up to 40″ closed waist.
Sizes 18″ – 30″ are $79 USD, and sizes 32″ – 40″ are $84 USD.
Only available on the Glamorous Corset website here (this ref link will give you 15% off your first purchase).

 

Final Thoughts:

Jolie Mesh longline underbust corset, model unknown. $79-$84 USD. Click through to visit Glamorous Corset.

The Jolie corset is my first review of seven different mesh corset reviews I did in 2017, showing that mesh corsets are now a huge part of the OTR corset market and they’re definitely here to stay!

The Jolie is quite possibly the longest mesh underbust I’ve ever tried – many of the Orchard Corset mesh pieces are shorter from the waist down and stop slightly higher on my hip, while many of Mystic City’s corsets are shorter from the waist up and stop short of my underbust. If you have a very long torso and need more coverage and support both above and below the waist, the Jolie may be a viable option for you. However, if you have a seated torso length of less than 10 inches, you might feel more comfortable in a shorter mesh corset instead.

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.

Find the Glamorous Corset Jolie and other mesh corsets in their shop here (using this referral link will get you 15% off your first purchase).

 

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CS-426 Mesh Longline Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Review: Orchard Corset CS-426 Mesh Longline”. 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 13.5 inches long, princess seam is 11 inches long, center back is 13.5 inches long. (A bit longer than their non-mesh longline CS-426 corsets.)
Rib spring is 7″, and lower hip spring is 14″.
The silhouette is hourglass, but the flexible mesh allows for more contouring around curves = giving more of a rounded ribcage, and hips of the corset can contour around your own hips, whether your hips are slanted or shelf-like.
Material Single layer of fishnet style black mesh, and the boning channels / are made with 2 layers of black cotton twill.
Construction Likely still a 6-panel pattern (12 panels total), but because of the boning channels in the middle of the panels, it means that the corset “appears” to have closer to 20 panels.
Waist tape One-inch-wide full waist tape running through the corset from center front to center back, made from grosgrain ribbon, sandwiched between the boning channels.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from matching black cotton twill. Machine stitched on both sides, stitched in the ditch (between the corset and the binding) in front, and a necessary top stitch on the underside. 6 garter tabs (3 on each side).
Modesty panel There is a modesty panel on the back, made of two layers of black twill. 5” wide and unstiffened, attached to one side with a line of stitching. (You can also remove the tags in the back by removing that seam with the modesty panel, in case you find that the tags show through the mesh)
There’s no front modesty placket in this corset.
Busk Standard width busk (half an inch wide on each side) and 11.5” long, with 5 pins (last two are a bit closer together). Orchard’s busks are more rigid (less bendy) than other busks of the same width.
Boning 22 bones total in this corset. On each side, 9 of them are spirals about 3/8 inch wide, in single channels, equidistantly spaced. Then there are two flat steel bones, both ¼” wide, sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets There are 24, two-part size #00 grommets (12 on each side). They have a small-medium flange and are finished in silver. They’re spaced equidistantly about 1” apart.
Laces The laces are ¼” wide flat nylon shoe-lace style. I find them to be long enough, a little springy but it “stretches out” and the springiness dissipates over time. Orchard also sells double-face satin ribbon if you prefer.
Price Available in waist sizes 18″ to 40″, in black and in beige mesh.
Sizes 18-32 are $72 USD, and sizes 34-40 are $75 USD, but you can save 10% by using the coupon code CORSETLUCY

 

Final Thoughts:

Screencap from one of my past videos “Waist Training Results: How Long Should it Take?” Click through to read that article. Here I’m wearing the CS-426 mesh longline test sample.

Several years ago, when I went to visit Orchard Corset in Wenatchee, Washington, I was invited to test the first sample of the CS-426 mesh longline, before it was released to the public. But over the years I didn’t hear anything about the mesh longline being released for almost 3 years, so I ended up selling off my mesh corset in a sample sale. Then in summer of 2016, I noticed that Orchard had finally released the mesh longline! Without my old sample to review, I had to purchase another one (which ended up being mislabeled by the factory – a size 28″ corset with a size 26″ label) so unfortunately I don’t have the curves to properly fill out the corset in this review – but please refer to the way the old (size 22″) sample fit me back in 2013 in this article / video, if you’d like a better example of how the corset is supposed to look when it properly fits.

One of the things I like about the mesh corsets is that they’re not simply double-boned on the seams, but rather the bones are evenly distributed around the waist – and the bigger the corset size, the more bones are included. While this does affect the price (the bigger corsets contain more bones and require more work in construction sewing on the boning channels, so they cost more), it means that you’re getting more equitable support and quality across all sizes.

One consistent bug I notice is that Orchard Corsets have “bunny ears” that are set 1-2 grommets higher than the true waistline of the corset – this is easy to fix when you get the corset though, by simply re-lacing the corset. I also like to use inverted bunny ears for better control and reduced bowing at the waistline.

Shop for the CS-426 mesh longline corset from Orchard Corset here.

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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.

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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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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!

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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!

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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.