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Restyle Wide Hip Corset Review

Black Brocade longline underbust by Restyle, $52

This post is a summary of the “Restyle Wide Hip Corset Review” video, which you can watch on Youtube (below the table of quick stats) if you prefer:

Restyle Quick Stats

Fit, length Center front is 12 inches long, the princess seam (under the breast to top of the lap) is 9 inches long, with about 4 of those inches from the waist up. The side seam is 12 inches, and the enter back is shorter at 11.5 inches because it sweeps up at the bottom edge slightly.  Circumferential measurements: waist is size 23″ (label is size 22), underbust is 28 inches, high hip (iliac) is 35 inches, and the low hip at the lap is about 36 inches.
Material Fashion fabric is polyester black brocade (but it’s also available in matte black cotton), the strength layer is black cotton bull denim.
Construction 6 panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 1-2 taper in the lower front, and most of the curve of the hip is in panels 3-4.
For the construction, the fashion fabric and strength fabric have been tightly fused and the corset was constructed like a single layer corset. Panels were lock-stitched, and double boning channels were made with internal strips of black cotton twill over the seam allowances.
Binding Bias strips of black cotton twill, machine stitched on outside and inside. There are also 4 garter tabs (2 on each side).
Waist tape Waist tape has been added to all Wide Hip corsets as of May 2015.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is 6.5″ wide (will cover a back gap up to 4.5 inches wide) and finished in the same black brocade as the fashion fabric. It is unstiffened, and stitched to one side of the back of the corset (can be removed if desired). 1″ front modesty placket under the busk, finished in black brocade and stiffened slightly with buckram.
Busk 10.5 inches long with 6 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Wide heavy busk (1 inch on each side). It sounds like there’s a buckram reinforcement around the busk.
Boning 24 total bones not including busk (12 on each side). 1/4″ wide spirals, double boned on the seams. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #00 with a small/medium flange and finished in silver. Set equidistantly, about an inch apart.
Laces Black flat shoelace-style laces, slightly springy, but not annoyingly so. They slide through the grommets, but I find that they snag more than flat laces.
Price About €42 on the Restyle site, which converts to around $50 USD.

This corset has added a new price bracket to the market of fairly decent OTR corsets, offering a curvy longline corset for close to $50 USD. It’s what I call a “longline corset for a short-waisted person“, offering some hip coverage and lower tummy control while not being so long that it causes more petite wearers problems with underwire entrapment or problems sitting down. For someone with a longer torso like myself, you may find that the “underbust” line of the corset stops a few inches short of your true underwire point.

The silhouette is quite curvy, and has a slightly conical ribcage. I am not able to completely fill all the space at the high hip due to my natural body shape, so there is a “pocket of air” between myself and the corset. For this reason, I say that this style corset is excellent for people who have naturally prominent hip bones or a high square hip shelf – I can’t imagine how this corset would ever press into the high hip!

When I got this corset in 2014, the corsets didn’t have a waist tape included and they also had a tendency to run slightly large (at least 1 inch bigger at the waist than the label) however this has since been rectified, and the owner Ewelina now says that all wide hip Restyle corsets come with an internal waist tape and they are checked for accurate sizing these days.

Ewelina also says that the corset is suitable for waist training or daily wear, with a two-year guarantee. As of 2016, Restyle has since added some new styles, both in the popular Wide Hip (denoted by WH) style and also in a new “CU” corset style, which I have yet to review. Find the Restyle corsets here.

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Tighter Corsets “Ref R” Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Tighter Corsets ‘Ref R’ Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This corset is custom fit (made to measure), so a corset for you may fit differently. Center front is about 13 inches high, and the side seam is 9 inches high. A true Victorian hourglass silhouette, as this pattern is a modified version of Atelier Sylphe’s “Ref R” antique corset pattern.
Material 3 main layers: outer layer is “Beacon Hill” dupioni silk from Silk Baron; strength fabric is coutil, and floating lining is a cute printed lightweight cotton.
Construction 9 panel pattern, the first 6 panels are narrow and in the front. Panels are assembled using a topstitch. Bones are sandwiched between layers.
Binding Matching “Beacon Hill” dupioni silk bias tape, machine stitched on the outside and hand-finished on the inside.
Waist tape 1 inch wide waist tape, stitched invisibly between the layers.
Modesty panel No back modesty panel or front placket.
Busk 12 inches long, standard width busk (half inch on each side) with 6 knobs and loops, equidistantly spaced. Finished in antique gold/brass.
Boning 28 bones total (14 bones per side). Mostly 1/4″ wide flat steels, single boned on all the seams plus extra bones in the middle of the wider panels. There are two flat steels sandwiching the grommets as well; the outer-most ones are 1/2″ flats.
Grommets 24 two-part grommets, size #0, large flange, held in strongly. Finished in antique gold/brass and set equidistantly. Good wide washers; some splits in the back but none catch on the laces.
Laces Laces are 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon, finished in antique gold.
Price At the time I’m writing this, a custom underbust starts at $300 USD.

 

Ref R from Atelier Sylphe. Click to see the pattern.

The pattern for this corset is a very heavily modified version of the “Ref R” Jackson corset pattern sold in Atelier Sylphe’s Etsy store. The original version is a standard-sized overbust (seen right), while my corset had been cut down to an underbust with a high-cut hip. The pattern was also adjusted in length and in proportion for a custom fit, which I find very impressive – having done this in the past with different patterns, this can almost be more laborious than making a new pattern from scratch sometimes!

The embellishment in this corset is elegant and understated, which reflects a lot about the corsetiere’s skills (she’s confident enough in her work that she doesn’t have to make a corset “loud”). Each panel is accentuated with narrow piping made from foiled gold leather, which matches the antique brass hardware (the busk and grommets) in a beautiful way. The multitude of narrow panels, piping and the smooth Victorian hourglass silhouette elongates the waist while not sacrificing a decent reduction (this corset closes just short of 23″).

In the center front there are four tiny flossed arrows, which adds some further interest to the corset but doesn’t overwhelm it. April knew that I loved flossing (especially styles that venture beyond traditional Xs and Vs), and I trusted her to choose the style of flossing. I had also opted for a remote mockup fitting (seen left); April was very professional and pointed out little areas she wanted to tweak that even I had overlooked.

 

Mockup fitting for this corset
Mockup fitting for this corset, cut down and adjusted for my measurements

All in all, I’m quite happy with the outcome of this commission – the only complication was that the bones in the back by the grommets were on the flexible side (which was good as it curved to my lumbar spine and didn’t dig into my tailbone at all), but I simply had to switch the lacing method of this corset so as to increase the control of cinch around the waist – in all honesty, the flexibility of the back bones was less extreme than in many other corsets I had reviewed in the past, but April and I still discussed the cause of bowing and came up with some solutions to fix it in her future corsets; she’s very responsive to her clients’ concerns and eager to experiment and improve – I have nothing but positive things to say about the way April conducts her business.

If you would like to learn more about Tighter Corsets, be sure to check out her Facebook page here, or email her here.

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Xandriana Custom Tightlacing Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Xandriana Tightlacing Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length This corset is custom fit (made to measure), so a corset for you may fit differently. Center front is about 12 inches high, and the side seam is 9 inches high, back is 15 inches high. Modern hourglass silhouette – rounded over the ribcage and rounded over the hips. Slightly longline.
Material Outer layer is pale pink satin (might be satin coutil). Lined in white herringbone coutil.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Panels are assembled using a topstitch. Bones are sandwiched between layers, double boned (one on the seam and one in the center of the panel).
Binding Matching strips of pale pink satin, machine stitched on the outside and hand finished on the inside.
Waist tape 1 inch wide waist tape, stitched invisibly between the layers.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is suspended on the laces and boned in a criss-cross fashion. A 1″ wide unstiffened placket in front.
Busk 11 inches long, standard width busk (half inch on each side) with 6 knobs and loops, the bottom two a little closer together. Reinforced flat bones on either side.
Boning 28 bones total (14 bones per side). Mostly 1/4″ wide spiral steels, single boned on the seams plus extra bones in the middle of the panels. There are two flat steels sandwiching the grommets as well, and two flats by the busk.
Grommets 28 two-part Prym eyelets, size #0, medium/large, held in strongly. Finished in silver and set a bit closer together at the waistline. Good wide washers, few splits but don’t catch on the laces.
Laces Laces are 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon, finished in pale pink.
Price At the time I’m writing this, a custom underbust starts at $300 USD (suitable for tightlacing but not waist training). For a waist training custom corset, the price starts at $400.

Final Thoughts:

This corset was a bit of a serendipitous find. I had been meaning to try a corset from Xandriana for awhile, as one of my acquaintances (a previous client of Xandriana’s) had positive things to say about the craftsmanship.

So when I joined the Corsets On Sale group on Facebook and found another person who was selling their old Xandriana corset, with measurements very close to my own, I immediately jumped at the opportunity! The lovely pearlescent finish and the cheery flossing were even cuter in person, and I was pleased to see that the corset was not actually white, but actually the palest, most delicate shade of pink. I also liked the very high back of this corset as it provided excellent support while sitting at my desk, and it made muffin top virtually impossible. After uploading this video, I had the opportunity to talk with the corsetiere, and discovered that the flossing was actually done by the first owner of the corset.

Although this particular corset is not advertised for waist training, its construction is stronger than many other corsets out there that do claim waist-training-friendliness – one of my favourite features in this corset is the distribution of the boning. In corsets that are simply double boned on the seams, it can sometimes feel like the double bones make it “too rigid” in places, while there are vast spans of wrinkled, unsupported fabric between the bones. When you have one bone on the seam and one on the channel (as in this corset), the distribution is more even, which can help prevent pressure points on your body and prevent ugly wrinkling in the corset, resulting in a beautifully smooth and comfortable corset. The darker pink flossing in a clean V shape on the boning channels was also a nice visual touch, and highlighted the fact that this corset had quite even bone distribution.

This is a lovely little corset; the only changes I would make is to perhaps have the bones in the very back bow a little less – but as I am the 2nd owner of this corset, I know nothing of its previous treatment nor anything about the customer service from Xandriana.

Looking at the different  listings in Xandriana’s Etsy shop, it seems that the tightlacing underbust has only 1 layer of coutil, and a non-specific number of bones; while the waist training version has 2 layers of coutil and a guaranteed minimum of 26 bones, and more depending on the size and reduction. If you would like to learn more about the different options Xandriana offers, do visit her website here.

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Electra Designs Pointed Cincher Review

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

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

Final Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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Isabella Corsetry Victorian Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Isabella Corsetry Victorian Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is about 11.5 inches high, and from underbust to lap is 9 inches, center back is 12.5 inches. Slightly wasp-waist silhouette (conical ribcage). Waist is 22″, top edge (underbust) is 29″, iliac crest is 31″. There is a discrepancy between the proportions of this corset vs. my Josephine corset from Isabella. The photo of the Victorian underbust on Isabella’s website does not do the corset justice!
Material 3 main layers: Outer layer is black polyester satin, cotton interlining, lining is cotton twill (with a pinstripe pattern).
Construction 6 panel pattern, panels assembled using the sandwich method and double-boned on the seams, sandwiched between two layers.
Binding Bias tape is a matching black satin; machine stitched on the inside and outside.
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape – sandwiched between the layers.
Modesty panel 7 inch wide unstiffened modesty panel attached to one side. No modesty placket
Busk 10 inch long, heavy duty busk (1″ wide on each side), 5 pins equidistantly spaced.
Boning 22 bones, mostly double-boned on the seams except for the one seam adjacent to the grommet panel. Side bones are 1/4″ wide spirals, and there are two flats sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 30 two-part grommets, size #00, medium flange, quite sturdy. Finished in black (a nice touch). Set a little closer together at the waistline. Large washers on the underside, a few splits in the back but they don’t catch the laces and the grommets aren’t pulling out so it’s not a problem.
Laces Laces are 1/8″ wide round nylon cord, rather slippery and annoying but it’s easy to replace. (My Josephine corset had come with ribbon though which was fine.)
Price At the time I’m writing this, the Victorian underbust in the Immediate line is $175 normally, $230 for made-to-order (standard sized but custom fabric), and $350 for both made-to-measure and custom fabric.
The updated photo of the black satin Victorian underbust looks to be slightly more accurate to the one I reviewed!

Other Thoughts:

I was quite excited about reviewing this Victorian corset, as it had been over 3 years since I purchased the Josephine corset from Isabella Corsetry and I wanted to see if there were any tweaks or improvements to her construction. Although it seemed as though the pattern between the Victorian and the Josephine looked extremely similar (save for the 2nd panel), the fit of this corset is actually quite different on me – this corset is cut for less curves, and the ribcage is more straight and conical compared to the Josephine. While this corset is size 22″, and the underbust is 29″ and hips are 31″; my 3-year-old standard sized Josephine is a size 20″ but has a ribcage of about 30″ and a low hip of over 35″. So perhaps they’re not quite that similar after all?

Talking with some other people who have purchased the Josephine underbust more recently, they have told me that their versions are far less curvy than the piece I own. It seems as though the sizing is inconsistent from style to style of these corsets, and even from corset to corset in the Josephine pieces! But for those who are curious, it is said that the average “spring” drafted for is somewhere in the range of 7″ bigger in the underbust, and 11″ bigger in the hips compared to the waist size.

Sizing issues aside, I am in love with the strong and smooth construction of this corset. Satin is notoriously difficult to work with and make it lie flat and smooth, but Isabella Corsetry does this with the highest skill. And while I can’t cinch down as far as usual in this little piece, it does give me a lovely silhouette.

For those interested in seeing the Victorian underbust in the Immediate Line (the cheapest line where the corsets are standard sized and have fixed colors/ fabrics, visit Isabella’s shop here.

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Vollers “Aida” Review and Revision

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

*****

 

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

Other Thoughts:

Model shows the location of the heavy zipper.

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

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

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

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Burleska Corsets Athena Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Burleska Athena underbust review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is 14.5 inches high (the longest OTR underbust I have ever tried!) and side seam is 12 inches. Not recommended for shorter torsos. Gentle hourglass / modern slim silhouette. Underbust circumference is 30″, waist 24″, low hip is 36″ (gives an impressive 12″ hip spring).
Material 2 main layers. Fashion fabric is black poly satin, lining is black cotton twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern, fashion fabric and lining were flatlining together, panels assembled using a topstitch. External boning channels (double boned on the seams)
Binding Hand-made bias strips of matching black satin, machine stitched on the outside and hand-finished inside for a couture finish. 6 garter tabs.
Waist tape 3/4-inch wide waist tape made from ribbon, stretching from panels 2-5 (first and last panels don’t have a waist tape)
Modesty panel 6 inches wide back modesty panel (4″ usable space). Two layers, unstiffened, attached to one side of the corset. No modesty placket in front by busk.
Busk 12.5 inches long, standard flexible busk with 6 pins (bottom two closer together). Supported by flat steels on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones total, 13 on each side. The flats by the busk in the front and in the back by the grommets are steel boned, but the side bones in the external channels are plastic boned.
Grommets 26 two-part grommets, size #0 or #1, fairly small flange. silver finish. Set equidistantly. Back of the grommets have multiple splits but don’t catch on the laces.
Embellishment 1/8 inch thick round, dense nylon cord. Quite grippy and holds bows well.
Price At the time that I’m writing this: £50 in the UK, or around $80 in the US.

Other Thoughts:

Burleska Athena corset as it is seen on the website

This is the second corset I’ve reviewed from Burleska (the first review you can read here). Two years later, Burleska had contacted me directly and mentioned that their line of corsets have improved and asked if I would be interested in trying some of their new stock. I agreed to trying this Athena underbust as it seemed to have the most unique construction and the most impressive curves! When I tried on the corset, indeed it gave a flattering silhouette, but unfortunately this piece had been plastic boned as well. The Burleska executives didn’t know that they were plastic as they had been told by their own manufacturer that they were steel – so these corsets are currently receiving an overhaul and Burleska says that they will be more careful about this in the future. I taught them the “magnet trick” to check for ferrous substances inside of a corset (like the steel bones) without having to open up the corsets. I’m not upset about this though; it takes great integrity in a company to admit that they were mistaken, to listen to their customers and to commit to changing their product to keep the trust of their clientele. So all is well that ends well; I wish Burleska success in the future and look forward to seeing what new items they design for their upcoming genuine steel boned line.

You can find the Athena corset on Burleska’s website, here.

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Enell Sport / Enell Lite Bras (combined with Corsets)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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L’Atelier de LaFleur Longline Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the video “L’Atelier de LaFleur Underbust Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length My corset has a standard size 24″ base (ribcage 30″, hips 32-34″), but had been semi-customized. I asked for more length from waist to ribcage, a high-back, and for the waist to be nipped in another inch. Modern hourglass silhouette.
Material 3 main layers. Fashion fabric is silk Chinese brocade, strength fabric of herringbone coutil, floating lining of special cooling cotton fabric.
Construction Probably 5-panel pattern, fashion fabric flatlined to coutil, external boning channels (some on the seams, some in the middle of the panel), and floating liner.
Binding Hand-made bias strips of complementary pink satin, machine stitched on the outside and hand-finished inside for a couture finish.
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape – sandwiched between the layers.
Modesty panel No back lacing protector because I didn’t order one – but one can be ordered if desired. The front has a boned underbusk/ placket which helps keep the front flat.
Busk 12.5 inches long and standard width (0.5 inch wide) matte-black busk with 6 loops/pins, with the two lowest ones closer together.
Boning 24 bones total. On each side there are 9 spirals in external channels; the remainder are flats by the grommets or supporting the busk.
Grommets 34 two-part grommets (because of the very high back), size #00, medium flange, quite sturdy. Black finish. Equidistantly spaced, few splits but don’t catch on the laces. The laces themselves are a great nylon flat shoelace that is grippy like cotton.
Flossing Mina’s unique design on the bottom of the external boning channels, almost reminds me of a T4 bacteriophage – very cool!
Price At the time I’m writing this, it would cost $375 for a standard size longline corset, and a recreation of my own corset would be $565 CAD.
My first wearing of the completed corset, in Mina’s studio in Toronto.

It’s no secret that this corset has become one of my instant favourites in my collection. Mina’s work is absolutely pristine, and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to be personally fitted by her (and to have my own measurements match her standard measurements so closely!). It’s difficult not to wax poetic about this corset; not a stitch is out of place. I can see myself ordering from her again a few years down the line.

Despite the rather thin flexible busk I provided (only because I wanted all matte black hardware), Mina had supported it enough with bones on either side and also a heavy boned underbusk (modesty placket) so that the profile remains beautifully straight and flat. The bones are dispersed around the waist such that there is no more than 1 inch around the waist that is unsupported, which leads to a very sturdy and comfortable wearing experience. The high back is wonderful for my posture and the extra length in the ribcage helps prevent me from slouching like few other corsets are able to do.

If anyone would like a breakdown for the cost of my corset:
Longline underbust $375
High back modification: $10
Single external bone casings instead of double $25
Brocade fashion fabric $15
Contrast casings/trim (the pink against the brocade) $15
Bone flossing on bottom edge, and floating lining $125
Total $565

However, I’m not hyperbolizing when I say that this corset is worth every penny. The entire experience, from meeting with the designer, consulting, fitting and receiving the final product, has been nothing but a joy. If you would like to see more work by L’Atelier de LaFleur, you can visit Mina’s website here.

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Corset Connection (Versatile Corsets) Dita Underbust Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 12 inches long, from underbust to the lap at the “princess seam” (the side-front) is 9 inches long – appropriate for average-to-long torsos. The bottom of the corset swoops down to cover lower-tummy pooch. This is not a longline corset; it’s cut higher over the hips at the side.  Modern slim silhouette, reminiscent of the traditional Victorian hourglass silhouette, except with gentler curves. Also includes a halter strap (see the Final Thoughts for more info). This corset can accommodate about a 9-10 inch hip spring, and the ribs are about 6″ larger than the waist.
Material 2 main layers: the lining is 100% cotton black twill (although custom commissioned corsets from Versatile will contain herringbone coutil lining). Fashion fabric is a medium-weight pink satin (interfaced for strength) with black accent boning channels and binding made from black shiny pleather.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Twill lining is flatlined/rollpinned to satin fashion layer; top-stitching between panels (seams are double-stitched at minimum), external boning channels. Also contains 8 garter tabs.
Binding Black binding that matches the external boning channels, made from bias strips of black PVC, trimmed short on the inside rather than folded under (this is typical of leather/ pleather binding, and fine because it won’t fray).
Waist tape 1″ wide petersham waist tape exposed on the inside. If you had ordered a corset without external boning channels, then the waist tape would be sandwiched between two layers of material.
Modesty panel Attached 8″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, covered in matching pink satin (more breathable than the PVC or pleather), stitched on one side of the corset; unstiffened placket under busk made from matching black PVC.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (5 pins), reinforced with a flat steel bone on each side.
Boning 22 total bones not including busk, all flat (spring) steel bones. On each side they are double boned on the seams (1/4″ wide), 2 sturdier flats sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. This type of grommet is my personal favourite used in American-made corsets.
Laces 1/8 inch wide round nylon cord – strong, virtually unbreakable, not stretchy, glides well through the grommets and doesn’t catch, but they’re slippery.
Price Currently $358 USD for the standard size and basic fabric on the Versatile website. For contrasting channels, there is no price markup!

Final Thoughts:

This is the third of several corsets I will be reviewing for Versatile Corsets/ Corset Connection. The samples were originally agree to be sent back, but the owner of Corset Connection asked me to sell them here on my website (90% funds still go to Versatile) instead of sending them back.

I don’t often wear materials like pleather or PVC because I find it doesn’t breathe very well – however, since the main fashion fabric is satin and the pleather is just contrast, this style is a bit more comfortable. Still, if I were to go back and order this piece custom, I would likely have chosen a different fabric combination. The perk to Versatile Corsets that I have not seen in any other company – if you want external boning channels, there is no mark-up in price! You can also choose from dozens of fabric and colour choices for the binding, trim, and channels – or make them all different colours or fabrics if that’s your preference. There are many different possibilities!

The thick halter strap was comfortable around my neck; it was covered with black pleather/ PVC material to match the binding and boning channels, and was adjustable with hooks and eyes (similar to bra hooks). I didn’t personally find that the straps pulled too much on my neck, and I was able to keep my shoulders and my neck back – however, for those with forward-head posture looking for a solution, this corset will not miraculously help. I like how the fabric of the corset wraps up and around the side of the torso, which both helps to flatten any breast tissue that wraps around the side and in the armpits, and for those with smaller busts this cut helps to lift the bust and push it together to create cleavage. 

Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to try on this corset. I find the Dita underbust to be much more suited to my figure, as I have a longer torso. It’s a great corset for lengthening the line of the torso, thanks to the vertical contrasting boning channels, and the swooping line of the lower edge down to the pubic bone. It makes me look much leaner and taller compared to the Snapdragon cincher that I reviewed before – however, those with shorter torsos may prefer the Snapdragon for its length. The one perk is that both the Dita and the Snapdragon corsets are the exact same price, so neither the taller nor the shorter lacer has to worry about paying more for the style that suits them. To see other models in the Dita corset, Versatile has a small gallery so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.

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Corset Connection (Versatile) Lotus Overbust Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 16 inches long, from peak of the bust (longest part) is 18 inches long. Slim silhouette. This is not exactly a longline corset, most of the length is from the waist up so it cups around and covers the bust quite well. Suitable for people with longer waists. The cups may accommodate up to an E cup. However the back was a bit small on me, so this corset may be suitable for those with a larger bust and smaller ribcage. This corset can accommodate about a 12-inch hip spring
Material 3 main layers: the lining is 100% cotton black twill (although custom commissioned corsets from Versatile will contain herringbone coutil lining). Fashion fabric is a heavyweight pink glitter PVC with black accent boning channels.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Twill lining is flatlined/rollpinned to PVC fashion layer; top-stitching between panels (seams are double-stitched at minimum), external boning channels. Also contains 8 garter tabs.
Binding Black binding that matches the external boning channels, made from bias strips of black PVC, folded under on the inside
Waist tape 1″ wide petersham waist tape exposed on the inside.
Modesty panel Attached 8″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, covered in black satin (more breathable than the PVC or pleather), stitched on one side of the corset; unstiffened placket under busk made from matching black PVC.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12″ long (6 pins), reinforced with a flat steel bone on each side. An additional 3″ on top of the busk contains grommets to adjust the bust area.
Boning 20 total bones not including busk, all flat (spring) steel bones. On each side they are double boned on the seams, 2 sturdier flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 32 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. This type of grommet is my personal favourite used in American-made corsets.
Laces 1/8 inch wide round nylon cord – strong, but slippery.
Price Currently $398 USD for the standard size and basic fabric on the Versatile website. For the glitter PVC, there is a $60 markup.

Final Thoughts:

This is the third of several corsets I will be reviewing for Versatile Corsets/ Corset Connection. The samples were originally agree to be sent back, but the owner of Corset Connection asked me to sell them here on my website (90% funds still go to Versatile) instead of sending them back.

As I mentioned in the video review, this corset passes the bust test with flying colours. There is little-to-no chance of boobling out of this corset, even if you have a long torso, because this corset is so high from waist to

The exact same Lotus overbust on another model with a different body shape, for comparison.

top edge, and the cups are very nicely shaped and they curve up and over the breast to encapsulate it, not just squish it. Despite the fact that this is a relatively modern slim silhouette, I felt like a Barbie doll in this corset (and not only from the pink!). The bust area can accommodate close to a DD/E cup size (as long as the ribcage in the back is relatively small) and the hips accommodate a relatively generous 12-inch hipspring which is indicative of other corsets that are considered quite curvy. Perhaps the length of this corset gives the illusion of “diluting” the curviness.

If I had ordered the Lotus overbust custom made, I would request to have the back just about 2 inches larger to accommodate my ribcage and keep in my back fat/ muffin top. I would likely have ordered it in a lovely brocade instead of PVC – as fun as pink, shiny, glittery plastic can be, I don’t do well with non-breathable synthetic fabrics.

 The Lotus corset (like all the other corsets by Versatile) is available in various colour combinations as you can choose the main fabric, have a choice of lace overlay if you wish, then at no extra charge you can choose a different fabric or colour for the trim, external boning channels, and binding – they can all be different fabrics if you wish! I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see the differences in construction between the various different corsets depending on the styling choices.

Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to try on this corset; I think of all the Versatile overbusts I’ve tried, this one was my second favourite (next only to the Mimosa cupped overbust). To see other models in the Lotus corset, Versatile has a small gallery so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.