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Interview with Katie Thomas of What Katie Did

In August and September 2015, I attended the Oxford Conference of Corsetry and met Katie Thomas (What Katie Did) in person. I’ve been emailing with Katie for close to 5 years so it was amazing to finally have the opportunity to meet someone you admire in the corset industry face-to-face. Directly following the conference, I spent a few days at Katie’s house and we visited Basilton Park, and Katie gave me a tour of her London Boutique and headquarters.

Skip ahead in the video to hear her answers to the following questions:

0:30 How did you become interested in retro fashion?

0:55 How did you start your business and why did you choose the name What Katie Did?

1:50 After starting your business selling stockings, shapewear, etc, how did you become interested in corsets, and how did you start incorporating corsets into your business?

2:35 You’ve been in this industry for 15 years now, so how have you seen the corset and retro lingerie industry change?

3:10 What do you think of the waist training trend, and how do you think your products fit into this trend?

3:55 Would you say that your corsets are suitable for waist training now?

4:30 You’ve found a niche with higher-end, ready-to-wear corsets that are better quality than the budget OTR corsets, but not quite as high as bespoke corsets offered by independent corsetieres. Was it a deliberate decision to settle your business at this niche?

5:20 You had mentioned that you once considered reducing your prices, but when you were looking for areas to cut, you weren’t willing to make those sacrifices to the quality of your products. Tell us a bit more about that.

6:00 You were the first person I saw in this industry who showed full transparency regarding the working conditions of your factory in India. Can you comment on why you decided to be so transparent about this, and why you decided against manufacturing your corsets in England?

8:00 When I first stumbled upon your site, I thought that you mainly catered to the burlesque and pin-up communities. Do you think this is true? Who is your main client base?

Thanks to Katie for sitting down with me for this interview! Click here to see What Katie Did’s website.

Silk WKD Morticia
WKD Morticia corset in Claret silk, in size 22″, modelled by me (Lucy)

See my many reviews of WKD corsets here:

Link to WKD website is an affiliate link (but links to reviews are not). Affiliate links help support Lucy and keep this site online!

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What Katie Did Raw Silk “Sophia” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 14″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15 ¾ inches high. Gentle hourglass/ modern slim silhouette. Good for average torso length. No hip gores. Not recommended for people with lower tummy pooch or a bust larger than about a C cup.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is 100% raw silk, and the lining and interlining are both 100% cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern, no hip gores. External boning channels, a floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Green silk (matched) binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of green silk and twill; stiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (6 pins), backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side.
Boning 20 steel bones not including busk. 16 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thick, they grip well and they are long enough. Has some spring to the lace but very difficult to break.
Price Currently $310.50 USD (at the time I reviewed it it was ~ $240) on the What Katie Did website.
(Now discontinued) Sophia overbust in black satin, in the new large bust version, modeled by Velvet Jones

Final Thoughts:

Although the fashion fabric and the construction (external channels, double-bones on each seam) are all quite beautiful, this is simply not the best corset for my body type – the silhouette is a very gentle hourglass (what I would call “modern slim” hourglass) with no hip gores, and it just does not have enough room in the bust for me.

HOWEVER! In 2012 they have come out with another version of the Sophia corset – the original version for small-busted ladies, and a newer version for more top-heavy ladies. The large-bust version is made-to-order so you don’t receive it quite as quickly, but it might be worth the wait to have a well-fitting overbust.

In this video I wear the size 22″ which I can usually close much more in a curvy underbust corset. However because of the gentle silhouette, you can see the gap is wider here on me. If you decide to order the Sophia corset then consider buying just 3-4 inches smaller than your natural waist size, even if you are usually more accustomed to lacing down 6 inches or more.

If you’re looking for a curvier, more traditional hourglass or wasp-waisted overbust in general, then there are many other styles to choose from on the What Katie Did site.