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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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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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What to Look for in the Perfect “Stealthing” Corset (Hiding corsets under clothing)

“Lucy, what’s the best corset that hides perfectly under clothing?”

Unfortunately, there is no corset in existence, past or present, that looks and feels completely like skin and flesh – however there are a few features to look for that can get you as close as possible. Keep in mind that all corsets are rigid though – at present, all corsets must contain strong fabric, bones for maintaining vertical tension, and laces in the back to adjust the measurements. But apart from that, the options are almost endless. Let’s look at what you should look for in a great stealthing corset. (Some links below support Lucy’s Corsetry so she can continue providing awesome info for free.)

COLOR:

Go for “nude” or skintone fabrics. Bright fabrics can draw attention under thin or light colored tops. Ivory, loomstate, peach, beige, tan, brown, etc – whatever you can find that is closest to your natural complexion.

(Some shameless self-promotion here) The skintone range by Timeless Trends is available in my shop – it suits 7 different skin tones: creme, vanilla, butterscotch, latte, caramel, cinnamon and chocolate. Most good OTR shops also have at least one “nude” option, which may range from peach to ivory to tan colored. Other examples include Orchard Corset, Isabella Corsetry, and Morgana Femme Couture.

Click here to see the full skintone collection in my shop ($74 – $99).

 

FABRIC CONTENT & WEAVE:

Satin is smooth and slippery and allows your clothing to glide overtop. But if you do go for satin, be sure that it’s fused to a stronger backing or roll-pinned – because unsupported satin has a tendency to wrinkle from stress, and these wrinkles can be noticeable. One example of a nude satin in OTR corsets is from Isabella Corsetry. You have the option of going with a peach, nude, or ballet pink cotton-backed satin (satin coutil) if you order custom from almost any reputable maker, which is the best of both worlds (strong, hardy, smooth and glides well under clothing).

For the purpose of training or daily wear corsets, when purchasing OTR / RTW, I usually recommend cotton twill or similar as an outer fabric – yes, it catches slightly more than slippery satin, but it generally doesn’t conduct static, it’s more durable and abrasion resistant, and it’s more breathable than synthetic polyester and better for the skin. Morgana Femme Couture uses nude cotton coutil, and Timeless Trends’ creme corset is 100% cotton as well.

Morgana Femme Couture Nude Coutil Waist Training / Tightlacing Corset ($230, Etsy)

BONING CHANNELS:

There are three different types of channels: external, sandwiched, and internal. I’d recommend either sandwiched or internal, as they create the smoothest finish on the outside of the corset.

Internal boning channels have the potential to be the most smooth on the outside but they are the least comfortable in my opinion (one rare exception is my Mimosa corset by Versatile, which has sandwiched bones on the inside and a floating fashion layer).
External channels are sewn to the outside of the corset, often in contrasting colors which is quite pretty – and truthfully, they have the potential to be the most comfortable with training corsets too, because you don’t have to deal with any bumps or pressure points with bones against your body – but external channels are not good for stealthing.
Sandwiched boning channels is what you see in many American OTR corsets like Orchard Corset (the double-boned styles only, like the 411 or 426) or Timeless Trends – they are a good compromise between smoothness, comfort and fashion, and they’re also often seen in training corsets.

Orchard Corset CS-411 in tan cotton ($69, use code CORSETLUCY for 10% off)

 

TOP AND BOTTOM EDGE:

Something that’s cut straight across is best, but gently rounded on top and bottom are pretty good too. Avoid points because they can bow and poke out under clothing, or they could dig into your sternum or pubic bone.

One example of a corset that’s cut fairly straight across the top and bottom edge is the CS-411 from Orchard Corset, the Classic Cincher from Isabella Corsetry, and the Mae and Gina corsets by What Katie Did (these can also be special ordered in a peach, ivory, cream, etc).

What Katie Did Mae Corset in cream raw silk (starts at $230 USD)

FRONT CLOSURE:

Good OTR training corsets are typically going to have a busk in front so you can quickly and easily get into and out of it, but it does cause a line of bumps down the front, especially if you’re wearing a fitted shirt.

Some training corsets come with the option of a closed front. You have to open the back laces a lot and slip the corset over your head (or slip it up from your feet, depending on whether your hips or your shoulders are larger) – so getting into and out of the corset isn’t going to be very quick. Busks are much quicker but more noticeable under clothing. One example of a closed front corset is the Meschantes trainer that I had reviewed a few years back.

If you are able to go custom with a maker that offers a good quality zipper in the front, but you will typically have to go custom for that.

Meschantes Nude Waist Training Corset with closed front ($119, Etsy)

 

BACK CLOSURE:

Unfortunately there’s no such thing as a corset with no laces! However, there are ways to hide your corset laces effectively – see the video below:

What are your requirements for the features in the perfect stealthing corset? What was the best stealthing corset you’ve ever tried? Leave a comment below!

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Gemini Corset Review (Timeless Trends / Lucy Corsetry collaboration)

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

 

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

 

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

Final Thoughts:

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

There are pros and cons to each silhouette.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Timeless Trends Hourglass Corset Review and Comparison

black-leather-hourglass-corset

Full disclosure: The hourglass corset featured in this review is one of the four new designs I helped create for Timeless Trends in 2015, along with the hourglass cinchers, hourglass longline corsets, and the newest Gemini corset.

This entry is a summary of the two videos “Timeless Trends Hourglass Corset (Comparison/ Overview)” which you can watch on YouTube here (silhouette and fit summary above, and construction and components comparison below):

 

Fit, length This style is standard sized 24″: Center front is about 11.5 inches high, the ‘princess seam’ is 9 inches, side seam is is about 9 inches as well, and the center back is 12.5 inches. Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 30.5″ (6.5 inch rib spring), upper hip is 34″ (10 inch high hip spring). This corset is designed to stop well at the iliac crest, and fit someone with a very short torso.
The center front had all “points” removed so the top and bottom edges are gently rounded, to prevent the fabric from flopping or showing under your clothing.
Material Three layers of fabric. The fashion fabric is blue floral brocade laminated to cotton twill (alternating with plain black satin panels, also fused to twill interlining) and it’s lined in black cotton twill as well.
Construction 6 panel pattern, constructed using the sandwich method. Panels 2-3 give room in the ribcage from ‘champagne glass’ shaped panels. Panels 3-4 give more ease in the hip, and in panels 5-6 there is more curve to fit snug over the lumbar area.
Binding Matching black satin bias binding, machine-stitched on both sides. Also has 6 garter tabs (the slim silhouette corsets only have 4 garter tabs).
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tap, sandwiched between the panels. Full waist tape, from center front to center back.
Modesty panel Modesty panels are not included in with the corsets, because unstiffened panels are somewhat unpopular amongst many customers. However, stiffened, boned modesty panels are now available for separate purchase, and can be suspended on the laces.
All hourglass corsets have front modesty plackets in matching fashion fabric.
Busk 10 inches long. 10 loops + pins, equidistantly spaced. It is a standard flexible busk, and it is reinforced with flat steels on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones total, not including busk. On each side, there are ten 1/4″ wide spirals, two flat steels by the grommets, and one flat steel by the busk.
Grommets 28 two-part grommets, size #0, with a small to medium flange. Finished in dark silver and equidistantly spaced. Big washers, most grommets rolled nicely. There are some splits, but they don’t catch much on the laces.
Laces Single face satin ribbon in black, 1/2″ wide. It’s relatively long and has no stretch, but single face satin is not quite as strong as double-face satin. Some different styles of cincher are laced with more sturdy shoelace instead of ribbon.
Price This particular style ranges from $79-89 USD depending on the fashion fabric – you can see more styles here.

 

black-leather-hourglass-corset
Hourglass black leather corset by Timeless Trends. Model and designer: Lucia Corsetti (that’s me!)

Redesigning Timeless Trends’ standard length corset was the first mission for Sarah and myself when we visited Thailand in summer of 2015. Because we wanted a corset that was not only completely unique in this industry but also “anatomically accurate”, we decided to combine several drafting techniques, including a combination of “slash and spread” and draping. Our hope was to create a corset that curved over the ribcage comfortably, hugged and supported the lumbar area of the back, kicked out dramatically at the hip, and flattened the lower tummy. I think we more or less succeeded!

To learn more about the drafting process, see our Thailand trip here.

If you’d like to see more fabrics and colorways for the hourglass corset and you’re interested in purchasing, I’m incredibly proud to say that they are available here in my shop!

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Timeless Trends Hourglass Cincher Overview/ Comparison

iridescent-purple-cincher

Full disclosure: The hourglass cincher featured in this review is one of the four new designs I helped create for Timeless Trends in 2015, along with the hourglass standard corsets, hourglass longline corsets, and the newest Gemini corset.

If you are interested in purchasing a TT cincher and you would like to support Lucy’s Corsetry, please consider buying through my Corset Shop here!

This entry is a summary of the video “Timeless Trends Hourglass Cincher (Comparison/ Overview)” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This style is standard sized 24″: Center front is about 8.25 inches high, the ‘princess seam’ is 7 inches, side seam is 6.25 inches, and the center back is 9.5 inches.
Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 28″ (4 inch rib spring), upper hip is 31″ (7 inch high hip spring). This corset is designed to stop well above the iliac crest, and fit someone with a very short torso.
Material Three layers of fabric. The fashion fabric is red dragon brocade laminated to cotton twill (alternating with plain black satin panels, also fused to twill interlining) and it’s lined in black cotton twill as well.
Construction 6 panel pattern, constructed using the sandwich method. The curve over the hips and bum are in panels 3, 4, whereas much of the room for the front ribs come from the ‘champagne glass’ shaped 2nd panel.
Binding Matching black satin bias binding, machine-stitched on both sides. Also has 6 garter tabs (the slim silhouette corsets only have 4 garter tabs).
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape, sandwiched between the panels. Full waist tape, from center front to center back.
Modesty panel Modesty panels are not included in with the corsets, because unstiffened panels are somewhat unpopular amongst many customers. However, stiffened, boned modesty panels are now available for separate purchase, and can be suspended on the laces with velcro or grommets.
All hourglass corsets have front modesty plackets in matching fashion fabric.
Busk 7 inches long. 4 loops + pins, equidistantly spaced. It is a standard flexible busk, and it is reinforced with flat steels on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones total, not including busk. On each side, there are ten 1/4″ wide spirals, two flat steels by the grommets, and one flat steel by the busk.
Grommets 20 two-part grommets, size #0, with a small to medium flange. Finished in dark silver and equidistantly spaced. Big washers, most grommets rolled nicely. There are some splits, but they don’t catch on the laces.
Laces Single face satin ribbon in black, 1/2″ wide. It’s relatively long and has no stretch, but single face satin is not quite as strong as double-face satin. Some different styles of cincher are laced with more sturdy shoelace instead of ribbon.
Price This particular style is $79 USD, and the most popular styles are now $74 uSD – you can see more styles here.

 

waist-cincher-creme
Hourglass Creme Cotton cincher by Timeless Trends

The cincher has less of a cupped rib compared to the standard length and longline hourglass corsets – while the standard length and longline TT corsets were based off similar patterns, we started anew with the cincher pattern to be able to cater to people with different body types and different aesthetic. However, you will find that the hourglass cinchers have far more room in the ribs and hips and gives a much more shapely silhouette compared to the gentle silhouette cinchers.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the hourglass cincher, I’m incredibly proud to say that they are available here in my shop!

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Timeless Trends Hourglass Longline Corset Review

Lucy Green Hourglass Longline

Full disclosure: The hourglass longline corset featured in this review is one of the four new designs I helped create for Timeless Trends in 2015, along with the hourglass standard corsets, hourglass cinchers, and the newest Gemini corset.

This entry is a summary of the video “Timeless Trends Hourglass Longline (Comparison/ Overview)” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This style is standard sized 24″: Center front is about 13 inches high, from underbust to lap is 11 inches, and the center back is 13.5 inches. Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 30.5″ (6.5 inch rib spring), upper hip is 31″ (7 inch high hip spring), and lower hip is 36″ (12 inch low hip spring), with the hip ties closed. (You can expand the hips for more room.)
Material Three layers of fabric. The fashion fabric is emerald brocade laminated to cotton twill, and it’s lined in black cotton twill as well.
Construction 6 panel pattern, constructed using the sandwich method. The roundness of the ribs can be found primarily in pattern pieces 2, 3 and 4, while the curve over the hips and bum are in panels 3, 4 and 5.
Binding Matching green satin bias binding, machine-stitched on both sides. Also has 6 garter tabs (the slim silhouette corsets only have 4 garter tabs).
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tap, sandwiched between the panels. Full waist tape, from center front to center back.
Modesty panel Modesty panels are not included in with the corsets, because unstiffened panels are somewhat unpopular amongst many customers. However, stiffened, boned modesty panels are now available for separate purchase, and can be suspended on the laces.
All hourglass corsets have front modesty plackets in matching fashion fabric.
Busk 21 inches long. 6 loops + pins, equidistantly spaced. It is a standard flexible busk, but it is reinforced with flat steels on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones total, not including busk. On each side, there are ten 1/4″ wide spirals, two flat steels by the grommets, and one flat steel by the busk.
Grommets 28 two-part grommets, size #0, with a small to medium flange. Finished in dark silver and equidistantly spaced. Big washers, most grommets rolled nicely. There are some splits, but they don’t catch much on the laces.
Laces Single face satin ribbon in matching green, 1/2″ wide. It’s relatively long and has no stretch, but single face satin is not quite as strong as double-face satin. I often add free shoelace for those who purchase longline corsets ($6 value) for customers who prefer it.
Price This particular style is $119 USD; other fabrics like leather or styles with swinghooks may be slightly more.
emerald-long-hourglass-corset
The emerald hourglass longline corset as it appears in the product image.

The ribcage is more rounded compared to the more conical “slim” longline corset. The hips are also more cupped as well, and provide for ample adjustment. We specifically chose to draft this corset with the upper hips nearly the same size as the rounded ribcage, so it can fit both men and women. Even if you have square-shaped hips where your upper hip is the same size (or larger) than your lower hips, you can open up the top part of the hip ties and tighten the lower part of the hip ties to have it fit just to your body.

The corset was also designed to curve around a broader ribcage, and accommodate some lumbar curve for a more comfortable fit.

Comparing the length of other longline corset brands to this one: the Timeless Trends longline has the most distribution from the waist up (suitable for those with a low waist); Orchard Corset’s CS-426 is more equally balanced in the length distribution from the waist up vs waist down, and Mystic City’s corsets tend to be drafted more for those with a high waist, as much of the length is distributed from the waist down.

If you’d like to learn more about the hourglass longline corset, I’m incredibly proud to say that they are available here in my shop.

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Hourglass Corsets have Arrived!

black-leather-hourglass-corset

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 9.12.25 PM

I’m proud to announce that the hourglass silhouette corsets are now up in the shop!

Back in June, myself and Sarah (Administrator for Timeless Trends, beside me in the first picture) travelled to Bangkok, Thailand to redesign the Timeless Trends and Black Iris corset patterns.

The corsets still have their “essence” (they are still immediately recognizable as Timeless Trends) but they all now feature a larger rib spring and hip spring (so the waist can be cinched further), comfortable cupped ribs, and a neutral lumbar curve – these corset patterns were draped on a human body, so they are surprisingly comfortable.

We’ve also added extra features such as an extra pair of garter tabs (now 6 instead of 4) and front modesty placket under the busk. Stiffened and suspendable back modesty panels are available for separate purchase in white and black, with other colors possible in future.

Lucy in hourglass longline underbust, in emerald brocade
Lucy in hourglass longline underbust, in emerald brocade

Timeless Trends and I worked hard over the past several months to consider every element of the construction process of these corsets so we can preserve their lifetime warranty, and I’m extremely proud of the results.

Next week, I’ll be uploading an overview of the new hourglass longline underbust, as well as a highlights video of my experience working in the factory in Thailand to my Youtube channel.

In the meantime, you are welcome to ask any questions about details of the corsets, the redesign process, the factory conditions, or my Thailand adventures in general.

You’ll find the new hourglass silhouette corsets for sale here in my corset shop.

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Where to Buy Corsets for Men

 

Fakir Musafar as “The Perfect Gentleman”, 1959 This photo has inspired many other gentlemen to consider waist training. Click through to learn more about Fakir.

I’m pleased to announce that a new Guided Gallery is now up! Gentlemen wear corsets too, but sometimes it can be difficult to find a corset that both cinches the waist and maintains a stereotypically masculine silhouette. In the new gallery, Corsets for Men, you’ll find nearly 40 makers who cater to this specifically.

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Timeless Trends Short Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Timeless Trends Short Underbust Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is about 8″ long and the shortest part of the corset (close to the side seam, from underbust to lap) is about 6.5″ – so this corset would be able to fit short waisted wearers. Gives an extremely slim silhouette; the ribcage is about 2″ larger than the waist, and the hips are about 3-4″ larger than the waist.
Material 3 layers; the outer nude/sand poly fabric is fused to twill interlining. Lining also in twill.
Construction Seams appear to have been lock-stitched with seams pressed open; the layers of fabric secured to one another by stitching in the ditch, with the boning sandwiched between the two layers of twill.
Binding Bias binding in matching colour and fabric; machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape A 1″ wide invisible waist tape – sandwiched between the two layers of twill.
Modesty panel No back lacing protector, no front placket.
Busk Standard flexible busk with 4 pins (equidistantly set), about 7 inches long. Further reinforced by a flat steel on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones (not including busk), 20 are 1/4″ wide spiral steel; 6 flat steels, 3/8″ wide, beside the busk and grommets.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with small/moderate flange; absolutely no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommet.
Laces 1/2″ wide, single-face satin ribbon. Holds fine for my purposes; I have only ever once experienced SF satin ribbon snapping (after 1.5 years of use, after I ironed it). The laces you get depend on the style of the corset, so be sure to look at the back of the corset to know whether you’ll be receiving ribbon or shoelace.
Price Most are $89 USD or £65 in the UK when not on clearance.

Final Thoughts:

Timeless Trends nude cincher as it appears on the website

This short underbust was a surprise when I first tried it on. I was so used to having at least 6″ space in the ribcage and about 8″ space in the hips compared to the waist, like my standard-length underbust corset from Timeless Trends. However, their short corsets are much slimmer than this, having only a couple of inches flare at the top and bottom. For this reason, I really recommend this corset primarily for those who have quite slim hips to begin with, and/or only carry a lot of their weight around their abdomen. This corset would mostly be marketed to those who would like a corset-belt fashion to accentuate their outfits without having too much waist reduction. It would likely fit best if you ordered a size up from what you usually buy (i.e. about 2-3 inches smaller than your natural waist).

The quality of construction is still the same; in the several years I’ve owned their corsets, I have never once had an issue with a bone poking through, a seam ripping, a grommet coming loose etc. At worst, I had heard of the busk being bent and a pin popping off (which can happen to even the best busks if not handled properly) from one person who achieved nearly 10 inches reduction in the waist in one of their longline corsets. If seams do have a gap, it’s considered a manufacturing flaw that is easily rectified with their exchange policy. I think Timeless Trends’ presence in the corset industry would be much stronger if only their corsets would accommodate more of a curve.

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The Corset Gap: What does it mean?

This entry is a summary of the review video “Shape of your Corset Gap – What does it mean?” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 Shape/ meaning

Brands to avoid for your body type

Brands to consider for your body type

A shape

The A Shape
The A shape

This means that your hips are too wide for this corset pattern. This type of gap is common for women who are naturally a pear shape. Do NOT try to force the hips smaller because then you may get an odd bump at the lower edge of the corset, and it can also make your hips go numb.

Avoid any corsets that say “modern slim” silhouette or “gentle curves.” This may include any of the “Level 1” corsets from Orchard Corset, or the underbust corsets from Corsets-UK. For those who have a larger hipspring, look for corsets for vintage figures: What Katie Did or Isabella Corsetry are good choices. They have a hipspring of more than 12-14 inches.

V shape

The V shape
The V shape

This means that your ribcage or shoulders are too broad or fleshy for the corset. While it is possible to train down your ribcage, it’s unlikely that you can train it right from the very top edge.  This often occurs in swimmers or in men who wear women’s corsets.

Corsets that have a relatively narrow ribcage, which include some WKD underbusts. For standard corsets with a larger ribcage, try Timeless Trends and the CS-426 from Orchard Corset.

() shape

The () shape
The () shape

This is when you have gaping at the waist – the bones in the back are either too flexible, or the waist is too small than you’re ready for. This CAN ruin the corset because it’s forcing the bones to twist in their channels. It can even make the bones kink outward or inward into your back, which is quite uncomfortable.

Avoid corset patterns that are curvier than you are ready for. If you have a very “unyielding” figure, you may have to train down before buying corsets like WKD or Isabella.  I’d recommend you start with a larger corset size, or go for a corset that makes more gentle/ natural hourglass or slim silhouettes like Timeless Trends.

)( shape

The )( shape
The )( shape

This is when your body is more of an hourglass shape than the corset itself! The corset doesn’t have enough curve in it. BEWARE of this common trick on websites! They will use models who are naturally quite curvy and this will make their corsets curvier. A corset that is modelled with a gap like this in the back will likely look more tubular when it’s laced straight.

Avoid any corsets that say “modern slim” silhouette or “gentle curves.” This may include any of the “Level 1” corsets from Orchard Corset, the underbust corsets from Corsets-UK. Try What Katie Did Morticia corset, the Curvy Girl corset from Azrael’s Accomplice, or several options available from Isabella Corsetry or Ms Martha’s corset shop.

//

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 2.33.47 AM
The // shape

A diagonal but fairly parallel gap means that the corset fits your ribcage, waist and hips reasonably well but it is twisting on the body. There are several reasons why this may be happening: 1. If the corset is made with twill and all of the panels have the twill running in the same direction. Twill, while strong, has an asymmetric weave so stretches more on one bias than another. To test if your corset has stretched differently on either side, measure the ½ circumference on each side of your corset at ribcage, waist and hips. See if both sides are equal. 2. It may just have been how you put the corset on that day! Always lace in front of a mirror to avoid tying it skewed. If you notice your corset is twisted, take it off immediately and put it on again straight. It is possible for a corset to season into a permanent twisted shape! 3. It may not be the corset, but rather your body that is asymmetric. If you have any of the following then this can make a symmetric corset look asymmetric:

  • scoliosis
  • a previously broken rib
  • one leg longer than the other
  • some other skeletal or muscular asymmetry
In the first situation, I recommend not buying corsets made with twill – or if they are made with twill, make sure the corsetiere is experienced enough to sew it perfectly on grain, and to flip every other panel so that the bias of all panels don’t run in the same direction.Also, as bad as it sounds, avoid “risky investments.” Ensure that your corsetiere is scrutinous about making each half of the corset the same way, and to specification (whether symmetric or asymmetric). In the last situation (physical asymmetry), I strongly suggest finding an experienced corsetiere who can fit you with an asymmetric corset, which will then end up looking symmetric on you!

 ||

This is the coveted vertical parallel gap! Some people prefer to have no space in the back, while others like about 2 inches of space so the back edges don’t touch the spine. Either way, your corset fits you well. Congratulations!

 Make sure that your corset is not too big for you; when the corset is closed there shouldn’t be any significant gaping between your ribcage and the top edge of the corset, or your hips and the bottom edge of your corset.  You’re very lucky, my friend! If  You’ve found an off-the-rack corset that fits you nearly as well as a custom corset. If it makes you look good and feel good, then take it and run!

Final Thoughts: Many people have no problem with the shape of their corset gap (after all, the wearer doesn’t have to see it!). If this is you, then continue rocking your corset just the way you like it. However if you, like me, are a little more conscientious about achieving the vertical parallel lines of a well-fit corset, I hope these suggestions can help you choose a better off-the-rack corset for next time – and if all else fails, go custom! If you enjoyed this article, or even if you need clarification, you may also like my “Addendum to Corset Gaps: Troubleshooting More Fitting Issues