Friday, September 24, 2010
I've been holding steady at 27”. Due to some ordering mishaps, I have yet to secure another corset that closes at 24”, the only ones I currently own that do are the previously reviewed Sadie, and the red leather corset from Corsets Boulevard. Within 2 weeks I hope to possess two new corsets that close at 22"-24" as well. One will be fully custom, and one will be an off the rack corset from TrueCorset.com. I am beginning to suspect that a corset can't do much for you if it's only an inch smaller than your natural waist. I wear the red one as often as possible, but I do still sleep in the satin ones that close at 26”. The Sadie has some incredible cinching power, but I don't wear it as often because of it's color. Forget about sleeping in it, it's too nice. I do need to pick up a new corset to sleep in soon.
I'd like to let you all know how each bargain corset has held up over the past 3 months. First, the blue and black double boned corset from Europastyle0092. I don't wear it anymore, I felt that the lack of waist tape made the other corsets a better option. I wore it to sleep in for the first two months. Some of the spiral steel boning did force its way out over time, but it's not irreparable.
Next the black corset from Earstore. I still wear this one regularly, to sleep in and occasionally out walking the dog or something. I'm wearing it in the photos. The only issue I have with it is the flat steel boning in the back. It is not tipped with anything, so the sharp edges did cut small holes and the boning poked out slightly. I was able to repair it but I would have to get rubber boning tips to prevent the boning from cutting its way out again. I hope to replace it with a black custom corset shortly.
My absolute favorite would have to be the red leather corset from Corsets Boulevard. The company redeemed itself by sending me replacement laces very promptly at no cost, after I posted about how frayed the original laces had become during shipping. The leather has minimal signs of wear, and looks great with all my outfits. I wear it all the time. Unfortunately there is a similar problem with the flat steel boning in the back, but it was easily repaired.
San Gennaro’s Feast
Recently we all headed out to the annual feast in Manhattan near Bleeker Street. There is one thing to do at a feast, and we did it. We ate a lot. I had small samples of everything, as usual. Braciole, Italian sausage with peppers and onions, more braciole, a delicious gelato sandwich (basically an ENORMOUS cream puff filled with like 2 lbs of creamy frozen gelato) fried calamari, curly fries, and a funnel cake covered in powdered sugar. I may have had more funnel cake than anything else, but it was worth it.
There was also a lot of walking. Walking is my primary exercise, as it can be done in a corset. I have been experiencing a lot of leg pain due to my disability, so I brought my cane. Wearing the corset has helped me to avoid slumping when I walk with my cane. Many people who use assistive devices to walk develop back problems, but I'm glad to say I will avoid that. My boyfriend and his brother kept asking if I was all right or if I needed to sit down, but I was fine.
We stayed out later than we should have, but it was a fun night. I loved the corset with that dress. While I was writing this one of my new corsets arrived! I'll post a review soon.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Price & Shipping:
On the site, the Sadie corset, listed as $219, on sale for $199 as of 08/30/10. Shipping is $15.95 USPS Priority or $29.95 USPS Express.
I was lucky enough to receive this fabulous corset for free, in exchange for advertising. This does not effect my review in the slightest. If there are any negative aspects whatsoever, I will spare no snarkiness!
My corset was shipped insanely quickly. I barely had time to tell anyone that I was expecting it and there it was.
It was packaged very neatly and securely. When I opened it I was a bit surprised. It’s quite short. It looks longer on the model. I was disappointed initially, because I like long line corsets. I want to apply pressure to the floating ribs as well as my waist so that I can have a more dramatic hourglass figure. A short corset does have its advantages though. It was laced perfectly and loosely so there was no damage to the laces.
When I put it on the first thing my boyfriend said was, “It doesn’t go with anything.” Men! Their fashion sense is so limited. It’s my only white corset. The dragon brocade is beautiful. I have so many dresses that would look better with a white corset than any other color. Plus it feels so light and is so short, it can easily be worn beneath clothing. It’s almost too pretty to do that though. It feels amazingly comfortable. It's the only corset I have that I can wear with an underwire bra and have no discomfort, because it starts a good 1/2" below the bra. Definitely a good corset for anyone under 5’4”, or someone who doesn’t want a lot of pressure on their ribs or hips.
Overall + & -
Well made, sturdy corset
Steel boning & busk
Great customer service
Not really. If I was picking one from their site, I’d have gone for a longer style. But now that I have the Sadie, I wouldn’t give it up with out a fight. It’s so versatile. (no pun intended)
The Bottom Line
It’s an excellent corset. Well worth the price. There are miles between the quality of this corset, and that of the bargain corsets. After extended wear, the busk in the bargain corsets begins to shift to the side. If you are only sleeping in the them and wearing the good corsets out, that’s not a huge problem. The bones begin to poke through the cheaper corsets after a month of 23/7 wear. If you know how to sew, that’s not a huge problem either. But if you want a good corset with no DIY involved, go for a higher end corset like this one. They have many styles that you can get custom made to fit you as well. The main draw of getting one like the Sadie off the rack is that if it’s in stock, they can get it to you very fast. If you have a few weeks before you need it, then you can get it custom made.
Customer service at Versatile Corsets and Corset Connection is excellent. I asked many questions and received prompt, friendly replies. Both companies are owned by Nancy Lynn, but they are managed separately and run by different people. I initially emailed Versatile to inquire about their corsets and spoke to Nancy, and that’s how I came to receive a corset from Corset Connections’ stock. They chose to send the Sadie in the White Dragon Brocade because the fabric is no longer available. They have it in many other colors though! It looks amazing in black.
Both sites have sales going on now, so if I were you I’d take a look. Their corsets are a great investment if you’ve tried bargain corsets and are ready for the real thing.
HEY where's the video???
I am still very sick, my throat is so sore that I can't even talk. Sorry!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I have lost another inch off my waist
I have a few new corsets
I have been tapped to write a blog for TrueCorset.com
I have received a corset from Versatile Corsets to evaluate for you all (and advertise)
I honestly do not know which new thing I am more excited about. It’s crazy. How did I lose another inch off my waist? By keeping up with the waist training, eating as I’ve been and exercising for 30 minutes a day while out of the corset. The other 30 minutes I spend bathing, moisturizing and fussing at my hair. Then I realize I can fuss at my hair while in a corset, so I quickly lace up.
One thing that I feel may have really pushed me to losing that last inch, is getting help from my boyfriend to close the corset. For weeks I could wear the corset closed, but it would only stay closed if he tied it. You can see in a previous picture how taut the corset looks when closed. It’s frustrating to have to wear the corset looser when you KNOW you can wear it tighter, because you don’t have anyone to help you (as frequently when I am lacing up, he’s not home.).Very recently I was lacing up before bed, and he was asleep so I didn’t ask for help. And it closed so easily I was stunned. The next day when I was changing it was just as easy. I measured myself and indeed my waist is now 27”, down from 28”. I lost 3 pounds as well. I really do think that being able to wear my corset tighter helped a lot.
As to the new corsets--and why I have not yet reviewed them--the first one is from an eBay seller, and I received it shortly after the last review. It arrived damaged and had to be exchanged. This took a while. The second, also eBay, I purchased because it was too fabulous not to, and it’s a 22”. So I can’t review it, because I’d have to wear it for a while, and I looked hilarious in a 22” corset. Way too small. So I probably won’t be able to review it until next year. The third would be the one I was given by Versatile Corsets. I am taking my time with that review, it’s going to be epic. I’m torn between wanting to hold that corset to a higher standard considering its market value, and wanting to wax poetic about it because it’s so pretty! I will be reviewing it very soon.
And lastly, the writing for TrueCorset.com. It will be very similar to this one, except obviously no advertising or reviewing other companies. It will mainly be about tight lacing, why I do it, what it entails and how it's changed my life. They saw this blog and liked it. They thought their customers would be interested, so they asked me if I would write for their website. I accepted and will soon be writing reviews on their corsets on this blog as well. I don't have one from them yet, but they look good. My introductory post on their site is here. This may not be terribly convincing after such a long time with no updates, but I do plan to write for my personal blog and the TrueCorset.com blog simultaneously. I love talking about corsets & tight lacing, so having two venues for it is pretty thrilling.
Thanks for your patience, and I'll try not to go for weeks between updates again xD
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Waist Training Update 1
Yes. The reason we're all here. Are the bargain corsets doing the trick? Is waist tape necessary? Answer: Beats me. Ask me again in 10 months :D
But seriously, it's not just wearing a corset 23/7 that gives you the figure we all crave. Diet and exercise are just as important. But yeah, I am now officially tight lacing 23/7. I began at 30”, with almost no visible curve from bust to hip. When I measure myself during my hour unsheathed, I measure about 28”. This is temporary obviously, only proving that the bargain corsets do cinch you in tightly enough to make a difference in the short term. (Forgive the sweaty post workout photo. xD) I sleep in the blue & black one and wear the black corset out, because it goes with more clothing. This turned out to have me sleeping in the double boned corset and wearing the single boned corset with waist tape, while doing a lot of my daily activity. I am active in both corsets actually, when you look at my schedule:
7 am: Wake up, drink a slim fast, take my vitamins*, drink 2 glasses of water, walk the dog. During these activities, I’m wearing the double boned corset.
8 am: Clean everything, because no one likes an apartment that smells like dog, no matter how cute he is
9 am: eat something. Cottage cheese with fruit, yogurt with wheat germ, a bowl of oatmeal, or a bowl of cereal. Something small & healthy. Drink more water.
10 am: goof around, play video games, read comic books. Okay, if I’m honest this happens sporadically throughout the day if I’m not otherwise occupied, but it begins at 10 xD
11 am: work on my sewing projects, talk on the phone with my friends. Drink more water. Eat a fiber one bar and some crackers, or a small cup of soup.
12 pm: Take off the corset, do these exercises, plus some push ups & squats and free weights if I feel strong enough. Shower & fix hair, do a pedicure if necessary (because you CANNOT perfectly paint your toes while corseted. Trust me.). Moisturize all over, dress, and then put on the black corset.
1 pm: Walk the dog again, a nice long one.
2 pm: nag my boyfriend on the phone, play with the dog. Drink more water. Eat a salad for lunch.
3 pm: think about what I'm going to make for dinner, walk the dog again because he wants to go out & even the laziest person alive would find it hard to resist that face
4 pm: kiss my boyfriend after a hard day's work & make him a snack. I usually have a fruit smoothie with mangoes, pineapples, strawberries, blueberries, some combination of that, with non fat vanilla yogurt and lots of ice
5 pm: make dinner. I always make enough food to fill my boyfriend's many stomachs, but I don't eat a lot for dinner. We had home made empanadas because he wanted them, but I could only eat one with some tortilla chips & salsa before I was stuffed. Have more water. Feed the dog. Let him go out in the backyard and have adventures.
6 pm: eat (ok anyone who knows me would laugh at me making dinner and eating on time but it DOES happen sometimes!)
7 pm: laze about with the boyfriend, watch TV or more likely, watch him play MLB the show on the PS3 while I talk to you guys online. Play with the dog. Drink more water.
10 pm: Quickly switch from the black corset to the double boned corset and go to sleep
1 am: wake up because the dog wants to go for a walk. Walk the damn dog. Drink some water when I get back, and try to go back to sleep. >__<
So yeah, I owe my dog a lot, most of my daily exercise comes from him. I'm drinking slim fast in the morning because I bought a ton of it a while ago, and I just want to finish it. I'm not really concerned with weight loss anymore. It took me a while to realize that when I weighed 110 lbs and was a skinny A cup a few years back, that was fine. My disability worsened, and I was unable to work, so I gained weight due to decreased physical activity. Now I'm curvy with a B cup, and I weigh 140 lbs, and that's okay too. I don't need to lose weight to be pretty. Wearing a corset emphasizes your curves. Rather than try to make myself into the way I was, I'm going to work with the body I have now and make it even more fabulous. But I hate to waste money, so I still drink the slim fast shakes in the morning. I blend them with ice and milk, the cappuccino one is pretty good actually.
*And the vitamins. I take a LOT of vitamins. This is a little off topic, but like a lot of women, especially black women, I have issues with my hair. It never seems to be growing. I mean, it grows, I can tell because I relax my hair, and every 2 months I have a lot of new growth to tame. But it never seems to get longer. It's not that I need a trim, it's that I'm not nourishing my body enough, and my hair breaks off at a rate that negates the amount of growth I do have. This vitamin regimen is designed to strengthen the whole body, which is good for anyone, even if your hair grows long enough already, but also helps your hair, skin and nails. I've only just begun so I can't say for sure if it works or not, but we'll see.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Review for Ebay Seller corsets-boulevard-ltd, item ‘RED LEATHER STEEL BONED UNDERBUST CINCHER CORSET’
Notes & Disclaimer: I can only vouch for this particular corset, as I have not yet tried out their other styles. I am not a professional corsetiere, just an average Josephina who can tell the difference between a cheap, poorly made, ill fitting corset and one that feels good. An off the rack corset, no matter how well made, will never fit you as well as a custom corset made to fit your individual curves. This seller does not offer custom corsets.
Price + Shipping:
This is the most expensive off the rack corset I’ll ever buy. In my defense, I found it before I saw any of the cheaper ones, and it was on sale. I paid £29.59 which is about $45.58 for the corset, and £ 6.50 , about $10 for shipping.
The Auction: It was a buy it now auction, for a set size, color and style. All I had to do was click.
Not a pleasant experience. I won the auction and paid on the same day, July 9 2010. It was shipped on July 12. A few days after that, I sent a message to the seller politely asking if there was any tracking information available for my corset. This is the reply I received.
The mail service you have paid for was Airmail which doesn't have a tracking number, I'm afraid.
In our experience most international customers receive their packages within 15 business days, however, this cannot be guaranteed as it will depend upon the mail delivery service in your area.
I hope this helps. Thank you for your custom and if you have any further queries please don't hesitate to contact us again.
Corsets Boulevard Ltd”
At any rate, I finally received my corset on 7/19, 10 days after the initial purchase. Not terrible considering it was from the UK, but I suppose I’m spoiled by the 3 day delivery from Pakistan.
Putting aside the slow shipping and lacing issues, the corset itself is very nice. I got it in a slightly smaller size than the others, and I’m glad I did. I’ll be wearing this leather corset after my waist is too small for the ones I have already broken in. I can easily wear it now, it just closes at a smaller waist size than the others, which I can wear nearly closed already. It feels very sturdy, and gives an amazing figure, even without being closed all the way. It closes at 24”. Imagine how it will look then! Simply stunning. The laces were perhaps a bit shorter than in other corsets, but by now I’m old hat at lacing up. I've begun wearing my other corsets 23/7, I'll do a waist training update soon.
Overall + & -
Well made, sturdy corset
Steel boning & busk
Shipped 3 days after I initially purchased it
Laced incorrectly and tightened so much prior to shipping that it seriously damaged the laces
The Bottom Line
It's a good corset, I don't regret buying it. A corset with this color and material is not available for less anywhere, and certainly not with steel boning. And it was on sale. I expect to be getting years of service out of this one. The seller communicated very well after the initial inquiry about tracking numbers. If anyone buys from them, just ask for the corset to be shipped unlaced, and the laces in a little bag on the side., or expect to be buying new laces. Also, if you need the corset right away, send a message before paying to obtain info about what the shipping rates for express mail are, and how soon you can get it. Just paying without asking yielded a 10 day wait, but I take full responsibility for that, because I didn't ask. The company has been around a long time, they have great feedback and a good return policy.
Note: This seller sells lingerie corsets and Basque corsets with plastic bones as well as steel boned tight lacing corsets. I do NOT recommend using a plastic boned corset for tight lacing. Please know the difference and read all auctions carefully. In this particular shop, do not think you are getting a real corset for $14, it is lingerie. A steel busk with plastic bones isn’t going to give you a waist reduction, and will be uncomfortable besides.
Special thanks to Anonymous, my one comment on this blog :)
Monday, July 19, 2010
Review for Ebay Seller earstore, item ‘Steel Boned Black Satin Corset Waist Cincher’
Notes & Disclaimer: I can only vouch for this particular corset, as I have not yet tried out their other styles. I am not a professional corsetiere, just an average Josephina who can tell the difference between a cheap, poorly made, ill fitting corset and one that feels good. An off the rack corset, no matter how well made, will never fit you as well as a custom corset made to fit your individual curves. This seller does not offer custom corsets, only off the rack.
Price + Shipping: $11.05 + $9.85, shipped via USPS Priority Mail
The Auction: There were 5 bidders, my bidding style is to bid late & bid high. Lucky for me they were cheapskates and I won an allegedly steel boned corset for a measly $11.05 \o/
Note: Be sure to indicate your size in the Note to Seller area on Paypal, as the style of their auctions lists the color & type of corset only, you must tell them while you check out. I forgot to do this AGAIN and had to send a message with that information. This seller was also very nice about it though. XD
Elevator Music: Once again, not too long to wait! I got it 4 days after paying. I was able to use USPS’ tracking system periodically, so I wasn’t worried. The seller’s page says they are in Brooklyn, but the corset shipped from Boston. *shrugs*
The Unboxing: It came in a USPS envelope. Inside was a zippered bag, the corset & identical instructions, laces & garters as the corset from Pakistan. The tags on the inside have no branding but also say 'made in Pakistan'. Hmmm. I noticed right away when unwrapping it that it has waist tape, the one thing the previous corset I reviewed was missing. If you don't know what that is, waist tape is twill tape, tailor's tape, or other sturdy ribbon used to re-enforce the waistline of a corset. It's not essential, but it does increase the durability of a corset by easing stress on the seams along the highest stress point - the waist line. This is A Good Thing.
The Adornment: Lacing was quick and easy this time around. The laces seemed shorter this time, but maybe it's just that I've been lacing up every day and have gotten used to dealing with them. This corset is perhaps 1 ½" shorter than the previous one I reviewed, coming in at just under 12“ in the front, but still covers the tummy area quite adequately.
Note: Always make sure the corset is not too long for your torso when ordering. No point in buying something you can't sit down in.
It is boned with spiral steel at the sides and front and flat steel in the back. Steel busk. Single boned as opposed to the double boning featured in the previous corset. I thought it would feel different, perhaps less strong, but no, it is very sturdy indeed. Extremely comfortable to sit in. The weird thing is, I thought I was getting a half bust corset. If you look at the picture, it definitely covers the bust. My boyfriend thought it was a man wearing it xD. Luckily I am only testing the quality and general appearance, so I won't be seeking a refund. It’s a good corset, they just don't say in the auction whether it's half bust or under bust, and the picture is misleading. It does say ‘waist cincher’ but that is used incorrectly A LOT.
Bottom Line: Was it a genuine corset? Yep. Worth the money? I practically stole it for $11.05. Suitable for waist training? That's a waiting game. A few people have said that satin is an impractical fabric for a waist training corset. But the corset feels strong enough to shape my figure. It seems to be made by the same manufacturer as the previous corset, but sold by a different retailer. The question is raised, why does this corset have waist tape, but the other double boned corset did not? Oh well. It's still a great corset. Much more low key and can be worn with a wider range of clothing because it‘s a solid color. I love the blue & black panels on the other, but it looks awful with any sort of pattern or dot.
Overall + & -
Well made, sturdy corset
Real steel boning & busk
Great fit for an off the rack corset
Wrinkly panels ( the picture for this auction could be another corset entirely, so there was no expectation of wrinkliness)
Wow, only one con this time. It was a bit of a surprise to get another corset from the same manufacturer ( I think), the next corset I review will definitely be from a new source. Custom is always best, but this corset is definitely a good deal.
The next few corsets will also be off the rack, but in a few months I will be reviewing a couple of custom jobs by amazing ladies, so I am very excited about that.* I am only reviewing corsets that claim to be fully steel boned and suitable for waist training, so thanks for the suggestions. Keep ‘em coming, if I get one that meets those requirements & is under $50 I'll probably review it. Also, does anyone want a video showing how I lace a new corset? Leave a comment on the blog if so.
Waist Training Progress
I've been breaking in this corset for a few hours each day, and then lacing up the blue one for the remainder, so as not to upset my waist training schedule. The difference in comfort level is definitely noticeable. They both feel good but the blue one has molded to my body nicely. Hopefully this one follows suit, it will add to the life expectancy of my corsets if I can alternate. I am still lacing up to a barely snug level. This is just my opinion and my personal waist training regimen, but I feel that it's best to build up the hours that you can wear you corset slowly, and then increase the tightness even more slowly. Only after I have begun wearing a corset for 23 hours a day, and it starts to feel looser at 29", will I then begin to wear it at 28". And so on & so forth, until I reach my goal.
I can wear the blue corset for 12 hours at a time. I did not actually experience any discomfort, but I do not wish to sleep in it just yet, so I take it off and let it lie flat and air out. I always wear some form of clothing beneath my corsets. I feel that corset liners are a bit ridiculous to buy if you are on a budget. I wear long tank tops under my corset, and when I want to wear a backless dress or something that would look better without a corset over it, I wear a tube top beneath the corset, and the fancy clothes over it. No one can tell I'm wearing a corset, & the overall look is fabulous :)
*--no, the custom corsets are not under $50 :)
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Hey all, I thought I’d give you an update on how the new product is working out. I’ve been wearing it in increasing time increments each day, laced (using these instructions) to 29” measured on the outside of the corset. Not as tight as I could make it, just comfortably snug. There is a gap in back, I’ll continue to lace it this way for quite a while, as I get used to wearing it. You will notice in the picture that the symmetry is imperfect. I fixed it after the photo was taken, but by that point my ‘photographer had grown weary of taking pictures & went on strike. So you get a picture of how NOT to tie your corset. Sorry!
I have had no pain at all, to be honest I have had less pain than I normally do. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis in most of my body, including areas of my back. So either the corset is helping by keeping me from slouching, or I’ve just been having a good week pain wise.
Note: The following is just my personal experience. I am not dictating a certain amount of time that you should wear your corset per day. In any case, just like with a new pair of high heels, you should listen to your body. If you have any discomfort or pain, shortness of breath or headache, take your corset off. If I had experienced any of these things, I would have removed mine immediately.
Eating Out While Corseted
Any connotation you may have derived from that subtitle is unintentional ;) Anyway, before going to the theater, we stopped at Duane Reade for snacks, as neither myself nor my boyfriend is the type to spend $7 on stale popcorn. I bought chips, rice cakes & a liter of water. I didn’t finish anything during the movie except the water. The corset may have made me feel full sooner than I would have without it.
Things to Watch Out For
Waist Training Progress
Of course, my natural waist is still 30”. It’s only been a few days! So this progress report is more of a starting point. I don’t think it’s a good idea to set dates for goals in terms of inches lost in waist training, it’ll happen when it happens, I’m just going to have fun with trying out new corsets, and I hope I can help other people with their corsets & waist training along the way.
I’m expecting a new corset to be delivered soon, looking forward to that :)