Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Waist Training Update #1

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

Ebay Seller Review # 3

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.

Elevator Music:

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.

“Dear daeuiel,

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.

Kind regards
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.

The Unboxing:

Well, it started out like any other unboxing, it was in a nice little corset sleeve like all the others. Then I opened it. Unlike the other corsets I have purchased, the laces were not packed separately. They ship their corsets already laced. This would not be unforgivable if the corset was laced correctly. It was not. It was laced in such a way that the laces were caught between the edges of the corset, and had been rubbed awfully in transit. They had begun to fray. I will certainly need to buy new laces for this corset, and I have sent a message asking Corsets Boulevard Ltd to send the corsets unlaced to prevent this in the future. There is more than one way to lace a corset, but the laces should never be caught between the edges like this. It makes it impossible to close the corset properly, as well as causing damage to the laces. Just terrible.

The Adornment:

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
Boning accents
Waist tape


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.

Spending Habits

Unless I see one that is distinctive and gives me that ‘omg I must have this’ feeling, I probably won’t be spending this much on an off the rack corset again. I’m totally spoiled by earstore & europastyle0092. Not to mention the 2 custom corsets I have in the works. And I’m thinking of a special design for a third. That’s another bonus of going custom, complete control over the appearance of your corset.
Special thanks to Anonymous, my one comment on this blog :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ebay Seller Review #2

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 + & -


Quick shipping

Well made, sturdy corset

Real steel boning & busk

Waist tape

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

Corset Update # 1

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.

Endurance Test

Yesterday I laced up at 3:30 pm, and dragged my accommodating boyfriend to the cinema to see Eclipse. (his review: ‘it didn’t suck.‘)This is relevant because I was absolutely comfortable walking, sitting on the subway, in the theater for over 2 hours, on the subway again, and then even longer as we went out to dinner & drinks with friends afterwards. By the time we got home sometime after midnight, I had been wearing my corset for over 8 hours with no discomfort. A very good sign. If you have pain while wearing a proper, steel boned corset, it can either be because you have laced it too tightly too soon, or because the corset does not fit you properly. I’m glad to say that neither is the case here.

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.

Later on we went to a Hibachi restaurant, and I was served a multi course meal. I was hungry when we got there, but after eating about ¼ of my food, I gave my boyfriend's friend some of it and brought home a fair portion. It was delicious, but I was less inclined to stuff myself. Probably a good thing.  I may be able to prove that corsets help with appetite and portion control. If anyone is interested in that aspect, let me know and I’ll start adding my weight to the stats in the updates.

Things to Watch Out For

I have been keeping an eye on the busk, because the front fastener’s edge is very apparent through the satin, at least to my own eyes. The edge of it is about ¼” away from the seam. I doubt anyone looking at me is noticing it, but if it ever begins to show signs of wearing through, I will have to repair it with a stronger material, and add it as a con in the initial review.

Waist Training Progress

I started out with a 30” natural waist. My goal is to achieve an hourglass figure. For me, that would be a waist of 24”-26”. Waist training is not a race. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, just that you enjoy the feel of the corset and don’t have any negative feelings toward the confinement. To me, it feels good. That’s what enables me to wear one for so long. I forget that I’m wearing it. I will continue to wear them even after I have reached my goal. I will not purchase a smaller corset after that point, because that’s how you decrease your waist size, by buying a corset with a waist that’s 4” smaller than your current measurements. Just to maintain the small waist, continued use of corsets is necessary. If you go without, slowly but surely your waist will return to its’ previous shape. Tight lacing is a lifestyle choice in that way, because if you are serious about it, you will nearly always be corseted, and subject to judgment from other people. I feel that it’s my body, and I want to be happy with it, so I don’t care what other people think.

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 :) 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ebay Seller Review #1-photos & video

Okay, blogger was being a $#^$&&%$&*^&* about image placement, so here are the images & video that I wanted to put in the previous post >__< 

Ebay Seller Review #1

Review for Ebay seller europastyle0092, store name Ivory_ny, item ‘Underbust Double Steel Bones Satin Corset 9029
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. That said, this seller does indeed offer custom made-to-measure corsets for a mere $10 more, but I wanted to see how an off the rack corset felt. If I buy another from him I will be sure to test his mettle in that regard.

Price + Shipping: $35 + $11.90, shipped via DHL worldwide express

The Auction: I was the only bidder, lucked out and ended up paying the starting price \o/
Note: Be sure to indicate your size and the color you would like in the Note to Seller area on Paypal, as the style of their auctions lists the type of corset only, you must tell them while you check out. I forgot to do this and had to send a message with that information. The seller was very nice about it though.

Elevator Music: The waiting game. The time between you paying your hard earned cash & the second you get your spanking new corset in your hot little hands. In this case? Less than 72 hours. This guy is a champ. Yes, he says he’s in Brooklyn but it ships from Pakistan. Who cares?! Don’t let that stop you from getting a great deal. I did ask him about it and he said his store is in NY but the manufacturing is in Pakistan. It’s cheaper to make things overseas. And the discount is passed right along to you, the consumer. Anyway, he used DHL, I took advantage of the tracking notification system, and was able to follow my package through customs, all the way to my door. Very reassuring.

The unboxing: It came in your standard DHL envelope. No padding besides that, but very well wrapped. No damage of any kind. Came with a bag, lacing instructions, laces & garters.

The Adornment: Well, first I had to lace it. I read the instructions to be thorough but I always intended to use the same ones I always do, here. They were very similar anyway. If you look at the pictures on the instructions, you won’t go wrong. The laces were VERY long. It took me 20 minutes to lace it up properly and get it on because I wanted to make sure the laces were even. The modesty panel I can live without. I asked a pro corset maker, she confirmed that all modesty panels bunch, because of their flexible nature. It's easily hidden if you don't want it. Once my waist is small enough that I can close the corset, I will probably remove it entirely. I will note that this corset fitted better without an underwire bra on. Since all of mine are either underwire or sports bras, I went without. It hits me just under the bust, I don’t really need a bra with it.
Note: I do not recommend this particular style for anyone under 5’3”, or with a hip to underbust measurement of less than 12”. It will not fit you very comfortably, especially while seated. I’m 5’5” and it’s just right, luckily. I would hate to return it, because it feels wonderful. I walked the dog, cleaned the kitchen, laid down on my back and stomach to try it out, and all as comfortable as if I’d been wearing nothing at all. It was only cinched about an inch, because I just got it, so it was comfortably snug.

Bottom Line: Is it worth the money? Oh yes. Can I see myself wearing it on a regular basis? Definitely. For waist training? Too early to call. Only had it a few days. Wore it 3-4 hours each day. Absolutely no pain at all. It’s double boned, so it definitely feels strong enough to do the job. I’ll let you know in a month.

Overall + & -


very quick shipping
real steel boning & busk
sturdy fabric
excellent stitching on seams
no boning sticking out whatsoever
amazing fit for an off the rack corset

no waist tape
satin panels are very wrinkled (as shown in the photo in the auction, so not a surprise but still a con)

Okay, I am amazed as you are that there are only 2 cons, but there it is. As of this writing, I’m entirely satisfied with my purchase. The wrinkling doesn’t really bother me, but it might annoy you, so I put it in. It looks much worse on the red & white version, and the boning is quite apparent under white satin, so I definitely wouldn’t get that color with this style. Shame, because it has a cute Wonder Woman thing going on.

As always, I will say that a custom corset would blow this one out of the water any day, but for off the rack it’s amazing, and a fine choice for under $50 total. Know your size and you can bid with confidence.
Okay, bring on the comments xD

Monday, July 12, 2010

What to expect from this blog

Hi! I'm JJ, a young woman from New York who's interested in tightlacing. If you don't know what that is, it's the practice of wearing a corset to reduce one's waist. It can be done safely if you take your time and wear only the highest quality of corset over a long period of time. But of course those corsets are not cheap. Right? Well, I aim to find out. All over the Internet you can find beautiful custom made corsets for a range of $150-$1000, depending on how fancy you want it. Indeed I have ordered one, but it will take a minimum of 8-10 weeks for delivery. But I'm too excited to wait for it, I want to start training my waist to be tiny now! XD 

So what's a girl to do? Ebay. Any experienced corset wearer will tell you that there is tons of plastic garbage masquerading as a good corset on Ebay, but some sellers claim they have 'genuine steel boned' corsets that are 'suitable for tightlacing.' And for less than $100! Some even cheaper than you can imagine. I decided to purchase a wide variety of them to compare. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting videos, photos & commentary on the quality of these bargains, so anyone else looking to tightlace on a budget will know which sellers to avoid. There are a lot of cool people on the various tightlacing & corset forums, but no one could tell me anything about finding a good corset for cheap besides 'it's hard'. I'll go a bit deeper, and hopefully my answer will be 'it's doable!' 

I'll be posting every Monday. See you in a week!