Today, I started what may be a new lingerie addict tradition…expert chats on the Facebook page. Corsets are one of those items that people always have lots of questions about, so I invited Alexis Black of Electra Designs Corsetry to spend an hour on my page answering questions about corsets. I was a little scared because I was worried no one would show, but you all completely blew me away (in a good way!). I’ve posted just a few of the questions Alexis answered below. For the rest, please visit the The Lingerie Addict on Facebook. I’m hoping to host another chat with a different expert next month…what would you like to talk about?
First, spend time online looking at corsets. Compare corset companies and read client reviews. Look for pictures of real clients wearing corsets made by each company. It’s better to buy a hand-made corset than something mass produced. Consider your budget (then double it). Read the articles and info available on corset web sites and ask the corsetiere questions. If they don’t make time to reply, they may not be the best choice. If possible, try to get to a shop that sells steel boned corsets and try them on. While you are researching, collect images of styles you like so you can show the corset maker. Don’t ask him/her to copy anything, but use the images to give her an idea what you want so he/she can design something that is perfect for you. This all seems like a lot of work, but it will be worth it to do some research before you commit.
I think the best style for jeans is a long line underbust that comes just below the hip bones, with a straight bottom edge. Spiral steel is certainly more comfortable and flexible than flat steels. It’s also importan…t that your corset is made from a shapely pattern that holds you in without causing your displaced flesh to spill out over and under the edges. The only thing worse than muffin top is muffin squeezing out between the top edge of jeans and the bottom edges of a corset. I recommend low rise jeans with some stretch. You may have to switch to a style that is designed for bigbooty girls because they are engineered to come in at the waist along the top edge, over your bum. Best advice I can offer is to take your corset with you when you try on jeans. Practice sitting, reaching, etc. in the fitting room to make sure the jeans work with the corset.
Kailei: How can you tell if a corset is suitable for tightlacing? What exactly IS tightlacing anyway?
Alexis: That’s a great question. It’s very difficult to really know for sure if a corset is suitable for tight-lacing because so many corset companies state that their corsets are, when they are not. Tight-lacing is when you reduce your waist quite a bit. Generally, more than a 4″ reduction is considered tight-lacing, but that’s not really accurate, because it depends on what your natural waist measurement is. For example, a 4″ reduction for someone with a natural waist of 24″ is quite tight, because she is compressing mostly muscle and organs. A 4″ reduction for a natural waist measuring something like 40″ is not such a huge reduction because she is compressing mostly soft tissue, like fat. True tight-lacing is something people do religiously, as part of their daily routine. They lace as tight as they can, often 23/7, often with a goal of gradually reducing their waist.
The bare minimum requirements for tight-lacing are: strong base layer, like coutil, steel bones (the more, the better), front steel busk closure, waist tape, reinforced seams, shapely, well-fitted corset, and for the corset to be custom mad…e to fit the wearer. I would not recommend tight-lacing in a corset that was not made to your comprehensive measurements. The excepting would be for waspies, which are short and cover only a small portion of the waist. Just because someone says their corsets are suitable for tight-lacing doesn’t mean they are, so look for client reviews and ask for pictures of real clients wearing corsets that person made.
Photo Credit: All photos via Electra Designs