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Exclusive Lingerie Addict First Look: A Sneak Peek at What Katie Did's New Merry Widows

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Newer Lingerie Addict readers may not remember this, but a few months ago, I sold some of my older corsets and lingerie sets. As I'm sure you can imagine, I have a TON of pieces. Too many to store in the home I share with my husband, honestly, and I wanted to send some of the pieces I didn't wear as often off to a good home. Pretty much everything sold (only the cherry waist cincher is still remaining), and quite a few industry people, from lingerie brands to burlesque dancers, wound up purchasing items for their own archives. One such industry professional was Katie Thomas. Yes, the same Katie behind What Katie Did!

Katie picked up my authentic vintage Warner's Merry Widow. While I hated to part with this piece, I was ecstatic that it was going to a good home... to someone who loved beautiful vintage lingerie just as much as me, if not moreso.

Well, that piece has been thoroughly analyzed and deconstructed and is now the prototype for What Katie Did's own line of vintage-inspired merry widows... set to debut next month!

For the new pieces, WKD used several vintage construction techniques from the old garment. In the original merry widow, for example, the steel boning within the corset bent at the underbust area and continued halfway up the bust to lend support to that area as well. That kind of construction technique, while effective, wasn't practical for modern day manufacturing (each steel bone would have had to been bent individually by hand). Instead, What Katie Did used spiral steel boning up to the underwire of the bustier and then plastic boning on the bottom half of the cup.


In addition, the new merry widow incorporates a waist tape (something that's probably familiar to any corset fans reading this). While the original Warner's Merry Widow also had a waist tape (the red band in the photo above), it was made of non-stretch materials. The new version uses elastic for the waist tape to increase comfort but still allow for cinch. Oh! And the hook-and-eye closures are in the front now. Because trying to fasten a long row of hooks behind you is just plain hard.

The peach version of What Katie Did's merry widow will be available beginning April 1, 2014. The black version debuts A/W 2014. And I have a strong feeling the black one will become a part of my lingerie wardrobe.

What do you think of WKD's new merry widows? Are you as smitten with this retro undergarment as I am?





Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

12 Comments on this post

  1. Mary Harper says:

    Where may I purchase the black Merry Widow?

    • Cora says:

      Hi Mary,

      It’s now sold out, so your best bet would likely be eBay or to find a vintage merrywidow on eBay or Etsy.

      What Katie Did may also release another version in the future, and the best way to keep up to date about that would be to email them or join their mailing list.

      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. It’s beautiful, and looks ideal for under slinky summer frocks. Really looking forward to trying this on in their London boutique!

  3. EtMoi says:

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Some waist shaping, but without the bulk of a corset, as some outfits don’t accommodate the busk in front and laces in the back, but spanx just squeeze all over instead of nipping in the waist.
    I had been debating Madame Sher’s line, but this looks like it will work too. I also agree though that I’d like a better idea of how the bust fits.

  4. Ms. Pris says:

    It looks too small in the bust for this model, I would like to see it on a better-fitted model. I do love the look of the peach one, and I like that they used a vintage design and updated it.

  5. maggie says:

    Both are stunning-I’m sort of surprising myself and wanting the white/peach one! I will say the one thing I wish she had kept was the contrast color of the waist tape. I think that gives a lot of interest to the garment-perhaps she will next season? But this is a win either way with me!

  6. Irene says:

    I’m just hoping the waist band for the smaller band sizes is small enough to cinch my waist at all at 25.5″ (which isn’t even that small). That was the problem a lot of girls had with the Glamour Merry Widow, and why I never purchased it!

  7. Evija says:

    Three of each, please, kthxbai.

  8. Sweets says:

    Ugh, fabulous. I love these, and I love the story behind them! That’s so cool!

  9. Thursday says:

    What a great story! It’s almost a TLA/WKD collaboration :) Their update looks lovely, although I am far more tempted by the Claudette this season…

    • Cora says:

      You know I love Claudette. Which piece are you thinking of?

      • Thursday says:

        It’s the new eau de nil and ivory colourway of the “cathedral bra” set from WKD – have you caught the sneak peek yet? It’s lovely! I’d have to risk a sister size which could be dicey. But such a great looking set!

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