Review: Timeless Trends' Burgundy Hourglass Corset
Disclosure: The corset featured in this review was purchased by The Lingerie Addict for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Timeless Trends is unaffiliated with this review.
Timeless Trends has just released their new, curvier range of corsets: the "Hourglass" line, developed under the consultation of Lucy's Corsetry. Today's review is a bit of a departure for me, as it features a corset that is mass-manufactured rather than individually handmade: the Burgundy Hourglass Corset. It's a bit of a departure for Timeless Trends as well, with a markedly more dramatic silhouette than their original line.
The ordering process was simple and straightforward. I generally wear about a 20" corset, which indeed was the recommended size by their minimalist size chart. I was frankly surprised at the design options released for the new Hourglass line.
Contrary to the name of the brand, I found the color-blocked brocades and poly satins to be paired in very dated-looking combinations. While at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry a couple weeks ago, the eponymous Lucy explained to me that this was due to a manufacturing error. Simpler, more classic fabrications (including plain black) are indeed forthcoming. I selected the Burgundy Hourglass Corset, which alternates panels of black and burgundy, as being the least offensive of the options available at the time. For $99 plus another $11 in shipping, it was mine. It shipped very quickly, although I never received a functional tracking link in my email.
I couldn't restrain my interest: as soon as the package arrived, I opened it up to look at the construction and have a first try on. The stitching quality is very tidy and regular. I was pleasantly surprised by how well-made it was for the price. I did notice that the busk and center back bones were very much on the stiff side, despite the use of flexible spiral bones throughout the rest of the corset.
The corset is laced with shoelace-style cotton lacing in the bunny ears fashion, though the extra cross-over which supports the area of greatest tension was omitted. Personally, I dislike cotton laces (as compared to satin ribbon) because I find they don't slide well through the grommets. In practical terms, that means it's much harder to adjust the lacing to even get a corset on, and taking it off is even more challenging.
Once the corset was on, I found that it really was quite shapely. The silhouette of it was curvaceous and each of the twelve panels lay perfectly smooth. Given my natural hourglass figure, it did lace with a bit of a )( shape still: laced tighter at the waist than at underbust or hips. My underbust is on the narrow side and this fit does feature a slightly cupped rib, so the extra width at the top of the lacing gap was a bit surprising.
Though aesthetically the fit was impressive, from a comfort perspective I really found it lacking. Now, admittedly, I imagine much of the Timeless Trends audience is more zealous when it comes to "seasoning" their corsets than I am, and a certain degree of stiffness is to be expected in a new corset. The problems are part fit and part construction.
As I mentioned, the boning at center back is quite stiff, as is the busk. This means it doesn't accommodate the natural tilt of my rib cage nor allow for much mobility. Anyone with lordosis would have the same problem. Even looking at the photos I took in this corset, I can see how my shoulders are being pushed up and forward by the stiffness of the corset as well as the narrowness of the back underbust. Look closely and you can see how even my narrow back overhangs the top of the corset.
Though stiffness was the first issue I noticed, it wasn't the only one. The length at the bottom edge was also problematic. After I finished my little photoshoot, I relaxed onto my Victorian-style couch --- or tried to. The busk was perfectly poised to dig forcefully into my bladder once I was seated, and I was relieved that it wasn't full at the time! The side hip was also the perfect length to ride on my iliac crest.
Had I worn it for longer than the photoshoot, I would've been unsurprised to find bruising on that area. Of course, as torso lengths vary, these concerns may not be an issue for many. Still, I've never been so relieved to take a corset off!
Though I am still strongly prone to recommending handmade corsets for superior construction and fit, I can't say that I wasn't impressed by this update from Timeless Trends. First of all, it's good when a company affirms that they are actively listening to what their client base needs. The number of curvaceous corset options available at this price point has been steadily increasing. (Curvier silhouettes was one of my corset trend predictions for this year.)
I think Timeless Trends has done an admirable job in creating a refined silhouette and I would comfortably recommend the hourglass line as a "gateway" corset. Because of the issues in comfort, I probably wouldn't recommend it for daily wear, although there is a certain class of waist trainer who does enjoy a corset that is more confining.
What do you think of the new Timeless Trends Hourglass line?