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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.

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

Timeless Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan



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.

https://timeless-trends.com/corsets/burgundy-hourglass-corset

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

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.

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

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.

https://timeless-trends.com/corsets/burgundy-hourglass-corset

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

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.

https://timeless-trends.com/corsets/burgundy-hourglass-corset

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

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.

https://timeless-trends.com/corsets/burgundy-hourglass-corset

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

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!

https://timeless-trends.com/corsets/burgundy-hourglass-corset

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

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.

https://timeless-trends.com/corsets/burgundy-hourglass-corset

Timelss Trends "Burgundy Hourglass Corset" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

What do you think of the new Timeless Trends Hourglass line?

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Marianne
Marianne Faulkner

Marianne Faulkner is the designer of Pop Antique, a clothing and corsetry line specializing in sustainable materials and comfortable curves. She is based in San Francisco where she earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University, and has been a columnist at The Lingerie Addict since 2011.

11 Comments on this post

  1. AlexaFaie says:

    I think that the aesthetic point could perhaps have been worded a bit better e.g. “a bit dated for my current style preferences” as even though a mistake had been made re: which colour options were produced in the first run, the colour ways are very consistent with what Timeless Trends has always provided (when I first discovered them many moons ago they didn’t sell plain black!) and which is perhaps what their client base happens to prefer. I’ve always personally really liked the emerald brocade fabric they use but have never been able to purchase from them as I’m too much of an hourglass by nature.
    I also think that some of the issues with fit/comfort were due to going by their recommendation based on very little sizing info instead of looking at the more detailed info provided in the rib/hipspring tab. I know your measurements (from OCOC) and I wouldn’t have suggested you get any smaller than a 22″ as that would still only have ribs of 28 1/2″ but might have worked with a smaller gap than you got with the 20″. Perhaps it might have been more useful instead to mention that people should measure themselves and compare to that info rather than rely on the poor sizing recommendations the site makes. That is perhaps a far more useful criticism. Of course the corset would feel restrictive to you if the pattern is still not quite curvy enough for you. ;-) But I know you know this!

    In my experience TT get a lot more custom from larger/apple shaped people and I’ve also known transgender individuals who have used them successfully and the size advice does seem geared towards that kind of body shape – it mentions what to do if you only have an inch difference or less between your waist and underbust measurements. As a slender hourglass, you require a much larger ribspring than a body with little to no waist definition. The firmer fabric would be quite helpful for apple shapes who are after smoothing and gentle reshaping. I would be interested to see how you do in the future designs which are going to be worked on very soon and which if I remember what I read correctly will offer an even curvier silhouette. Though with your particular body proportions I’d be more inclined to suggest Mystic City and their more cupped rib designs. If you were to deviate away from customs at all in future that is. Nothing compares to custom fit! :D

  2. RoseMadder says:

    If I may ask, how long did you wear the corset overall prior to doing the review?

  3. Laurie Tavan says:

    It looks lovely and I do love how smooth they are which probably comes from the construction which is firmer overall. I also like to hear they have a solid busk and back bones as that is my preference :) I just hand bend the busk to fit my tilt to get a better adjustment to my own body. I’m glad to know that other colorways are on the way too because I too only liked the burgundy and black version of those first revealed.

  4. Natasha says:

    This corset is super lovely. I can’t believe how smooth and ripple free it is, especially considering the pricepoint. I’ve seen work by more expensive makers who can’t achieve that level of smoothness. Or are the photos all photoshopped?
    I must say I am rather offended by some of the comments in this “review” (or I should say opinion piece). I think the colours and paneling in this corset are lovely, yet you’ve gotten quite snarky about something that apparently isn’t to your taste “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”. May I enquire how a cincher of your own design and make (in a nearly identical colourway) is any different (http://static1.squarespace.com/static/531a67a3e4b0b17f973eb987/5344df70e4b0f9ffdd2f6c74/5344ef34e4b0b36545378268/1397026615477/DSC_1231.jpg?format=500w ) ?
    It seems like this review is attempting to discredit a budget corset brand that has improved in leaps and bounds making them a threat to the two businesses the writer works for. Disgraceful.

    • Cora Cora says:

      Speaking to just one part of your comment, I want to confirm that, yes, reviews are opinion pieces. My writers share their honest opinions of the garments they review. Reviews are not press releases, nor are they news pieces. They are inherently subjective.

    • Vanessa says:

      “Today’s review is a bit of a departure for me, as it features a corset that is mass-manufactured rather than individually handmade”

      I’m confused… Are the corsets made by machines? I was under the impression they were all hand made? Isn’t that the term? Do you mean custom made? Or made to measure? I totally don’t think you’re using terminology right… It sounds a bit more like you’re just trying to bring down what is available for those of us who can’t afford custom made to measure pieces. It feels really salty… This whole article does. It’s really disappointing. Do you have a personal problem with the people involved in making this? I don’t know Timeless Trends well, but I wouldn’t think they had stepped on anybodies toes?

      • Marianne Marianne says:

        Hi Vanessa,
        It’s true, “handmade” is an unregulated term. I think you’ve just inspired next week’s post! I don’t know the specifics of TT’s factory set up, but generally speaking, this is how mass manufacturing is run in the fashion industry: each person in the production line performs one very specific task. Often, this is as small a step as sewing the same seam (an armhole, a hem, or a side seam, for example), over and over. In this case, it might mean sewing the exact same corset over and over. In either case, the person isn’t trained as a corsetmaker who understands the relationship of fit and construction to the body, just as an efficient seamstress.

        A handmade corset will probably have the same person doing all the construction; more often than not, that person is the owner of the business. Perhaps a better distinction is on-site vs. off-site production. Dark Garden, for example, has a production workroom with a handful of stitchers, but it is housed in the same building as the boutique, and the owner is on-site five to six days each week. (Sometimes she steps in on the production line as well.) There is a much higher level of quality control inherent when production occurs on-site, because there is more oversight and constant communication. (Of course, there is still some margin of error in every business, which is yet another post.) It would be difficult to create entire production runs of the wrong colors with in-house production, for example, though outsourced production is faster and cheaper for large-scale runs. Generally speaking, my designer friends who have tried to take their brands to the next level with outsourced production have found an immediate decrease in quality, whether it’s niceties of finishing or sudden inaccuracy in sizing.

        As I said in my review, I was actually surprised by the initial design options. The styling paired with the color ways did nothing to modernize them in my eyes and it wasn’t a strong first impression. That said, I was also honest about the things I was impressed with – the clean stitching and the actual silhouette. I understand and value the place that mass-manufactured corsets hold in the market, but I think it’s important to be aware of the differences. Whether it’s from one price point to another, or different makers within the same price point, not all corsets are equivalent to each other. http://www.thelingerieaddict.com/2014/07/not-all-corsets-created-equal.html

        Perhaps my review came across as lacking because I lack the context of having worn other mass-manufactured brands in the recent past. My first corsets were from Victoria’s Secret and ebay and I wouldn’t have become a corsetmaker without them, but it’s been about 7 years since I wore anything but a handmade corset. I don’t have a basis for comparison on how Timeless Trends stacks up against the fit and stitching quality of OC or Mystic City… but then again, neither would someone who is brand new to corsets.

        • Aafke-Art says:

          I have watched the video of Lucy’s visit to the Timeless Trends factory. The owners moved to Thailand and live above the factory, so they are keeping an eye on the quality every day. The workers, or ”co-workers” as the owners prefer, all get decent pay and hours and there is very little turnover. Although they of course have a production line they have co-workers who can make a corset from scratch.
          I found a lot of interesting styles at the store at the time I’m writing this. I make my own corsets but I didn’t have time and needed a purple one quickly so decided to order one from their site. I was pleasantly surprised by the solid feel, stitching and customer support. (decided to exchange and go up an inch for a smaller gap) And they give a life time guarantee which I have read from other customers, who exchanged ancient corsets, they do honor.

          Actually I liked my first TT corset so much I decided to get the teal with V-ribbons as well. I am rather pear shaped, hour-glass with wide hips so I have never fit in an otr corset.
          I also have one of the Gemini straight ribs, and that has an amazing hipspring! Definitely the best otr corset for very hourglassy women!
          And I find the quality very good for otr.

          I think Timeless Trends does a great job, has fun designs, (I’m aiming for the gateau now) and does a great service to popularize and introduce new customers to the wearing of corsets, and for a very reasonable price. (which will also help to get people willing to try one).

          Timeless Trends is also doing a great service for custom and bespoke corset makers, because once the corset bug hits, it’s only a matter of time before people start to think of ordering a made-to-measure custom ”corset-of-their-dreams”.

    • Dee says:

      Did you gloss over the positive things mentioned in the review? Yeesh. I actually agreed with you that the comment about the colour options was snarkier than usual, but nearly all of your own comment was incredibly snarky and snotty in return, so maybe practice what you preach a bit?

    • Marianne Marianne says:

      Hello Natasha,
      The photos are lightly retouched but I didn’t do any smoothing on the corset, just light color balancing and the like.

      As Cora said, a review is inherently an opinion piece. Sharing opinions and critique in reviews and editorial is actually part of my job as a columnist. I am honest about both the things I like and those I don’t, and I think this review reflects that. I’ve been making corsets for nearly a decade now and all of the fabrication options offered in this first wave were much more reflective of the corsetry tastes of 5-10+ years ago. I don’t feel the need to overrun the discussion of Timeless Trends with an in-depth analysis of a piece that I made in that same time frame, so I’ll just say that I like red and black as much as the next girl, which was why I ended up ordering that color way. It was the only one that I, personally, found wearable, and even so it took me a while to figure out how to style it for the photoshoot.

      Given my druthers, I’d much rather have ordered plain black. I actually think it is a disservice to their clientele that in the first production run, there was no plain black option for this new, improved line. Ditto for other modern color ways – saturated pinks and rich blues, for example, are far more on-trend than maroon/burgundy, pumpkin, and brocade. Strong design lives in the details. As I mentioned in the review, I was given to believe this was due to a manufacturing miscommunication; even Timeless Trends themselves did not select those styles as their “Tier 1.” I believe several of those color ways were in the process of being phased out. I would much rather see budget corset lines succeed by offering improved styles and silhouettes, as I consider them inherently valuable as “starter” corsets which are much more accessible across a range of budgets. Fortunately, it looks like Timeless Trends has just released four new styles: black wool, “nude” (underbust and cincher), and white satin. The styling of the new releases is also much more modern and will likely help them attract a wider audience.

      Contrary to your suggestion, I don’t consider these brands a “threat” or “competition” for the same reasons that Target is not a threat for a boutique such as Jenette Bras in Los Angeles. They are different price points and serve different client bases/needs. Though I value customer loyalty and find that it leads to the best corsetwearing experiences (as you are given the opportunity to build on the successes of the preceding corsets), I also firmly believe that it is possible to share clients. I have one client who wears corsets from Pop Antique and Dark Garden as well as Orchard Corset. If I didn’t believe this, it would be impossible for me to continue on with both Pop Antique and Dark Garden, as surely a conflict of interest would have arisen.

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