Category Archives: General Waist Training Information

Rushing – Not a Good Idea!

My blog topic today is, hurry.

I hate hurry. Always have. I drove my mom crazy when I was in grammar school. I would sit on the edge of my bed when I should have been dressing myself after breakfast, pick up a good book, and get lost in it until mom rushed in, invariably yelling at me in words to the effect: “Get ON with it Ann, get yourself dressed or we’ll be late to school!”

Bottom line? Hurry doesn’t work when it comes to corseting. Or waist training. Period.

Recently I had a very curvy client write back with some sad news. She had damaged her brand new corset. But how?

We shipped out her new corset on Oct. 4, received by her about Oct. 6 when she started the seasoning process. Her snug natural waist was 39″ and we made her corset to close down in back 8″ to 31″. Our written instructions and our verbal ones to her at a personal consultation, were extremely specific as to how tightly to properly season a new corset. We told her how to  measure, how to lace down to start, and how long each wearing occasion or day to wear the corset in order to properly season it, so as not to damage the fabric and cause harm to a new corset. We specifically told her that no matter if she felt comfy and felt she could lace it completely closed early on, she must not, in order to protect her investment.

When she told us she intended to wear her new corset at a conference shortly after receipt of it, we told her it was suitable to lace it tightly for the conference days, but only for a “few hours,” then release the laces and return to the noted seasoning schedule. Apparently she did not take our advice seriously.

We heard back that no less than 12 days later at a conference she attended, she had completely closed down the corset in back top to bottom and wore it both days, about 14 hrs per day — and a stud popped off the busk and a waistline seam stitching split about one inch in length.

Not surprising, and it has nothing to do with poor quality construction or materials.

She had the new corset for 12 days. Assuming that she put in say, two wearing sessions a day, that is, one in the morning, then removed the corset and put in one wearing session in the evening, of two to max, three hours each session, she would have worn the corset just 24 times before her conference. Our specified program would at that time have her wearing the corset for 2-3 hrs a day at an over corset measurement of 35.5″ (under corset 34.3) . Yet she closed down completely for 14 hrs two days in a row to 32″ (under corset 31″).

That’s a 3.5″ hurry-up that resulted in a mini-disaster.

Our client is convinced that she “followed instructions and properly seasoned the corset.” The facts show that she did not. Therefore she will foot the bill for the corset to be opened up and the stitch line repaired and reinforced and reshipped to her, to start again. This time we hope she will follow instructions.

Rushing the seasoning process for a new corset on almost every occasion, will be a highly risky venture. So too, will rushing waist training be highly risky in terms of potential success.

Every time (note: EVERY) that a client contacts me wanting to “rush” an order beyond the typical 1-3 month production time in order to “hurry up and let me start waist training”, that person has not followed thru on the order, or on the three-month program of coaching we sponsor. Too much enthusiasm, too much optimism, and the client is doomed to fail. That experience led me a year or so ago to omit the option of ordering a corset “rush” for an additional fee.

Today ROMANTASY will not entertain such requests, even for bridal corsets. A rush order results in too high of a risk and too many disappointments. Like fine wine, fine custom corsetry simply cannot be rushed — nor can waist-training results.

We at ROMANTASY are more disappointed in ourselves when we disappoint a client, than the reverse. We want to enjoy our work, which at heart is about enhancing a sense of well being and delight in our art-for-wear garment, for our clients.

There is yet a third time and place that hurry-up does not work, and that is in putting on a corset, especially a new one. If you don’t add about 30 min. to your dressing time, perhaps even an hour or two, you are doomed for discomfort and frustration. A newbie to learning to lace up finds her or his arms aching, shoulders straining, and sweat popping out on the browline. Far better to lace a bit, let arms rest and do something else then a few minutes later come back and lace a bit more and continue the gradual process.

Just try dressing before ad event and running out the door in 5 minutes of donning even a well-seasoned corset, and you will rue the day and occasion:  Heartburn if you eat, tweaks and hot spots even if you don’t, and sooner rather than later “get me outta here” will result and you’ll have to loosen up or take your corset off. I add about 2 hrs. pre-event dressing time when I lace down, even with 25 years of corseting “under my belt.”

And that practice, I don’t intend to change.



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Corseting, Waist-Training, Privacy Needs, and Men

090830 Brett 1901 rear cropCorseting and waist training are most typically associated with privacy needs and concerns of my clients, despite the ubiquity in the media of images of movie stars in corset gowns, sexy burlesque stars, or lingerie models. There are many reasons for that, not the least of which is the negative stereotype that still abounds in the unthinking public mind.

Even when corseting is pursued for the most admirable of purposes of improving one’s health and posture, clients often hesitate to discuss their adventure with anyone else, fearing disapproval — especially by the media who more times than not, reflects the general uneducated popular opinion at best, or at worst, fans the flames of prejudice and inaccuracy about corsets.

Hesitancy to ‘go public ‘ sometimes renders corset waist training a lonely pursuit until the client finds an inroad into the friendly  corset enthusiast community, something I try to help my clients achieve.Scoop under bosom up to high back web

I was disappointed yet again by a media approach when a reporter for a press agency sent me the following very brief email request:

“I’m a journalist from an international press agency based in ______ England. We write news and feature stories for newspapers, magazines and broadcasters in the UK and around the world. I am looking for a case study fro a new feature and was wondering if you could help.I am looking for a man who regularly wears a corset for a feature piece and I was wondering if you knew anybody who would be willing to talk to me about this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.”
I was first taken aback at the lack of focus of her inquiry, and I continued taken aback at the absence of information she provided about her own credentials, information that generally establishes a platform of credibility on which to base a request. Most notable however, was her apparent lack of understanding that corseting is not only a private pursuit for most,  but moreso a  highly individually-differentiated kind of adventure, especially for the male or transwoman corset enthusiast.
As part of my response to her, I said:back view

“Please understand that but for a few people, men in general be they transsexual, transgendered, or manly men, are very private and don’t like to be identified with corseting or men’s stays. Can you guarantee anonymity? Do you need pictures? Are the interviews in person somewhere, or by Skype or phone?

“Media credibility has not generally been good as you may imagine, regarding presenting accurate information and a non-sensational approach to corseting by men or women.

“Witness for example, the producer of a ’20/20′ fall 2012 tv show, who could not bring herself to answer three questions from me as to what the title of the upcoming corseting segment in an hour-long show would be, in which I had a small interview (which by the way, took about 8 hrs. of my time gratis, for a 1/2-minute quote by me which was almost, but not quite, presented in a correct context). The title of the show (I finally learned it in a magazine two days before the program aired), was outrageous, suggesting that corseting for health purposes is “extreme.” The corset segment was coupled with segments on a woman who had had 20 breast augmentations,  a man who had had 200 surgeries to look like the Ken Doll, and a father who offered $200,000 for the man who could “turn his gay daughter straight.”

I continued:mivasherimen.1

“Please know that there are myriad reasons that a man — or woman for that matter — chooses to corset. I would need to know what you mean by “corsets regularly,” and also of the below 15 categories of men or transwomen to interview, which do you prefer? These categories are representative but perhaps not exhaustive and of course, some men corset for multiple  reasons:Back view models

–manly man who loves to maintain his good posture and low body fat, and who adores the physical challenge akin to running the Iron Man competition (physical motivation)
–older man who wants to fit into his business  clothes and is having a hard time because of expanding girth (may love our “CorVest” pictured above and right, from a back view)
–young man who loves it for the fashion/popularity image, motivated by style and ego
–fetish man who loves the power it gives and is into the S&M lifestyle
–crossdresser (straight, might be married, wife does or does not know) who is most sincere in presenting an acceptable, moderate female image and who might go out crossdressed or not
–crossdresser who has a sexual fetish for lingerie and all things frilly and stereotypically feminine, never goes out in public as a woman, wears lingerie stealth style
–man who has a frotage or pressure need or fetish; wears it for the feeling of compression
–man who has worn it every day each week in the past, but stopped for some reason
–man who wears it now every day or week
–man who has back problems and wears it to correct posture and provide pain relief

–man who needs it to support some physical performance such as required of his job, or recreation (playing golf, for example)Tim Curry 3 corset closeup
–transsexual man who performs on stage (regularly) in “drag” and wants a ‘costume’ corset (not necessarily for tight lacing or of good quality)
–transsexual man who does not perform but wants it to create an authentic female shape and perhaps, move ribs inward over time and lose waistline so she passes more easily into a female role
–man who wants to lose weight primarily (has high blood pressure and health issues)
–submissive man who wears it to please his dominatrix wife or professional mistress
–man into the Goth style such as Tim Curry in the famed movie ‘Rocky Horror Show’
The above very quickly summarizes at least some of the types or motivations of men and transwomen corset enthusiast clients I have served, and whom I find it a pleasure to serve, over my past 24 yrs. in this specialty business of custom corsetry.

Whether or not I will hear from this reporter again remains to be seen, as does the open question of whether or not I can be or will be willing to be, the proper resource for her eventual purposes.Best2 Lisa Rae models Sue's underbust sm

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Common Sense and Patience…again!

Angie in Jill best of dayWhile we can’t take credit for Jasmine’s inspirational progress in figure shaping and waist training since we met her in early March of this year, we do know that regular corseting each day has contributed to her progress. Today we met with her to plan her third training corset to add to her growing wardrobe, offering chances to tweak the measurements a tad bit on the new one, add a lovely purple palate to her corset wardrobe, and offer  more options  in her corset wardrobe from which to choose each day as she trains.

A consummate marathoner for years with healthy nutrition habits well in place,  Jasmine intuitively understands the drill needed with corsets.

The bottom line is: don’t rush, take wee steps as you move forward, challenge yourself but become very comfy and versed at a particular level of restriction before taking a gentle step down, and continue without break (save one day per week) –whether or not you see results. Believing in results is more important than seeing them — believe it or not!

We verified results today. On March 2 she measured as follows: rib cage 29, snug waist 25.5, pelvis 31, derriere 35

On May 31 she measured: rib cage 28 (-1), snug waist 23.75 (-1.75), pelvis 30 (-1), derriere 33.5 (-1.5)

Today she measured:  rib cage 27.75 (-.25), snug waist 23.5 (-.25), pelvis 30 (same), derriere 33.5 (same).

In sum Jasmine has reduced her weight from 118 lbs to 103-105 lbs, and lost two inches in her already-slim waistline in 5.5 months of corset training. Excellent progress for someone her slim size and shape.

When we first met and measured her in March of this year, she purchased the gorgeous paisley and satin underbust Vic by Jill pictured above left (close of 19″), then came back in May to be remeasured for an underbust Edwardian in peach satin (close of 17.5″).  Today she ordered a second, tighter Vic (close of 17.5″). She can now wear the first paisley Vic comfortably laced down to 21″ under the corset for 10 hours or so. She uses 1/2″ increments in lacing down when she is ready to lace down after putting in long hours of comfy wear at one level. She, plans to change to 1/4″ increments when she reaches 20″, to further close down this trainer.

Today we showed her the subtle difference between Jill’s more hourglassy silhouette and Sheri’s waspie silhouette Angie in Sheri bestpictured right as she modeled my denim corset by Sheri. The difference is not dramatic, but important. Sheri’s slightly curvier patterning might be the best fourth choice to help Jasmine reach downward into the 18 and 17″ waist measurements, yet retain and perhaps add a bit more breathing room in her ribs.

Some clients love to sample the wealth of silhouettes, styling and construction techniques out there, while others develop a taste for one corsetiere and want to stick with him or her. That is fine and up to the corset enthusiast to choose. But we like to offer options at ROMANTASY, as our experience shows that having choices and even the slightest of differences in one’s corset wardrobe, can provide variety and make training an adventure and somewhat easier. What Jasmine chooses next, as ever, is up to her.

With hips at 33.5″ and  snug natural waist (pre corseting) at 23.5″, Jasmine now has a natural 10″ hip spring–the quintessential hourglass shape, even  before corseting.

By lacing down just 2.5″ as she now does (what you see actually shows a 1.5″ reduction since a corset adds approximately an inch to your measurements), her figure becomes noteworthy!

We’re happy to showcase our dedicated corset enthusiast clients, and hope to show you more images of Jasmine’s progress over the coming months and years of happy corseting.

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One can’t help but be amused, again!

Upside down overbust corsetOne can’t help but be amused at the goofs seen from time to time in marketing and/or fashion photos, or in public concerning the corset-wearing enthusiast. These examples are too good not to be shared!

I was sorting out my files lately and ran across this denim corset shown on a model for an advertisement from a transgender magazine. It reminded me of at least three other incidents I have personally observed of overbust styles being worn upside down. One occurred in a lady’s bathroom of a SoCal “S&M” conference I was attending.

On that occasion while washing my hands, I noticed a young lady beside me at the sink. She was wearing a gorgeous red leather overbust style corset, but it was clearly worn upside down! The bust cups gaped away from her hips as pictured on the denim-clad model here, and it was more than obvious.

“Honey” I began as gently as I could, “that’s a gorgeous corset, however, I wonder if it might fit a bit better in the bodice if you tried it the other way on, bottom side up? I’m happy to help re-lace you.” (In the worst way I wanted to take her picture, but I refrained out of a sense of decency.)

You can imagine the strange look I received from her as she gathered up her things and huffed out the door.

It’s more common to see underbust corset styles worn upside down, some by new clients of mine. Below is an advertisement for an article on corsets that I found in an English magazine a number of years ago. How anyone on the editorial staff could let this photo of a peach coutil upside-down corset slide by into publication, is beyond me.

Upside downOver the years a few clients have called me in quite a disgruntled state, convinced that their beautiful new corset was Blue BR upside downimproperly made, or made for someone else. Or they tell me their muslin doesn’t fit. When I review pictures I ask them to send if they cannot drop by in person, I found that their corset was on upside down.

It’s even happened to an experienced corset enthusiast with about ten corsets in his wardrobe — on one occasion he still put his corset on upside down. Note right, the ivory elastic garter clips or receiver hooks peeking out the upper edge of a peacock blue dragon silk BR Creations corset. Then observe the same corset worn properly right side up, pictured left.

How can that happen  you ask, especially with an overbust style corset?

Start with basic lack of knowledge and ignorance of the newbie corset enthusiast, model, photographer, and/or dresser. Or, consider the effects of inattention while dressing. Continue with supreme lack of concern, and perhaps, the outsized ego of those who think they always know best. English corset

Can you always tell what is right side up in a corset, by observing the front busk? Normally the metal clip of the busk is on the right and goes over the stud on the left, similar to how a womena’s blouse buttons.

However, that is not always the case. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve seen a Jean Paul Gaultier corset with the busk installed in the opposite fashion, clip on the left and stud on the right.  Today I found the proof, and include the advertisement below for your review–and puzzlement. Who knows if it was done intentionally by this great French couturier and corsetiere, or not?

Two of my Romantasy team corsetieres have done that inadvertently, one on a personal corset of mine!

Gaultier corset busk wrongIt makes no functional or fit difference how the busk is installed, but is a bit disconcerting to put on such a corset, and for the discerning corset eye, to see it worn in public.  More to the point of today’s blog theme, such a backwards busk might cause you to put your corset on upside down!

For sure, mistakes occur in corset wear. You may make them, or observe them being made.

If there is one thing I learned from my school-teacher mom, it’s that education is a life-long process. If you don’t think so, prepare for some possibly embarassing mistakes. The important thing is to learn, and correct those mistakes as soon as you know.



Amazing Post Note:

No sooner had I published this blog than I went to my inbox email and the first message contained this, from a lady who had asked us yesterday if we could repair some bent boning in a new corset not by ROMANTASY. I had advised her to go back to her original corsetiere for any information and repairs, as that person knows best the construction techniques and expected fit. Here is what the corset client said today after she did what we recommended:

“(I went back to my corsetiere to discuss the bones bowing out and discovered that) I put the corset on upside down, also seems its more of a common mistake than people might think. Thank you for your input in this matter.”



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More on comfort, corseting and an active life style

Today I heard from my Australian client Emilie who had this to say:Emilie.2

      “I’m 36, I wear my original corset every day, as of now with my new corset (second, tighter corset pictured right)…during the week. When I work I’m wearing my first corset so that’s for about 8 hours then when I get home, I shower and put on my new corset and wear that one for a few hours before getting ready for bed. On the weekends I pretty much wear my new second corset most of the day and at night when I go out, then take it off before going to sleep…often times I’m out late though so I’ll have my corset on for a very long time…and it’s always still comfortable!
    “I haven’t changed my eating habits too much, just can’t eat quite as much when I’m wearing my corset. I haven’t had any digestive problems at all so I haven’t had to change anything I eat…I wouldn’t exactly say that what I eat is the healthiest either…I think the key, at least for me, is just eating less not necessarily going on a diet.
    “I’m quite active since I work as a stable hand with horses and doing property maintenance …so I don’t exercise outside of work, my work is exercise enough! I find wearing my corset really helps with back support and it has never gotten in the way of my moving or being really active…which I think would surprise people unfamiliar with corsets, since I think most of them think of corsets as being super duper restrictive where you can’t move or breathe.”
In late January of this year Emilie ordered her second corset by our corsetiere, Sheri, to whom she is devoted. It’s pictured above, sporting the cute candy-striped binding with a simple ivory  cotton fabric.  She simply will not order from any other corsetiere, having determined that Sheri’s corsets are supremely comfy for her body and lifestyle. She is preparing her third order now, six months later, to have it ready in two months when she is ready to transfer to a slightly tighter corset. We are discussing the proper close of her third corset, tho she prefers 20″ which I believe to be too much. It becomes in some ways tougher to lace down as you lose fat over time and develop tougher muscle, so the going may be slower.
We noted the following changes in Emilie’s measurements in six shorts months of regular corseting:
–rib cage 33
–waist 32 (corset ordered to close 6.5″ down to 25.5″ under corset)
–derriere 41
–rib cage 31.75 (loss of 1.25 inches)
–waist  28 (loss of 4 inches)
–derriere 38 (loss of 3 inches)
Emilie is deservedly proud of her accomplishments to improve her health, figure and posture thru regular corseting. You may not want to wear yours as often as she does after your initial figure shaping efforts, but results can be accomplished in a fairly short time with a bit of effort, as Emilie’s case proves. Way to go, Emilie!

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Age and Corset Waist Training: a fascinating new fact

My June 29 New York Times had a fascinating article about the teenage brain, and I learned one more reason to advise that one be 18 yrs old as a minimum before starting corset waist training — or older.

Corset by Sharon for ROMANTASYThe Times’ opinion article “Why Teenagers Act Crazy” by Richard A. Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College (wonder if he knows Dr. Oz?), reported on research that shows that the teenage brain is obsessed with fear and excess anxiety,  while  reasoning and executive control emanating from the prefrontal cortex do not develop until later, around age 25. That’s one reason teenagers are prone to accidents and injury — and in my opinion that fact signifies enhancement of the risk that teenagers may use poor judgment in pursuing waist training.

While we will make a corset for a Junior or Senior high school prom and have done so a number of times (witness the cute peacock blue and lace corset by Sharon, and red silk corset by Sue  worn by two high school women), we won’t make it excessively restrictive, and we generally don’t accept a waist-training coaching student who is under 21. That’s the age when the long bones in women at least, approach their maximum growth (tho it may take longer), and apparently, the age when reasoning becomes more sound.

mivasuejacblueConversely, I’m sometimes asked “am I too old for corsets, or to waist train?”

My general answer is, “Are you in generally good health,  specifically with no hypertension, high blood pressure, hernias repaired or otherwise, GERD disease, severe constipation, ankle swelling, or severe asthma?” Almost anyone without these substantial health challenges and in generally good health can wear a corset and pursue waist training in my experience.

In the end it is a highly individual matter as to how comfortable or fast the process of waist-reshaping will be, and that also depends upon the kind and fit of corset is being used for that purpose.

I started pursuing custom corsetry when I was 48 and I’m still going, tho albeit at a less frequent interval, with less tight-lacing. I turned a happy and generally healthy 70 years of age last fall and intend to corset and educate about them, for many years to come!

What’s painful to me is not my corset or any periodic waist-training I do pursue from time to time, but to see so many middle-aged and older women let go of their bodies, sense of sexiness and well-being, and give way to sloppy posture and formless clothing behind which to hide. Men, too, by the way. But I know how women suffer from poor body images far beyond men, and I know how great the grand majority of women of any age will look and feel if they venture out to try a fully-custom corset.


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Tips on How to Bear Up For Long Days of Training

Most programs of corset waist training involve working up to long days of corset wearing. After six or seven hours laced down a few inches, it can become tough, and sometimes almost unbearable.

While we are not one who believes in pain, we do believe in serious challenge and moderate to severe discomfort during training, in order to get the best results —  so long as that discomfort comes about by  gradual building up of hours before lacing tighter.

Recently Barbra, our waist-training student in our coaching program, switched to her own corset, from two weeks using a  “loaner” corset. She had found her original corset a bit too tough for the initial training weeks. The loaner corset had a 5″ waistline close from Barbra’s own starting waistline of 28.25″, but it was patterned for another, slightly larger client. thus it was a bit more comfy overall to wear.

Barbra’s first three nine-hour days back in her own corset were tough, because it was patterned more tightly top to bottom than her “loaner”  corset had been. She was a bit apprehensive about moving on to three days of 12 hrs. per day of continuous wear next scheduled on her program.

Here are seven tips we provided her and that might work for you when you reach the “tough” training stage — but let it be really tough before you choose to implement one of these:

From our former student Bret:

1. On a long wear day, I found it easier to put the corset on, lace to 1 inch over final stage and wait an hour or so before slowly pulling in that one inch.
2. Then, I reminded myself after about two hours my body would relax and become more comfortable.
3. Keep some Advil handy just in case the ribs get sore or you get a headache.
4.  Also, go easy on your meal sizes (cut back on calories that day, or divide your portions into even more per day than normal).
From our experience:
5. If during the day of wear it gets into ‘the excurciating’ level (not just tough or annoying) for you, then at that stage,  open the corset up by 1/2″ and try to go the full number of scheduled hours — then add 1/2 to 1 more hour that day to compensate.
6. Another approach would be to split the scheduled 12  hours into two parts, and add 1/2  to 1 hr. more that day, until you ease into your own corset at continuous wear.
Marines crop
7. A third approach would be to reduce by one hour or two hours the wear for that day, but add up to a full hour of floor exercises of the oblique and transverse muscles that day to compensate. The “Marines Crunch” is pictured here — a tough oblique muscle exercise but an effective one!
One might say: “pick your poison”…but stay in that corset, and stay the course. The process works, if you work it!
What ideas and tips do you have to help our student?





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