Although I firmly believe in minimizing complaints in my personal and professional life, and much prefer to hang out with postive-minded friends full of hope for the future, today I am compelled to engage in one more “rant” if I may? It’s motivated by a recent comment a well-meaning client made about custom corsets, namely that they are “expensive luxuries.”
I truly do not feel these corsets are expensive, nor “luxuries” in the traditional sense of the word. Furthermore, I believe that such a notion repeated in public comment is detrimental to the health and growth of the corsetry industry/craft, and is misleading to the corset “newbie” who is shopping for a corset. Let me explain my perspective, which I hope is yours, or soon will be embraced by you, too.
It is inappropriate to think about fine, well-fitting, well-constructed custom corsetry as “expensive” or a “luxury.” That is because neither is accurate. I call them a “small indulgence for lasting value” in the slogan posted on my ROMANTASY frameset at the top of each webpage. And I intentionally go to some length on my website to address the issue or cost-versus-value which is designed to dissuade anyone from seeing these as “expensive.” http://www.romantasy.com/Styles/costvsquality.html
If you intend to wear your corset many times versus once–even ten or more years–and if you want it to move inches and pounds of flesh around yet not flip up, fall over, bunch up, wrinkle, or shred in one or two wearings, then paying $200-800 is clearly not expensive. However, if you don’t care if it will shred and you only intend to wear it once, perhaps to a party or for one stage performance, and if you don’t intend to lace down more than an inch or two, well then, yes, paying $600, or even $100 for that matter, for a corset fairly may be considered “expensive.”
Do you know a French bra costs about $150 and up in a US department store today? Sure the lace is soft, sure there are many pattern pieces in a well-constructed bra, sure these are nicely finished. But they are not custom, bespoke garments sustaining up to 90 or more pounds of waistline pressure for hours on end and days on end and years on end of wear.
We believe our corsets are well-priced, if not cheaply priced, for the quality we offer! Our ROMANTASY clients have a huge range of choices including price points starting at an amazing $165 for fully custom work by our new junior corsetiere Jill: http:/www.romantasyweb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=R&Category_Code=ccfl
In addition, my first business goal is client education and proper choice first, before making a sale. I try to be absolutely accurate on the website and in my advice, rather than confuse visitors as some other websites and businesses do by sloppy use of ambiguous words and over-inflated promises regarding corsetry, as our sympathetic Italian corset-enthusiast friend Chris O. pointed out today concerning another web business, who confused “corset” with “bustier” in terminology (“corpetto” versus “corsetto”). Thus, I often lose sales rather than close them, and accordingly limit my income. But I live quite comfortably with my conscience and sleep well at night, following this carefully-chosen business ethic. If I agree to sell you a corset, you may rest assured that you will get more than adequate value for your financial investment.
In addition, I will help you maintain and refurbish your corset at about cost only, over the years, so you never need to throw out a slightly damaged or shop-worn corset! Will the French bra company do the same?
Further, most folks don’t realize that custom corsetmakers operating independently on the Internet rather than working for couture fashion houses such as Dior and LaCroix, earn from $10 to $20 per hour as a rule. Some earn only minimum wage, if that. This, despite some holding senior status and for their lucky client’s benefit, applying their long years of corset-making experience. At ROMANTASY I carefully vet and qualify the considerable talents and specialized sewing skills of our team members, to ensure only top quality in the corsets we deliver.
However, the American buyer today, and more and more the non-US buyer, is used to purchasing non- body-conforming clothing at Walmart and Target, and has little, if any, comprehension of quality and the value of it when it comes to custom work, or what is required to produce a body-shaping garment like a corset. Worse yet, the American buyer today is in too much of a hurry to learn what constitutes quality and is often “penny-wise but pound-foolish” as we say. I have been chagrined to receive two emails that “your website is too complicated and I don’t have time to read it”. But it only takes a moment or two for me to come back to my senses and realize that in today’s competitive marketplace, it is their right to purchase corsets where they feel comfortable even if with another business, and even on eBay regarding used corsetry. However, I’m convinced that in the end they will get what they deserve and invest in, and frankly, it most likely won’t be all that valuable or a such a “good buy” after all is said and done.
I would be remiss were I not to recognize and address the present recession. There are two stories I will tell that reflect my perspective. First, a few days ago when listening to dismal news about the US Stock Exchange, I heard a reporter mention a famous investor, now deceased, who had made his zillion with a policy of buying no stock priced over $1 per share. He bought even more stock, not less, during market downswings when prices were unbelievably low. Second, remember the advice you likely got when first purchasing a computer? “Buy as much RAM as you can afford, because the computer will last longer.” Well, to my mind both lessons should be applied now, when considering a corset purchase. Buy more, not less, of today’s recession-priced, top quality corsets you can find in the marketplace!
In sum, I urge any person interesting in purchasing a fine training corset, or a fine fashion corset for that matter, to re-consider any initial conclusion that custom corsets well fit and well constructed, in the right style for your individual purposes and goals, and purchased today versus tomorrow, are either “expensive”, or “luxury” items. They are neither, and may well be the best investment in your life, especially if you have a distinct reason motivating your present interest, as did our dear friend and client Brian. Please consider his encouraging and wise words sent earlier this month, regarding the small “necessity” he purchased from us over three years ago–and still holding tightly at that! http://www.romantasyweb.com/kudos.html