Monthly Archives: December 2009

“Authentic” vs. “Custom” Corsets — Caveat Emptor

Today I received an inquiry from a lady asking if her new corset was suitable for waist training — but the corset was manufactured and purchased elsewhere, and not from Romantasy. It’s a good question — but not a topic I care to write about today in this particular blog (check our FAQ page for a further answer, which answer generally is — it depends and I’ll need a lot more information about the corset and you to advise you properly!).

When I checked her corset manufacturer’s website , I went first to the ‘About US’ page, and I recommend you do just that when searching out a reputable corset manufacturer if you aren’t going to purchase from Romantasy to being with. There was no image of the owner, no personal qualifications in corsetry or corset design and education, and no image or names of the various qualified corsetmakers referred to who produce their ‘authentic’ corsets — as opposed to ‘fashion corsets’ they say are ‘mass produced.’

I always find lack of personal qualifications or images and names, quite curious. Are they ashamed to be identified? Are they hesitant to reveal their lack of corset experience or manufacturing qualifications? Are they an offshore corporation that cares very little for the particular form-fitting foundation garment they sell, and just found a convenient, popularized product to add to a line of dresses and pants sold in their quest for the almighty dollar?

A corset is a very intimate garment that wraps and molds the body. Often information about a corset can be derived solely from wearing one, to see how it holds up over time, how it specifically shapes the body and how it fits and feels. How do you  know the owner wears corsets him or herself and knows about what she speaks, if the owner doesn’t say? How do you know the corsetmakers of this company are ‘qualified’?

I won’t work with a corsetiere who hasn’t made at least 50 corsets of one style, and I test and wear corsets in many if not all styles made by my makers. Most of  makers on our team of five corsetieres by now have produced at least 200 corsets per style we offer for sale! Per style–not just total number of corsets of any style. That’s an amazing wealth of experience–and it’s required of any corsetiere who would produce top quality, durability, fit, comfort, and artistry.

The manufacturer also said they produced either standard corsets, or for only $20 more (amazingly cheap, I thought for ‘custom’ work–especially when a base price I saw for one overbust style was only $90!!!!), ‘made-to-measure’ corsets?  “Custom” or ‘made to measure” to me, means made to fit the contours of your body, not just made to fit one or two or even three horizontal torso measurements — but three measurements is all this company requires to produce their ‘made-to-measure’ corsets! And true quality ‘custom’ work by a qualified, experienced corsetiere worth his or her salt, won’t be priced at under $100, of that you may be assured. Lingerie–yes, custom corsets, simply never –or rarely ever unless it’s on consignment or priced for a quick sale for one reason or another.

Further, it’s extremely curious to me that the manufacturer says:  “Please remember that your measurement of bust, waist and hips should be 3 inches less than your actual size.” If a corset is truly “custom” as we define that term, then how can a measurement be set in stone as they suggest it is?

I was beginning to suspect that this website was soon going to join the best examples of the worst kinds of misleading web advice out there provided to unsuspecting and inexperienced corset enthusiasts. I read on.

Why should you buy a corset? According to this company, apparently because Hollywood stars wear them, and apparently because corsets give you an hourglass shape.

Bullcrap. Pure and simple.

At this point in my read, I declined to go any further.

Corsets give you several, if not many, figure shapes and silhouettes depending on style, how the corsetiere prefers to pattern, quality of fabrics used, and other. Check this point out on our webpages showing graphics and pictures of the basic shapes (and styles, which is a different thing!) that Romantasy corsetieres produce, as well as the speciality of each corsetiere on our team regarding fit and other issues:

http://www.romantasy.com/Styles/FigureSilhouettes.html

http://www.romantasyweb.com/Styles/index.html

http://www.romantasyweb.com/cyboutique/corsetmakers.html

Which all leads me to a final point I’ve made before:    Caveat Emptor!

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