Monthly Archives: April 2017

What if you don’t like corsets? (Or will I like them?)

Ms. Kiska, my present waist training student who is just about to conclude her three-month experiment and coaching in figure shaping, just wrote: “Unfortunately my corset feels like more of a nuisance than not.”

This is after almost 12 weeks of daily wearing her custom training corset, less one day per week, and after building up slowly in hours and tightness in lacing down so the process is comfy in general. She chose a well-fitting and extremely comfy training corset by Sheri, who patterns out over the rib cage more than others might, in order to allow for easier breathing and flexibility of movement. That’s why we recommend Sheri for waist training students who will have to work up to long hours of wear, and also for a second corset when you have dropped some fat and inches off your torso and waist to leave mainly muscle, and need to go more slowly and make sure it is comfy when you lace down to the next level. Sheri’s corsets are perfect for either person!

You’ll see Ms. K. in her underbust cotton corset by Sheri, pictured before she began waist training, so this corset doesn’t fit “the best”. That’s because she had to lace loosely and wear it loosely to begin training, to enhance her own comfort and let the corset gradually ‘breathe’ and accustom itself to her torso in return. In that manner you minimize the risk that you might damage your corset, altho with Sheri’s sturdy creations that is highly unlikely to begin with.

Of course to me, a 100 percent corset enthusiast, Ms. K’s message initially made me feel a bit sad. I had kept hope that over three months as she seasoned her new corset and got used to longer hours wearing it six days a week, it would become more comfortable and she would take a shine to it as well as to her shrinking waistline and improved posture.

Regarding the last two items, a shrinking waistline and improved posture, she did take a shine! But regarding the actual corset, and corset wear, she clearly did not.

Still, Ms. K. intends after formal training to keep up better nutrition choices she has learned, and some new exercises that target her waistline muscles to keep them toned and under control, but plans only occasionally to wear her training corset. We’ll soon share her simple but sound Maintenance Plan and final training results in the next blog.

As I thought about her reactions to a corset, I reflected on the incredible range of reasons that anyone might choose to wear a corset. I thought back on thousands and thousands of corsets clients I’ve served over my 27 years in the corset education and purveying/designing business. I also reflected on the 100 stories of why and how people who wrote to Lucy Williams, the young corset enthusiast from Canada, wore their corsets. Check out Lucy’s fascinating book collecting these stories, “Solaced,” available for Kindle on amazon.

If I have learned one thing in my 27 years focusing on this magical garment, it is that every individual reacts differently to wearing corsets (and to waist training). It is simply impossible to know how a specific person  will “take” to wearing a corset, and how one will find a corset useful in one’s life, if they take to corsets at all. Not everyone loves the garment!

Yesterday I tried corsets and corset muslins on my BFF Letha, pictured here wearing a muslin  of an overbust Victorian corset underneath her black outfit. She has decided she wants an overbust foundation corset to improve her posture and figure, plus  improve the fit of her clothing as she, like me, ages gracefully into her 70s. Letha loved the look and feel!

Within a few try-ons of a corset (her first ever!) and maybe 10 total minutes, she was strutting around the living room admiring herself in the mirror, laced down 5.5″ from her natural waist measurement. Yup. In about ten minutes! It stunned us both.

Obviously Letha is the type of client who is relatively plastic (“squishy”) in her midriff and can easily lace down. More importantly, she has no aversion to a relatively new feeling for her of wearing a body-fitting, closely structured garment on her torso. That was a bit surprising to me because her typical way of dressing is to wear flowing, artistic clothing.

Letha reminds me a bit of “Frankie” in the wonderful tv series “Frankie and Grace” if you have seen it? She’s experimental, adventurous, and cheerful, just the kind of personality I like and resonate with. I think she expected to like corsets–and she did! (If you haven’t seen the show, run, don’t walk, to rent the series. It’s a pure hoot, with wonderful actors Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and a terrifically funny and heartwarming story line to boot).

So how will you know if you will ‘take’ to corsets? You won’t know for sure if you have never worn them or tried them on. But if you tend to like tight belts, panty hose, boned shapewear, fitted clothing like princess seams and well-fitted waistlines in pants and dresses, and tight jeans, you will likely take to corsets and to waist training as well. But then this guideline doesn’t explain Letha’s positive reaction, since she had never tried on a formal corset!

So keep your mind open to corsets, expect to like them, and if you can do so, try a fit sample corset on and lace it snugly (but not quickly!) to see if you like the feeling.

If you don’t have access to a try-on corset, then get a wide belt and belt down snugly or tightly. Try to keep the corset or belt on for more than five minutes! The more minutes you can wear a structured garment, the better you will be able to tell how you will react to the real thing. Stand up, sit down, walk around and if you can, eat a light meal to see how your stomach will feel while corseted.

Hopefully the real thing you finally choose, will be a well-fitting custom corset made especially for you, and not a dubiously-fitting readymade or over-the-counter OTC corset. You usually  can’t go wrong with custom, whereas you can easily go wrong with an uncomfy, non-individually fitted OTC choice.

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You’re in good company: “corsets are making a comeback” — yet they never left us since 1989!

I’m often asked, “can I wear my corset outside my dress?”, and how do I do that?

You can wear a corset and showcase it in any way that you like to dress! I just made a  collage of only a few of our thousands of ROMANTASY clients since 1990 who have chosen to showcase their corset. You can see hundreds more by clicking on our 27 theme galleries at http://www.romantasy.com under “Galleries” at the top! Consider just wearing a cute top with jeans and tossing on a custom cincher! Or how about a “hot look” with a corset over leather pants?

Remember: even if you are only ordering and wearing a corset for waist training, and even if it is a simple underbust style vs. a glam overbust style, you too, can showcase your corset.

The more ways you find to wear your training corset — the better your investment will pay off over time (not to mention, the more comfy your corset will become when worn!)

I was surprised and motivated to prepare this collage, by a web article saying that it’s difficult to “style a corset,” not to mention that once more (every few months it seems), “corsets are making a comeback.”

Actually, since about 1989 thanks to Madonna and Gaultier–they never went away!

When you purchase a custom corset–you support this comeback and cement it as a dressing option, so that we don’t ever again lose this wonderful crafting ability of our custom corsetieres! Even now some are leaving their trade and years of experience are disappearing. Why? Read on….

We recommend you skip those imported “wannabe” “OTC” or readymade cheap corsets sadly flooding the world and US marketplace (eye candy at best), and go for the Gold Standard: fully custom made.

Custom corsets are not that expensive considering — the years and years of very comfy wear and the pounds of pressure you want your investment to endure when lacing down with regular wear! In fact fully custom corsets are de rigueur for waist training purposes. We don’t want you to be penny wise and pound foolish.

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How to jazz up boring food–check out online Savory Spice Shop!

My present waist-training student Ms. K, has a big challenge on her hands regarding food.

First, she doesn’t eat a lot to begin with, nor is she beset with hunger pangs for the most part — so weight loss is not her goal for corset training. Shaping her waistline more in the hourglass manner is her goal Thus, the moderate to small amount of  food she normally eats, needs to count.

Second, for several reasons, she has limited time that is available to shop, stand, and cook. Food choices and dishes have to be made fast, or she has to rely on her partner to carry out her better nutrition plan for her corset training period. Lately she is considering participating in amazon’s home delivery fresh food program, just $15 per month plus Prime membership of $99 a year. That seems like one perfect solution for her.

Third, Ms. K reports being bored by food. Imagine that! How can that be, what with the wealth of fresh fruits and veggies that California enjoys year round not to mention beef, poultry, fresh fish, pork and eggs, organic or not, that are available in the stores, especially in urban areas like San Francisco–and from Safeway to Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Everyone is getting on the organic free-range band wagon, and more’s the better to my mind.

Fourth, she loves donuts and Doritos. Who among us doesn’t? Gratefully I have calmed those desires down by getting her to read The Dorito Effect! It’s an amazing,highly recommended book that will put you off eating flavored anything, esp. chips and dips. Eating natural foods is best of all, grilling and not frying, and of course, portion control (not Ms. K’s challenge, as said).

I found one solution for “boring” that I hope she will soon try!

Two weekends ago my partner and I enjoyed a leisurely long weekend away in Sonoma, a lovely small touristy town an hour from San Francisco. It’s a town that thrives on history, touristing, wine tasting, and shopping. One of the hotel guests where we stayed, recommended that we walk across the street next to Whole Foods (which is one block from the square) and visit the Savory Spice Shop. She raved about their Truffle Salt, so we decided to follow her recommendations.

We were stunned!

There you can both smell and sample each bottle of freshly ground single and mixed spices before you purchase. You can buy two sizes of bottles, but we opted for the larger, normal size you get for McCormicks at Safeway et al., and walked away with five new spices I had never tried before in my life. Sadly, there are not many of these retail stores, and none in San Francisco, but of course they are online!

We must have spent an hour smelling both familiar and mysterious spices. There are for example, at least five different cinnamons to enjoy and I still don’t know which is my favorite. No more huge bottles of generic Costco “cinnamon” for us!

They grind and mix each spice fresh each week. I used two of the ones we purchased, put a perfect sear on fresh salmon (Gordon Ramsey would be proud!) and made the best salmon ever last night, and a few days ago, made the best round pot roast. I use one spice on my scrambled egg in the morning for more flavor and am making a buffalo meatloaf using a few of the new spices for this evening’s dinner.

I never knew how wonderful fresh spices make foods taste, even “boring” steamed veggies or grilled veggies or pot roasts! Wow. Check them out!
savory@savoryspiceshop.com

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