Category Archives: Custom Corsets Suitable for Waist Training

How to sum up corset waist training: the key principles to keep in mind

I’m sometimes asked what are the key points that lead to success in waist training. From my fall Primer on  ‘how to’ reduce your waistlineCorset by Sheri for ROMANTASY book in progress, here they are:


1. Be conscious of, and respect, your body. Listen to its messages and heed them. Your body will tell you when you have reached your limit.

2. Be moderate and do nothing to excess. Always stop training or take off your corset just short of serious distress, leaving yourself looking forward to the next opportunity you have to corset. (A pretty but simple corset like the one pictured here by Sheri, will make you look forward to corseting each day!)

3. Persevere. Change comes through ordinary, slow progress. There are no Corset Body Shaping Goddesses, and no miracles. Do not let naysayers stop you in your path.

4. Treat yourself at least as well as you treat others. No one will do it for you. Eat right, exercise, drink water, move, and never give up on these positive practices.

5.  Learn as much as you can about corseting. This will help you fully understand what is happening to you as you progress. Then you will be able to adjust your eating plan and lifestyle to stay healthy and still corset over time.

It takes common sense–not all that common these days to quote someone famous!

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I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore: “I don’t have TIME to shop, eat well, cook, waist train (you name it!)”

“The Lies Busy People Tell Themselves” said it all to me: we waste a lot of time worrying that we “don” have time” to do what we know we must: primarily take care of ourselves, and then take care of our families and loved ones–or corset waist train! I’ll never say that again after readying Laura Vanderkams’s article in the NYT Style section this Sunday! I recommend it to you.

The writer did a lot of time-keeping on herself and checked with others. She found she, and they, had a lot of time to do things she valued, despite being a very busy mother and professional. So …

Why do we lie to ourselves about not having enough time to do the things we find important in life and value?

           o    She says it’s because negative experiences (of being stressed out, late for an important project, working 90 hrs per week occasionally) stick in our minds. The good times are easily forgotten .

          o    We all like to see ourselves as hard working, not laggards. Thus, we tend to believe and repeat to others, that we are “over worked” and out of time.

         o   Professionals tend to overestimate the hours spent on work.

          o   We choose a high number of hours to say we’ve worked (and think we have) to justify our periodic stressed-out state and feeling, which is not all the time no matter what we imagine.

It’s not an unchangeable foible of us human beings. We can acknowledge this tendency now we know about it — and choose not to feel guilty that we “may” be neglecting our families, our health, and things that make life worth living! Most likely we are not and most likely we can find a little time. There’s no more excuse that you “don’t have time to corset waist train” and don’t have time on Sunday to shop for veggies and fruits and healthy light meats and “don’t have time to cook and prepare big pot of soup or lean roast and grilled veggies” which will last a few days during your busy work week.

You clearly DO HAVE TIME. If you value and have set corset waist training as a major priority in your life — and if you are focused on  improving your health first, your figure second, and your waistline size third (forget about dieting and the BMI or weight!), you have no supporter in me.

But you have a great supporter for moving forward in common sense ways toward health. I’ll encourage you to the max to try this fun and fascinating step toward health first: corset waist training.  Nearly everyone can do it!Snatch's corset

Chablis with plaqueCorsets are not just for Hollywood starlets who have just had a baby and want their figures back, and not just for social media stars who have impossibly curvy in-shape bodies already. Corsets and waist training are for us local, normal folks of any age and stage of life, any waistline size even up to 60″ waistlines and above, men, women, transwomen, lesbians, portly businessmen, classy socialites, club kids (as they say in England), Goth and steampunk devotees, tattoo artists, entertainers, drag queens, cross dressers and more–those of us who want to live long and prosper!

Here on the right is our drag queen corset client Snatch, from a few years back. Lovely white satin Victorian corset! She be styling on stage for sure! Left is our long-time lovely female impersonater/model and corseted client Chablis, looking fine. Check out Cheryl Shepard (crossdresser) modeling her BR Creations brown brocade classic hourglass corset for ROMANTASY, making a lovely hourgalss shape. Note Ms. Ana, our superb body builder tatooed corset lover from Arizona, in a dripping-lace black 1901 corset by True Grace (a treasure and non-duplicatable now since Mr. Garrod has passed)–she’s our adviser on all things physical and exercise in her realm.FCM - Men  Cheryl in BR05100

Burlesque cincherHere’s our Goth girl in a corset by Sheri, and young fetish model Somi Vichi in a leather corset by Sharon for ROMANTASY.  And below is Brian, one of our favorite men models in his amazingly tight-laced hot pink silk  corset by Sheri, one that has lasted him since 2005 for routine almost daily tight-lacing altho it’s about on its last leg now, some 11 years later. Talk about quality!Chinese silk Underbust by SheriCorsets and waist training are for anyone who has patience, and respect for the talents required by competent corsetmakers to create durable, comfortable, structured garments that will hold up to 60 to 90 pounds of waistline pressure and not rip, bend over, squench up, push up, dig in, wrinkle, and otherwise self-destruct in a few months of wear.

At ROMANTASY Somi BOB.3we welcome everyone! We’ll give you great advice on how to choose between real options we offer in terms of figure silhouettes created, corset styles, corsetmakers on our team of three, fabric and design options and more. It’s simple to order.

And we operate in old fashioned, personalized way. Give me a call: 415 587-3863 from 9 am to 6 pm PST and leave a message if I don’t pick up the phone. Consider ROMANTASY’s awesome 26 years plus experience comparing and contrasting various corsets, field testing each one, and educating about the differences. Opt for education first if you aren’t quite sure, and send me email: for my personal attention!






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Maintenance After Waist Training Starts with Planning, Right Thinking, and maybe our *New* “KEWL KORSET”

I’m working this week to encourage my waist-training coaching program student to submit her draft for a Maintenance Plan applying after she completes her formal three-month program this weekend. I’m so proud of her! I have been training right along with her, because I find that coaching anyone requires me to walk the walk, and re-set my own figure, and address my own demons when it comes to aging, spreading out, nutrition and exercise!

Walking that walk  the past three months for me has involved enrolling in a vigorous exercise program three days a week (one day of yoga and two of aerobic exercise for a total of 1.5 hrs. of exercise each time). It also has involved going off refined sugar three weeks ago on June 14, as I’ve blogged about recently. Today I can confirm that I have dropped 5.4 lbs in three weeks and taken 1/2″ off my hips and off my waistline, simply by eschewing sugar and desserts. I’m not being a martinet, since I eat a teensy bit of organic honey from time to time, and occasionally, at least some added sugar in Bisquick, for example. I’m now convinced that for me at least, avoiding refined sugar is a must.

I have come to believe firmly that right thinking and  maintenance are the two keys to successful waist training, not the actual process of dedicated waist training and wearing a corset, if you want to reshape your figure and re-start your own health program.Kewl Korset scroll

Chapter 10 in my Corset Magic book is devoted to maintenance which is mentioned in some introductory commentary which I set forth below. I’d love to hear from you about how you maintain you waistline after dedicated corset waist training, what works for you, and what you would recommend for others? Most likely it will involve periodic corseting (Jill’s flexible “Kewl Korset” pictured right is perfect for a maintenance corset).  I’ll be back to share Dorothy’s ideas later.


Life-long habits (and excuses) take longer than three months to change. I used to think three months of corset waist-training was enough, but it’s clearly not. It’s enough to jump-start healthier new habits. It’s enough to show positive results 99.9% of the time, results that motivate and encourage us.

But motivate us to do what? Fall right back into what we were doing before, that got us here to begin with?
Without one doubt, some positive changes we make during training will stick around, but some form of waistline-maintenance and periodic checks and measures must be implemented during training and must continue a lifetime afterward, if we want a lifetime of positive results.

If we don’t get a handle on what it was both practically in the real world, and emotionally or spiritually in our individual psychological world, that got us to where we aren’t happy with our weight or shape and want to change, then the benefits of waist training won’t last.

We have to embark on waist training with corsets along with more self-introspection and self-honesty to identify behaviors that have defeated our goals in the past and threaten our progress today. This is an internal process that sometimes takes professional skills of a therapist or counselor, and there are many good ones out there who are well-educated on the issues surrounding food and overeating today.


I think a lot about what makes corset waist training work for my students in the three-month coaching program I sponsor, and for others who try the process on their own. Lately I’ve concluded that success in waist training does not depend upon food choices that we eat, or the influence of profit-motivated large food corporations (see, for example, Marian Nestle’s What to Eat, North Point Press, New York 2006 and Michelle Simon’s Appetite for Profit: How the food industry undermines our health and how to fight back, Nation Books, New York 2006; see particularly the “Anti-Glossary” at the back of Simon’s book).

Success in waist training does not depend on how many steps we walk each day or how many hours we spend at the gym. Success does not even depend on how long we wear our corsets or how tightly we lace them!.

The foundation of success is about correcting our thinking process and thoughts which are normally misguided when it comes to corset waist training.

I noted one misguided way of thinking and stopped it early on with a former student, Gigi, who told me she was going to indulge in fatty foods the week before commencing training so that she didn’t feel deprived during the three months she would pursue the process.

Corset waist training is not deprivation! It is fun. It is effective. It is fashionable and it is unique. Not many folks in the world will accept the challenge and take the chance to try a new adventure in life with certain rewards coming to those who exercise a modicum of dedication and common sense. And not many will persevere with maintenance planning and implementation strategy to ensure that positive changes remain permanent.



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More on Corset Durability

HOW LONG DOES A CUSTOM CORSET LAST?  The answer has a lot to do with care.

Corset by Sue for ROMANTASYWe like to say that a custom corset is strong yes, but it is not a Mac Truck! To get the best value for your investment of some hundreds of dollars, you best treat the garment with respect as a start.

Here’s a gorgeous corset by our former team member Sue Nice, delivered to our client Megan in early December, 2006. Owner Megan is an entertainer who wears the corset regularly to perform. The corset is almost nine years old and she returned it to us but not for repair; the corset is in great shape and obviously, has been well treated. She wanted us to add some pizzazz (see the silver braid trims and bow added). Here is what she told us about her perspective on corsets and care:

“A corset is a key piece of apparel. Not only is it highly functional, but its appearance matters to your overall aesthetic as well. It can create a sophistication of appearance that no other garment I know of can. You look complete. That’s why I see it as a key feature of my vampire look. You look composed and controlled.

“Now, vampires, in the old folklore, were blood maddened beasts with a hunger for the vitality of the living via blood, so what better contrast could there be between such a creature – a beast, really – and the refinement/ poise of a corseted figure? Vampire fiction sprang during the Victorian period, noted for corsetry, when everyone and everything was to be controlled in some way. Just as the vampire is a metaphor for losing control simply to survive, the corset is a symbol of that controlled nature.

“Not only does it look good, and have plenty of health benefits (my bad back loves my corset), but corsets can symbolize so much. With so many benefits, why abuse it? If it does so much for you, why can’t you do even a little for it?”

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Musing about “Custom” and Dementia

I would like to introduce a discussion about dementia and corseting. How can such a connection exist between those two? Easy.

My trusty New York Times Style Magazine from this past Sunday had an article  “Remembrance of Things Lost” by Walter Kirn. Mr. Kirn opined about the changes that have come to methods of remembering, to his family and to his friends with the advent of social media,  joy sticks,  iPhones, and Instagrams. He mentioned a University College London study on the alleged “contribution of technology to early dementia.” Those hooked into the new technologies fail to exercise their memories and brains, letting devices do all the recording, communicating, and connecting for them.

Not all that surprising.

I also loved another NYT Magazine  article, “The Enigma of Haute Couture.” Just this weekend I was cleaning out and organizing files, and found an article I had written in 1998 for publication in a small local San Francisco newspaper, on how clients did not understand the concept of “custom.” In those days in my boutique when they came to order a custom corset, but tried on a sample corset in a standard size, they often commented: “but this doesn’t fit me,” or “the hips stick out”. They failed to understand that this was only a fit sample, that their corset would be personally measured and made  to fit their body as nearly perfectly as our corset maker could humanly produce.

Or, they inquired on email:  “I want it to be as long as X corset pictured on your website”. They clearly did not understand that we couldn’t do that. Nor can we today. What we can do is make their corset as long as the specific measurement they send me to make it for their body.

It’s the same today, some  17 years later.

I still receive the same comments. Clients don’t understand that a pictured corset on someone else (a client or a model) might not look the same and likely won’t look the same, when the client wears his or her own custom corset. It will look like the client’s body but made a bit more svelte and shapely than before corseting. Still it will look like the client’s body and not my model’s body — and a corset certainly won’t “disappear” flesh or fat as some seem to expect.

The Times raised the issue of, is this kind of couture made-to-measure fashion “a treasure, or a relic”? He opts for treasure, and so do I.

But it’s a relevant question because as the writer opined, “ready-to-wear has superficially co-opted couture’s dazzling techniques and it’s sumptuous materials.”

Similarly, ready-to-wear corsets popularly called “OTC” corsets, have done the same to the custom-made corset business. A new custom corset client recently sent me a picture of her first OTC corset made in Pakistan. It was very curvy and well-proportioned in a lovely hourglass silhouette for her full figure. I’m hoping for her permission soon to post the picture.

But the curvy silhouette she showed me in her OTC corset was news to me. A few years ago OTC corsets were produced mainly with the U-silhouette or a tubular silhouette,  more or less shaped like the red corset shown to the right. That silhouette and the shorter vertical front are not good or healthy choices for waist training corsets suitable for fuller figures.  The problem is evident in the picture!OTC too short

The same problem appeared for my client, that is,  the corset was too short on the bottom half and did not cover or push inward her lower belly. The problem  resulted in pooching her belly outward under the bottom hem. Not good. Not custom. Not like her custom corset will look or fit on my client’s torso when it is delivered in a few more weeks.

You can see another example below left, appearing even in a fully custom corset, and resulting from the client sending in too short of a vertical measurement from the waist down. This otherwise lovely blue silk dragon BR Creations corset was just a bit too short to adequately control this client’s tummy. So the problem does not inhere solely in OTC corsets. It takes thinking, it takes research, and it takes careful measurements to come up with a good fit in a custom corset, certainly more than a ‘point-and-click’ kind of purchase. That it might take a few shekels more than OTC make sense especially when you consider the wisdom in the old saying of a “being penny wise and pound foolish.”

Sidefront too shortThe NYT writer said that couture exits “because it represents true luxury”.  That’s part of its charm and the “very reason for its existence” he says.

Maybe, if he is thinking of  haute couture from Paris, or luxe silk evening gowns in flowing fabrics and designs.  But a custom corset is not really high priced nor a luxury for anyone into serious waist training, or into moving downward to an ever-tighter restriction and long hours required for more advanced waist training.

A social media commentator blog recently solicited corset companies online who offer fully custom corsetry for under $400, and she came up with a nice list of multiple businesses, including ROMANTASY.  For quality, for durability, for many pounds of pressure to be put on fabric and stitching in tight-lacing, $400 is cheap for almost any budget and not a luxury at all, but a necessity in our opinion.

What the writer concluded was that couture thrives in part because it “represents the value of having the time to stop and smell the roses, or sew them onto a Chanel wedding gown, as 15 women did this past December. That took a month.”

And so does quality custom corset construction take a month or more — usually more, when it is made at least at ROMANTASY by one and not 15 people. That one corset maker is a superbly skilled craftsperson and artisan of corsetry who is juggling a micro business based at home to produce a non-fungible garment. It takes patience.

More’s the pity that so many still come to us wanting quick fixes for figures out of control (and how long did it take them to get out of control?), quick production times, desiring to “hurry up and start waist training tomorrow” —  and wanting me to tell them what to order.

We fervently hope that our massively-reorganized website in March just past, at,

(1) points visitors quickly and easily to what corset styles and fabrics are best for waist training,

(2) specifies how to evaluate design options and find the measurement form, and

(3) explains the differences between our corsetmaking team of three. Please visit us to see our changes.

But change at ROMANTASY still does not mean instant gratification of those who wish to waist train or do business with us and take advantage of our twenty-five years in the corset design, education and purveying business.

It does mean and still require time for them to stop and smell the custom corset roses, appreciate the luxury of being individually served in a very old-fashioned, personal manner, and enjoy the entire process of becoming a true corset enthusiast. As one person quoted in the NYT article said, those creating your garment “become emotionally invested” in what they do for you, and I might add, our corset makers take great pride in their craft and want to remain at the top of their skill level and profession.

The process itself and the time it takes might not be dazzling and it certainly is not fast — but you’ll be treated with respect at many micro-custom corset businesses today, and you  might even grow to adore how special you begin to feel, and what a treasure will result–one that will likely last you for years and years of pleasurable wear.

And at least, our corset makers won’t be contributing to dementia!







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Basic LIne Corset -The Bella- by Jill Hoverman for ROMANTASYC O R S E T   R A F F L E   I N

J A N U A R Y !!

To celebrate an amazing 25 years in the corset purveying, waist-training, and education business, we want to support an excellent battered women’s shelter in San Francisco, Case de las Madres. This program  shelters battered women and children of all ages and races in 36 beds in our Mission District. The shelter is 38 years old and receives half funding from the City, but also has to raise half funding.Basic LIne Corset -The Bella- by Sharon Mccoy Morgan for ROMANTASY

Please consider sending us a check to 2912 Diamond St., San Francisco 94131 made out to “ROMANTASY” or call 415 587-3863 and give us a credit card for a $25 entry fee to our raffle of a lined Basic Line underbust Victorian or Edwardian in your choice of fabric with any reasonable decoration at no extra cost (a value of from $200 to $250). ALL RAFFLE ENTRANCE FEES WILL BE DONATED TO THE CASA; NONE WILL BE HELD BACK!

Enter by 5 pm PST on January 30 with our drawing on that day at or about 6 pm and notification a day later as to our winner.25th anniversary of ROMANTASY.4

The Basic Line provides an excellent maintenance corset or sleep corset if you have already trained down in a heavier duty one from our Fundamental or Elegant Lines of Corsetry. It’s suitable to remind you to maintain good posture, to wear in hot weather (it’s a bit lighter but still fully custom!), and for more comfy fashion fit. Check it ou here:

If you win you may select Jill or Sharon as your preferred corsetiere, and send us email with details of the decorations you desire.

Yes, maintaining your waistline will likely require “maintenance corseting”, either in periodic shorter periods of serious waist training, or in wearing a lighter weight corset 2 to 3 times per week, perhaps only sleeping in it. yes, maintaining your waistline also requires common sense and moderation in eating and exercise life styles. Nearly all of my former training coaching students have gained some weight back but only a very very few have rebounded entirely, usually from undue pressure and stress that happened after training was successfully completed.

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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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