Category Archives: General Waist Training Information

A detailed reply to Dr. Oz by Lucy

To followup our post on the Feb. 12 show by Dr. Oz concerning corset waist training, Lucy wrote a detailed and excellent  reply:

She takes on points Oz’s resources made, one-by-one.

I was particularly impressed with her following point which for me, answered further “The Corset Question”:

“…there is not enough information out there on how corsets are supposed to properly fit and feel, so people grow up with the propaganda that all corsets are supposed to hurt or that shortness of breath is normal. It’s like if a certain culture had never heard of shoes, but their only exposure to footwear was Chinese foot-binding. Many would understandably turn away from ALL footwear and consider it barbaric (even when offered a comfy pair of orthotic running shoes), and some individuals who want to try footwear feel as though they’re supposed to jam their feet into shoes two sizes too small and just deal with the pain, blisters, hammertoe, etc. because that’s all they’ve been exposed to. There is a whole other world of well-made, functional and comfortable footwear out there, just as there’s a whole world of different shapes, sizes, and styles of corsets. You just need to find the right one and learn to use it responsibly.

Why do we avoid that “whole other world” of information? I have my theories.

We tend to rely on so-called ‘experts’ and be lazy enough to let others do our thinking and opining for us. It’s just easier.  We tend to jump in our minds to the extreme position, expecting and even reveling in calamity. I noted that in my former career owning an erotic couples retail boutique (also selling corsets; that’s how I first fell in love with them).  Customers would take one look at a ball gag, and see “suffocation,”  or glimpse metal handcuffs and see cut wrists. But in truth, there are many shades of grey, right? We don’t ever have to use any particular thing to the extreme. (And my point to them often was, eroticism lies more in the mind that in a product, and often the product is a visual trigger of greater erotic pleasure than is the actual thing in operation).

But is the unexamined life, or issue — worth living? For some when it comes to corsets, it is.

Lately I’ve prepared the three-month  corset wearing element of any sound waist-training program (we now include that with the purchase of our book), for several purchasers of my book, “Corset Magic”. Two of the three purchasers wanted to save money, and are training with a somewhat U-shaped readymade corset they purchased from a well-known corset business. I know because I ask them to send photos of the corset they will be using to train, and identify the maker.

I suspect that some or all of them will encounter some tough times especially toward the end of training,  making it more arduous and even painful perhaps. The typical readymade corset not patterned following the hills and valleys of your body, tends to create a U shaped silhouetted corset. It is  not sufficiently curved out over the lower ribs or high hip bone, and will tend to press down on the anterior femoral nerve and lead to discomfort, and eventually, to tingling or pain as the blood supply is reduced. Not good. Not pleasant.

We are keeping in touch with these clients to see how their efforts progress and I’ll report back later on this matter.

In the meantime, read Lucy’s amazing, lucid blog response. Like one reader of her blog, I would only encourage her to take any opportunity presented to her in the future to go on national television, to present the other side of the popular media’s take which inevitably tends to hyperbole.

As a media consultant once told me in preparing me to deal with media interviews, “The interviewer needs to ‘represent’ the general public and express the general public’s belief system and doubts. The interviewer might not necessarily believe what he or she is saying or questioning, so don’t take it personally.  Take it as an opportunity to get solid information out there about your topic. Acknowledge there are differences of opinion and experience, then speak up, speak out, say your truth and be fact-based. It is up to the viewer to determine which viewpoint is better based and valid.”

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Dear Dr.Oz,

I am the owner of ROMANTASY Exquisite Corsetry in San Francisco, a retired State Deputy Attorney General, and the author of the only detailed  ‘how to’ manual on corset waist training called “Corset Magic: A Fun guide to Trim Your Waist and Figure.” A copy is included for your review, with respect to your show segment on Feb. 12 treating with this topic.

From watching the segment I believe you have been misinformed about injuries from, and inadequately advised about the many benefits of, corseting and waist training. Your expert Dr. Florence said that there is clinical evidence that serious injuries occurred, but she did not cite specific numbers and types of injury, other than mention a few conditions that obviously will occur when one wears a tight garment, namely blood pressure and temperature rise and some organs move.

However, movement or elevation in and of themselves do not constitute harm per se, whereas obesity per se, does constitute harm. To my mind, obesity seems the far more dangerous health matter that we must address by supporting and advocating any and all reasonable measures to motivate folks to control this disease and reverse the dangerous trend of expanding waistlines and concomitant life-shortening health problems.

I sincerely hope you will take your time to review my manual and the many happy personal histories reported therein. I also hope you will consider sponsoring another show that brings on experts who have long experience with the process, both from personal waist training efforts and personal knowledge of others’ efforts, as well as a grounding in medical fact and research. Such folks can offer the other side of the picture to the negative one your expert told but without much detail. I hope too, that you will bring on a physician who can speak to the more accurate view that corseting can be of enormous health benefit with certain provisos considering moderation and corset fit.

To that end perhaps you might wish to read the words of Milton Simmons, M.D., and others commenting on my website FAQ page on corseting and health matters:

Additionally you might enjoy reading a happy corset wearer’s experience, ABC-TB reporter Deborah Roberts who conducted a short experiment with our ROMANTASY waist training coaching program, wearing one of our custom corsets made for her torso shape from eight different figure measurements, set forth in her blog of fall,2012:

Further, I have several students and colleague corset educators who might be interested in speaking of their experience, and I have appeared on many national television and radio shows commenting on the topic, which shows are summarized on this page:

In sum, my 25-year dedicated personal experience wearing corsets and waist training, coaching about 25 students in our specific ROMANTASY three-month process, and listening to reports of many of the 8000 clients I have provided corsets to over my business history, plus research on body modifications that occur when lacing down, convinces me that the great weight of authority supports the fact that corsets are more than just safe. They are beneficial.

That is true if they are well fitting of a suitable style and are worn deliberately following a slow plan of lacing down, proper nutrition, and moderate exercise.

Corset waist training is beneficial in immediately cutting appetite back and like gastric banding reducing the output of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, with the result of disappearing hunger in a rather short time. Corset waist training shrinks our stomachs and cuts portion sizes that satisfy us, teaches us what foods are best to enhance digestion and elimination, improves our posture immediately and teaches us body memory and standing up with the spine properly positioned. Corsets enhance personal image, can provide psychological support and a sense of control during times of great stress, can provide low and high back support, help avoid injury in lifting, and can alleviate pain from scoliosis, pre-menstrual cramps, IBS, and other.

All of my coaching students are much like the three ladies on your show who expressed their joy at improved posture and support and some weight reduction while wearing their garments. It was therefore a true shame that they became concerned after hearing your overly-broad assertion that corseting could “Possibly put their health at risk.”

Actually, anything in life can put our health at risk.

Walking across the street can possibly put health at risk. Having a baby and moving organs around much the way corsets do moderately over time, can possibly put your health at risk – but usually doesn’t.

The point is, how do we educate ourselves and minimize the risk in choices we make for a greater good and enhanced pleasure in a long, healthy life?

Usually if we follow Aristotle’s mean, “everything in moderation,” corseting will provide a very happy, artistic, creative, fun way to get control of our figures, our nutrition, our bad habits, our slouch, and will improve our self image and overall sense of well being.

And what could be better than that? I hope to hear back and visit your show in the near future to share my 25 year experience.

Best regards,

Ann Grogan, President
415 587-3863
ROMANTASY Exquisite Corsetry
2912 Diamond St. Ste. 239
San Francisco, CA 94131



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Motivation and charity – and our Corset Raffle to benefit a local battered women’s shelter

logoThe goal of our 25th year-in-business celebration is by Feb. 15 at 5 pm PST, to raise a nice sum of money for San Francisco’s oldest battered women and children’s shelter, La Casa de las Madres:

This 36-bed facility has to raise half its annual funds and we’d like to help! But as of Feb. 4 we are a bit surprised that no one has taken us up on FOUR remaining  SCHOLARSHIPS of five for “name your own raffle fee”  less than the $25 suggested raffle donation.  You could win a $200-300 corset for say, $5 or 10 or 20~And of course we’d like to keep  moving to our goal of a nice total donation amount, and hope you will help and help us get the word out to your social media corset-enthusiast contacts.

Recently one lady lusting after a fully custom ROMANTASY corset, took us up on the offer and submitted what she felt she could afford for a chance to win a Basic Line, lined corset with your choice of fabric and embellishments, even including rhinestones and lace!! It’s a neat little sleep or hot-wear or fashion corset, fully custom by either Jill or Sharon. To take a chance, please submit your entrance fee by Feb. 15 at 5 pm simply by calling us: 415 587-3863. Drawing will be Feb. 15 at 6 pm with winner announced on Feb. 19.

On to Motivation. That’s my topic — and it’s relevant to our charity efforts this important month.

I often muse about motivation as relevant to my efforts as a waist-training coach for students enrolled in our formal three-month coaching  program. A potential new student is coming over soon to be measured for a corset by Sheri, which corset which she has already chosen via her online research.  Sheri makes what must be the most comfy training corset ever, because she allows for breathing room in her patterning, and opts for very strong but lighter-weight construction:

An article in the Sunday Jan. 11 New York Times, “Workout Economics”,  once more set me to thinking about motivating my students. The author J. Barro mentions a quite human “overoptimism” about what we will accomplish, particularly at the beginning of each year with it comes to diets and working out.  According to the December/January AARP Magazine in an article “New Year, New You” by Jan Chatzky, we spent $22 billion on health clubs in 2013.  “And a lot of that cash is wasted.”  One Boston study reported in the Times article found that gym members said they would work out about 9.5 times a month, more than twice their actual attendance. Not surprising. Can you imagine how many gorgeous full custom corsets some of that wasted $22 billion would buy? I might have to retire if some of those who wasted billions came to their senses and opted instead for some corsets from ROMANTASY!

I know for sure that the source of motivation to corset waist train must come from within, although external encouragement and support by others, even from a formal ‘training buddy’ that we assign to each student,  is key to keep students going all the way to the end of their planned program.

Knowing oneself is also key, so that each student is aware of how they got to the place that they are now dissatisfied with their figure, weight or shape, and want to change. But knowledge is not full power–and not the full story.

Sometimes students find surprising motivational matters along their way, as Gigi did. Gigi is pictured here dancing the night away at her graduation party, with Simon (from Switzerland!), and below right with Lynn, another  student who completed her coaching program a month before Gigi began. Gigi  grew to love getting up in the dark at 5 am, putting on her yoga clothes, and doing her oblique waist exercises by candlelight every morning. It was quite the surprise to her and to me to learn that she enjoyed that routine. Chatzky says that a ritual does not feel like work, quoting author James Hill, author of the book State of SlimGigi and Simon dancing 2002

I also know that if a student can make getting up in the morning and putting on a gorgeous corset for the day’s wearing period, be the reward itself (and the concomitant feelings of being hugged and looking great!), then they tend to follow their program through to the end. Chatzky reported the same: to avoid wasting your money on gym memberships and meaningless resolutions each year, exercise should become the reward itself.

I also thought that collecting my somewhat substantial coaching fee up front with no refunds for dropping out, might do the same. However, I now think that I was only partly right.

I learned from the Times article that paying up front for gym memberships–or perhaps even for my coaching program (typical fee is $400 for three months, or $300 if a corset is purchased from a ROMANTASY team corsetiere) —  does not in and of itself, work to keep us moving toward our goal.

What worked for participants in one study was to set aside more than the cost of a gym membership in the expectation that some of that money would be released to the member but only if they worked out regularly over the next two months — otherwise it would be given to charity.

The effects of this contract on workout frequency persisted for years; three years after the study, those who had elected the set-aside contracts remained 20 percent more likely to work out than those who had not been offered any incentives.Gigi and LynnGigi back 2002

Based on this study, I’m going to implement a similar approach with my new student if she concurs. I will invoice her the entire coaching fee up front and we will set April 18 as her start date followed by three months of corset waist training. If she completes all three months at a 95% satisfaction rate as to all elements of her detailed plan, then I will “refund” her $100 as her graduation present.

If she does not, then I will donate it to La Casa de las Madres, my chosen local charity! I’m not about to give that money to an “anti-charity” also suggested in the Times article, that is, to a charity that my student just hates, tho it’s an interesting idea.

I’m wondering what motivational factors have kept you on track and wearing your corset in any formal waist-training program or effort to reach permanent loss or notable temporary waistline reduction?



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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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89,000 visits from 167 different countries to our blog are muchly appreciated in 2014!! Please join the waist-training conversation and let us know your experiences, ideas, and comments! Have a wonderful corseted New Year! Ann

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 89,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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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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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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