damselcorsets.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

2-4 Inches:My Most Hated Phrase


If there is one MAIN thing I've learned in this business, it's that women TRULY are all shaped COMPLETELY different. You can't say, "Man, she really broke the mold" because there was no mold to even begin with! That's the ironic thing about all of us having body image issues because we think we're supposed to look like the girls on the front of Cosmo...It is NOT physically possible to even aspire to that body! If your petite, small hipped and small-busted..sure you can get implants, but it's not like you can get height implants. Wait..do people get butt implants? I wouldn't be surprised. But, this is not a rant about women and their body image issues because of the dang media. That one is for later. This is about 2-4 inches.
I appreciate other corset vendors. I do. Lots of you make a stunning product, made with quality materials, quality spring steel, and well-shaped patterns. Your corsets are the ones that cost $400 for the cheapest one and go up from there. I applaud you, and I hope to one day be LIKE you. (Well..maybe not quite. I need to be me.) Now, to you OTHERS who think that just because your corset has 19 bones in it (notwithstanding the boning is the cheap, floppy steel from China that snaps in half when you bend it too far.), you are to be worshipped? I'm ashamed of you. And I fervently wish people would realize that when you're selling the EXACT same product (in appearance, at least) for $300 less..there is something wrong. You guys use the cheapest materials, the boning will ALL pop out within a day (which can happen to almost every corset out there, depending on how much pressure certain parts of your body put onto it.) and the fit is usually ATROCIOUS.

Yet, the quality Victorian Corset makers and the crappy ones ALL have something in common. When they have you measure for their corsets, they have you measure your waist, and then deduct 2-4 inches. TWO TO FOUR FREAKING INCHES!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

You can see from my grossly exaggerated pictures above, all women are differently shaped. Futhermore, ALL women are COMPOSED differently. Yes, it's true. You thought we were all made of flesh and guts and sugar and spice, but guess what? You're wrong. I don't know what the medical reason behind this would be, but I KNOW that women aren't all made up of the same types of bones and flesh. I meet women that are the exact same size and body shape, but one of them will be so "squishy" that her waist will "corset down" 6 inches, and the other one would be lucky if she got her waist tucked in a measly 1/2". I meet women that LIKE their corsets to fit loosely, and I meet women who like their corsets SOO tight that I swear I can actually hear their organs gooshing around inside as I tighten them up. Some women are tiny in the waist, but when you get to their hips, you need to go up 3 sizes on the corset. Other women are small through the hips and waist, but have such a large rib cage that they need to go up a corset size to even begin to accommodate that. So HOW can these companies POSSIBLY expect a woman to measure her waist and then subtract some arbitrary number like 2-4 inches? That's A LOT of space.

OH, and AGAIN! Some women have worn corsets for years, and their body is naturally malleable and will pull in 8 inches, but there are other women who have never worn one in their life and would only be comfortable at all with 1 inch of reduction. Generally, plus size gals can pull in WAY more than skinny girls. I've LITERALLY met girls who were so small, but so firm that I COULD NOT pull in their waist at all with a corset. I have to go a size up on them, just because trying to lace them in is like trying to lace up a PVC pipe.

The MOST WRETCHED part about all of it is that most of the corset sites just say, "measure your waist" but don't give any instructions on how TIGHTLY to do it. I can measure my waist and get all sorts of numbers. If I measure my waist, I can get a vague 32 inches. I can pull the measuring tape SUPER TIGHTLY and get 26.5. I can pull it comfortably and get a 29. Now, imagine, if I were to pick ANY of those numbers and subtract 2-4 inches. None of those numbers would end up being the corset size I actually wear.

Which brings me to why OUR system of measuring your waist is so dang brilliant. I have you measure around the smallest part, (this is where the curve of the corset will hit you, emphasizing that houglass) which is usually about 2-3 inches ABOVE the belly button. This is a HIGH waist measurement we're talking about here. No one wears their pants that high unless their in serious "Mom jeans". When you measure, you will measure AS TIGHTLY as you can get it WITH YOUR BODY. This tells me how malleable you are. It tells me how much a corset would actually pull you in. It tells me what your waist really can look like if it's pulled in to the greatest capacity.

I have countless women who, bless their hearts, won't listen to me! They've seen too many of the corset websites, and so their take some weird measurement around where their hip-hugger jeans sit, and then subract 3 inches, because it's right in the middle of 2 and freaking 4. I make and send their corset, a beautiful specimen that is made to the exact measurement they told me, and they get it and throw a fit because it's the wrong size. Even worse is when they think, "OH, I don't want it to be too tight," so they measure loosely. It would be all fine and dandy if I made the corset into a cylinder, which would fit their ribs, their "comfortable" waist measurement, and their hips. But, when I get a number for the waist, I make that size. With that certain size, the HIPS and the RIBS will CURVE OUT from that, because that's how women are shaped. So, when you measure "comfortably," the thing will fit on your waist, but curve back out too largely for the hips and ribs.

Anyway, I hate the 2-4 inches thing. I hate it. I hope it crawls back into the stenchy outer circle of Hell from whence it came.

OH, on a happy note, ONCE AGAIN, 99% of you listen to me, measure correctly, and end up with a gorgeous fitting corset. I love you ardently.

21 comments:

  1. I LOOOOOOOVE my corset and it fits perfect. So I shall remind you again and again (along with the rest of your dedicated addicts) We love you and your fantaboulus designs. Thank you for designing for "real" women and figuring out what works for all of us.

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  2. I absolutely LOVE this blog. I have ordered one Cheapy crappy corset online that wasn't all that cheap in price but cheap in make. It didn't make me feel fabulous at all. I measured exactly how they told me to. Boo. Then I went to you. And GOT A GORGEOUS work of art that made me feel AMAZING and was a heavenly price. I will never go back. It's damsel or nothing. There is no other. I'm one of those curvy people that are impossible to fit and you always make me feel FABULOUS!

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  3. Haha, brilliant post! Once again I'm reminded of why I love you guys (and my corset!) :D
    Can't wait till I can order more from you.

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  4. Speaking of, HOLY GODS, There are NO corsets in the world as comfortable as yours!!! I went to a festival this weekend, and wore the amazing corset I bought from you on Saturday, and my "other" corset on Sunday.

    Saturday I was comfortable, I could stand and sit easily, and I looked absolutely fantastic. I ended the day feeling worn out, but not in pain.

    Sunday, I had back muscles spasming from the minute I put on my "other" corset, and it only got worse as the day wore on. The thing was too tight (even though the salesperson measured my waist before selling it to me), and I could feel my muscles and bones protesting in agony as I tried to squish them into the damn thing.

    My point? I love you and your unbelievably well-fitted and beautiful corsets.

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  5. ahaha, Misty, you make it sound like you're cheating on me. That's dang hilarious.

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  6. I find this somewhat ironic because a few days ago I was looking into a lace up in the back style corset from somewhere that is suppose to be a (recommended) really nice company online to order them. Well I was looking around, trying to figure out how to know my freaking size- and they did the 2-4 inches thing. Little me remembered a rant you had back a few years ago about " how to measure " and how the 2-4 inches thing was total BS ( which makes sense). I immediately backed my butt out of the site. If I don't have a corset that fits properly, I am NOT going to invest in it.

    Maybe I'm just a Damsel for life? After all, when I go to get married (someday), you're going to have to do a custom order corset for me. =]

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  7. Oh Michelle. No. Just...*sigh*
    " No one wears their pants that high unless their in serious "Mom jeans".".
    Some of us don't have a choice as to where pants sit. I'm a serious "Rosemary", and anything I wear just naturally sits at my natural, very high, waist. If I try to buy lower jeans they won't fit, like, at all. Gravity and all that. But they are not "Mom" jeans, and I am not an unfashionable lady.
    In other news, you are still awesome, and I still love you and your corsets. I don't love the giants bruises on my upper thighs after a day of wear, but they are worth it.

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  8. Interesting post. I have often wondered about the 2-4in. I am very squishy so I probably could go smaller than that.

    PS I ran across you website the other day. I have wanted a corset for some time and I think your will be perfect. It will be a while before I have the money, but I will be buying from you. :)

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  9. Hah! I'm a total PVC pipe. The corset I have from you fits because you correctly guessed that I would not squish (that's ribs for you). And I love your cartoon with the stereotypes of what we're all wearing.

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  11. Yours is the only corset I've ever been bold enough to buy offline BECAUSE you were so clear on how to measure. Even buying them in person I never end up with the size they reccomend and put me in!

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  12. Ha-ha, I love your "mom jeans" comment. I laughed because I'm your mom and I know you hate them. But they are the only thing that works for me. It's OK. I'm not insulted at all.

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  13. I will say I know several people who have commented on my corsets like, "OMG WHERE DID YOU GET THEM?" and I tell them I ordered online and they were like, "oh I wouldn't do that, I'd be afraid it wouldn't fit" and then I get to be like, "oh no, I had no problems! She's amazing like that!"

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  14. Stop drawing pictures of my big ol butt!!!!

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  15. Ooh, to the lady who commented about the jean height! I TOTALLY get it! You can see that my mom commented a few posts up, and she LITERALLY cannot wear the hip-hugger jeans. Honestly, I look sort of like poo in them as well, because they poke out my love handles and make them look bigger. My problem is that I can't find jeans that are HIGH in the back and sides and then dip down a little in the front. Stupid jeans.

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  16. Agreed, they don't make 'em, as far as I can tell. Lane Bryant "Blue' fit jeans are awesome for those of us with small waists and big butts. For once I wear pants than don't gape several inches in the back! Horrah!
    Michelle, I hear tell a rumor you will be in the bay area for the Pirate Festival in June? Is this true? Can your humble Bay Area minions finally meet you in person? Calloo! Callay! Oh frabjous day! (she chortled in her joy)

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  17. Dear DitD Michelle,

    I know I've found some luck with both Torrid and Lane Bryant with jeans being higher in "problem" spots and lower in the front, in fact, that's my favorite type of jeans. Yeah, I spend about 60 bucks on them, but I have jeans I bought in high school (2003) and still wear them now while I'm pregnant!

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  18. Sadly my jeans are almost that high, because anything lower slowly falls when I'm not yanking them up, even with a belt. I do not have hips for anything else.

    I think I'm some bad Daisy/Rosemary combination or maybe the opposite of Jasmine?

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  19. I have to say I am one of those weird bodied women. I have a wide rib cage, but a waist much smaller than my hips. My first corset I ordered did the dreaded V because I didnt realize I had a wider ribcage. With Michelle's awesomeness she fixed it so it fit right and now I rock my corsets like no tomorrow.

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  20. I've been a fan of corsets for a while, but have only ordered a couple and never got one that quite fit. I decided to order from your Etsy a couple of days ago - I'm getting married and I'll be damned if I'm not in a corset for it - and I was honestly surprised when it didn't say "take off X inches from the waist". I reread it and your etsy page a few times just to be sure. I actually had to go and remeasure myself just to figure out what my real measurements were since I was so used to using the reduced measurements (and I found that I'd lost an inch in the waist and gained one in the hips, in the process).

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  21. When I received my first DITD corset, I said "Hey that's not the size I gave her" but I tried it on anyway, and wonder of wonders, it fit like a glove! Listen, seriously, she knows what she is talking about! It is the most comfortable piece in my collection and I don't think I will buy from anyone else ever again!

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