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
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.