Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to NOT MEASURE for a Corset

          In honor of our Black Friday Grab Bag Sale on November 23rd, I'm going to give you ladies some loving reminders of what NOT to do when you're measuring for a corset. This is meant to be funny and light-hearted, so if you're dying to hammer out an outraged, offended, off-the-cuff comment where you insult my mother, threaten my life, and verbally abuse the other commenters, perhaps you could direct yourself back to your own facebook newsfeed where you can spread your poison.  Also, feel free to email me. You sound deeply unhappy with your life and yourself, and you might even need a better way to spend your time. I can assure you that I believe in hard work and integrity, and perhaps I could give you a "piece-rate" type of job where you cut ribbons for me or some other menial task. I'm not being passive aggressive here. I'm honestly, deeply concerned about the way our society is going, and I would rather find ways to help people feel productive and informed, rather than dissatisfied, angry, and vindictive. 

*It is probably wise to very carefully instruct you on measuring correctly, before I tell you how to do it the wrong way. Here is a picture. I've had hundreds of thousands of customers follow these instructions and get a perfect fit on their corsets, having never met me in person. Following instructions is AWESOME! 

*It is also good to note here that when you're purchasing a corset from either our etsy or artfire shops, we put a size range for a good reason. For instance, a 29-31 inch Corset will come completely closed on a snug 29 inch measurement (the corset itself measures 29 at the smallest point) and it will have a 2 inch gap on a 31 inch waist. If you like the look of a gap in the lacing, make sure that your waist measurement is on the higher end of the range. If you want the corset to completely close, you need to be the smallest number on the range. 

Now for the wrong ways..............

            First issue (above). Your bra size has NOTHING to do with your corset size. ESPECIALLY if you're wearing an old, stretched out, saggy bra. Your bra size is figured out my measuring your rib cage snugly, adding 4-5 inches to that number, and then measuring your actual breasts to see how many  inches bigger it is than your "band size". Yes, confusing. Honestly, fitting for corsets makes a LOT more sense!
             As a side note,   I know that there are lots of my customers who don't agree, but I don't believe in saggy breasts....at least not in having them in your normal, every day, wear. There are such AMAZING bras out there nowadays that I have a really hard time seeing women not taking advantage of the opportunity to "uplift" themselves. Go into a store at the mall like Victoria's Secret or Lane Bryant and get yourself measured, and then go and buy a GOOD bra. I have customers who have very perky H cups, because they spend good money on a good product. If you're wanting to get a corset from me, and you DON'T have a good bra already, please forego the corset and get a good bra first. A good bra will make you look thinner, younger, healthier, more sensual, and more hourglass shaped. If you need my  help with this, I'm glad to offer it. Body shaping is something that I'm VERY passionate about. We've all been blessed with incredible bodies that can do fascinating things (like reading blogs, beating hearts, and such.) and I LOVE the idea of showing your appreciation for your body by shaping it well, dressing it in flattering, respectable clothing, and putting it in posture-perfecting corsets. ;)

          If you like things to fit "loosely" all the time, I'm sorry, our corsets are just not a good option for you. However, if you like well-constructed, well-fitted structured garments that literally hold your body up, give you BETTER breathing capacity, (think about it. We're just squishing your waist, and most women are..uh...malleable in that area. We DO NOT compress up where the lungs are. That is a bad idea. Instead, we give you better posture for good air flow.) and pretty much change your life, then you want one of our corsets. When you give me a loose waist measurement, it doesn't mean that you'll get this corset that is made to fit your ribs and hips and your comfy waist. It just puts you up into the next size category, and then the hips flare out too largely and the rib cage is too loose. 

            Ladies, I just want you to look good. The craziest part about this corset (I see it SOO many times at festivals) is that it's MORE EXPENSIVE than my corsets. I looked at the prices online this morning and nearly blew a gasket. What the devil! I'm sure lots of you can attest to the difference between quality materials and a good pattern, compared to the cheaper lingerie stuff that makes you feel uglier.   *sigh*  Please, let me help you. I am BEGGING you.

            Last, but not least. Other corset companies have back-lacing corsets with modestly panels. They are just different animals than our front-lacing corset-bodice hybrid breeds. As such, the same rules DO NOT apply to both species. With a back lacing corset,  it's fine to have a good 7 inch gap with the lacings criss-crossing over that modesty panel of fabric on the curved shape of a back. With our front-lacing styles, they look great closed or with about a 2-3 inch gap at the most. The issue is that when you pull lacing tight against the soft flesh of your stomach, your skin will bulge on either side of the taut lacing. You can easily smooth this out by pulling your shirt underneath the corset very tightly downward.  There is a VERY good reason that I don't put the freaking modesty panels in my corsets, but I don't have time to launch into it here. Let me just say that, once again, with our front boning and patterns, it doesn't work.


  1. You crack me up, Michelle - this is awesome! I love your cartoons. They remind me a bit of Teen Girl Squad.

  2. Hilarious. You should start doing a blog as a side business, especially now that Hyperbole and a Half has left a huge market for awesome paint drawings unfulfilled

  3. Ashley, I seriously PRAY for the Hyperbole girl to be able to get back to blogging. I feel desperately sorry for her, but she is a great blessing to the internet!

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Allie Brosh, of Hyperbole and a Half, posted on her FB page a few months ago that she is still depressed, but that she hasn't disappeared completely. She is working through the depression issues, working on a book, and she will return to posting on HaaH. She and her boyfriend got engaged some time back, so that is good. Everyone, keep sending her your well-wishes!

  4. The best 5 minutes I've spent so far today. LOVE!!! You are seriously such a riot, and manage to be so while giving viable information. Brava.

  5. I had a blast reading this & knowing that I've had to deal with all the above when I measure people for corsets lol

  6. i love your cartoons, but maybe a real pic too so people can see just how bad the outcome can be? or better yet.....another Damsel youtube video?

  7. Hi! Thanks a lot for sharing the right technique to measure corsets. Wonderful share and nice tips shared about the dont's of measuring a corset. Really enjoyable blog post keep posting more like this. Cheers!

  8. Wonderful share and nice tips shared about the dont's of measuring a corset. Really enjoyable blog post keep posting more like this. Cheers! I feel desperately sorry for her, but she is a great blessing to the internet!

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