Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Infrequently Asked Questions

These are picked from facebook, and hopefully the answers satisfy!

Q:What kind of corset looks best on someone with larger hips/belly and smaller chest? Underbusts, well, ride up and flatten, but overbusts are usually way too big on top, even with a padded undergarment.

A: Sorry, but underbusts are THE CLEAR answer here. Always wear a good bra with a snug band and lots of padding on the underside, no matter WHAT size you are. I think girls with H cups should still wear a bit of padding on the underside of their breasts. I'll have to do a whole entire blog on this, I'm so passionate.  It's not about being bigger,  it's about shaping and proper cleavage.

Q:What is the weirdest compliment you've gotten?
Ever have odd commission requests?

A: I THINK it's a compliment, but it's always REALLY odd when women come up to me,
squeeze my breasts with both of their hands, and ask if they're real. What the HECK, ladies. 

As far as odd commissions, I've gotten requests from male Britney Spears impersonators, as 

well as one woman who was 6 months pregnant...with TWINS, and wanted a corset for 

Halloween. I kept asking her to remeasure herself because her waist seemed so differ-

ent from her chest. I finally figured out why.... *sigh*

Q:What is the perfect sized woman?  

A: Why the heck not? I'll just offend every woman out there. My favorite body shape, for me personally, is this one right here. Everyone is SOOO different on this. I think the most important thing to point out is that EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN TASTE! The media constantly wants to shove unattainable, impossibly body images into our brains, and we'll never be satisfied with ourselves. Ever.  My sister-in-law, Jill has pretty much my favorite body shape, but she's trying to lose weight all the time, even though my brother thinks she's hot (something we have in common, Toby! Woo!)  I HONESTLY do meet men who prefer curvier girls, and there are guys who will only date tiny ones. It just proves that there is not ONE type that is attractive. I MOSTLY like it when women have bodies that they can be proud of. That shines through as more attractive than anything else ever possibly could! 

Q:"What is the best comfort food for a fabulous corsetier on the go?"

A: At our last festival, we ate the crap out of the Tillamook mini cheeses. I like things that make me feel light, because HOLY CRAP, you can feel EVERYTHING you eat when you're wearing a tight corset!! I drink tons of water, and I never eat carbs when I'm in a corset. Once again,  it's the heavy feeling. Kicks my bum.

Q:I would want to know the best/least damaging ways to wash all my lovely Damsel gear.

A: I got MANY versions of this question. I want you guys to know that I FINALLY got "care and feeding of your corset" cards printed out, and we'll be sending them out with every package and handing them out to all of our customers at festivals.   The basics are

Q: Why can't I tell when I'm hungry or not when wearing a corset? I end up eating too much and not feeling full. I think this is weird! Shouldn't it be the opposite??

A: HOLY JUNK! I know, isn't this a FREAKY thing? I can't EVER tell when I'm  hungry, and I"ll go the whole stupid day without eating, which I NEVER do. I'm pretty much obcessed with food, and think about it all the dang time.   When I DO eat, I'm the same. I eat too much, but I can't feel a thing. I think corsets are such a different physical thing than we're used to, that our minds concentrate on how they feel compressing our bodies, and we just can't feel our stomachs and their needs. The other freaky thing?  You CANNOT shiver in a corset. When you get cold, your natural body response is to shiver, get the blood flowing, burn calories, and warm yourself up with movement. In a corset...you can't. Soooo ODD. 

Q: If you had to choose between Edward and Jacob.. which one would you kill first?

A: I would tie them both up and make them do glowing reviews of my corsets for advertisement. Hey, I'm a business woman. 

Q:What celebrity would look best/ would you like to see in one of your corsets?

A:Jennifer Ehle is IMPOSSIBLY beautiful! She has my favorite face of any human being. 

Q: what's the easiest way to pee in full garb and/or how do I get my undies/nylons/shorts back up under there?

A:Honestly, I just need to write a WHOLE ENTIRE POST on going to the bathroom in corsets. Ladies, please for the love of everything good and decent, just LOOSEN THE LACES! When you tie them so the bow is at the bottom, you can just loose the very bottom, so that you can sit down on the dang toilet and reach...uh...your "hootinanny".  Do your business, tuck everything back up, hobble out to the mirror, and pull the laces tight again. They don't need to completely unlace, just LOOSEN. If I need to make a freaking video, I will!!!  Don't think I WON'T!   *Oh, also, this is another great thing about front-lacing corsets. You actually CAN do it. 

Q: You have 1 hour in the most glorious fabric warehouse in the world. You have a map that tells you where things are. At the end, you can take out whatever you can carry, regardless of price, absolutely free, but you MUST craft with it FOR YOURSELF. What do you prioritize, and what do you make?

A: If I could just find a freaking freaking FREAKING solid black and white striped jacquard with the correct thickness for corsets, that's all I ever need. I've been looking for...only...9 years, and I've never been able to find the correct thickness, in a basic stripe, for a good price, wholesale.  I know, how boring. It's just that I get the question for this fabric all the time, and the answer is eternally "No". 

Q:  Is it possible to make a corset that makes a tummy look flatter?

A:There is NO way that the dear lady who posted this question has EVER worn one of our corsets. That's the whole point. Instant flat tummy.  I mean, your tummy will be UNDER the corset....there's no way for me to make a cropped corset that will automatically flatten your tummy....but wouldn't that be great? 

Q:true or false? ladies with a shorter frame do better with a combo of underbust corset and separate piece on the top

A: It would solve ALL of my problems if women were more willing to go the two-piece corset route. It's soooo much easier to fit these, just because women are so drastically different from top the bottom. However, selling people on the concept and educating them is very  hard.  Most women just want one dang thing to lace on, and I understand! 

Q:  my rib cage is prominent and sometimes when I cinch down my corset it rubs my pokey-outie rib (regardless of how much weight I do or don't have at the time) and sometimes my hip bone. should I wear a thicker material for my undergarment or pad with some soft, resilient thing like a plug of wool or what?

A: So, I have a MASSIVE rib cage, and I've spent years smashing it down with corsets. My ribs are bruised after every show, and tender for about a week after.  My ribs just simply flare out at the very bottom and get rubbed against all day. I wish I had an answer for you here. Softer boning would help, but it would also bow out when you sat down, make your belly not as flat, and ...just....not be as..uh...goodish?   Sorry, I have no answers here. 


  1. In response to the first question: Have you considered making smaller cup overbust corsets? Rather than suggest smaller women buy only underbusts, why not cater to them as you do with the larger chested girls? It's not the body type that's the problem; it's the product.
    (Not to mention, I'm sure you'd get more sales if you tried it!)

  2. She has in the past done a whole ton of custom corsets. In fact she will take your exact measurements when you order a custom corset from her. Just because her off the rack corsets don't fit ever single person like a glove is not a huge deal. Did you know a majority of off the rack casual clothes were meant to be later tailored for a better fit? I have yet to find an off the rack garment that fits me like a custom made or tailored piece. I have to make my own clothes frequently or perform surgery on off the rack garments because they generally aren't made in a size that fits me well. The difference is she actually makes a quality item. If it fits you off the rack, what a fantastic break for you. If not, you may have to chip in a bit more for one made to actually fit you.

    She offers custom tailoring on her ready to ship items for a small delay and a reasonable fee. She does go out of her way to try, and try to make a more functional universal corset, but it is a quest that cannot fill her every moment, or she'd not have any stock to sell. Please don't look at this so absolutely. She is working on so many things, and offering what she feels is the answer. certainly not the only answer, but the one she herself offers to everyone: Get a good foundation piece, then the durable and quality body sculpting corset can have optimum effect.

    1. I'm aware of her services. But her current off the rack offerings seem to benefit the larger cup girls more often than not. Perhaps it's a pattern issue but I'm just wondering why she's never tried to cater to the smaller cup girls as well.

      There's no such thing as a "universal corset" everyone is different. (Especially in cup sizes!) It's impossible to cater to everyone with a universal corset so if she really wants to create one of those she will have to pick a body type. (Which is the issue I'm addressing here. It seems that she has picked one...) For something like corsets the better business model would be to strive to create corsets for different body types rather than "that one magical universal corset".

    2. Anonymous, I think it's probably just one of the limitations of having a small business. Michelle's pieces go through many alterations and tweaks to get to the point of being flattering for a majority of her customers. From a small business perspective, it would be really nice to offer more off the rack variations to cater to all customers and potential customers, but also very expensive and unrealistic. I think she's done a marvelous job of making pieces that work together for those of us that don't fit into the ready to wear sizes so nicely; at least we still have options other than custom work.

      I have several of Michelle's off the rack corsets and I have to kindly disagree with your statement about one body type. The different corset models seem to each fit a little differently on me and I can honestly say that some styles are more flattering on me than others, and more comfortable too. I think this is one of those things where it really helps to be able to attend an event and try things on before purchasing if one doesn't want to go the custom route. I will be going custom for my next corset because I want an aurora and I want it to fit well (and I currently don't fit into the sizing on the ready to wear pieces as well as I'd like to).

    3. I also disagree - I can't get her off-the-rack overbusts because if I fit my waist, the bust is too small (I'm a 30" waist and a 43" bust). True story.

  3. Hmmm...Anonymous, have you tried on any overbust corsets in my shop in about the last two years? I made the "cup sizes" smaller, and they have been working a lot better. It actually ends up cutting out chesty girls more often, and now I've gone to the other end of the spectrum where I get complaints about not enough "coverage" cup-wise. I thought about doing more of a bra-size setup, but the funny thing is that I've gotten "professional fittings" at lots of different bra shops, and they all come up with COMPLETELY different sizes. It's not only that lots of women are wearing the wrong size, but the workers tell them something incorrect as well! I saw two Victoria's Secret ladies get in a snippy little quarrel over the cup size of my friend, right in the store. Thus...having ladies tell me their bra size would be a horrible mistake.
    Believe me, I'm worrying myself sick and trying my guts out to please the customers, but in the end, it will only hurt me, because it's literally impossibly to have something there for everyone..or even try to create whole entire lines with the size selection, the color selection, and the style selection for both smaller and bigger chests.

    1. I just ran into this the other day via Epbot:
      Read the entirety of the third post down, which is by "MyWifesBusty."

      I really love the corset I got from you a couple years ago, but I did not have the good experience with Victoria's Secret that you seem to have had in the past. This thread has been a great help to me and my understanding of bras.

  4. OH, and THANK YOU, Kimberly and Cindy Lou! You answered WAY better than I could have, and you did it in a kindly and professional manner! ;)

  5. P.S. At lots of our shows, we have tiny little 6 foot wide spaces, and we LITERALLY can carry only two styles of corsets, so even if I did design a crazy load of bodices that would only work for smaller chested women, I still wouldn't even be able to have them at the shop. I've had people suggest that I just bring "one" of the styles, so people can just try it....I'm sure you can see the problems with that.

  6. Combining the eating/peeing questions, I also find it bizarre that I go from feeling totally normal to having to pee RIGHT THIS SECOND in a corset! Haha

    And I am a strong advocate for the separate top/bottom corset pieces, for the record. I think if more ladies tried it they'd jump right on that bandwagon! Plus it allows for more mixing and matching...can't beat that!

  7. You know, Anonymous, I've been thinking a lot about what you said, and hopefully I didn't come off as defensive, and just telling you that you were wrong. You obviously would think that you are right and that I'm wrong. I definitely get your point of view. You're sitting here thinking, "This idiot woman only caters to one type of body, she doesn't know what she's doing, and if she would only change ONE thing, it would be so smart!"
    I understand. Lots of times I criticize other companies, thinking the exact same type of things. "Why can't they JUST!!!?? These people can't see what's right in front of them!!!"

    Once again, I understand, and I promise, I'll try to think about your very valid point of view, and your concerns. I've had ladies tell me to carry both shorter versions and longer versions of all of my corsets, I've had suggestions for carrying both reversible and non-reversible. Women want me to carry both front lacing, side lacing, and back lacing corsets.

    I try to take their suggestions as best as I possibly can, but in the end, I truly am limited and I just have to do my best. I can ASSURE you, I give 110% of myself doing this every day, but goodness knows, there is always room for improvement! Thanks for the criticisms!

  8. Reading the bruised rib response made me think of another similiar question: the tops of my ribs right at my bra are always so sore and bruised after wearing an underbust corset (not sure about an overbust as I don't have any). I am very short wasted; is it that the standard corsets are too long for my body despite being the right size for my waist? Is there any style of underbust that is better for short wasted gals?

    Thank you for any advice!!

    1. Our Wench corsets generally do better, because they're 3 inches shorter on the sides and back. I've thought about making shorter versions of my corsets, but it would involve ordering MASSIVE bulk of shorter fiberglass rods (We have to make orders with minimums of $2000, and they all have to be cut the same...EEk.) Also, I hesitate to make shorter corsets because it might make your body look...well...shorter. The only other thing I might suggest is making sure that your bra band is a tighter one than you normally wear. This helps more than you might think!

  9. Looking forward to your blog post on dressing us smaller-chested ladies! Thanks for answering my question!

    I have a Vixen that fits beautifully around my waist (about an inch expansion when laced tightly), but I am constantly pulling it down on my hips as it wants to ride up off of them, and I don't have enough in the chest to hold it down.

    Gotta love the pear shape!

    1. OH, yikes! I meant I was going to do a blog post on bras! For your corset, my best advice would be to send it in and just have the rib cage taken in. It also sounds like it might just simply be too loose?

  10. Regarding your comment of fabric not being the right thickness, what *is* the right thickness? I've also seen different shops advertise that they use X many layers, or such-and-such weight of interfacing in their corsets. Can you make up for flimsy top fabric with robust interfacing? Is there a difference? Which is better?

  11. Ha! Shannon, I can answer that one. She sometimes has thinner fabric that she has to back with a thicker fabric. I've seen her do custom jobs with it, and also some of the Halloween ones (Barbie, comes to mind) had to have a layer glued and sewed. I know she says they are a pain in the buttox, and I'm sure they are!

    I have many of the ones she doesn't need to glue and layer, and one of the glue/layer one.... I personally see no difference, but the ones that aren't glued and layered - for me, tend to look better - maybe its because I like the upholstery fabric that she uses better....

    1. Thanks anon! I'm new to corsets, I never knew there was so much variation! With so many different options and methods of construction, it's hard for a newbie to know what makes a great corset, you know?

  12. We have large amount of corsets for sale. Every year, as Valentines day approaches, people scramble left, right and center to secure that perfect gift for their loved ones and regularly have no idea where to start, what to buy, what not to offend him or her with and how to make the right statement without seeming too over the top. in this type of situation being with us cause we have corsets for sale.....

    1. Ouch. Probably the best place to advertise your wares is not on a site that has 10x better wares than you advertise.

  13. thank you for answering my pee question, i see so many women fighting to try and get their skirts and undies back up under their corsets (especially in the hot blue liquid box of death otherwise known as a portapotty) and when i say just loosen it a little they look at me funny. now i know i'm not the crazy one.

    as for the bruising, i get bruising from the rods, my underwires, and on my pelvis (this may be from all the random cool stuff (junk) i hang from my belts, although i swear i always need all of it by the end of a faire) and have started laying a sock inside my nylons over each of my pelvic bones, and putting a large cosmetic wedge under my bra band on each side where i bruise from the rods. once the corset is laced it holds them in place, but your bra band has to be very tight for this to work. some of my bras look great with clothes but do funny things with a corset on, i often take a corset bra shopping with me now and don't get me started on trying to find 30DD bras for my stupid child sized rib cage. no one ever told my body to grow up and join the world of misses sizing. trying not to look like mutton dressed as lamb or better yet, like a grown up when you are junior sized and 31 is a nightmare. if i go to the misses section all the waistbands of pants come up to my bra, and tank top sleeve holes go down to my navel. always looks like i'm playing dressup in someone elses clothes.

    as for me, before i do a custom order (and my custom pieces are amazing) i try on the style at a faire and decide if an "off the rack" version will work for me (some do) or if i need some tweaking, because i have an odd body. while i love love love the buccaneer, it just never worked with my boobs, the points always ended up looking like palm fronds sticking out and i had no boob support, the damsel gave me an odd four boob effect, but the courtier does amazing things for my boobs and i just tried on the aurora and while i really like what it does for me, i've decided to have a custom one made so it's like a glove with a little extra side boob support.

    this is the beauty of having a company so devoted to it's customers. no one can please everyone in a tiny booth, but their are options if you can handle being patient and paying more for something that is made just for you, there is something so incredible in that. i think about it like buying jeans. sometimes i will try on 30+ pairs of jeans and walk out of the store with a pair of black yoga pants while fighting tears and heading straight for a bag of salt and vinegar chips or a drive through for fries. (my weakness is salty taters btw) don't even get me started on swim suit shopping; for some strange reason one pieces are always too long (think droopy diaper), and i seem to be the only one who wants all of my butt covered by fabric anymore. (hmmmm.... maybe people should think about two piece corset sets like mix and match swim suit sizing......) back to jeans, even when i do find that holy grail pair, and proceed to buy 4 of the same style, i usually still have to have them hemmed, and sometimes have the waist band taken in, because just like i don't like having the bottom of my butt hang out of a swimsuit, i hate having the top of my butt hang out of my jeans when i bend or sit. jeans are mass produced and factory made, yet they still don't offer a perfect fit for every body type. i hope i live to see the day when i can walk in some tube that will instantly give me jeans that fit, but in the mean time i surrender to trying on pair after pair and having them altered for me, and you should think of buying a corset the same way. cheap-o-zip-tie-boned corsets that are factory made and as flimsy as the price companies certainly don't offer alterations and custom orders.

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