Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Corsetry: My first Foray

I love bras, underwear is pretty cute. And I am fascinated by corsets. I am slowly getting into sewing, learning, and the craftsmanship of corsets is beautiful. They are frequently like wearable works of art. They are neat, graceful, beautiful. The sewing has opened my eyes to how complex and difficult bras are, much more so corsets (I am making but a simple sun dress ATM).

I have been stalking the corset blogs of Bishonenrancher on YouTube and her website, lapping up information and exposure like a parched desert traveler (swooooon). So saying, I have no money to get a corset quite yet, and little occasion to wear one. Also, I would probably wait until 21, to be utterly sure my bones are fully formed, which means that buying my own corset is not looking likely.

So saying, I tried on three different corsets by Gallery Serpentine (one of the VERY few corset bands in Australia) this week, in two different locations, which is something I have been dying to do, and more on that after a little more information.

I cannot put my finger on exactly why I like corsets. It is not because they are restrictive, binding and incapacitating. I am not advocating pain, or tight lacing, just wearing a corset for fashion, a couple of times a week or month, for a few hours, at mild reduction. In this fashion, they are tight, secure, comfortable.

I do not think that wearing a corset in this context contravenes all my feminist ideals. I mean, I am going through a phase of liberating myself from the patriarchal and constraining ideals by which I dress myself (religion, not going into it just now), and the corset is not just another snare, it's a choice, for aesthetic reasons, for the love.

Hell, I don't even think the waist reduction is that necessary for me. I have a semi-proportional figure, with a vague waist. I don't wear vintage dresses. But sometimes, that reduction looks cool, it reminds me of the mum in Mary Poppins, all merry and shocking, or Susan B Anthony, or Betty Brosmer.

And without further ado:

I tried this on at Supernova earlier this week. Supernova is a huge expo of geek culture, and among the stalls there, I found this steelboned, high-rising underbust corset by Gallery Serpentine. It was 22 inches, offering at most a 4 inch reduction from my stomach at it's very fullest and most bloated, but realistically my waist is 24-25 inches, so it was a little big. It felt secure and tight, offered a gentle reduction that looked more like sculpting, because even though I may have had internal reduction, the bulk of the corset sort of offset that. It was a great introduction to corsetting (my first time ever), but I don't think the lady was super-knowledgable, or she would have put me in a 20". Also, note my dress. Its new. I was watching that baby since the beginning of the year, when it was $100 dollars, and now it was $25, last one left, in my size. Yeah!

I then went to the actual Gallery Serpentine shop today, with a friend. The steampunk stuff in that shop is epic, all the victoriana, bustles, glitz. The lady was helpful, and helped me into two 20" corsets. They felt much tighter, and a little uncomfortable. The lady laced me with about an inch difference between the two sides, so my internal waist measurement was 21". It looked a little extreme, like PULL ME TIGHTER ETHEL AGGGHHHHHH, but looked so, so cool! I look so lithe, epic and vampy. I especially like the Alice in Wonderland one. The overbust doesn't do it for me as much, because I am not really in search of smooshed up cleavage that would come in a more flat-chested corset. So saying, laced as I was, evenly, with a 1 inch gap, there wasn't much pressure on my bust, it was held, and looked and felt fine. I just like underbust more. 

Xoxoxo Princess.

PS: Next time I will talk about how I hate changing sizes, a store review, and an article on Modesty (Ughh, how I hate that dastardly word)

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