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.
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)