It’s been about two weeks now that I’ve been consistently wearing a Victorian corset for about 7+ hours per day. I’ve already learned so much about my body, the effects of the corset, and corsets in general (shape, boning materials, lacing). Here is my Week 2 Report…
Again With The Comfort
One of the days, this past week, I wore a vintage dress to an evening get-together, and opted for a waist-cincher-panty-girdle thing made by Rago. I really love my Rago corselette, but my WORD this waist-girdle thing was a torture device! I was so bloody uncomfortable, I couldn’t wait to get it off. Putting on the Victorian corset the next day felt so good in comparison!
Comfort is so important. I’ve been wearing my new mid-bust Victorian, and have learned that I need to keep the hips loose, as well as the rib cage, when I lace it. In the morning I will lace it up to wherever it is comfortable – most of the time that’s about 26.5″. It loosens throughout the day, and after a couple hours, I can lace it comfortably, but tightly, to 25.5 inches, but no more.
|The left side – spiral steels; the right side – zip ties|
I have two pressure points on the side fronts of the corset, at my lower ribs, that tell me loud and clear that I’m compressing my ribs, and that’s not a good thing. I used cable ties in this corset, which I love, but I have also ordered a selection of spiral steel bones for these “trouble spots. – on the left side in the photo (my right side), I’ve put the spirals, and on the right side (my left) are the zip ties. Already I can feel a massive difference in comfort, and I will definitely be using spiral steel in all of my corsets from now on.
|When it comes time to make this pattern up again, I will reduce the bust, and flare the hips more.|
I also ordered two corset patterns from Ageless Patterns, a company that provides *original* patterns found in antique women’s publications. I just received them, and I’m just itching to try the first one out – it has large hip gussets, as well as bust gussets, so I hope to be able to flare that hip in a dramatic way, but keep the bust small (The pattern is 36″ bust, 26″ waist, and is described as a short corset for a “fleshy woman.” Zonks!)
|Mocking up the 1869 “Fleshy Woman” corset. It’s complicated, short waisted, and too big for me, but that’s the point of a mockup!|
When I started this experiment, my goal was to reduce to 25 inches, and my extreme goal was to reduce to 24 inches. I’m not all that interested in that anymore – 25 inches would be nice, but I’m really very happy with 26. Going back to the ideal Victorian proportions, with a 10 inch difference between bust and waist, I think I shall much prefer an easy reduction to 26 inches at the waist in combination with even easier increase to 36 inches at the bust, rather than a reduction to 24 inches at the waist only. Yay for stuffies, and historically accurate at that!
Getting Used to It
So much of this seems to be just that – you get used to how a tight garment like this feels to wear. I’m always aware of it, but it doesn’t bug me. I’m *really* aware of it when I take it off. I miss it, and it feels good to put it on again, rather than like a chore.
I definitely stand up straighter when not wearing the corset. My muscles have *not* atrophied, and I don’t collapse in a heap of goo when I take the corset off. On the contrary: my body has been upright through the abdomen all day long, and continues, at least for a awhile, to hold itself in that position. That in itself makes one look more svelte!