Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How I Wear My Corset (aka, Everday Corset Looks!)

Wow, it's hard to believe it's been a year and a half since my post on wearing an "every day" corset!


That post generated a lot of interest at the time, so I thought I might do a little update for you guys. I'll include some shopping links, what I've learned since, and even a few of my favorite corset outfit selfies, just to give you an idea of how to wear one without looking like you came from a Ren Fair.

First up, yes, I still wear a corset regularly, averaging about a week to ten days of every month, for around 8-10 hours a day.  I try to put it on as soon as I feel the first tell-tale ache of impending uterine jerkiness, and it never fails to reduce (or eliminate almost entirely) my menstrual pain. Once or twice I've even staggered out of bed in the middle of the night to lace one on, the pain was so great, and was astounded to find a corset helps even when I'm in a full-on Cramp Fest O' Agony.

 

Beyond mere pain control, there are days when I just feel like wearing a corset. I can't explain why, but some days I crave the supportive swaddling of it, and - knock on wood - it doesn't cause my anxiety to spike anymore. (Initially there was a mild "trapped" feeling that triggered my agoraphobia.)

Some anxiety sufferers claim a corset feels like a comforting hug, and I'm *almost* to the point where I understand what they mean, but I've still never felt any calmer wearing one. More comfortable, yes, but calmer, no.

Of course corsets make you look better, shape-wise, but that's never been my motivation in wearing one. I wear it because it feels nice, and 95% of the time, the only ones who see me in these outfits are John and the cats.

Now, let's talk BUYING corsets.


My all-time favorite is still the one I mentioned a year and a half ago: this simple black underbust from Orchard Corset:


It's only $60 (less if you use a coupon code), good quality, and incredibly comfortable. And I'm not getting anything for saying that, promise.

I've since ordered a second of the exact same style in the next smaller size, since I'm able to comfortably lace up much tighter these days. The second one is made from a different material than my first: it feels sturdier and less soft - like a strong canvas compared to a soft brushed twill. Other than that the fit is the same, though, and I still highly recommend it for first-time corset wearers.

I also have this white mesh corset for wearing UNDER my clothes:

I got mine from TrueCorset, though there are plenty of sites that have similar mesh styles. It's listed at $85, though I remember getting mine on sale for more like $70.

The mesh is extremely comfy, and wearing it under your clothes is a nice option if you don't want to advertise that you're wearing a corset.

Here are two outfits with me wearing that one:

Belt? No belt?

(This is my Dapper Day dress, btw.)

The corset is fairly smooth and seamless from the front, but the lacing still causes a bump in the lower back, even with the laces tucked under. A cardigan or over-shirt can help hide that.


I know I said I don't wear a corset for vanity's sake, but this is my favorite outfit on me in recent memory, and I definitely can NOT pull it off without the corset. Being tightly held in lets me wear slinkier stretch fabrics that would otherwise show all my bumps and rolls. (In fact, any of you who've met me in person know I don't look this thin IRL. It's not photoshop; just a corset and a good camera angle.)

That said, there are drawbacks to wearing a corset under your clothes:

First, you can't wear a quality corset against your bare skin, so for those outfits I'm wearing a thin tank top, then the corset, THEN the dress. That's a lot of layers, especially in Florida.

The second drawback to a corset-under-your-clothes is it's impossible to remove quickly or inconspicuously. Again, this may only be an issue for fellow agoraphobics, but I like to know I can get out of a corset anytime I want to, especially out in public.

My fourth and final corset is a custom brown suede underbust from Meschantes Corsetry on Etsy. I highly recommend these guys; their prices are insanely reasonable, with custom underbusts (meaning it's made to the exact measurements you send in) starting at just $160. There are tons of styles and fabrics to choose from on their website, too.


That said, I think I was too ambitious with the amount of waist reduction I asked for, because the hourglass shaping on mine is a little too severe for me to wear comfortably. Here's a less flattering shot to show you what I mean:


See how the waist nips in, while the top and bottom edges aren't very snug? (If not, just take my word for it. ;)) That's because the steel hourglass boning requires my waist to be smaller than I can tolerate; I'm built less like an hour glass and more like a tree trunk. Heh. If I wear an extra full skirt to pad out the bottom it looks ok, but otherwise the hip flare especially sticks out too far, which looks odd.

Again, totally my fault, since this was made to the measurements I sent in. It's still beautifully made and feels very high quality, so at some point I may try again with adjusted measurements.

So, as it stands, I wear my two black corsets most of the time. They go with almost everything, and dress up even the cheapest t-shirt dresses:


I have managed to wear a corset with jeans a few times, but dresses or skirts are easier and more comfortable, since you have to tuck the jeans underneath the bottom edge. (Or, if you want to make John bust a gut laughing, try buttoning the jeans OVER the corset.)

I know you can't see my feet in most of these, but I'm wearing either colorful Chucks or flat boots. I'm not really a heels girl anymore.

Which reminds me: let's talk safety.

When I wear my corset for 3+ days in a row I sometimes feel like my spine is less than happy, and so try to schedule my monthly chiropractic visit soon after. Just wearing it for a day every now and then, though? No problem. So use your best judgement, peeps, and pay attention to your body in a corset. If it ever starts to feel bad in any way, take the thing off. Also, never lace it so tightly that you can't fully expand your diaphragm with a deep breath. I trust none of you are interested in body modding or everyday tight-lacing, so this is really just common sense.

The corset barely restricts my movement at all; I can still tie my shoes, pick up Lily, and even comfortably walk on the treadmill desk. Funnily enough the only hard part is sitting on the couch - although now I know why antique furniture is so uncomfortable! You need a firm back and short seat with a corset, to support your torso. Otherwise you'll kind of topple over on a soft seat. No biggie, though; I just use a bunch of throw pillows behind my lower back.

It can be tempting to let the corset do your core muscles' work for you, and kind of slump forward onto it. Don't do that. Remember to pull your shoulders back, and check your posture every now and then. The corset will actually help you sit up straighter, which is a nice benefit, but make sure your neck angle isn't wonky, and try not to cross your legs when seated.



I do NOT recommend sleeping in your corset. (You may laugh, but people do it!) That said... I have slept in mine. Only two or three times, though, and only because my menstrual pain wouldn't allow me to sleep any other way. It's not comfortable, and your torso will feel the funkiest of funks when you wake up, but other than that I don't know of any health risks. So, again, use your best judgement.

 I like this one for the color-blocking, and because the stiff skirt poofs out without a petticoat. 
John likes it for... other reasons. In fact, I think this is his favorite. ;)


Eagle-eyed corset aficionados may notice that I don't tie my corset laces correctly. You're supposed to tuck all the excess up and under the criss-cross lacing in back. This can require a circus-act level of contortionism, though, and results in bumpy laces being smashed up against your lower spine. Blurg. So instead I do it the big No-No way, and tie the excess lacing around my waist. LIKE A REBEL.

Fortunately the black-on-black lacing barely shows.

Last selfie, and another new favorite dress:

I love this green! Why don't they make more emerald green dresses?


Well, I think that's everything, so you guys will have to tell me what I missed. Any questions? Hit me up in the comments, and I'll do my best, yo. I'm no expert by any stretch, but I can at least tell you about my own experiences.

And finally, for just about everything you could ever want to know about corsets, head over to Lucy's Corsetry's youtube channel. Lucy is a wellspring of information, with plenty of FAQs and guides for newbies. She also has zillions of video reviews, so be prepared to lose some serious time!

79 comments:

  1. I, too, am a sufferer of terrible periods and compression helps SO, SO, SO much for me. When I was younger, I'd wear crazy tight pants (especially denim because it really holds its shape) but now I've started using a corset/back brace which is a godsend! It's designed for postpartum (or just lousy backs) and the one that I got from Amazon for around $20 comes with 3 pieces -- each one has a lot of stretch to it and also has these extra "belts" sewn in that stretch and attach where ever you want them. I can't describe it correctly but those extra belt pieces are what really make it great. I can wear the corset part as tight as I want and as low as I want and then snug it up extra with the side pieces. But since it's designed for post-partum it actually goes low and I can get the compression to my uterus area (which a regular corset doesn't really do for me - they usually don't lace/tighten low enough below my hip bones to be effective). It's super bulky so I mainly wear mine around the house, over my clothes, but it helps SO much. And bonus, it keeps my posture better which helps overall after sitting at a desk all day. :) I don't wear it 24/7 but I probably wear it 10+ hours/day when I'm suffering my womanly terrors and sometimes even to sleep in.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T2WBJJ8

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    1. Oooh, I'm going to check this out! I'm short-waisted, so I can usually tug my corset a little lower on bad days, but this might be a nice second option.

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    2. I used to work for Motherhood Maternity and they have "belly belts" that are similar to that, but different sizes. It goes from your lower back around to lower stomach and then can pull the sides tighter. It's basically just a giant piece of elastic but everyone always loved it when I recommended it. Might be something to try on lighter days.

      http://www.motherhood.com/maternity/support-belts-and-shapers.asp

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    3. Meant to add more: it helps support both the back and the belly. And it wouldn't be as bulky/noticeable if you didn't want it to. (The smaller ones go under the clothes) Although I think your outfits are all adorable. :)

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    4. I was going to comment and ask if you had tried a back brace type belt. Several coworkers wear them for support and since they are Velcro they are easier to hide under clothes than lacing ties. Plus easily adjustable or removable.

      And I've met you IRL, and I don't remember you not looking thin. In fact I thought you were just lovely

      De

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    5. I was going to comment and ask if you had tried a back brace type belt. Several coworkers wear them for support and since they are Velcro they are easier to hide under clothes than lacing ties. Plus easily adjustable or removable.

      And I've met you IRL, and I don't remember you not looking thin. In fact I thought you were just lovely

      De

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  2. I know the problem with the lace bulk in the back. I solved the problem with wrapping the lace around my waste before tying a simple knot. That keeps it fairly unbulky.

    Thanks for reminding me about my corset! It's been sitting in the closet for ages (after giving it up for a while due to recommendation of my osteopath). Since I am now regularly working out and especially training my back muscles I think it might be safe again to wear it :)

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    1. Hi there. With the risk of sounding patronising or maybe preachy, can I suggest that you don't wrap your laces around your waist - this rubs on the fabric of your corset and your corset will not last as long as it otherwise would.

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    2. Hm, I haven't noticed anything like that... I'll have to check when I'm not wearing it. Never thought about that, thanks for the hint!

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    3. Ok, so I have checked my corset for any sort of abrasion and I found none-so-ever. I even wear my corset for swing dancing and do a lot of twisting and turning in it. I just checked in front of my mirror, doing some twisting. The corset isn't moving with the twisting so the laces stay put once tied around. I usually tighten my laces and tie a knot before losely wrapping the laces around my waste to get them out of the way. Of course if one would pull on the laces to tighten the corset while having the lace wrapped around oneself that would cause some destruction to the fabric so I wouldn't suggest that - but I guess that's kind of obvious anyway...

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  3. I wish I'd known about corsets back in the days I still had the painful girl parts; I'll bet this would have made a HUGE difference.

    And not for nothing, Jen, but in addition to looking just lovely in those outfits (and I realize I'm about to repeat myself from previous comments), you have THE most magnificent head of hair. Every time you post a picture of yourself, I am absolutely faint with the envy.

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    1. Right?! Lourve that hair. Super jelly.

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    2. Agreed. That was the first thing I noticed in the first pictures. "ooh, I like that style. look at those lovely waves!"

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  4. maybe a dumb question, but for the under-bust corsets would you just wear a standard bra with it?

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    1. Yep! The corset helps push the girls up, which can take some of the strain off your shoulder straps.

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  5. RE: terrible period pain- have you looked into menstrual cups?? A LOT of people who use them (including me!) report drastically reduced period pain. And there are disposable Instead cups for less yuck factor.
    Ok, back to corsets. How do you do with the heat in Florida, though?? I was going to start using a corset when I lived up north, as soon as the fall hit. But an unexpected move to FL actually (HI!) and..... I really don't think I could stand do wear one (or two? undershirt?) more layers. I think I'd pass out. Is it an acclimation thing?
    PS you look awesome and adorable in your corsets!:)
    Much love:)

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    1. I used a Diva cup before my endometrial ablation, but I don't recall it helping with the pain - it was just a lot better than pads or tampons. Since the ablation I don't really bleed, though, so there's no need for anything but thin liners. (Now if only the ablation took care of all the OTHER symptoms!)

      Regarding the heat issue, keep in mind I don't leave the house much, and also have a thyroid condition. :D So in the A/C, it's fine, and if you wear it over a dress that's only one extra layer around your torso.

      The mesh corset breathes more, but having a liner under it definitely cancels out the cooling factor. Sooo, yeah, corsets *outdoors* in FL are definitely not my first choice. If you're just out running errands, though, and going from one cool place to another, it's no problem. The only time I was mildly miserable was when I wore it to Disney for the day in September. :)

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    2. I was totally going to suggest menstrual cups! But now I see that 1.) you already knew about them, hooray! and 2.) don't really need it anymore. Lucky you! Definitely glad your corsets are helpful where you do need something, though! :D

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  6. why aren't you supposed to tie the excess laces around your waist?

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    1. I've read it causes wear on your corset - I'm guessing from the friction as you move around. [shrug] MEH.

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  7. Oh, I love, love, love your Dapper Days dress! You look fab in every outfit, Jen! And I agree, MOAR emerald green dresses, please!! (But not a real green dress, that's cruel.) :-)

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    1. I, and BNL, love you Meg!

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    2. And all the fanciest DIJON ketchups!!

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    3. They have pre-wrapped sausages, but they don't have pre-wrapped bacon. Can I blame them? Well, yeah!

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  8. Have you thought about trying one of the corsets with the heavy duty zipper in place of the hooks and eyes to help with the desire to be able to remove it quickly? I have a terrible time trying to wear my corsets with regular clothes. Despite being underbust corsets that are the appropriate length for my torso and taking care not to lace too tight I always feel like my chest is trying to creep up and smoother me.

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    1. I've never tried a zippered one, no; so long as the corset is outside my clothes, I feel like I can loosen/remove it pretty quickly. It's only when it's buried under a dress and overshirt that I get a little antsy, since I'd have to pretty much strip to get the thing off. ;)

      You sound like me when I first started wearing one; I kept over-focusing on my ability to take super deep breaths. The only advice I can give is to wear it for very short periods, loosely laced, and only when you feel up to it. Never push yourself. Eventually you may find you enjoy the compression. (Or not, and that's ok, too!)

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    2. A bit late, I didn't see this post til now, but I can give a weird lil tidbit about breathing easier. You can actually take a much more full breath in a corset if you learn to 'breathe from your chest'. It just takes a bit of thought at first but becomes second nature very quickly. You're sort of expanding your diaphragm up instead of out, so your upper chest expands out and your stomach slightly sucks in (instead of the opposite with normal breathing). I learned this when working at a living history museum. Its actually how women handled being in corsets back in the day, to the extent that doctors used to think it was caused by an actual medical difference between men and women, rather than just underwear!

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  9. Random latching on to the last bit here --- they don't make as many green clothes as they do of other colors because green dye was poisonous to seamstresses in the 1800's, and as such there's still a superstition against using green in fashion among seamstresses. There's some really excellent articles about it actually if you want to nerd out on some fashion history.

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    1. Oh, wow, had never heard that! I remember several years back Pantone picked a bright green as Color of the Year, and I got all excited, thinking there'd be scores of lovely green clothes hitting racks soon.... but NADA. I was crushed, I tell you. CRUSHED.

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    2. In times before modern chemicals, green dye was 'fixed' with arsenic. When fabric got damp or wet, the arsenic was released and people were poisoned. (sorry, it's the costume trivia in me coming out) Green is still one of the more difficult colors to keep pure, even with modern technology. But it is one of my favorite color too!

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    3. I would love to read more about this!
      Green is by far my favourite colour and especially emerald green. I never knew this...
      I do wish there were more green clothes around.

      Rachel

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    4. More on the toxicity of arsenic-based emerald green. It was known by some to be toxic as early as 1822, but it wasn't banned entirely until the 1960's.

      https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/emerald-green-or-paris-green-the-deadly-regency-paint/

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    5. Oooh. Arsenic. Arsenic tinted wall-paper was blamed for infant/child/nanny/governess deaths in the late 19th Century. [It was also blamed for Napoleon, but forensics have ruled this out] The "seen not heard" adage wasn't exactly the rule - parents wanted to pretend they0 didn't exist. [What we consider child cruelty was also fashionable - it built character and moral nature...] So, where do you stick the little things as far away from the grown ups as possible, so attic rooms were popular [having the added advantage of being cold and so building character] as long as you weren't keeping the maids up there [eventually, downstairs/basement unventilated accommodation for servants was Stopped for health reasons - it's a wonder they didn't replace the maids with the children] and, of course, attics get damp in winter. Either water comes in from the roof (broken slates and flashing) or as condensation from below. It was an inevitable/annual feature in Victorian newspapers.

      Soon, companies were advertising "arsenic-free hygienic wall papers" for the nursery-owning families. The most famous person not to go with the trend was William Morris who rather liked the colour and rated it over the new synthetic options.

      Can you tell that I am a volunteer museum educator? [Admittedly, I cover "Things The Romans Left Behind and How They Tell Us What The Romans Ate" but I am a big explainer. Also, I get fan-mail. My table and I are "interesting but disgusting" - I think it's the mouseburgers]

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    6. Thank you for the history tid-bit! I loved it!

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    7. It's cool to learn about this! I've been trying to find a nice emerald green blouse for years, and I haven't had any luck at all. At least now I know why.

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    8. A few years ago, I too, got excited about the Pantone color of the year being Emerald. And was so disappointed when it didn't happen. So I still keep my eye out, as it's my very best color. And recently I found this dress that's really pretty. I've also been eyeing a couple on Modcloth, but haven't yet found the right one.

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    9. Green at least seems to be coming back for household goods/decor, I think. I wanted a woodland feel for my living room, with deep greens, and it's been hard to find. Maybe clothes will follow? Once we're out of the 70's?

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  10. Jen, we find ourselves learning quite a lot about the adults in our family from our children who lead a sensory life. What an education it's been! For instance, I learned the word proprioceptive. Here are two things that contribute to why corsets feel so good (and yes, they make this stuff for adults, too!) - S

    http://asensorylife.com/joint-traction-and-compression.html

    https://funandfunction.com/special-needs-clothing/shirts.html

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  11. I love your wardrobe, Jen!!! I need help with mine. Can you do some Amazon recommendations? I was thinking of an everyday underbust corset or even the mini "corset belts" anyway...

    PLEASE! :)

    Love the outfits, the corsets, the info!! I can tell you the corset I made for my costume (Belle's everyday blue dress - mashup from animated film and OUAT) was not the most comfortable as it was simultaneously too high and too low but I am usually super comfortable in an appropriately tied corset that is the right length. I don't do the super tight lacing because AIR, you know?!?!

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    1. Oh, you flatterer! Most of my clothes are beyond ancient, since I'm one of the few girls who doesn't enjoy clothes shopping. I can tell you that Ross is great for simple dresses, though, since that's where I got all the ones I'm wearing in this post. (And under $20 each! HEYOOOO.)

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    2. Good to know! Now I need to go to Ross for a lunchtime fashion blitz.... :)

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  12. Love the green and black dress. Have you thought of lacing up in front and swivelling the corset round? That is what I do and it means you dont have to contort yourself. I have a hernia and it got strangulated, thankfully it released itself but I had to be rushed to hospital which was scary. The doctor said get a support belt and guess what! Its just like a corset but very unattractive so I have gone back to corsets worn over and under my clothes. Thankfully for me my days of menstrual pain are behind me but I entirely empathise.

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  13. Oo! Also, take a gander at "linen camisole" and "cotton chemises" on the Google. Might help with the Florida aspect. :)

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  14. Is it just me, or does "John's favorite outfit" look like you are Disney bounding as Esmeralda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame? And you look lovely in person! :D

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  15. I was thinking about this solution last year. But then my doctor and I decided that it was time just to take the painful things out...mostly because 6 week painful periods are NOT fun. I'm glad they're still working for you, Jen!

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  16. GREEN DRESSES, YES! I've had great luck here ( www.eshakti.com ) with dresses in general! I mean, you can add POCKETS to ANY dress, mind blown.

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    1. I was going to suggest eShakti too! I have a beautiful green retro-look dress from there. I also loathe clothes shopping and have had recent success with that site. And I love that almost everything has pockets - it's so obnoxious when women's clothing doesn't have any or they're too shallow to be usable.

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    2. Just checked out their site...thanks for the recommendation! My daughter and I HATE clothes shopping and these dresses look great. AND POCKETS!!

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  17. you should come to the Great Dickens Christmas Fair here in San Francisco! more corsets than you'll want to ever see in one place ;)

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  18. Jen thank you for always being so open and sharing your experiences with us! I've never considered wearing a corset, but if it helps with cramping, I might need to try it! Trying to teach 6 year olds all day and dealing with lady issues is rough. :) Your post on proper bra wearing changed my life (for reals), so corsets might be next on my list!

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  19. Oh my goodness, Jen, how you manage to look adorable in every single outfit you own astounds me. I do wish, for your sake, that there was more emerald green clothes out there. I always find myself dressing in greys, browns, and blues though, and I feel like I need to branch out and find the color I truly look best in. (And stop buying rich, dark colors that wash me out. :P)
    I'm about to be in a production of Christmas Carol and I'll get to wear a corset in it, so we'll see how it turns out! I've made myself a waist cincher that I do wear when my cramps get really out of control, but a full corset seems like it would be super comfy. :) I'm one of the people who does enjoy the "hug" feeling of tight jeans or corsets.
    Much love! Keep rocking your corsets!

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    1. Regarding your colors, do you know about finding your undertones? If you look at your wrist and your veins are a greenish color, then you have warm undertones, and look best in warm colors, yellow, orange, green, even white. If you see blue, then you look best in cool colors, black, grey, purple, blue. If you see greenish, bluish, then you are neutral and look good in both.

      (This also is the same with makeup, foundations come in warm colors, and cool colors.)

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  20. I wish I would've known this trick when I had periods! I'm on the depo provera shot instead to just kill my cycle lol. Cute outfits though!

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  21. Oh wow how I WISH I'd known about this 4 years ago when I got married and my life become birth-control-induced menstruation hell. First I tried a Depo shot, which lasts 3 months. Coincidentally, that is how long my period lasted. Then my doctor talked (read: bullied) me into getting an IUD even though I had major misgivings. I think that next period lasted at least 4 months and came with the most intense pain my abdomen has ever experienced. Now I don't really have periods (supposedly the IUD stopped them, but I think my uterus just lost the will to live) and I absolutely refuse to change anything because, damn it, a period that lasts more than half a year is all I can take! I refuse to have another. Wish I'd thought to try a corset back then; maybe the beginning of my marriage wouldn't have been so awful.

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    1. Ug, I never reacted well to birth control, either, though thankfully my issues were never as severe as yours! This is why we scheduled a certain elective surgery for John within two years of getting married. We were so young it actually took some convincing to get the doctor's approval, but we've never regretted it - and BOY do I not miss that daily pill.

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  22. I've been trying to talk myself into taking the leap and buying a corset and this post gave me the push I needed. Orchard Corset was fantastic. Plenty of videos to help me measure plus if you give them your measurements, they will give you style and size suggestions. I sent in my question about 3:30 and had my answer by 5. So my order is in and I can't wait to try it out. Thanks so much for this info!

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  23. I can speak to the quality of Orchard Corsets! They're still largely made on site. OC is owned by a husband and wife team, both Orthodox Jews. The business has been handed down through a couple of generations now, and it's in some renown as a place you can walk into and they can size you for a bra just by looking at you. The last time I was in NYC, I shopped there and finally got some bras that actually fit properly. They also do mail-order. Every couple of years, the New York Times does a write-up on them, and they're always a fun read.

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  24. Jen - since your brown corset is a little large at the top and bottom, have you tried sewing some slightly stretched elastic around the top and bottom in order to snug it up? It can pull up some of the excess without adding bulk. It can be faggotted (yes, it is a sewing term) on by hand or sew on by machine between the boning. I used to do it on lots of corsets we used in the theater for opera and ballet. Or, send it to me and I will do it for you. I will do just about anything I can do to help my favorite blogger! (that was meant in a non-creepy, non-stalker way I hope....)

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  25. Thanks for posting this! (Especially after I just got my new corset in yesterday. :P ) This is definitely helpful for a newbie like me. I'll confess, I haven't even tried mine on yet....too busy with work. But I hope to soon! Do you have any recommendations for seasoning a corset? (I'm just watching the Youtube Videos on Orchard Corset's page). Also, you look mighty lovely in your black corset! :)

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  26. You are so cute Jen and I love your style!

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  27. I just have to comment on how I LOVE all your outfits, how you wear them extremely well, how fantastic you look and how amazed I am for you to post all those selfies, since a few years back we would not have had even a glimpse of that :)

    I remember that your bra post had made a strong impression on me and since then I feel much more knowledgeable buying bras. You always know how to explain things simply and clearly.

    Thanks !

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  28. Jen!!!!! Noooo!!!! When you tie the laces 'round your waist, you're putting MORE strain on the area of the corset already bearing the most strain! You're gonna half the longevity of your corsets, booooo. Don't do it, girl. The fashion fabric will start to frey at the boning channels, which will loosen the seams at the frey points -- which could lead to exposed bones or ripped channels. In theory.

    Obviously you're an adult and you can make your own decisions. But personally, the idea of ruining something I spent more than $50 on, needlessly, horrifies me!

    It's been such a fun adventure seeing you reference Lucy -- as you should, but talk about crossing the streams! I've been following her almost as long as I've been following you, so a fangirl moment was had back when you first started wearing corsets. I'm so glad they've been good for you. I haven't ever felt calmer for wearing one, either -- but often the self lacing process is enough to distract and comfort me from whatever is causing my anxiety, so that's good enough for me.

    Keep sharing the good word!

    (And what's wrong with looking like you came from a ren fair?? :P #larperproblems)

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    1. LOL - ok, so whoever asked earlier why tying-around-the-waist was bad, here's the answer!

      I don't suppose it matters if I'm not tying the waist bit all that tight? I mean, I can stick a few fingers under the laces at my waist...? No? Ok, well, at least these are relatively inexpensive, so I think I can live with the risk. ;) If I ever splurge on another $100+ deal, I'll try - TRY - to be better.

      Delete
  29. Ha, just yesterday I decided to start wearing my corset again after having it in the closet for over a year. I have the exact same orchard corset underbust and love it, but I think I actually chose the wrong shape for my body type. I'm excited about your custom corset recommendation from etsy. There's no way I'm going to spend $700+ on a custom corset!

    And I'm the crazy one who commented on your first post about wearing my corset to Disney in the summer. I used to do it all the time and it really wasn't a problem. But, I'm from the north and I love being warm instead of freezing all the time, so I don't have the loathing toward the heat that all you natives seem to have.

    I'm glad to hear you're still loving yours. I sometimes feel like a bit of a freak for wearing a corset, I'm afraid of people "finding out" if I wear it in public because there are so many misconceptions about it. So thanks for putting yourself out there and I feel better knowing that there's at least one other corset wearer in Orlando. ��

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  30. Halloo :)

    I've been following you here and on CW for a few years now as a lurker and this is my first comment, so let me just say that I LOVE your blogs and all the fun pics and projects and CW always gives me a good laugh when I need one. So, thank you for that. <3

    Re: Fun PMS stuff... My brain is currently failing me (yay, college), but have you ever tried going gluten free? I have a lot of the same problems (knife-in-your-gut cramps, hypothyroid, hormone imbalance, yay other fun lady stuff... :P ). Just this summer I went on a low-carb diet for weight-loss but found out in the process that I have some kind of gluten intolerance. I rarely eat any starchy stuff now and I've noticed improvement in the thyroid symptoms and in the cramping/PMS stuff.

    Anyhoo, maybe you've tried that and I'm not helping. Just thought I'd throw it out there for ya. :)

    Thanks again for all you do!

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    1. Hiyoooo! I *have* tried GF, though I'll admit it was only for a month (during which I also went dairy- free. FUN.) I have every gut issue you can think of, so it made sense... but sadly the GF diet made no noticeable differance for me. Blurg.

      Now DAIRY, on the other hand, was causing more trouble than I realized, so I do try - and often fail - to steer clear of it when I can. (Milk is my downfall. It's just so darn good with brownies...)

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    2. Oh well fooey then... Hmmm.... I have a friend who found out that her female problems were due to soy-based ingredients. (It's funny how many women you start to meet with the same kinds of problems. It sure helped to make *me* feel less... abnormal.)

      Dairy is a trigger for me too - I drink almond milk almost exclusively now, although cheese doesn't seem to be a problem, so go figure.

      Ah, brownies... I miss cakey-stuff (except not cupcake cakes - patooie!!) LOL I can definitely tell almost immediately when I do cheat on the gluten though.

      Thanks for replying! I've never talked to a famous person before... ;)

      Delete
  31. Jen, I have a question.

    Do you experience leg cramps when you have your period?
    If so, does the corset, by alleviating your belly cramps, does it also alleviate leg cramps?

    Not only does my tummy cramp, my lower back aches and my thighs feel like they're going to collapse.
    --Piper P from Washington State

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    1. Leg cramps are one of the few things I *don't* get, so I'm no help to you on this one. Sorry! Anyone else care to weigh in?

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    2. I feel for you as I have the same problem.. the whole area between the knees and the stomach feels like it has been run over by a truck. One thing apart from hot water bottles/heat pack that I have found useful is - if I exercise (swim, walk anything) in the week before my periods, my pains are greatly reduced. Plus I don't eat much during my periods and that helps to keep the pain at bay as well. Hope this helps you in some way :-)

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    3. Thanks for the feedback!
      Yeah, I've gotten used to the whole not eating during that week. Also no caffeine!!!
      My heating pad is always close by and lots of tea!

      Thanks ladies!
      - Piper P from Washington State

      Delete
  32. Good Lord Jen, you have beautiful hair.

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  33. My right hand is unable to rotate, so lacing a corset behind me is absolutely impossible. Do they make ones where you lace them in front?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, check out Damsel In This Dress! I've never tried those myself, but they get rave reviews online.

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    2. Yes! I have a Damsel in This Dress corset, and it's amazing. It's the only corset I've been able to successfully tie myself, because they are front-ties. The customer service in ordering and afterwards with any questions is phenomenal.

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  34. I loved this post! And I loved "seeing" you. : ) That emerald dress is my favorite of all those looks! And I personally like the way you wrapped the ties of the corset around--I'd likely do that too, or just let them dangle.

    One of these days I'd love a nice but practical corset, so I'm very glad to have all this info. Thank you!

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  35. I've seen lots of ladies out and about at various Ren Fairs or Cons and 99.9% of them (IMO) look trashy. I'm sorry if that's rude but their boobs are basically right in my face. It's gross. So I was a little apprehensive when I clicked on your post today. But you look absolutely DARLING!!! I know this wasn't really the point of your article, but its great to see a lady looking sexy without showing all her goods. :)

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  36. I think I have the same black underbust from Orchard that you have- I got really into the idea of it a while ago for cramps/back pain so I got one to try it out. Unfortunately I never really got into the habit of wearing it, so it spends most of the time hung up in my closet- and now that I am pregnant it's not coming out any time soon!

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