It was raining all night, making today one of those grey days where the air is a bit chilly and sets the mood for creature comforts like big sweaters, tea, and a pot of apple barley pudding on the stove. And, less predictably, the comfy feeling of being laced into my corset while I send out resumes. Even when lounging, I have a penchant for glamour!
I’ve owned Orchard Corset’s CS-201 in satin for around 2 months and have been modestly attempting to waist train in it. I didn’t want to spend a lot on my first corset, and they seemed like a perfect starter point for delving into the world of corsetry and waist training. An important note is that a real and authentic corset is made with steel bones, unlike many fashion corsets which are made with plastic bones and not at all meant to cinch you or change your natural shape in any drastic sense.
I bought it in a size 22, (my waist was at about 30 inches to start, but I was losing weight so opted for one that would fit my ‘usual’ waist size of 28 as corsets should be bought 4-6 inches smaller than your natural was it size). While I haven’t been the most consistent, I started lacing in at about a 28 inches, and am now at about 26 inches. I can’t say I notice much of a difference uncorsetted, but that will come with time.
I’ve started wearing corsets because I like the way they make me feel, I like the comfort of the compression. On days my anxiety is running high, it’s comforting and gives me a feeling of stability. I am curious about being able to change my body shape to make my hourglass shape even more drastic, and I enjoy the dramatic effect when I wear it under my clothes.
As I have worn the CS-201 I have definitely come to the conclusion that it is not the right shape for me, and is definitely not curvy enough, as I have a 12 inch difference between my hips and waist. As I progress with lacing tighter, the shape is not accommodating my shape and I can see myself moving onto a piece from Restyle or Mystic City instead. Overall though, it is a decent piece and I am happy with it as a starter corset. As a budget brand, don’t expect perfect workmanship or the best materials. The CS-201 is mostly well constructed, my only complaint being that the bottom of the corset where the busk meets creates an awkward area where the piping doesn’t meet up, and often shows under clothing while I am ‘stealthing’ my corset under clothing. It is also not the most comfortable spot, and can sometimes get pinch on my extended wears of 6+ hours. I’ll say again, Orchard Corset is a good place to start for trying out corsets if you’re on a budget but don’t expect perfection.
Here are some snaps of me wearing the corset for your reference as well:
And, because I know someone will likely ask: yes, it is completely comfortable, I can breathe, and I am not damaging myself by wearing it. Wearing a corset, for me, is like a nice, solid hug around my waist. It feels good to lace in to and helps me keep my posture in better form. The adventures into the corseting world have been interesting, as the garment is fraught with both misinformation and mystery. Many of the great pin up icons waist trained, and that was how they got those incredible figures we often lust over. It’s an important piece of information that is often missing, I think. It is important to know the work that went into shaping the iconic hourglass dames of the past. Femininity is so often a grand construction, with many things making up its forms. It’s a work of art, that much work goes into a lot of the time. Acknowledging that work is important, and knowing that the images of polished women we see are like art, works of time and effort is integral knowledge to undo unreasonable expectations of ourselves and our bodies. We so often see the ‘finished product’ and don’t think about the time and effort that went into the beauty we are looking at.
If you are curious about waist training and corsetry may I recommend Lucy’s Corsetry page for your FAQ: http://lucycorsetry.com She has a plethora of knowledge and videos available for your perusal!