Tag Archives: fashion advice

Styling Corsets 2: in Pictures

Two laments I hear often:

• “I love the idea of a corset, but have no idea what I’d wear it with!”

• “More pictures on your blog, please!”

Perhaps both of these exclamations are symptomatic of the same desire, gasped by those seeking some inspiration for how to style corsets as authentic, non-costumed, wear (perhaps not, but let’s pretend).

I aim to please. The following are photos of men and women, all wearing corsets by Dark Garden Corsetry, as authentic outfits. Some of the photos are professional, some are selfies, and some are simple iphonography. So prepare yourself for the gamut…

Accessorize your corset!
Accessorize your corset!

 

French new-wave bicycle thief chic!
French new-wave bicycle thief chic!

 

Adorable!
Adorable!

 

Autumn looks gorg with a waspie over a vintage dress!
Autumn looks gorg with a waspie over a vintage dress!

 

Isn't she lovely!
Isn’t she lovely!

 

An innocent Ben Sherman button up is corrupted, er, adorned, FANCIFIED, by the leather overbust and accessories.
An innocent Ben Sherman button up is corrupted, er, adorned, FANCIFIED, by the leather overbust and accessories!

 

Leather, leather, and leather accents!
Leather, leather, and leather accents!

 

Don't I look smug!
Don’t I look smug!

 

Rockabilly inspired with a touch of leather!
Rockabilly inspired with a touch of leather!

 

Slouchy sweaters hold secrets of the waistline within!
Slouchy sweaters hold secrets of the waistline within!

 

Crop tops now show busk buttons, not belly buttons!
Crop tops now show busk buttons, not belly buttons!

 

Dandy up!
Dandy up!

 

Be yourself!
Be yourself!

 

T-shirt and jeans: BAM!
T-shirt and jeans: BAM!

 

With a cute, vintage sweater!
With a cute, vintage sweater!

 

So much goodness...
So much goodness…

 

Over a button up!
Over a button up!

 

Over your Gaultier gown!
Over your Gaultier gown!

 

Over your thrift store gown!
Over your thrift store gown!

 

Kristin casually enjoying coffee swathed gracefully in wools.
Swathed gracefully in wools!

 

Somebody told me this would be sexy :| Anyway -- a simple American Apparel dress is suddenly so much more!
Somebody told me this would be sexy 😐
Anyway — a simple American Apparel dress is suddenly so much more!

 

There are some ideas to get you started working corsets into your own personal style and wardrobe. Have fun!

For additional styling advice, see my previous post: Styling Corsets as Day Wear. 

LOVE,

Photo by John Carey Photographic

Euphrates X

Tightlacing Liaison | Expert Fitter

Dark Garden Unique Corsetry

Vlog: Caring for a Leather Corset

Sweeping the floor, doing the dishes, feeding the cat, and conditioning the leather; housekeeping tasks are dependent, of course, on the household! 

I was in the midst of my evening household maintenance (and a glass of Malbec) when it occurred to me that I might share how it’s done.

Because one can really love leather. It’s the best stuff on earth. One wants to instinctively touch it, wear it, lick it… Ok, even if you don’t want to lick it, you must admit: it’s very compelling! It’s fashion forward, and yet, primal.

But how do you care for it? It’s not totally obvious. You can’t wash it: no, no, no. Heaven forbid you go out in the rain, like I did, and expose your second skin to the elements.

Well, there are things you can do to protect your garments, shoes, and CORSETS in the long run from wear: a little tender, loving, conditioning will do the trick.

Products used are Lexol Leather Conditioner and Lexol Ph Leather Cleaner, available at many shoe repair locations, or places that sell fine leather.

Although, I forgot to mention in the video that if you are using an unfamiliar brand of conditioner, especially on a light-colored leather, it’s best to test a hidden area (such as the back panel/modesty panel) before treating the whole corset, just in case!

And… do try to stay out of the rain.

CONTENTS
0:00 – 0:40 Intro
0:41 – 1:44 BE PREPARED – on Boy Scouts and Materials Needed
1:45 – 2:14 About My Custom Leather Corset
2:15 – 3:04 Applying the Conditioner
3:05 – 3:42 Why it’s Good to Condition
3:43 – 4:38 Getting Soaked and Buffing Off
4:39 – 5:36 Seeing the Results of Conditioning and Final Thoughts

CHEERS,

Euphrates X

The Edwardian Silhouette

I used to know nothing about anything. I was as green as spring grass (and twice as fresh). I didn’t have a trained eye or focused vision; I just liked what I liked and wanted what I wanted.

At the time, I thought any steel-boned corset was the real deal. I was also broke and so even $150 for a garment sounded exorbitantly expensive. “Anything for love,” I thought, and bit the bullet. What I wished I knew back then is that investing in poor quality, uncomfortable garments isn’t worth the “half price” cost. I couldn’t wear it for more that a couple hours at a time before getting incredibly uncomfortable or cranky. I had sores on my skin from where it dug into my hips and ribs. Youch!

Once I started wearing well-made corsets, everything changed. I found that compared the terribly uncomfortable contraptions I had been trying to force myself into, a well made garment made me look and feel so good I never wanted to take it off again. Now I comfortably wear a corset for about 8-14 hours a day.

Here are some before and after pictures: before and after I knew any better about corsetry, evidenced in the silhouette:

timeless trends

Here I am in my first steel boned corset, which I ordered off the internet from “Corset Heaven” in the UK. I went for it because of the ridiculously cheap price and because the description said it was a waist training corset. Years later, as a corset professional, I can now say with assured authority that not much about this corset makes it appropriate for waist training. You can see that it is actually cutting into my hip, creating an unflattering (and  uncomfortable) line. The point in front comes down so low that one is constantly aware of the corset when one sits. Most  importantly, it does nothing to train the waist. Notice how it is shaped like inverted parentheses: ) ( as opposed to the ideal S shaped curve. Put bluntly: I look like a tube. A cute tube (this was in my youth), but a tube, none the less. I couldn’t wear this thing for more than a few hours max before I would bark: get this f*ckin thing off me! And this is also why I hate corsets with paracord. It looks tacky, callouses the fingers, and digs into the skin.

At Dicken's Faire

The fabric colors of my first Dark Garden corset was very similar to the one I ordered from Corset Heaven — it was as if I was trying to fulfill the vision. However, the two could not be more disimilar in terms of quality of construction or shape. You can see for yourself the difference between the two garments in resulting silhouette alone.

Whereas I was eager to start waist training around the time I ordered from Corset Heaven, I was discouraged at the bulky, poor fit — and a disconcerting lack of a waist! After being over $100 in the hole on the idea, it didn’t feel good to have a crap quality garment. And so I didn’t actually start my waist training journey until I got my hands on a Dark Garden waist cincher. This picture was taken on Day 1 of training, which happened to be at the Bay Area’s annual Dicken’s Faire.

At Dark Garden, we have an antique Edwardian dress form, which showcases what a lifetime of corsetry might achieve. It looks a little beat up, but hey, it’s literally 100 years old!dress form

People and adverts from the era: check out their silhouettes!

IMG_3307

IMG_3465

IMG_3459

Can you imagine being at that party, surrounded by gowned hourglasses? I think I would swoon.

IMG_3457

You may have noticed by now that I’m into historical research, but I’m not exactly a costumer. For me, it’s a lifestyle, a body mod, and a fashion statement. In the mainstream, it is also a nearly extinct Western feminine tradition to which I cling, to the point of idiosyncrasy. What does corsetry mean to you?

Styling Corsets as Day Wear

When one corsets every day, it poses an interesting fashion challenge. In the beginning of my waist training, I often found myself staring at my closet with furrowed brow; stumped. With my rapidly changing shape, I found that a whole lot of my clothes started to fit me like potato sacks with awkwardly low waistlines. With the knowledge that I may get knocked up or for some other reason fluctuate in size some day, I put the items worth keeping in storage and gave the rest away.

It was hard to get rid of those trusted garments. On the other hand, I was hardly disappointed to be getting more shapely! I found that my confidence to wear skin tight clothes sky-rocked and with that, a whole world of fashionable possibilities opened up; I suddenly found that I can wear pretty much anything I want to without nagging insecurity holding me back. This breakthrough was pretty big for me and one of the reasons I am so passionate about helping others discover corsetry as daily wear. However you come to the conclusion, it’s a wonderful feeling to walk in the world and know you are bangin’.

Now I see every day as an fashion challenge: ways to make my daily corset new, fresh, and exciting, appropriate for my context, and fitting with my aesthetic. My  color palate tends towards greyscale, reds, and burgundies with high/low fashion goth-punk aesthetics.

Here are some examples of my outfits. Sorry that it’s a bunch of selfies, but selfies or not, I’d love to see yours!

Looking good at work standing next to Dark Garden's couture peacock feather covered custom corset ($4,000 in case you're interested). Asymmetrical mini top hat by House of Nines Designs and my leather gloves convinces the baristas next door at Blue Bottle that I'm a assassin. Jacket is from Goodwill, nineties brand Nine to Five.
Looking good at work standing next to Dark Garden’s couture peacock feather covered custom corset. Asymmetrical mini top hat by House of Nines Designs.
Belting a corset suggests that is is clothes rather than lingerie and freshens a corset you wear a lot.
Belting a corset suggests that is is clothes rather than lingerie and freshens up the look of a corset you wear a lot. 
Early in my waist training, wearing a corset under my clothes at a holiday party.
Early in my waist training, wearing a corset under my clothes at a holiday party.
I get in trouble when I wear the combination of a corset with a Ramones shirt. Just sayin'.
I tend to get into some fun trouble around town when I wear a corset with a Ramones shirt, for some strange reason…
Throw a corset over a black dress and a tiny black belt over that? Complete look. Obviously I felt very dark and stormy this day, with some gothy copper eyeshadow inspired by Distillers front force Brody Dalle. But you know, the concept is flexible.
A corset over a black dress and a tiny black belt over that.
Accessories up top such as hats and necklaces help draw the eye upward and the corset will draw the eye back downward, trust me darling. What proper accessorizing will ensure  is movement of the eye across your form: prepare to be drunk in.
I like high necklines with curvaceous corsets: the mystery of covered skin can be maddening when just enough shape is revealed.
Stripes and polka dots: I had a fashion awakening in the nineties.
Stripes and polka dots: I had a fashion awakening in the nineties.
Tight things with high waists work well for me!
Tight things with high waists work well for me!

What’s the point here?

People often ask: what can I wear my corset with? I suppose what I’m trying to demonstrate is: fuckin’ anything. 

Jeans, stretch jersey, knit, under or over gowns, pencil skirts, gaucho pants, jumpsuits, slacks, t-shirts, tank tops, bikinis … play with it!

by Edward Saenz
by Edward Saenz

LOVE, Euphrates X