I’m not sure. I think it’s cultural construct that gets in the way of people appreciating the silliness and truth in their humanity.
That’s why I made a shamelessly hungover, instructional vlog, demonstrating one of our simple, industry tips on corset care. Yet again I humble myself on the internet: for you. You’re welcome. And when better to demonstrate this particular corset care tip than after a ruckus night out?
…I probably could have done this better. Oh well, here goes:
For those of you who like contextual stories, read on (if not, skip to end).
There was once a girl in a stupid American Apparel dress. One day, she donned a corset an turned into a princess (kind of).
The princess wished very much to dance and be entertained, so she traveled to a far away land called Oakland, where the most zef minstrels in all of the world’s kingdoms were blowing fucking minds.
She danced and danced the night away, stomping around and having a blast at this strange festival of the celebration of large booty and …rats.
When the night was over and she had returned to her own dominion (studio apartment) she was very tired and extremely sweaty.
Her clothes smelled of all the wonders the Oakland had to offer, and so, the next day — though the princess had turned back into a normal, scrappy lady — she had to freshen her corset. Because adults take care of their nice things.
Caring for a sweaty, smelly, or even stained corset is easier than one might imagine. A simple brew of vodka and water (no, a cocktail spilled on you doesn’t count) will do wonders to freshen your garment and remove odor when dry cleaning is inconvenient. Watch the following video for details on how-to.
The underbust corset featured in this tale of an evening and it’s aftercare is Dark Garden’s black poplin corselette — of which I am a big fan. On long torso’d folk like myself, it acts like a wide waist belt: perfect to throw over any dress, jumpsuit, or pant/shirt outfit to amazing wasp-waist silhouette effects. Its smaller dimensions make it a great option for those with a shorter torso as well, for whom most underbust corsets are too long.
Simple tips like these can lengthen the life of your corset and make the experience of wearing them (for you and those smelling you) much more enjoyable. For more intensive (and sober) corset cleaning tips, refer to this article, written by Dark Garden pattern associate and stitcher, as well as very coherent corset blogger, Marianne. More for your bag of corset tricks — and happy (clean) corsetting!
Among the top search terms linking people to lacingliaisons.wordpress.com have been in the category of weight loss. The question that burns in many minds, from the US to the UK, Turkey to Australia is: can corseting help with weight loss?
The short answer is yes. But perhaps not in the ways one might expect.
Corsets may be used as a weight loss aid – they act as an external gastric band and do not allow much expansion of the stomach, thus helping to control appetite and reduce food portions.
In lay men’s terms, corsets can suppress the appetite to some degree whilst worn, by squishing one’s guts into minimal existence… basically.
Ever heard of lap-band surgery? Or gastric band surgery? From the official lap-band site:
The LAP-BAND® System reduces your stomach’s capacity, restricting the amount of food you are able to eat at one time.You also feel full faster and stay full longer […] to help you gradually lose weight and keep it off.
What Lucy is postulating is that corsets provide the constriction of the surgical band, but as a non-surgical, externally applied, fashion/function item.
That being said, the butchers around the corner from Dark Garden know me by name, so if it’s portion control you are after, self-restraint is still a necessary ingredient.
However, the corset definitely does help bring awareness to the area of the body that is being constrained; a reminder much like a string tied around the finger.
Lucy also hypothosizes:
Wearing a corset can also help the wearer to see themselves as a smaller person, ‘planting the seed’ of belief in their minds that weight loss is achievable, and acting as a strong motivation for these wearers to improve their nutrition and fitness regimen.
Sure, wearing a corset can increase confidence, which is no small thing. Walking the world with the confidence that one looks good from every angle is a fantastic boost. Envisioning oneself as the person one wishes to be is so powerful as to inflict the change physically in the body just from being and acting in that mind space alone.
Here’s a demonstrative little anecdote from the Dark Garden shop: a corsetted client was posing for a picture in the other day during a fitting. She tried to suck in her belly (as she has trained herself to do whenever in front of the camera) and exclaimed in shock and a kind of relieved joy when she realized she didn’t have to. Yes, corsetted silhouettes are very naturally photogenic! No momentary affectations necessary to please the lens.
In my personal experience, I have found that corsets make me a bit braver in the world. I stand up straight and approach the world with my heart beaming open. While my natural inclination is to grumble around, hood up, and try to exist as minimally as possible, while wearing a corset: I talk to people easier, I take chances, I look great and I feel great — and people speak freely to me. I don’t know what it is, but I would wager it’s that I look like a strange creature, so folk feel entitled to my conversation. Sociability and personal bravery makes it easier for me to get over anxiety and depression, so I’ve always thought those aspects of corsetry to be helpful to maintaining a healthy weight.
Another vein in which corsetry helped me grapple with weight in general is when I suddenly lost a lot of it. It was before I started corsetting daily, and I was jarred at how many people came out of the woodwork of life to congratulate me on my successful superficial look — that was a product of a negative emotional and chemical shift. Needless to say, I didn’t appreciate noticing how differently I was treated once I passed through a hard journey resulting in unhealthy weight loss.
I began corsetting, and the focusing became on shape and curvature rather than thinness. I felt in control of my body again and suddenly people around me had something to comment on that wasn’t triggering of my emotional trauma and resentment over what I perceived to be reaping the benefits of societal size-ism.
I started waist training, and that was the beginning of my intimate relationship with Dark Garden, as well as my positive self control over my body.
If you are looking to waist train, I highly recommend that you read my article 10 Waist Training Tips to get started in shaping you mind set about your relationship with your corset. I’m very laid back in my approach to waist training, and if you are a person who needs structure, there are other, very regimented programs. But which ever path you choose, if you choose at all, please do be kind to yourself and patient.