Waist Not--
Want Not

Volume 1 Number 3 Nov - Dec 1996
© 1996 All rights reserved.

From the Editor

Holiday Greetings to all our corset-loving friends! Hard to believe it is that time of year. I have been most fortunate to have travelled in October to London and Cologne to meet with new and old members of the corset club, and back again to our boutique, ROMANTASY, to take many new orders for corsets.


What a wonderful year it has been and we hope you will share many quiet and loving moments with your friends and family this December!

I thought I'd write a few words in response to some questions I get about the best kind of corset for waist training, or to start with. Facing such a general question makes an answer pretty difficult: it is far better to know what your specific purpose is in wearing the corset, how your specific body is shaped and what experience you have with restrictive clothing and prior corseting (i.e., with plastic boned, off


the peg corsets, latex clothing and other).

The more information we have about you, the better we can advise you. But with that being said, I can say that the shorter the corset, the easier it is to adjust and feel comfortable wearing. Thus, an underbust Victorian (not a long-line Edwardian) may be the best choice.

Some people want to start corseting with only a training belt (2 1/2-3" thick leather belt with roller buckle worn at least 2" smaller than your waist measured snugly). Or, they request a



ribbon corset or waist cincher for the first corset. We don't recommend that for several reasons.

First, these shorter corsets may well pull in the waist precipitously and impressively. However, they also can tend to "pooch out" the lower belly, or put too much pressure on the top hip bone or lowest rib, resulting in removal far more rapidly than if one were wearing a full Victorian corset.

Personally I think it important to have a corset that provides full torso and tummy support, encouraging good posture and standing up straight, especially if you are intending to wear it for four or more hours on a periodic basis. And unless you have "abs of steel", who wants a protruding lower belly?

Some first-time customers get quite conservative when ordering their first corset: white because they mainly wear white, or black because they mainly wear black. I recommend that you order a first corset to which your heart is most drawn: mine was a fire engine red satin one with black lace and my second, a


black and gold brocade with six rows of Austrian rhinestones! Nothing conservative there!

My theory is that if you truly love your first corset, you will want to wear it a lot and will look forward to doing just that! Then more quickly you will find the corset adjusts to your body and vice-versa. If you never wear your corset, you will never break it in and it will always seem stiff and foreign.

I also don't recommend a fetish first corset, and certainly not one off the peg. Too many times these kinds of first corsets cause pinching and pain from ill-fit, or aren't made for creating a curvaceous, hourglass figure. For example, our Seraglio corset is quite handsome and fetish-y, but certainly not comfortable enough for long wearing or waist training. It is a molded, one-piece corset of stiff lattigo leather, not soft and supple. And when you are breaking in a first corset, you will want it to be as soft and supple as possible, believe me!

You may wish to go a bit wild in designing your first corset, so that you can wear it outside a cocktail dress or with a dinner suit, to get a lot of use from the investment (corsets run from about


$250 to $600 for leather). Many purchasers love a brocade fabric with no other adornment because it creates an elegant illusion, yet can be worn with garter straps as lingerie.

Hope these tips help you decide the style and company to choose for your first custom corset venture. Do send me email with specific questions. Until the New Year, we wish you the very best.

Restrictedly yours,

Ann Grogan


Special Focus


ROMANTASY was happy to be one of 13 exhibitors of corsets at the English Corset Enthusiasts Reception held in the Russell Hotel in London in October. Pandora Gorey, a well-known corset



model and spokesperson and good friend of ours, organized the elegant event, including a cocktail reception for guests that evening. American corset makers BR Creations and Dark Garden were exhibitors, plus Sheri Jurnecka sewing now for Romantasy also put in an appearance.

We were pleased to meet a new couple from Amsterdam who will make corsets for us (check our fashion/corset buttons soon), and renew acquaintances with Arthur Beale, also practicing his corset making for the future. Marta Lastra from Gallicia flew over to show me her leather corsets and meet with Michael Garrod of True Grace, to learn a few tips and find resources for construction of her elegant, upmarket designs. Marta will also soon be providing corsets for Romantasy, so stay tuned!

All in all, Ann enjoyed her week in London, meeting Constance and Stuart of C&S Constructions for the first time, and staying with them and Michael


Garrod for most of her stay.

She then ventured to Cologne, Germany where she and Martina Ostermann cemented their working venture together, and held an informal corset gathering in Martina's home. Martina will be Romantasy's corset representative in Europe, and you can contact her by phone: 011 49 21 7356389.

Ann, Martina and Werner visited all of the erotic boutiques and fetish clothiers in Cologne and Dusseldorf, showing their corsets and soliciting new customers. We met Anetta K who has a great latex shop in Dusseldorf, and visited a new woman-run erotic boutique in Cologne. We'll keep you updated on our progress with corseting in Germany, and if you visit the Cologne area, do look Martina up.

We post a fabulous photo of a perfectly preserved corset from the 1800's, from Mr. Garrod's private collection. He purchased it from one of the Voller's of


Voller's Corset Company in Portsmouth, England. Ann met Ian Voller, currently managing the company, and Ian showed us around the factory which now employs 27 full-time seamstresses. Ninety percent of production is exported out of England and Voller's maintains an inventory ready to ship, of over 4000 corsets!

Romantasy ordered a darling new style from Ian, a velvet sweetheart corset, which we are waiting for with bated breath. The new Vollers catalog is due out soon which will feature this new style.

We're hoping Pandora and her beau, Andy, will visit San Francisco next year to help with our next CURVES weekend. And we expect Constance and Stuart to stay with us on their first-ever visit to America.



Over 300 people attended a jam-packed cabaret evening, the highlight of two days of exhibits, fashion shows, raffles, photo exhibits and lectures celebrating the corset held at the Hotel Bedford in San Francisco. Romantasy was proud to be the major force behind this Second Annual Corset Celebration, and cyboutique's webmistress Misty, was an important force behind making it happen!

The only disappointment was the limited attendance at three of the four fabulous lectures. One included gourmet snacks while Kirk Vezie discussed diet and dining while corseted, a unique topic! A Stanford professer and the American Conservatory Theater Costume Rentals Supervisor also gave fascinating lectures which we'll summarize in a later newsletter issue. Ann's workshop on the sensuality of the corset for couples only was fully booked and enjoyed. PLAYGIRL writer and her hubby attended, and will be preparing an article for a spring issue of PLAYGIRL.

CURVES donated $600 to the Women's AIDS Network and we were happy to do so. Many sponsors donated raffle prizes to help out and we are grateful to them all, including Ruth Johnson of BR Creations whose $300 corset contribution was won by ETVC member Cheryl Sheppard! Congrats Cheryl and it does look beautiful!


contact us if you live">We hope you contact us if you live in the Bay Area and can help us with CURVES next year, or wish to attend the event so we can keep you posted. WE'll try to schedule it for early October so our European visitors can take advantage of lower air fares.

Please enjoy the photos of our models and fashions from CURVES!


Misty's Manners

I got stuck in my corset and ran out of time to work on my article. Should be here in a couple of weeks.