Waist Not - Want Not
Corsetry Newsletter
August and September, 2002
Volume 6 Number 3




In This Issue

Ann
FROM THE EDITOR
AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, 2002

NEW WAIST TRAINING GRADUATE DENNA!

Denna
Denna starts training at 130 pounds with her Sheri corset and a 30" waistline.

I am happy to annouce the resounding success of Denna who after 12 weeks of waist training in a corset went from 130 pounds to 110 pounds and from a 30" waistline to a 24" waistline! She is a super star for her steadfast motivation and commitment. We will have a graduation celebration in late August since we had to postpone it in June. Here is Denna before with her 30" waistline corseted, and here is Denna one month after her program at 110 pounds!

Want to get in shape for the holiday parties (my goodness, I know, it's too early to mention them!)? Try the waist training program or develop your own with the help of our Corset Magic: A Fun Guide to Trim Your Waist and Figure.

Denna
Denna at 110 pounds and a 24" waistline after training, in a standard Sue Nice brocade corset, looking fine, girl!

I'm quite sorry to say that we had to postpone our Soiree to celebrate Denna's graduation to late in August because yours truly sustained a terrific back spasm (due to an over vigorous massage from a careless therapist!). For at least six weeks I have been wearing my Simple Pleasures cincher day and night and I could not be as far along in my rehabilitation as I am, had I been without it. This is a painful reminder of what I say: in most cases of major back pain (not pain due to anterior subluxation of the spine!), a corset will provide wecome support and relief so that cramped muscles can relax. I am walking two miles per day wearing my corset and loving it!

Silke

When I have to be standing up or sitting for over an hour, I microwave a gel pack, place it inside my cincher, lace down and carry on with my consultation or computer work. I recently ordered a more sturdy corset for increased support as I get more active, and just love it. Sue Nice whipped up a lovely light blue brocade standard corset, only $280! (see purple one modeled by Silke!) I've never tried one before and I find it very supportive and elegant, and a fabulous price for a ready made corset!
OFFER IN SYMPATHY: If you have a back problem I'll be happy to hear your sad tale, and offer you a discount to a $250 price for medical reasons if you'll email me, call or email us!

Yet so many people, especially macho men, will avoid purchasing a well fitting corset for temporary relief to aching back muscles. Custom corsets are far, far superior to any bulky medical corset ever in the past prescribed by a back doctor for me! Please do call me if you want to discuss this possible relief for your own back pain: 415 585-0760, and I'll be happy to share more information and commiserate as I try to recover my own good health soon!

Here are some great photos of our California State Flower, right out my back door and blooming profusely this summer. Hope you see many beautiful flowers in your summertime!

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!


Ann Grogan  


THE BRACLI -- AND NO, IT'S NOT SOMETHING TO PLANT IN YOUR GARDEN! :-)
SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE

THROUGH SEPTEMBER, 2002 ONLY! MENTION THIS NOTICE TO RECEIVE DISCOUNT

We'd like to reduce our inventory on this great sexy product.

Bracli"My husband recently gave me the full-body Bracli from your web site. I blushed at first when I saw it in its full detail. But when I tried it on I loved it. I have even begun to wear it under eveningwear when we go out. The body makes me feel very feminine and feels exquisite, especially when I sit down. I am thinking about getting the thong also. Thanks, S"

The pearls are Mallorcan, of good quality and the construction is quite fine. We get may comments about how sexy the feeling and look are.

Time to be adventurous under that corset? Be sure to specify color! One size fits most dress sizes 2 to 14 as the lace stretches nicely over the high hip (no need to worry about the low hip!)

Our single strand normally $59.95 ON SALE $35 (black unavailable in single strand).
Double strand normally $74.95 ON SALE $45.
Full-body normally $94.95 ON SALE $75.

SOME CONCERNS FROM A CONCERNED CLIENT---
BENT BONES IN A READYMADE CINCHER

From time to time, we fail to please a client, and for that, we take major responsibility, even if a client may not have fully understood our words, or fully followed our advice regarding value/quality versus cost. We try our best on the website and in our catalog, plus during consultation, to be clear about the features and benefits included in each of our corsets, so that the consumer can make an informed decision and invest wisely.

Despite this below client's concerns, we believe we offer excellent value in each of our corsets, including our washable cinchers, the Simple Pleasures and the Point Counter Point.. We will always do our best to educate first, before we make a sale, then take full responsibility for any confusion about our product, and take reasonable steps to ensure satisfaction. Let us know if you EVER have any concerns such as that expressed below.

June 8, 2002 Hello there,

I am very sorry to hear about your experience with our little off-the-rack cincher, namely that the bones bent precipitously early on! I do know the one you mean. It is the Simple Pleasures. From your email, I do not know whether this makes your cincher unwearable for some reason, whether you have tried to correct the issue, or whether you have other concerns.

But I am glad you wrote me. I wish you had called your concerns to my attention at the outset, so that we might have engaged in some discussion and clarification sooner, rather than later! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clear up some facts. It is quite difficult for a business to improve its quality in product or consumer education and followup, if we never hear back!

Here is some initial information that might be of help to you, and some possible solutions we might offer you at this point! Thank you for taking your time to read further.

A. Bent Stays

When stays are bent on the first wearing, whether the corset is the little cinch or a custom, tight lacing corset, it is my 13 year experience that almost always, it is because the customer laced the corset too tightly, too fast. This even happens with light-weight, readymade cinchers like the Simple Pleasures, as well as double-boned, tight-lacing corsets. I have seen a client totally bend the stays of a superior, expensive, tight-lacing, double-boned corset, within one week!

On rare occasions, a client will break a bone, again usually due to lacing too tightly, too soon, especially considering the specific features of the corset in question, and whether the corset was properly seasoned before tight lacing.

B. Seasoning or breaking in a Corset, whether it is off the rack or custom

Perhaps I neglected to include a detailed instruction sheet (four pages) with the cinch when I sent it, where I specifically advise clients to lace down NO MORE THAN 2" FOR 2 HOURS, and do this six or seven times before going up in hours of wear by 1 hour each of six more times, and down by 1/2" in reduction.

This technique of seasoning a new corset is required for each and every corset, to help it last the longest over time.

Do you recollect receiving an envelop with pages included, welcoming you to the corseting world, and describing this "breaking in" technique? I take great care to go in great detail into how to do this, and how to get the most over time out of your corset investment. It is one of my very most important commitments to my customers! I do want you to get value for your money!

In addition, I do include this advice on my website under "wear and care" instructions.

If I failed to include the envelop in your package, I am at fault there, and do apologize. For newcomers to corseting who do not know the requirements of seasoning a corset, they might encounter the rapid bending of stays that you mention.

C. Possible Corrective Action re Bent Stays

By the way, it might be possible if you very gently over some days, sit and bend the stays back, then they might move slowly back into position. Do not do so precipitously as you might snap them instead!

It is also possible that we can simply replace the top and bottom edging and reinsert fresh new bones. I am willing to do that, assuming that you simply did not know about how to season your corset, nor understand fully the limitations of this cinch versus a tight lacing corset, and of course, at no charge to you if you care to send the cinch back:
2912 Diamond St, Ste. 239
San Francisco, CA 94131

D. How to judge value/quality versus cost.

This judgment is a bit trickey for most corset customers. Obviously, you cannot spend $60 and expect a 20-year, tight lacing corset. That would be totally unrealistic. That much is clear.

However, you can spend from $150 to $250 or more, for a light weight corset, still good quality, still steel boning, still lasting over years of wear, and of course, sometimes you can find the same range of prices even for a tight lacing corset, although generally, tight lacing corsets will be $100 more and up.

Price depends a lot on (1) the number of features and overall benefit of the garment, 2) the quality of fabrics and boning used, 3) the experience of the corset maker, 4) the reputation of the seamstress, 5) the demand for the product or maker, and many more factors.

Not knowing your other concerns about the cinch, nor your experience in seasoning a corset properly, nor your corset experience in general, I can't precisely answer other concerns you might have.

However, in general I am disappointed with myself, that somehow I must not have adquately communicated the features and benefits of the cincher at the time you ordered, nor the proper way to season it.

If this is the case, and you would like to step up to a fully custom corset, tight lacing and made to endure 4 or more inches of reduction for many years, where the bones will not bend if you properly season it according to my instructions, at least not for about 2-4 years of tight lacing, daily wear, (bones will lnaturally by the way, bend to conform to your body over time! There is nothing wrong with that and it is in fact desired, so long as they are not digging into your body!), then I am quite willing to offer you a $75 discount on a new custom corset order of you choice! This is about a 20% discount on most corsets we offer.

I also suspect that you must be judging our cinch against other standards of construction used in tight lacing versions. Perhaps I can make the below facts more clear on my website when I describe the cincher.

Comparing all of the features and benefits of this little cinch summarized below, I wonder if you might reconsider your opinion?

In addition, don't you think it would be unfair to judge the entire business, Romantasy by one cinch, not even a custom one at that!, This would seem to be especially true when you consider that Romantasy has EIGHT corset makers to choose from, with a wide variety of quality and durability for corsets offered, not to mention differing construction techniques and years in the business.

For example, I represent the world's two finest tight lacing corset makers bar none, BR Creations and True Grace! with 50 years of experience together--- you can check them out on other web chats to be sure of that statement, I am almost 99% certain that 99% of educated corset consumers and tight lacers would agree with me. Well, maybe 95% . . . :-) The point is, they make superior, long lasting, tight lacing corsets.

E. Features and Benefits of the cinch

I must say that I do disagree with you about the quality of this cinch, that it is inferior....for the cost, for the following reasons.

Over all, compared to a custom corset, you would be right. But one must compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

We advertise this little corset as

a non-tight lacing corset
not for cinching beyond 2 or 3"
single boned
no waist tape
no bonding or innerfacing

On its postiive side, we advertise:

the cincher is washable
the cincher is reversible
the cincher is made of quality, cotton backed satin (not flimsy satin)
the cincher is lined (and reversible)
the cincher uses steel bones

  Julia

Considering that most corsets must be dry cleaned, washability would save a client from $15 to $35 (I have paid up to $35 to dry clean a corset) per cleaning. Part of our cost is labor or pre-washing the fabric before construction, to ensure that there is minimal shrinkage when you hand wash it.

Considering that it is extremely rare for a corset maker to use cotton backed satin (very hard to find, very durable), especially in a readymade, non custom cinch, this raises the value of this cinch over a plain satin one.

Considering that we weighed the possibility of offering this cinch using cotton duck (strong stiff) lining versus handsome cotton backed satin to make the corset fully reversible, and decided to opt for the beauty of two-sides of satin, the cinch is a good value.

Also, if you are comparing the cinch to a custom corset, fit for tight lacing and long wear (up to 2.5 or 3 yrs of daily wear at 24/7 4 or more inches reduction, versus the cinch up to 2.5 years at 3 days a week, 2 inch reduction) this little cincher has

Custom tight lacing corsets have those three above features---and generally cost at least $100 more!

Nonetheless, I wear my 19 cinchers a lot, some of them day in and day out including right now to support a back spasm, and they do not roll at the top of bottom, wrinkle at the waistline, the bones do not twist, the fabric does not fray and I have not precipitously ever bent a stay so that it popped or had to be replaced or dug into my body uncomfortably. The one I am wearing right now is about six years old and I just today noticed I must reinforce one of the bones that is popping out...six years later---but the bones have not bent!

I could hardly expect more quality from a cinch that costs retail $225, could I? (See Ann wearing a cherry burgundy Simple Pleasures cincher below.)

Ann

One final thought occurs to me. Sometimes a client of more obvsious curves than I have do put more pressure on boning and can bend it more easily than can I. It is therefore really important to get double boning and more quality construction for that client, to ensure a long lasting corset.

In conclusion, I am at least happy you gave me the opportunity to go over these points, and that you called it to my attention so that I can do a better job of explaining these factors. I want purchasers of the cinch to have a realistic understanding of price versus value/quality.

Incidentally, I would still be interested in your postive experiences while wearing corsets, whether or not they are Romantasy's!

Thanks and let me know how to help!"

Ann
(Note: This client never wrote back, nor requested any of the alternative solutions to her discontent that I offered.)

MORE DETAILED TIPS ON WAIST TRAINING

In our last newsletter, you read a few of our tips for increasing your water intake while waist training.

We noted some interesting things along Denna's training path for almost three months, and we'd like to share them with you.

Denna
Denna 10 weeks into waist training shows off her new waistline at 27 inches!
  1. Progress can come in spurts. Sometimes you might lose weight but no inches, and sometimes inches and no weight! Deann plateaued at two or three places and then dropped after that. The effectiveness of this program is to be noted in Denna dropping from 130 pounds when she started, to five weeks later, 119 pounds, and from a 32" natural waist to 27.5". Starting her seventh week Denna had dropped to 117 pounds and 27 1/4" waistline! By then she was wearing her corset at 26.5" over the corset for 16 hours, including sleeping all night in it!
  2. The safety of this program is demonstrated in the fact that Denna was able gradually to shift her diet to higher fiber and water intake with minimal discomfort from her prior periorid intestinal problems! High fiber should not be added overnight due to cramping and gas possibilities. Denna started with lots of healthy soups.

    When her tummy did give her problems and she had to give up her corset for a day, she was dedicated enough not to take a second day off on Sunday, her normal "free" day, but train straight through to the next week. It really is consistency in wearing the corset every day (or at least six days a week) that counts!
  3. She benefited greatly from an effective Training Partner and significant other, Rick, who even "rode herd" on her the week of her "punishment" for failing to get her Monday report to me until Tuesday: four extra sets of 10 "crunches" every single night for a week----not Denna's favorite exercise. She had opted to walk five days a week during her school lunch hour and stuck to it, even enlisting four others to walk with her!

    Training partners can be extremely effective in helping to motivate you if you are waist training. A little bit of apprecation from them goes a long way to motivate you, or knowing that you have a witness if you fudge on some aspect of your program can do the same!
  4. Focus was a key to Denna's progress she says. "Staying focused BIG TIME is a major KEY role in successful waist training. Knowing what you want and keeping your commitment to yourself if important!"
Denna
Sassy Denna models her new pantaloon/chemise outfit by Diana for Romantasy, wearing her standard Sue Nice corsets closed at 23" (22" underneath!)

GETTING MORE FIBER IN YOUR DIET

I'll bet you're like me: you think you know about fiber and what it is and how to get more in your diet, but I'll bet when it comes down to brass tacks, you really don't!

For example, if you're at the grocery store and it's time to buy fruit, which type of pear has the most fiber above all other pears? Name three fruits other than pears that have the most fiber (3 or more grams per serving). Name three yellow veggies that have a lot of fiber... yup, three! What one nut has the most fiber per serving?

Do you know the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber? Can you name one item that has soluble fiber, one that has insoluble and one that has both? (Answers at bottom of page)

When I started research for my book in progress, I could never have answered those questions. Now I can! I was also concerned because even when I really decide I needed to revise my diet to include more fiber, so I could continue effectively waist training without encountering problems with my digestion (constipation), I had to be careful not to overeat too many calories since I'm so small in frame!

Here are some great ideas I rounded up in my research:

The Mayo Clinic's web site, has a list of eight easy steps as a strategy to eat more fiber:

1. Start your day with a high-fiber cereal.
2. Switch to whole grain breads.
3. Eat more brown rice, barley, and whole-wheat pasta.
4. Take advantage of today's ready-to-use frozen vegetables.
5. Eat more beans, peas, and lentils.
6. Make snacks count.
7. Eat fruit at every meal.
8. Substitute whole-grain flour for white flour.

Dr. Miriam Nelson, author of the great book "Stong Women Eat Well," suggests that even if you don't see vegetables listed on an entree you want to order at a restaurant, simply ask the kitchen to include or substitute them for a starchy vegetable.

FOOD THAT HAVE THE HIGHEST FIBER CONTENT

Broccoli

However, knowing how much to eat did not tell me exactly what foods have the highest fiber content. I searched for a good summary of what foods were particularly high in fiber. Once again, the Three Rivers Endoscopy Center web site was helpful. They mention six basic types of food that contain high amounts of dietary fiber:

Corn
  1. Beans (pinto, navy, lima, kidney, and baked beans)
  2. Whole grains (cereals and breads; low-fat Triskets or Safeway's Woven Wheats)
  3. Whole fresh fruits (figs, raspberries, and prunes)
  4. Cooked fruits (prunes and applesauce)
  5. Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and broccoli)
  6. Root vegetables (potatoes, turnips, and carrots)

With this knowledge in hand, I completely rewrote my diet to focus primarily on fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, and (occasionally) beans that offered at least three grams of fiber per serving, up to the highest, 15 grams per serving.

Here's a great chart I use based on the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Nelson's book, as well as the Three Rivers Endoscopy website:

TABLE OF FIBER-FILLED FOODS

The following foods contain three or more grams of fiber per serving:

Strawberry

Fruits: Bartlett pears, dried prunes (lemon or orange flavored prunes are especially delicious; I read however, that pears can cause problems for IBS sufferers), figs, raspberries, strawberries, apples, and mangos

Almonds

Nuts and seeds (1/4 cup): almonds and sesame seeds

Peas

Vegetables: (1/2 cup): cooked Brussel sprouts, cooked corn, cooked peas, medium sized sweet potato, avocados, and edame

Beans, peas and lentils: (1/2 cup): black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, split peas, broad peas, Great northern beans, lima beans, navy beans, soy beans, black beans, and lentils

Cereals

Cereals (1 cup for cereals): All Bran with extra fiber, Fiber One (½ cup), Bran Buds, Total Raisin Bran, Bran Flakes, cooked oatmeal, shredded wheat, Flax Plus and 8 Grain by Lifestyle, wheat germ on top of cereals, soups, and oatmeal

Pasta

Pasta (1 cup): whole wheat

Now, I'll bet you can answer those questions above. Good eating!

CORSETS GETTING POPULAR ABROAD!

From time to time, I host foreign students who come to San Francisco to study English. Most are fascinated with corsets and never knew there was a thriving business in them! Some don't "get" them at all! But many others ask to try them on, and some get "hooked." You can see Silke from Bavendorf, Germany, as our model in the June Corset of the Month. She loved her new posture and figure, and bought a corset while she was here! I thought I'd share some great photos of Julia and Tanja from Ulm, Germany, and Hanae from Japan.

Julia
Julia from Ulm, Germany
Tanja
Tanja from Ulm, Germany
Hanae
Hanae from Itami, Japan
Julia
Silke from Bavendorf, Germany
WE GET LETTERS...AND KUDOS!

"Ann, I wanted to thank you for your time today. You educated me a lot about corsets, and made feel very much at ease. I look forward to ordering a corset from you, and coming to visit the next time I'm in town. Thank you," Cindy March 26, 02

"Dear Ann, I guess that you did get the balance for the black and silver corsets, as I just got them in the mail! Thank you, they are absolutely exquisite! The 1901 corset (True Grace) looks so sexy and elegant with the sparkly black lace...! Sue (Nice)'s silver satin and gold lace corset is absolutely stunning, the combination came out very nice and has an almost antique look to it. " Vanessa, April 4, 02

"Dear Ann, your web page is so professionally done. Every time I bring it up I cannot believe how exquisite your website is. You really know how to design your web page." Larry April 5, 02

"Ann, I've been thinking about your book-in-progress and how to position it for the appropriate market. I'm not "square in the crossdress mode" but as a man, I initially had a problem considering a "corset". I always thought of a corset as a women's garment. It was not until I read about the benefits of the garment for anyone that I felt a little more at ease. Then, I had my first appointment with you and you laced me into a sample corset...that was it! After that, I did not care! It felt so good, I had to get my own. I've always been told that I was different. As far as getting other men to buy your book and try corsets, I'm not sure. I think men have to be open to the idea and if society were more tolerant of men in corsets, it would be easier." Rc 4/16/02

" Hi Ann, please let Mr. Garrod know the happiness he has brought me as well as others I'm sure. Also let him know what high esteem I hold his creation for me, something that brings me much pleasure and will for years." Tony 4/17/02

" Ann, thanks to you in particular for your enthusiasm [in helping me gather information for my school paper]. I saw you & Romantasy featured on "Real Sex" on tv a while back (best not ask why I was watching it!). I wish I'd known what a leader in your field you were. Again, many apologies I've taken so long to share my paper with everyone. If you still want a written copy, I will arrange it if you send me your mailing address." Jenny 4/23/02

" Hi Ann, We received the corset on Friday. It's gorgeous, and fits beautifully! I was a little surprised at how different it looks on me, not just in the color and the covered bust (those were expected). It gives me a totally different contour than the Scarlett. I could hardly wait for Andrew to get home from work so that we both could open it (thought it would be unfair of me not to wait). Thanks, too, for the cute magnet. What a great idea!" Etta 4/29/02

*        *        *
AND IN CONCLUSION...

Time marches on. Seasons change. Our challenges come and go, and we learn new things. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael Garrod this summer, our long-time corsetmaker friend and supporter, as he faces a life-challenge. What fine work he has done for our Romantasy clients, and for me! Enjoy some photos of his lovely productions over the eight-odd years we've been privileged to know and work with him. He has inspired my commitment to elegance and quality, and I have dedicated my book-in-progress, Corset Magic: A Fun Guide to Trim Your Waist and Figure, to him, as follows:

"DEDICATION To Michael P. Garrod, principle of the True Grace Corset Company (London), whose artistry never gets in the way of his love for the corset. He selflessly shares his considerable talents and knowledge with inquiring corset makers just beginning their journey to learn one of the fashion world's most ancient of crafts. He unselfishly supports corset purveyors and enthusiasts who promote the art and craft of corset making and the perpetuation of elegance and beauty in comportment and dressing."


Our Man About Corsets and Sue Nice share a hug in 1998

Corsets by True Grace



















Ann Grogan CherryAppleOrange

with Corset Dream Makers, Robby Cannedy and Martina Ostermann
 

Please view previous editions of the newsletter.