Waist Not - Want Not
Corsetry News Web Journal
August September October 2000
Volume 4 Number 4

In This Issue

From The Editor FROM THE EDITOR
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2000

Wonderful summer, and coming up fall, already! We enjoyed April's Cal Dreamin' transgender conference once again...

Although the Friday attendance seemed sparse, about 170 attended the bi-annual San Francisco transgender conference and exhibit, with ROMANTASY garnering twice
as many custom corset orders as normal! Obviously, understanding the effects of a corset in feminizing the male figure is growing. We enjoyed a small but attentive audience at our Friday afternoon seminar on Permanent Body Sculpting through Corseting, and re-connected with a steady email penpal, Barbara Ann Coombs form Coral Gables, who assisted at our exhibit, along with Chelesa Perry, our friend and model, see photo to the right, wearing C&S cute fashion fit ribbon corset.
Cal Dreamin' Conference April 2000 Ann wears a gold "Simple Pleasures" Cincher at exhibit table
Chelsea "womans" the Cal Dreamin' April 2000 Exhibit, wearing a C&S Ribbon Corset


 


Cal Dreamin' Conference April 2000 Chelsea observes, Monica complete her magic
The conference was a fun event even though we missed the Saturday soiree, since we had to leave early to produce the 50tieth birthday party of long-time friend and Romantasy model, Phil, along with some of our corset models in our fashion show, "The Y'All Come Back Saloon." All in all, a great weekend!
 
 

Cal Dreamin' April 2000

The Three Diva's

Miss Emily!

-- Ann Grogan


The May Soiree
Our beautiful and handsome guests Sandy and Michael
MAY 13 EVENING DINNER GALA A LA CORSETTE--Please enjoy a few more photos from this wonderful event, presided over by our own Michael Garrod. Ten of us joined Michael and his guest, Sandy, for a sumptuous dinner at La Traviata restaurant, then four of us went on for dancing at the Starlight Room. Our waitress had stars in her eyes all evening and proclaimed once we were all seated that the ladies "looked just like princesses"! On leaving the restaurant we ran into a former ROMANTASY corset customer and her hubby, dining there as a result of our former recommendation! The lady declared that it was time for another corset order, after seeing all the beautiful styles represented on the dinner guests! Even men got into the act, with Chuck showing off his cummerbund-style handsome blue BR Creations corset over his black shirt and slacks and dinner jacket. Quite a handsome figure he cut, seated next to his date, Natasha, also in a (red China Silk) BR Creation!
Our hostess for the May 2000 Soiree, Ann, with Micheal Garrod; Ann is wearing a Lily Corset and coordinating Ribbon Skirt by Isabella


The May Soiree Dinner Guests
May Soiree: Chuck and Natasha, both wearing BR Corsets 
Client Denise thanks MP Garrod for his superlative purple brocade&satin Lily corset, with a California sand dollar she found at beach. 
The May Soiree
Melinda Roybal in True Grace sequined Lily and boyfriend Ron
Denise shows off her new True Grace Lily Corset
(Ann in green BR)
Denise and MP Garrod 


 

MELINDA ROYBAL of SAN JOSE, CA, INTERVIEWED AND PHOTOGRAPHED TRYING ON ROMANTASY CORSETS:


Melinda and Ann discuss her corset order
Here is a bit of the article from the April, 2000 San Francisco Observer, and some photos of our session with client Melinda, who also joined us for the dinner soiree at La Traviata! Even the photographer, Christine, got into the act and tried on our Simple Pleasures after learning about the wonders of corseting!
Ann laces Melinda into her first corset: The Scallop Trollop exclusively for ROMANTASY by Isabella

 By Justin Weil for SF Observer, April 2000: "To Grogan, making her customers feel relaxed is important in this frequently vilified industry.. 'On the Web I don't have to deal with the social judgments that I faced with the store,' Grogan said. ' I had three landlords turn me down in the Marina because they didn't want 'my kind of business' in the area.' With the Web Grogan doesn't have to worry about a Starbuck's coffee shop moving in next door and raising the rent 400% but does have to spend more effort establishing her credibility with customers. "The Web is a very cold medium...small businesses have to convey their merits" To do this Grogan has tried to personalize her site with the written word, a picture of herself, 14 points on why she is credicble and an image of her signature. She also includes her phone number and asks customers to call her with any questions. "I was looking at a site back east with corsets at first," Melinda Roybal, a customer from San Jose, said. "Once I found the Romantasy site and saw that it was in San Francisco, I knew that I was going to buy mine from them...You see corsets on the net and they look nice,...but when you actually touch them, it's unbelievable."
 
 




LOOKING FOR CORSET STORIES TO SHARE?
One client recently sent an erotic story involving corsets and we decided to add a fiction section where you can submit stories for consideration and publication (no payment but the gratification of seeing your work in web print!). Editorial rights will be exercised. Let's start by limited them to no more than 2000 words. You may email them to me. Rules of punctuation and grammar will be applied and we will likely use our editor friend, Walt Kleine, to give the once over before accepting them for publication. Walt is, by the way, an excellent editor and writer. If you need ghost writing, editing, or publication advice, just call Walt in Berkeley at (510) 654-8406, Box 8207, Berkeley, CA 94707.

AND WE ARE STILL ENJOYING THE MEMORIES OF OUR WONDERFUL TRIP TO AMSTERDAM AND COLOGNE:
We are corresponding regularly with our new Dutch client, Joanne (photos in next journal) and learning a lot more about her lifestyle, personality and culture.

NEW MAKER OF CORPRO (C) ROMANTASY - Diana White has found the wherewithall to make our CorPros once again and at a very reasonble price. Order in white or black two way stretch fabric with stretch lace trim. specify natural waist size and side length of corset under which you will wear it. Sizes? Xsmall (waists 20-22) Small (waists 24-26) Med (waists 28-30). or lg (waists 32-34, Xlg (waists 36-38). Please inquire re: waists over 38". Xsm and sm $22, LG and Xlg $28. Custom $32.


NEW PRODUCT: "LACISSTANT" (R) Romantasy 2000 - From wonderful Rita, our Canadian client and new friend (also pictured here after her recent Image Salon with Monica), a new helping product for those of us who have to dress ourselves in our corsets and find it a bit difficult! The Lacisstant consists of two bars of wood, one loop at one end to go over a doorknob or towel rack, and the other with a hook to hook over the two lace pulls at the waistline of a corset. Simply lean forward to draw the waist pulls taught (not TOO far forward or you will fall down!), walk forward and use both free hands to pull the corset closed in several steps! Check out full instructions here, and order one for you and for a corset-loving friend! Specify black or white finish.

CORSET OF THE MONTH - NEW AUCTION WILL BE LAUNCHED SOON - Our newest webperson, Elanie, suggested that we auction off our Corset of the Month. So, we took her advice and she prepared the necessary format for us. Some months we will feature corset in our inventory that we can ship immediately. Some months we will feature fully custom corsets that will take from 1-3 months to deliver. Join the fun and see how you fare in competing for a discount on our Corset! We'll try to auction two each month.


 

NEW STYLE CORSET, THE "JEANETTE", PATTERNED AND NOW OFFERED BY SHERI - Our photographer and friend, Jeanette, inspired Sheri to make a new corset for Jeanette's wedding outfit. We hope you like its diagonal boning lines, sleek front and modern look. Perfect in brocade for creating a spectacular wedding gown, as did Jeanette for her July 4 wedding. We all enjoyed free fireworks in Sausalito at the reception after a lovely outdoor wedding in China Camp State Park. We wish Jeanette and John the very best as they start their married life together!
 
 
 
  

Introducing "The Jeanette" corset by Sheri for ROMANTASY

Jeanette, our beaming July 4 bride, holds her new husband's (John) hand


 




"I'm Not a "professional" corset wearer, but I like having some shape: are corsets REALLY for me?" -- Cindy B 4/26/00
 

Well, my dear Cindy, CORSETS DO NOT HAVE TO BE LACED TIGHTLY, NOR WORN EVERY DAY! They can provide modest shaping, smoothing of curves such as the tummy and lower hips, better posture, and slight back support...any or all of those reasons contributing to the good of most of us! Don't hesitate to contact us even if you don't want to tight-lace but only prefer a fashion-fit, or no waist reduction at all! We're pretty sure you will love corsets for your own individual reasons!
 
 
Model Thia, corset by Sheri

Unfortunately, on the web there are many, many corset sites and conversations that imply that corsets are only for serious waist-training, extreme waist reduction, 24-hour wear, or fetish and bedroom wear. Nothing could be further from the truth!. Photos on our webiste prove time and again that the corset has indeed returned to favor for outer wear, for businesswear, and for elegant evenings out. Please read our philosophy about tight lacing.

This web visitor's question in late April, motivated me to assure our readers that almost everyone can benefit from and enjoy a well made, custom corset. ROMANTASY however, does not "push" corsets on anyone. As our friend, Pandora, likes to say: if you are comfortable wearing control top panty hose, stretch tube tops, panty girdles or body shapers, plus spandex tights or bathing suits, likely you will take to a corset like a duck to water.

ROMANTASY provides many corsets at a "fashion fit". That is, only a 2-3" reduction. Some clients come to us requesting "no reduction at all", but find that at least a one inch, if not a 2" reduction is desireable and quite, quite comfortable, in order to achieve any benefit at all from a corset, even when worn as a foundation garment. That 1-2" reduction is experienced as a snug fit, not as restriction, and does encourage better posture after all!

Be sure to tell your corset maker if you desire a fashion fit or a tight-lacing fit (corset reduces to 4" or more when back sides are laced shut), and how often and for how long you will likely wear the garment. Then decide for yourself what style seems most suitable for your lifestyle and wearing desires and opportunities.

We take special care to tell you the differences in fit and feel among the many styles and corset makers whom we proudly represent! Even with the best advice, solely by wearing a corset will you really know and understand the ultimate feeling and results.


 




"OLD-FASHIONED CORSETS WOULD STOP SEX SCANDALS!"

So claims Ed Anger from a humorous news article that a friend faxed to me some time ago. I can't tell if the article was actually published anywhere, but it seems so. And here it goes:

"I'm madder than a preacher at a strip show about all those sex scandals that keep popping up in the news. If it's not sportcasters and army generals getting into some babe's hot pants, it's another bimbo accusing President Bill Clinton of hanky-panky. The answer is simple, foks - bring back those old-fashioned snap and chinch corsets that gals used to wear. You didn't hear a peep about sex scandals in those days, by George. ..(In the good old days) teenage girls didn't have to say NO if they were wearing one of those corset contraptions. It took a gol-durned degree in engineering just to figure out which buckle did what and by the time you did, you were already late getting the little vixen home. I learned the hard way about flipping the wrong hook on those corsets, and there was many a night I'd go home with nasty red welts from head to toe caused by some flying snap or elastic strap...

"I'll bet the teenage pregnancy and adultery rates would drip like rocks if corsets made a comeback...We even oughta teach sex classes in high school showing today's girls how to wear the old corsets--and forget about that birthcontrol pill and contraception c----. How the devil are you gonna commit adultery or get pregnant if you can't even get your clothes off? Our plan is simple: make every woman wear one of the old=-fashioned corsets until the day she marries. Now, I'm no sexist.(sic). But we all know that most women are airhead sexpots out to tempt men into the sack. So unless we can force them to squeez into those late, great steel-and-elastic corsets of yesteyear, this country is going to continue to go to hell in a handbasket, friends." So saith Mr. Anger.... in jest, we hope!


 



Bimbo? Oh, reeeaaaallly?
Model Thia, corset by Sheri
Tight Clothes and Bimbos

One of our favorite SF Chronicle newspaper columnists, Leah Garchik, mentioned on September 8, 1998, a University of Michigan psychologist, Barbara Frederickson, who claims that women who wear revealing or tight clothes may spend so much effort thinking about it that their brains don't have the capacity to do much else. 

"Any clothing or circumstances that make a woman feel self-conscious about how she looks to others, even if she thinks she looks great, might reduce the mental energy she brings to demanding tasks, like solving advanced math problems." 

Frederickson cited such mentally draining activities as looking in mirrors, tugging on a skirt and adjusting a strap.

 


Bimbo? Oh, reeeaaaallly?
Model Thia, corset by Sheri



CUSTOM VS. READY MADE CORSETS:
MORE COMMENTS

More than once I have been asked to explain the difference between custom and ready made. Our client's comments provide the best illustration of the superiority of custom, and the wisdom of choosing that route, even if it means delaying gratification until the piggybank is ready!

>From Tammy, May 19, 2000:
"Ann, Thank you for shipping the corset out so fast. I tried it on Wednesday night and was surprised at how comfortable it was! The difference between my old (ready made) one and this one is night an day. The old one was uncomfortable to wear and had the tendency to rub against my lower ribs. This one is very comfortable and accommodates my lower ribs very nicely. I want to thank you and BR Creations for a wonderful product. I look forward to many wearings of this corset and to continued business with you."

I recently encountered a paragraph written by John Ruskin, which provides some common sense approach to price and quality:

" It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. when you pay too much, you lost a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was brought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."


Model Thia, corset by Sheri


 


 

WE GET LETTERS... AND KUDOS!


Dear Ann, I was very impressed with your website. Easy to get around and very informative. I look forward to receiving your catalogue and placing my first order due to being in the market for a new corset!" --Stephan, London 4/5/00

"Ann, the new Isabella corset fits beautifully, is extremely comfortable. Keep up the good work!" --DL, Michigan 4/1/00 (DL's third corset in four months!)

"Ann, your postcards came yesterday. They are simply lovely! Thank you." -- J 3/00 (Ed note: simply ask us and we'll send a set of our 8 postcards free of charge, or order our handpainted silk corset tie bag with set included for $15.)

"I found the ROMANTASY web site from a web search for corsetry and it was clear straight away that you offer a standard of service and quality which is way above other companies I looked at." --Roberta, England 4/20/00 

"I received your catalog on Friday...very impressive. I was not expecting so much information for which I am pleased. I thought it might be similar to ____ and ____ catalogs, just full of glossy photos. I am glad to see the catalog is full of information. You answered most questions that I previously asked _____ about, with no proper answer from them. For example, I wasn't sure about buying a waspy or a corset and if they could give advice. Unfortunately, I didn't get any info and bought a corset that was appropriate, but was the wrong size, which is now too large." -- SS 4/20/00

"Dear Romantasy, I enjoyed reading your website from top to bottom, very informative! I would like to purchase my first corset." -- Michael B 4/24/00

"Dear Ann, (I have decided to delay presentation of Samantha's corset for a little while). I think that will make it all the more special. It is so very beautiful and I am sure that she will think so, too. Thank you again for everything...she talks so much about our visit with you." -- Allen, Montana 4/26/00

"Dear Ann...the corset arrived just in time. The lady in question, age 68, says 'It feels wonderful, so feminine.' Now she wants a longer one (than the Simple Pleasures Cincher)." -- PD, Hawaii 5/2/00

*        *        *



AND IN CONCLUSION...

It's sometime frustrating but mainly gratifying when our former retail customers call trying to find our retail space, and we refer them to our website and invite a personal consultation on corsetry. Frustrating, because some of them have not visited us for 3 or more years, and can't believe we have closed our retail shop and are not there for them! It's difficult to understand how they can imagine that a small retailer can stay in business when they didn't shop with us more than once every 3 years! Yes, Romantasy was a special and unique retail venture, especially at first in 1990 when we established our cozy, romantic and erotic boutique in Cow Hollow/Marina. But having a great concept that is before its time, with lots of social approbrium and discriminatory landlords to face almost every day, does not lead to even a minimally economically or emotionally supportive business in the long run. The web, however, and our growing love of corsets have been our savior.

We are happy to report that ROMANTASY grows and changes and lives on in its continually changing form, much like a butterfly, and reflective of human nature and the nature of life itself. We appreciate the business and the loving support and communication from our web visitors even via this "cold" medium of the web. We believe that karma exists and will come back to all of you by means far more miraculous than the gifts of human invention and technology!

-Ann Grogan, President and Owner, with Corset Dream Makers, Robby Cannedy and Martina Ostermann 
 

May Soiree

The May Soiree, 2000
La Traviata Restaurant, San Francisco
A wonderful event with wonderful friends, new and old!

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