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This is a compilation of questions we are frequently asked. If you don't see an answer to a question you have, please Email us.
small fan A.Components of a Quality Corset or Training Belt
small fan B.Health Matters (see also, Index topic L)
small fan C.How to Choose the Proper Corsetmaker
small fan D.How to Measure then Check Fit, Comfort, and Quality of a Good Corset or Training Belt
small fan E.When and How to Order the Proper Size Corset
small fan F.Men's Stays and Corsets
small fan G.Miscellaneous
small fan H.Price and Production of a Quality Corset or Training Belt
small fan I.Waist and Rib Training
small fan J.Wear, Care, and Maintenance of Your Corset
small fan K.Whether, When, and How to Order A ROMANTASY Corset or Training Belt
small fan L.Back Support and Pain Management

A. COMPONENTS OF A QUALITY CORSET OR TRAINING BELT
  1.

Q. What is the difference between a department store belt and your waist-training belt?

A. There is a great deal of difference. If you look carefully at the belt, you will see it is extra wide, from 2.25" to 3" wide custom. It is extra thick as well, made of very strong lattigo leather for sturdiness (two thicknesses), and nicely stitched four times. It has a roller buckle and five or six grommets and is larger in diameter than usual grommets in order for you to buckle it on more easily. It is not easy to put the belt on, once you start reducing 2" more from your snug waist size, the level where you should start waist training. You will need those larger grommets.

The training belt will withstand a lot of pounds of pressure at the waistline, likely to mount to 50-70 lbs. once you belt down 4" or more. Thus, it is completely unlike any commercially available belt you could possibly find in department stores. ROMANTASY designed this one specifically for waist training. It works extremely well for many clients.

  2.Rubber corsetQ. What is the difference between rubber (as seen right, photo (c) by J. Vonier 1998)) , latex, and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) fabrics?

A. 
PVC is a plastic fabric that comes in all colors, including sometimes, amazing holographic. As far as I know, rubber and latex are the same material. Both are made of rubber. Rubber is sometimes thicker for a corset, latex lighter. I've never trusted latex although I know one corsetmaker who swears her gluing technique makes latex stand up to tight-lacing. I cannot attest to that. Mr. Garrod, for ROMANTASY, provided superlative rubber corsets which he both stitched and glued using thicker European rubber, but he never would guarantee a corset’s durability much past five years in any

Rubber/latex will eventually deteriorate. PVC can crack over time. My rubber and PVC corsets are doing fine; my two rubber corsets by Mr. Michael Garrod of True Grace Corset Co. are now 10 yrs old, but dulling. You shine a rubber or latex corset with Rubberall.

Sometimes PVC will crack at the waistline (where pressure is most) and show the stitch marks a little bit. Neither fabric is perfect for a tight-lacing long-lasting corset, but of course, almost any corset style can be made in these fabrics, if you are willing to accept the limitations and knowledge it won't last as long as a fabric corset, if you tight-lace.
  3.Q. I don't know if I can lace a corset up by myself. Should I order a front-laced, closed-back corset?
 
A.
Not really. unless you cannot bend your elbows and place the back of your hands rather readily against your middle to lower back. Some people cannot do that because of shoulder tendinitis or perhaps palsy, and that would augur well for a front-laced, closed-back corset that can be manipulated from the front. However, if you suspect you might need help lacing by yourself but don't have such a physical limitation or challenge, you should consider ordering a front busk, back lacing corset, and consider as well ordering our self-lacing device, the Lacisstant. It was designed by a customer of ours who wanted both hands freed up behind his back in order to manipulate the lacing cords more easily. You will see from the diagrams on that page how that works. As said, we recommend if you have moderate shoulder flexibility and some hand dexterity, that you choose the more traditional front busk (either the lighter weight spring steel busk or the wider, stiffer stainless steel busk for a moderate upcharge), with traditional back lacing. The reason is two-fold. First, just like learning to ride a bicycle, you will easily learn how to lace yourself with some practice, albeit awkward practice at first. Just add 30 minutes to your dressing time so that you take it slowly and easily as you practice and soon you will get the hang of it. Second, an expanse of steel, especially the 2" wide stainless busk, plus one of two additional bones either 1/4" wide or 1/2" wide placed next to the front busk, will give you maximum lower tummy control and support, something often desired by our corset clientele. It does that in an of itself, plus the fact that as you pull from the back to lace down, you will be pulling inward and backward on the tummy flesh to improve posture and reduce your waistline. With front lacing you are pulling forward and in on the back. The back is not the part of the torso that has a lot of fat associated with it!  Back to Index.


Extra-wide "Spoon" busk, wider at bottom than top and very stiff, with back-laced corset.

Front extra-wide busk closure with back-laced corset

Front laced closure with
closed back corset

Front busk closure with back-laced corset

B. HEALTH MATTERS
  1.Q. What condition is the skin in after wearing the corset for long periods of time tightly-laced?

A. 
This is a complex question but we can suggest some answers. Basically, it depends. You will note skin wrinkling after routine corset-wearing, may note some itching around your waist, especially after you remove the corset. That is normal because the skin is being compressed and circulation reduced. Upon removal of your corset we recommend using your hand or a soft children's hairbrush to massage the skin. Never use your nails to scratch your skin, and never take a hot shower. The shower exacerbates itching, and scratching may well break down sensitized skin and cause a sore which may be quite difficult to heal, causing you to take a break from corseting at all.

For lifestyle corseters wearing corsets 24.7, there can be serious skin breakdown (decubitus) where the only remedy is ceasing to corset for some time. It's far better to avoid these problems in the first place because after they occur, the skin becomes extra sensitive and thin. Some use talcum powder under the protector tube top,  while others some don't like it because they find it irritating, much like sand. Using lotion after you corset can be soothing. Udder Cream or a cream containing Vaseline (I found a lovely one in a yellow tube at the Dollar Store!) has been recommended. Note that dry climates can also irritate the skin where it becomes even more important to minimize skin wrinkling and moisture. Wearing our tight CorPro, a contoured tube top, will wick perspiration away from the body, as will wearing a cotton corset such as our Sleep Corset.

  2.

Q. What if any effect does the corset have on piercings that are under the corset? Do they become sore, or does the body reject them, etc.?

A. We have not heard of any such result. However, your piercing should be completely healed before corseting.

 3. Q. I have scoliosis with a 35 degree spine curvature. Will a corset help me?

A.
Vertebral bracing used to be the medical treatment of choice for scoliosis, not surgery. Now we live in a want-it-now kind of society without patience to wear a corset brace for the long hours and years it takes to make change in a curved spine.

If you merely desire some back support and stabilization I would imagine a custom corset would work for you. Certainly it fits better under clothing and is more comfy than a bulky medical corset: I know, as I wore a medical corset from time to time for back spasms; now I wear my lovely custom corset to prevent and to relieve spasms for a few days before going back to my physical therapy/exercise program to keep my back strong and healthy.

Since I am not a doctor, I cannot truly answer your question. I do suggest strongly that you discuss your interest in corsetry with your physician. My guess is, wearing a corset in a moderate way would not hurt you and would stand some chance, maybe even a good chance, of helping.

Please also realize that some physicians prefer to keep health-related information and supplies remotely "medical" inside the medical establishment. Furthermore, sometimes physicians don't have modern info on how well modern day corsetry fits and how comfortable it can feel, thus they may be prejudiced without basis against the custom fashion corset.

I wish I had a definitive answer for you. The most I can say is if you decide on Romantasy as your preferred corsetiere, and we hope you do!, just know that since 1990 we have served several clients with scoliosis and a man with severe palsy. Know also that when you order, you must measure your body in two halves. Print our measurement form out and write at top of one: "from my eyes looking outward, right side" and "from my eyes looking outward left side."

That way your chosen corsetiere will decide if she needs to pattern each side separately for you. Still, we cannot guarantee a corset won't torque a bit. You can always pull the corset in the opposite direction to straighten it up as best you can.

In the end, it could be that only trying a corset will give you the facts that you need to decide if these will work for you or not. It will require some investment of funds to make that kind of real-life trial, but I would guess that you as have I, occasionally spent money on things that just don't work out, despite you having every confidence that they will.

I don't want to discourage you as I truly believe these garments are magical and wonderful for everybody! I do however want to be cautious on your own behalf.
  4.

Q. I've been wearing my Training Belt a bit too long and likely created a sore rib on one side. Can you give me more advice about that?

A.
I am sorry to hear about that sore rib. How wide was the belt you are wearing? Remember too, a new belt will generally be very stiff and absolutely horizontal pressing down on the pelvic bone and up on the floating lowest ribs. How many hours per day at what level down from your normal waist measurement were you wearing the belt? You may well have laced down too fast and worn it for too long at one time, possibly before the belt was properly seasoned and comfy as the sides begin to curve outward? Even if you are going slowly, perhaps you went beyond what was recommended or what your body at the time could tolerate. There is no strict standard; listen to your body first of all!

Most of us are not precisely equal side-of-body to side-of-body. It could be that your belt is pressing a bit more on one side of your ribs because of that. You might try placing a piece of thin cotton, bubble wrap, or 1/4" foam rubber over that sore rib when you next wear the belt, or even a corset, as I have done over a sore pelvic bone. Of course as you are doing, wait to belt or corset until your rib is not sore, then don't buckle or lace so tightly. For a corset, you can open up the top edge in back more than the waist and bottom edge when you lace down to the day's desired wearing level. Those steps should help.

  5.

Q. I have fibromyalgia. Can I wear corsets?

A. I wish I had an easy answer to that, just like doctors wish they had an easy cure! I'm sure you already know enough about this condition, but the Mayo Clinic website defines it as: "a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points -- places on your body where slight pressure causes pain." Although I don't suffer from this, I discussed the matter with a good friend who does, yet who wore a silver satin overbust corset and skirt for her wedding--but not tightly. I think she rarely wears it these days. She told me that each person is different in terms of how the condition is experienced, and that she would not wear uncomfortable clothing during an episode. Since she is not a corset enthusiast per se, she has never tried her lovely overbust corset while feeling discomfort or pain. What constitutes "comfort" also is an individual matter. Could be that you would feel great support for your muscles from the steel boning and be able to relax more, or it could be the opposite situation. Rather than conclude from the above that corseting is definitely not for you, I would suggest that you might want to try a steel-boned corset on when feeling good and when not, but not lace it tightly. Remember: you are in charge of how tightly you lace down. But remember that when the corset is made custom to a full set of your own measurements, it will contour and skim over your body and likely fit much better than any readymade or standardized pattern of what we like to call "wannabe" corsets on the market! Barring the opportunity to try a real corset on as a sample, you must judge the risk or reward if you decide to purchase a corset (but we have some very inexpensive quality custom corsets to offer you!), as my friend does have days when the pain is intense but that is not every day. If your pain is periodic or episodic, then I suspect you can wear your corset on the days you feel well. After all, I don't wear my corset 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and cinched down 4 or more inches! I choose those days I want the support and those days I don't, I lace down moderately, and dress accordingly.

 6.

Q. If I'm corset waist training, should I minimize sugar, or fats, or both?

A. Let's back up a step. As stated on a good website discussion of sugars, http://www.ific.org/foodinsight/2004/ja/fructosefi404.cfm, although it is commonly agreed that overweight and obesity are due to excessive energy intake and lack of physical activity, why and how individuals become obese is linked to multiple causes. There's never one single answer to any single question, right? It seems much more important for you to evaluate your total diet and lifestyle from a comprehensive perspective. Is your energy intake in terms of calories, and your energy expenditure balanced? If not, then you will gain weight, it's just that simple! Look also at what factors unique to you, need to be addressed, taking into account your job, lifestyle, and other considerations. If you have a sedentary job such as at the computer, you will tend to expend less calories than someone who is a UPS delivery person, hopping into and out of her truck all day, and walking to deliver packages. The key is to understand a few general principles about foods and food choices plus how we eat, then pull out the stops in terms of looking at your stress level, sleep quantity and quality, and exercise, plus wearing your corset (which mainly controls portion size and provides a lot of other minor miracles in terms of boosting your figure-trimming mission forward), in order to control your weight and effectively waist train.

 7.

Q.  I am a dialysis patient on peritoneal dialysis. I am filled at all times with somewhere between 1500 ml and 2 liters of fluid. I don't know how that will affect corseting, and I'm afraid to ask the nurses at my PD clinic.

A. Please realize that I am not a physician, nor medically trained. In addition, until your question (Nov. 25, 2008) I have never been asked this question, even in my 19 years in this business. Thus, I would be foolish to advise you in any way considering your individual circumstances and must sincerely encourage you to be honest and up-front with your medical support team and seek an accurate answer as to whether and how you could safety wear a custom corset for fashion purposes. As for whether you could corset and waist train, that would require sound medical advice as well. Please know that I am firmly committed to your health and that of my clients as well as myself, and we must consult those responsible professionals we have chosen who are well trained to assist us address serious health concerns. I also suggest you raise with your medical professionals two very moderate steps you possibly could take to gently and reasonably test out how you might respond to corseting, without engaging in independently risky behavior.

The first is to purchase a wide plastic or leather belt (about 3" or so) perhaps at Good Will. Cinch that down 1" from you normal snug waistline, and see what results after you wear it for a few minutes up to an hour. If there is no harm, then wear it the next day for two hours and the next day for three hours. Then cinch down one more grommet or 2," and go back to wearing it two hours and build up. Note any untoward effects and immediately take the belt off if you experience discomfort. The second is to purchase a lightweight body briefer (like the Spanx brand), or even two of same, and wear those in the same manner to see what results. Even wearing a girdle might be informative. Of course, the best test for you is to be able to try on a fine corset that is near to your measurements, then lace gently down 1-2" and stay corseted for a few minutes to see the results, building up to more minutes, then some hours.

I have one repeat corset client who has a colostomy, and he successfully and with no harm, wears his corset by our corsetiere Sheri, perhaps our most comfy maker: http://www.romantasyweb.com/cyboutique/corsetmakers.html He adores his corsets, starts lacing gradually as described above, and does not report any problems.

Regarding construction and hygiene matters, we provided him with two front protectors to go beneath the front laces so he could launder them first if soiled, and also we provided him with several CorPros, tube tops worn beneath his corset and laundered first.  His corset is made out of cotton so it too is hand washable (with care per our instructions). You like him, may order your corset closed back with convenient front lacing to be able to adjust your equipment

As for waist training, that is a question which puts the horse before the cart. You must first resolve the above questions, then understand that based upon my research with generally healthy students and excluding those undergoing dialysis, usually I recommend they start wearing their waist training corset 2 hrs per day working up to as long as they can tolerate or 10-14 hrs. per day, then dropping back to 2 hrs per day and lacing down 1/4" to " more and building up hours, and continuing. Some need longer hours of wear, some tighter and faster lacing down to see results. I do not teach lifestyle waist training which is normally understood to require corset wear 24/7 and perhaps end with rather extreme lacing down of 9-10." I take a much more moderate approach to waist training and corseting. What will or may work for you remains to be seen and truly there is no set answer. You would have to pay close attention to your body as to comfort or problems developing, and there can be no guarantee that you might have to terminate training at some point, or even terminate corseting itself.

In consulting your physician, please note that some or even many may not well understand the concept of modern day, moderate, custom corseting.
They imagine only extreme Victorian ladies and succumb to antiquated myths about the 'dangers' of corseting. Yet doctors themselves over time have used medical bracing as the treatment of choice for certain medical conditions, scoliosis and back spasm, for example. And I have many, many physician clients who corset without problem. I have been prescribed a medical corset for serious back spasm, but now wear only my fine, comfortable, well fitting custom corsets if I face that challenge today. My medical corset was so thick, inflexible, and ugly, that it was far less comfy and less conforming to my natural body contours, and was not light weight enough to fit under my clothing and be easily disguised. My modern corsets provide all that. Thus, the issue is being sure that the nurse or doctor whom you consult, really does understand you are referencing your moderate approach to lacing down, with an individually crafted corset made to your individual measurements. If you like, you might refer your medical professionals to my website as well as to my FAQ page, which contains some responsible health information which I always review with several physicians or nurse consultants, most of who corset!

 8.

Q. I haven't been wearing my new corset for excessive periods of time, but I've been noticing some slight discomfort in my central back after about twenty minutes. I don't blame the corset. This is the fruit of twenty-some-odd years of poor posture, the same thing my doctor has complained about. I know that the corset is correcting this, and that my back is protesting. In the mean time, have you any advice which might make this more comfortable?

A. As you note, wearing a form-fitting garment is an entirely different experience than wearing today's loosely-fitting, non-conforming fashions. More than likely your body is telling you that it notes the gentle changes you are asking of it as you begin to focus on improved posture and a trimmer waistline. Continue to pay attention to those messages. Since this is only slight discomfort, I would not be overly-concerned, however, you might do the following. Back off a bit more on the tightness with which you are lacing down (take a tape measure and measure over the corset; it should most likely never be more than 3" more than your natural waistline for full figures, or 2" for slim figures). And back off in the number of hours that you are wearing it at one time (usually recommended during seasoning to be no more than
2 hrs). Also wear your back protector under the corset laces, to pad and protect your back. You should also be wearing a very tight CorPro tube top not only to wick body perspiration away from your valuable corset, but to smooth out the skin. Once you have laced halfway down, reach under one arm with the opposite hand and pull the flesh forward to the center front of your body. Then do the reverse. This smoothes out unnecessary skin wrinkling that can tweak as you wear your corset.
Finally, about every 15 minutes be sure you stand up and stretch, or do what we call the "lean-pull" technique". Lean to one side, grasp the opposite bottom side of the corset and gently stretch your ribs while you hold it steady. Reverse. This results in lengthening your torso, improving your posture, and properly re-seating the corset waistline at your own waistline for maximum comfort. Often this process renders corset wearing a lot more comfortable, and can be repeated throughout the day when you begin to feel uncomfortable again. If discomfort ever begins to reach the level of pain, take your corset off or loosen it considerably. We do not recommend testing either your limits or the corset's limits via pain when you are both "corset newbie's!"

Are you wearing your back protector beneath the laces? Do that to pad the back. Before lacing down tight do you reach in front on side underarm and pull the flesh forward, then reverse and pull flesh forward from under the other arm, then lace down? That removes excess wrinkling that traps moisture and might trap or pinch small nerves in the skin with you press down as you lace down. Also I recommend wearing our tight CorPro or a tub top really tight against your body then put the corset on, the do the flesh pull to the front, then lace down.

Always stop corseting or loosen up just before you get to the pain level.
 9.

Q.  I am 19 years old and have a 26 inch waist and just started wearing corsets a month ago off and on.  I want to start wearing them full time but I have the problem that after I am in a corset for about 4 hours my left hip area starts to go numb.  The leg never does but the lower area of the hip does and it hurts a bit.  I do not know if this is normal or what I can do to correct it.  I do not have a custom corset although I did buy a quality underbust that cost about $150.  Please let me know what I can do, if anything.

A. It is good you are doing your homework and understanding corsets, to avoid problems in the future. First, I must suggest that you go back to the manufacturer or purveyor of your corset to ask that question. Any reputable dealer will happily provide customer education with their product, and also follow-up service. I fully expect and hope that the source for your corset will do so.

Not knowing what you have purchased, nor seeing a photograph of the issue you reference, I can only answer in general. Please realize I am not a doctor nor medically trained so can only answer from my research and practical information.

Numbness most likely results from the bottom perimeter of your corset being too tight and pressing down on the anterior femoral nerve that runs over your pelvic bone. This tightness can happen from a measurement being taken too tightly around your pelvic bone (horizontal), or from a U-shaped corset silhouette rather than a wasp or hourglass silhouette Please take a look at the basic variety of body silhouettes created by corsets: http://www.romantasyweb.com/Styles/FigureSilhouettes.html

Either reason will or may lead to your corset pressing down on that nerve with resultant numbness because the blood supply is being cut off from the pressure. Left for a while this condition could become dangerous. Certainly it is not pleasant.

You may simply open up the bottom edge wider than waist and top edge in the back to try to relieve pressure. Or try an hourglass shape corset, or a fully custom corset which will be patterned out over your pelvic measurement. Custom is always better than readymade to ensure a good fit, because it is individually patterned for your measurements. And "quality" is not all that expensive at Romantasy: we have a lovely Sleep Corset at only $175 and a two-layer beginner's corset at only $195--for fully custom work, plus a tight-lacing quality corset by a senior team member, Sharon McCoy Morgan, the "Bella" at only $296--truly amazing prices for the product, preliminary education, and follow-up customer service that we offer our clients. We hope to count you among them soon!

  10.

Q. Can or do corsets cause miscarriages?

A. As pointed out to me by a physician consultant, although it is or may be possible, if corsets really caused this result, it is highly likely that vast numbers of women seeking to terminate pregnancies intentionally, would buy corsets for that very purpose, and that simply is not the case. Furthermore please consider the known fact that many upper income women who laced very tightly in corsets in the 1880s until about 1905, had large numbers of children.

  11. Q. I have been told by a corset vendor that sleeping with a corset will weaken my spine. I've not only been sleeping in my corset but also wearing it 23/7. Is that true?

A.
Frankly, I cannot answer your question without further information. Did you ask for the underlying facts from that vendor? Please return to them and elicit the facts and experience regarding their generalized conclusion. Your wearing program may weaken your spine, or not. I would need to know far more about you as an individual, such as how long you have been wearing your corset 23/7 and sleeping in it, and how long you will intend on doing that in the future. Also, I would need to know what exercises you are doing and how often, how tightly you are lacing down, what is your general health and lifestyle, and other. Generalized statements issued with absolute certainty are among the things that I most abhor in this magical world of corsetry. I suspect that my detailed book and waist-training blog would be quite helpful to answer this question and of course, would caution any person corseting 23/7, to use common sense and first seek competent, entightened medical advice about how to maintain general good health and not weaken muscles over time. Back to Index.
C. HOW TO CHOOSE THE PROPER CORSETMAKER
 1. Q. Why do you work with more than one corsetmaker, and how should I go about choosing among them?

A. To provide the best possible service and product to our corset enthusiast clients, I decided in 1990 to adopt a business model that is client centered, involving education first before closing a sale.

To produce my product, I settled upon a team concept.  Rather than learn to hone my limited corset-making and seamstress skills, I decided to purchase and wear many custom corsets from many corsetmakers, to personally feel and see their differences, then interview many other corset enthusiasts to learn about what constitutes true "tight-lacing quality." I then searched the world, and continue to search in every possible location, for corsetmakers with a certain level of experience in making tight-lacing, high quality, well-fitting custom corsetry.

Incidentally, it has been incredibly difficult to finding qualified corsetieres for our team approach. Many claim to be corsetieres making tight-lacing corsets, but time and again I examine their work, or see how they relate to projects, clients, and deadlines, and they fall short of my expectations and strict quality standards. Our present team members are all excellent and meet my business standards. However, we always like to connect to other qualified corsetieres out there, and appreciate any referrals.

To deliver both education and product, in January of 1990 I started with a small retail boutique located in the Marina District of San Francisco during which time I decided to launch the world's first corset website in 1995. My primary goal has been to keep the website  foremost in the world as the most fact-based, informative, inspirational, and welcoming to all, no matter the body size or shape, reason for corseting, or gender. I also decided to close my retail venture in late 1998, and then see clients at private fitting appointments in my San Francisco home, or advise on the Internet and via phone consultations. Today, about 75% of my business derives from  long-distance clients, and 65% of my orders derive from men clients, with a small portion of those men not being transgendered, but rather seeking corsets to improve their posture, reduce expanding "beer bellies," or provide back support.

To educate my clients, I help them analyze the choices  from among a wide range of options in corset style, corsetmaker, and regarding the corset, the fit, feel when worn, fabrics and embellishments, and price points. Once our corset is delivered, I stay in email touch, and provide corset maintenance over the years at about cost, plus take corsets back for consignment sale when requested, thus improving the value of our client's investment in art-for-wear. Finding nothing in the marketplace and also finding a lot of misstatements on the web about corsetry and waist training, I also wrote and first published in 2001, a detailed e-book on the topic of health-first waist-training, which I constantly update.

In sum, since opening in 1990 I have worked with from four to ten or more, qualified corsetieres, each specializing in particular corset styles, fabrics, construction techniques, and corsets if various strengths creating various waistline silhouettes and at various price points. Sometimes, our wonderful corsetmakers move on (please view BR Creations, True Grace, and Raven. However, when you choose ROMANTASY for your corset, you may be assured that we will always have a team whose members can readily meet your individual needs. We will not force you to accept one maker, or one style corset only, nor will we attempt to close a sale if we don't have what is best for you.

As of 2008, ROMANTASY works with five team members: Sheri, Sue, Sharon, Jade, and Jill. We have additional corsetieres and seamstresses on staff to provide unique styles or other garments such as our Training Belts , the man's CorVest, and custom skirts, costumes, wedding gowns, posture collars, gloves, purses, and other fashion items to coordinate with your corset. ROMANTASY also offers some private-label standard-patterned corsets that are excellently and reasonably priced.

To find the best style for you, please read this page.  Then consult our galleries to find a client with your figure. Observe how the corset makes their waistline and silhouette look. Tell us the gallery name, page, row, and image from let side and we can tell you who made it and the cost. Back to Index.

D. HOW TO MEASURE THEN CHECK FIT, COMFORT, AND QUALITY OF A GOOD CORSET OR TRAINING BELT
 1. Q. I've purchased corsets before and they squish out flesh over the top and under the bottom edges. How can a custom corset avoid that?

A
. Excellent question and common problem with store-bought or readymade corsets, or even with a custom corsets made from incorrect measurements. The simple answer is: Accurate measurements are the key to ensuring the best fit possible and avoiding this unsightly and uncomfortable problem. For example, if you measure horizontally around your rib cage and let the tape measure drop in back (below a lady's bra strap, for example), then the measurement may be too narrow for your actual rib cage and an underbust corset may be too tight at the top edge, causing flesh to possibly squish out. You should always have someone else measure you, because they can hold the tape up in the back to get a true rib cage measurements. Also, you should relax your shoulders and take the ribcage measurement three times, then average those three out to reach the best approximation.

For the top edge of an overbust corset, only an interim "cotton muslin" fitting can ensure the very best fit. It is very difficult to fit the bosom without such a muslin fitting, and we simply will not provide that style without this step. Again you should rather generously measure and report the high bust (under the armpits), around the bosom in a bra, and then vertically up to as high as you can comfortably tolerate under your arms, in order to support the side of the bosom and not squish it out from over the bust cup of the corset. As another example, if you measure your pelvis horizontally but too high on your hip and not directly over the pelvic saddle hip bone, then you might measure too tightly and the bottom edge of the corset may be too tight. It then might pinch the hip skin and possibly cause numbness running down from the anterior femoral nerve, or squish out flesh from under the bottom edge of the corset. We sometimes recommend that full-figure clients consider investing in the interim cotton muslin (included by overbust styles but not for underbust styles) even for underbust corset styles, in order to double check how their flesh will move within the corset, and the precise lower edge shape they desire for best tummy control, before going to the final version.
 2.

Q. In general how long will one corset last if you wear it 5-6 days a week for long periods of time?

A. The rule of thumb is: Wear a well-made custom corset in suitable fabric for waist-training, 24/7 at a 4" reduction and it will wear out in 1-1.5 yrs. Other than that general rule, it is impossible to say with certainty. The answer depends on the following factors, among others: (1) how well you take care of your corset; (2) how little or much you wash or dry clean it (wear it over our CorPro tube top to protect it from body oils); (3) whether you season it properly when you first receive it; (4) whether you rotate it with other corsets in your wardrobe, thus reducing stress on any given corset; (5) how much you lace down from your normal waistline and how long you wear it at that level; (6) whether you tie the ribbons in front (that rubs the fabric) or in back; (7) the nature and quality of the fabric both outer and lining; (8) whether the corset has waist tape or not; (9) whether the corset fabric is bonded, or the corset is interface; (10) the nature of the thread and the seaming used; (11) the number of bone casings (double, triple and quadruple bones laid side by side, or even one bone on top of another, will strengthen the corset); and other.

 3. Q. Don't corsets hurt?

A.
Custom corsets don't hurt because the pattern is drafted to fit your individual body's hills and valleys; ready-made corsets may hurt since they are made from standardized patterns. Also, you can open up any corset at the back lacings to provide a more comfortable fit.

And, of course, you will go about this in a common-sense kind of way, that is, seasoning your corset slowly and gradually wearing it longer at a looser level before you lace tighter, in order to accustom your body to restriction and protect the integrity of your fine corset, right? We certainly hope so!
 4. Q. How do ROMANTASY's corsets differ from others on the web?

A.
They differ because we are a corset purveyor and designer who works with you to choose the precise style, design and corset maker to suit your individual needs, desires and budget: we have something for everyone and the widest variety of styles to offer on the web. We also offer the world's finest tight-lacing waist-training corsets.
 5. Q. I've found some of your styles on other websites. Why should I buy from you?

A.
That particular style may not be the best style for you. Other corset makers and websites offer you limited style and option selections, price points, resulting body silhouettes once you corset, and only one or two basic construction techniques or fabrics. ROMANTASY has no particular interest in pushing you to purchase from one particular corset maker, or one particular style that does not suit the great majority your individual needs and which may not work best on your body or for your shape or figure issue. In addition, our owner Ann, is a corset expert: as of early 2007, she owns over 70 fully-custom corsets by her makers and by others around the world, and thus, knows her product intimately. In addition, she has worked with most of her corset makers on her team for at least six or more years, plus she has been in the specialized custom corset business since 1990, an amazing length and depth of experience she can bring to guide you properly.
 6. Q. Should I come to be measured in person?

A.
It depends. Ann has measured and read the measurements of over 7000 customers since starting the business in 1990. She can generally tell if you have made an error in your measurements and advise you to re-measure. This is especially true if you send digital (or snapshots) or your torso from a front, side, and back view. These are of course, confidential and used only to view your torso shape and if you have positioned the waistline ribbon in a correct position. If you come to San Francisco, you are welcome to make a private measuring appointment. For overbust styles this is desirable; for underbust styles this is not necessary, but always enjoyable.
  7.Q. You say that three torso measurements in particular are crucial ones to ensure a good fit on a custom corset. Can you assist me understand why and how to proceed?

A.
Those measurements are: (1) sidefront of your body, waist to top edge of corset (number 7 on our measurement chart graphic), (2) center front of your body, waist to top edge of corset (not shown on our graphic), and (3) center front of your body, waist to bottom edge of corset (number 9 on our measurement chart graphic).

First, as to the sidefront of your body, if you make this too high or tall, and since the corset naturally tends to rise a bit during hours of wear, the top edge of the corset may or will push up into your lower chest tissue on a man, or into bosom tissue on a lady. On men cross dressers, the top edge may or will push up into the bra and silicon inserts, and thus artificially elevate the bosom. This will force you to lean backwards when wearing the corset, or it will or might dig into flesh and possibly be uncomfortable. How much it will do all of the above depends a lot on the size of the bosom or chest, how long you wear the corset at one time, how new it is, and how tall the height is.

If this measurement is perfect, the top corset edge vertically ends at, and the corset remains on, the vertical torso and does not go over a lady's bra underwire or a man's chest tissue swell.

If this measurement is too low there is little negative effect for a lady, however for a man the chest musculature or ribs are typically larger than a lady's and both may tend to pop out and be exaggerated. Manly men may desire this effect, thus some corsetieres (not Romantasy) suggest that only shorter or waist cincher type corsets should be ordered. Cross dressers typically do not prefer a short corset, since it will tend to emphasize the "superman" manly rib shape, not tame the rib cage, and not push it in a bit creating the narrow torso shape more typical of a female.

Second, as to the center front waist to top, this measurement is not shown on our graphic because usually clients defer to us for that. If they defer, our choice is typically one inch taller than measurement number 7. Why? Because 1" seems to us to be a measurement that most ladies, cross dressers and manly men want. It results in a gentle rise in the center of the corset, or a quasi-point. However, if this measurement exceeds more than 1" above the sidefront vertical number 7 measurement, a sharp point starts to appear, and emphasizes the breast shape more like a lady. Thus, a manly man might not want a sharp point or high rise center more than 1" above the number 7 measurement.

Third, the center front waist to bottom of corset is challenging to get right. If too long, the bottom edge of your corset may push into your "privates" and make it difficult to sit! If too short then your tummy flesh may tend to squish out in an unsightly way. Our instructions request that you take this measurement several times both sitting and standing, and use a stiffer ruler (not flimsy tape measure) to push in the tummy the same way boning and front busk will do in a final corset, and then take the best average. There is no set rule as to what measurement is too long or too short, since how flesh moves is individual per client and difficult to predict with precision.

Considering the above three measurements, and indeed all measurements requested for custom work, the best way to proceed is to actually try on a sample corset (especially made by your chosen ROMANTASY team member) and come up with final measurements in that manner, carefully reporting not only your natural body measurements, but also carefully observing and reporting measurements taken from what actually happens to your body.

Barring your ability to personally try on a corset before ordering, following our measurement instructions to a "T" and sending us the confidential torso photos we request (we will get back to you with questions if we see anything amiss), will usually result in a well-fitting corset, even when ordered long-distance.
  8.Q. As I lace my new corset on, the bottom edge in front kind of “pops” out away from my body. I wanted to know if this is normal during the breaking in period?

A.
Yes and no. There are at least four primary reasons that this issue might surface as you wear your corset. First, each corsetmaker (on our Romantasy team and out there on the web) chooses different strengths of fabric, interfacing and boning, and has different patterning and construction preferences that result in more of a straight-front corset (typical of the Edwardian corset in the early 1990s), or more of a curved-all-around-the-body shape (typical of the classic Victorian corset in the late 1800s). Second, the corset style chosen also results in different body curvature. Third, the tighter you lace, the more you move waistline flesh in, up and down. Thus over time if you don't lose weight, you will increase the flesh below your waistline as you lace tighter. Fourth, full-figure clients may note this issue sooner than slim figure clients.

Specifically toning the transverse muscle (across the lower belly) will effectively address this issue. You might consider Chapter 8 from our Corset Magic book, our exercise chapter that addresses effective exercises to tone the transverse ($15).
Seasoning your corset may also help reduce its initial stiffness as fabric eases and boning molds to your body. Also you will be able to draw the bottom back edge closer together over time, pulling the front busk inward and moving the tummy flesh inward as well.

There are a few other tips we provide our clients on how to address this issue during the seasoning process, including wearing a body briefer to push the lower busk edge in closer to the body underneath clothing.
 9.

Q. Because a corset is somewhat thick, I know that the outside measurement is a bit larger than my actual waistline under the corset. But how much does my corset add?

A. There are several ways to determine this, however, please know that measuring a corset in the same style for the same person but produced by different makers, will or may result in a difference. That is because corsetieres use various weights and styles of boning, busks, fabric, and layers of material, interfacing or bonding, causing variations in thickness of the completed corset. Our experience suggests that your waist measurement under your corset, may vary from the outside measurement of your corset, of from 3/4" to 1.25". You may determine this matter more precisely, by using two methods we know about. The first one is to locate a non-stretchy tape measure, place it around your waist, then tie it loosely in front of your waist. Put on your corset and clip it, and let the edges of the tape measure come out from between the front busk split. Untie the tape measure and let the loose edges dangle downward. Then tighten your corset as usual, occasionally gently pulling the tape forward. Try not to stretch the tape. Once you are laced down, read the tape measure and write the results down. Then take another tape measure and measure over the corset at the same location, and find the difference. That should give you the thickness of Sharon's corset.  The second method is to take a rigid dress form and measure the waistline. Then lace your corset over it, and measure the waistline, then take the difference.

 10. Q. I ordered a corset to close at a 24" waist when laced shut. But I measured 1/2 of my new corset at the waistline and I get 12.5". Twice that is 25" not 24". Did my corsetiere make a mistake?

A.
As with every single question on this page - it depends! But, most likely not. Some corsets if made in lighter-weight fabrics or only in one layer versus two or four, may tend to ease or stretch a wee bit as you wear it, or lace tighter, even on the first few wearings. One-quarter to 1" is not out of the ordinary in that case. Thus a corset originally made to close at 24" may in fact grow to close at 24.25" 24.5," or even slightly more. Also, how you measure the waistline may cause the measurement to differ. If you place a corset right-side out and flat on the bed, and measure only one side, you may tend to get one measurement. Then if you turn the corset over, or put it on and lace it closed in back then measure, the results can vary! Over the years we have encountered a few clients who demand "absolute perfection" when they measure the corset waistline, no matter how they do that. However, perfection in corset making is simply not possible. Fabrics ease and stretch over time, bodies swell and shrink, bloat and slim down. Waistlines become more or less toned or "squishy." If you want perfection, perhaps you best not order a corset made of fabric and by human hands, not inflexible steel or hardened plastic shaped by robots. A corset made to close at 24" when worn closed in back, should measure 25" or more even up to 26" over the corset, because a corset is always one inch (more or less) tighter under the corset and because it is difficult to get a corset absolutely closed at the waistline! Steel and fabric layers add girth. Thus, it's always wise to expect the waistline measurement to be close but not spot on, to what you wanted it to close at when laced shut. Variation is a necessary part of the imperfect art of corset construction.  Back to Index.
E. WHEN AND HOW TO ORDER THE PROPER SIZE CORSET
1.

Q.    If I want to lose weight, would I be wasting a lot of money on a garment that I may not fit into for long, or does the corset adjust down in size?

A.    This is a good question. Here are your answers:

  1. We ask you to update your horizontal measurements right before the corset is cut (they take from 1 to 6 months or more to produce without rush fees, due to the high demand and few qualified corset makers in the world.), so that your final corset is as nearly perfect as we can make it, and will provide you at least reasonable waist reduction for many years.
     
  2. Eventually, your first corset may become comfortable as you get used to it, or even lose waistline inches, and then you can turn that corset into a maintenance or a sleep corset, or simply use it as a good, firm foundation that provides back support and control, even if there is no substantial waist reduction. At that point you might wish to order your next-sized down custom corset to continue training. You may even write us for permission to send yours back for us to consign and help you sell, or sell it on Ebay. In some circumstances, we can cut out about 1-1.5" in the waistline (from $75-100 expense for that service) and return it to you for many more years of wear.
     
  3. When you update your measurements (we tell you when to do so), we together decide how much of a gap to make in the back.
     
  4. Most people can easily lace down 1.5-3" and wear the corset for 4-8 hours rather easily. More will take time, as will properly seasoning the corset so you do not strain and damage the fabric and front busk. Thus, we decide how MUCH more we need of a gap to ensure that as you lose weight and learn to lace down more over time, there is still a gap to pull closed in back.
     
  5. Remember. your goal in waist training should be to close the gap in back fully then wear the corset for hours and hours at a time--comfortably.  It is not impressive nor effective for permanent body reshaping or weight loss, to lace down quickly (in ten minutes for example) and wear it only for ten minutes then have to loosen or take off your corset.

  6. If the gap is too wide (see photo right), the bones at the waistline in back could twist in the casings and bend outward, digging into your tender waistline in a very uncomfortable, even painful way and you will have to loosen or take off your corset.  The proper gap is a judgment call based upon the facts you provide your corset maker, and your corset makers long experience.
     
  7. Even so, it is virtually impossible to tell, especially long distance, how "squishy" any particular individual may be, or how well or poorly she/he will take to corseting and waist restriction. That is a matter also, of genetics. For example, some people with a 45" waistline are very squishy and can easily lace down, and some are very firm and cannot lace down easily. You should tell us if you are squishy or firm at the waistline when you place your order.  Sometimes you and we exercise our best judgment about how much gap to put in the back, and you still find you can rather easily and quickly close down your first corset more than anticipated; sometimes it is the opposite. Personal traits and corseting reactions cannot be readily judged long distance. Even if we can see you personally and palpate your waistline muscles, sometimes we cannot accurate predict what will actually happen to your individual, flexible and malleable torso.
     
  8. Please note. Producing corsets and waist training are not matters of hard science or easy prediction, but rather a melding of art, science, your genetics, corset-making and waist-training experience of your corset business advisor, and luck.
 2. Q. I have a 30" snug natural waist. I was told by another corset business that I should order a "24" corset. I don't know what that means. Since I'm ordering your Sleep Corset, I would like a 24". Is there a problem with that?

A.
We advertise the Sleep Corset as appropriate for a maximum waist reduction of 4" when the corset closes down in back, based on our field-testing of this style and quality compared to our high quality standards for ROMANTASY corsetry. Thus, your waist will reduce to 26" when you lace closed in back. You will need to decide if that is sufficient for your individual purposes, or if perhaps a fully custom, four layer, tight-lacing corset may better suit your needs.

However, your question raises an important underlying issue that each corset client must understand if they decide to "go into" corseting and add to their corset wardrobe a variety of styles made by a variety of corsetieres over time. We do hope you come to ROMANTASY for all your corset orders because it is precisely our "education-first-then-sale-second" approach, plus an enormous range of real choices we offer for corsetry that will ensure that you invest wisely and well in the precise corset and size and waist reduction that fits your individual priorities and figure needs best. Education (both in words and images) first rather than last, will also help you develop realistic expectations regarding quality issues such as durability and comfort of that style, and fit issues on your individual body, not just apply a general rule or general expectation to all corset styles and all corsetieres, where such generalities will clearly not fit.

If you feel you are a true corset enthusiast, intend to add corsets to your wardrobe over time, and desire to avoid wasting money on what might not work for you, then it is critical to understand that each corsetiere and corset expert has his or her own 'take' on corsetry in general, desirable amount of waist reduction when their specific style of corset closes in back compared to the quality they wish to represent, and what they know about your individual ability to tolerate and enjoy lacing down. Of course, you are not "required" to ever close a corset in back, however an exceedingly wide gap will not serve you well as the corset will then tend to torque and twist on the body. So most likely when any corset is seasoned, you will be looking for a 2-4" gap in back after lacing down to your level of comfort for the day.

Without meeting you and without further detailed information about who your corsetiere was, plus the corset style and their specific constructions details, I cannot respond further but only tell you what we advertise and have field tested for our Sleep Corset in which you are interested. In sum, what you "should order" depends on a lot of factors we have set forth for our clients to consider on our website here: 20 Questions. At ROMANTASY we are always happy to discuss your further individual issues and concerns before you purchase your next corset from ROMANTASY! Back to Index.
F. MEN'S STAYS AND CORSETS
 1. Q. Do you serve men?

A.
With pleasure as with any serious customer. Over 60% of our business orders are placed by men. Therefore we know the special measurement and fit issues for the male body. However, ROMANTASY is not a place to merely discuss fantasy corseting or cross-dressing as our interest is in purveying quality corsetry.
  2.Q. What is a "man's" corset?

A.
Good question! As with many other terms in common use in the corset world, there is no single rigid or technical definition, no matter what is currently being advertised as a "man's corset" on any other website you may have visited. What we note is that most "manly men" prefer the following options in their corset design: (1) a U-silhouette when seen face forward, underbust style (rather than a dramatic wasp or hourglass silhouette, or an overbust style), (2) more functional fabrics (such as cotton which is possibly hand-washable with proper approach and care) and neutral colors (such as black, ivory, or beige cotton), (3) a straighter top and bottom edge shape in both front and back (rather than points in the center front), and, sometimes (4) a shorter "cincher" style corset whose upper edge falls below the man's wide rib cage (rather than coming up fully on the chest or upper torso to where a lady's bra underwire would sit). We do not necessarily concur with some corsetmakers we know who advise men to order these shorter "cincher" style corsets, since they seem to permit a protruding rib cage to pop even more noticeably outward. However, if this is the image you desire when corseted, then by all means request the silhouette, shape, and height of custom corset that suits your individual needs and preferences.

Transgender men (MTFs) usually, but not always of course, prefer quite the opposite to the typical "man's corset," that is, one or all of the following: the hourglass silhouette when seen face-forward, and possibly the straight-rib silhouette to bring in the upper rib cage and make is less noticeable, more elegant and glamorous fabrics and designs including lace ruffles and braid trims, full underbust Victorians (high hips on the side which maximizes the derriere, rather than the long line Edwardian which minimizes the derriere), and even overbust styles into which they can insert silicon enhancements as our moderately-endowed ladies do, too. Back to Index.
G. MISCELLANEOUS
  1.Q. Do you have discrete mailing labels?

A
. Yes. We respect your privacy above all; just tell us your mailing preference. Back to Index.
  2. Q. I have a corset that the busk line has started to tilt.  Is this torquing? I have tried to pull the top to the right and the bottom to the left, to straighten out the busk line.  But after tightening the laces, it goes back to a tilted angle.  Is there anything that I can do?

A.
This is "torquing." Once it starts, my experience is that it will tend to keep happening. The only solution I know is to ensure that you don the corset with busk slightly tipped to the other way before and as you you lace down to your desired level, then check it every few hours and tug it upright again if you notice slipping.. Also you can measure your corset's top edge either side, waist either side, and bottom edge either side. Ensure that they are the same on each side. That would be correct construction to avoid torguing for most folks. However, please realize that you might have a body half difference as most of us do, even up to 1/2" on your ribcage, waist, or pelvis. We never vary a pattern different sides of a corset, absent a serious case of evident scoliosis, or measurement difference of about over 3/4" per side, becuase if you do, then it tends to exaggerate the body's curvature and result in more, not less corset torquing. Do you have scoliosis that is noticeable? Absent that, it could be only a slight difference in your body measurements side to side, that has caused your corset to torque. I also find that corsets made with lighter fabrics in less layers tend to torque, while four layer, sturdy, double boned corsets do not tend to torque on my body.
H. PRICE AND PRODUCTION OF A QUALITY CORSET OR TRAINING BELT
 1.

Q. Does price really matter (see photo of corset made too large at bottom edge)?

A.
Yes and no. If you buy the cheapest custom corset you can find, it may not be made up to standards in the profession if the maker is new and inexperienced. You may even receive misleading advice, such as one person who had been told by another business that she was ordering "custom," when all she was actually getting was a readymade corset based solely on her waist size which was the sole measurement that had been requested! More experienced makers as those at ROMANTASY have perfected their designs, fitting and construction techniques, and constructed at least 50 fully-custom corsets and more like 200 and more per style!, and for this expertise you will likely pay more--and rightly so! Also, ROMANTASY provides customer service and support AFTER your initial purchase--something many other corsetmakers will not provide. We help you maintain your corset over time at cost, by replacing bones or busks you may break, replace edging, and other. Please read this interesting viewpoint about price vs. quality.

 2. Q. Why do custom corsets take so long to make (from two to eight months)?

A.
Because they are so popular, because they are made custom or one-up, and because many makers are home businesses, not major manufacturers. One of ROMANTASY's famous corset makers working primarily alone, has 40-50 corsets in production at any one time. You must learn to wait patiently for quality custom corsets. We ran across a corsetmaker on the web in spring, 2007 who advertised that she was not even accepting orders until February of the following year!
 3.

Q. I want to purchase a custom mens' underbust stay or your CorVest, but my wife might think that the expenditure is unwarranted.

A. In that case, I fear that neither the CorVest nor a mens' stay will be suitable for your apparent budget constraints. Since the CorVest is a unique, custom, steel boned garment like a corset, pricing starts at $395, and usually runs around $500 once the final design and fabric are chosen (collar or no collar? front zipper or lacing? cotton or handsome brocade?, etc.).

As for the price of Romantasy products in general, I have thought long and hard about corsetry, quality in dressing, and the prodigious skill level of my wonderful and talented corsetieres, talent which surely must be compensated adequately. My business stands for quality, but also for fairness to my corsetieres, and prior education of the consumer to appreciate old fashioned values, ways of doing business, and also quality rather than quantity in elegant dressing: Our Business Values

I have written about the matter of price versus quality in several places on my website, hoping that clients will educate themselves on the matter to avoid costly mistakes of purchasing the wrong garment from the wrong or unscrupulous business (and there are many out there), businesses who seek the fast sale and who won't stand behind their product, nor compensate their worker-artisans fairly: Cost vs Quality. See also "Once More With Feeling"

You may conclude as have I, that I don't fit well in today's "want it now, throw it away tomorrow" world for sure, however, this is my chosen professional and personal position on corsetry and quality, and the way I want to pursue my business and passion.

However, with the coming of a dismal economy in early 2008, Romantasy responsibly met this challenge for client and small business alike, in several ways. First, we introduced to market a truly inexpensive yet fully custom underbust corset/mens stay produced by an up and coming young corsetiere on our team, Jill Hoverman, for only $165 for a single layer underbust stay/corset, or $195 for a four layer corset--an astounding price! Second, our senior corsetiere Sharon lowered her pricing early this year, on her Bella style, which can be made as a mans' stay as well, both seen here. Third, we promoted a new style that corsetiere Jade Locke had introduced fall of 2007, the economical and adorable "Sleep Corset" designed as a response to requests by our clients living in hot weather locations -- and also responding to 2008 budgetary constraints--priced at the moderate price of only $195 for this fully custom underbust in fine cotton coutile. Fourth, we initiated occasional brand new contests and "giveaways" of entire corsets and substantial discounts, because we want new corset enthusiasts to invest wisely and well in quality corsetry, and not purchase an inferior, imported "wannabe" corset that will or may ruin their incipient love of corsetry with a disappointing and uncomfortable experience.

Since women's bras (non custom, non boned) start about $60 and French Bras start at $150 to $300 and up, and considering our points above, we hope you will now agree that Romantasy's pricing for the high level of client service and quality we offer, is truly responsive to your budget concerns, is justifiable, and even in some circumstances, is well below market value. Back to Index.

I. WAIST TRAINING
 1. Q. I've heard about waist training. Can I do it myself?

A.
Yes and no. It is very important that you have a well-fitting sturdy underbust hourglass corset that is seasoned, and then attend to proper nutrition, diet, exercise and a gradual lacing down process in order to avoid damaging the corset or your body. It is best to be sure you understand the proper and moderate steps needed to "train" your waist down to a temporary or permanent waist reduction. You might consider enrolling in ROMANTASY's three-month Waist-Training Coaching Program, or purchase our unique 300 page book on waist-training, "Corset Magic: A Fun Guide to Trim Your Waist and Figure."
 2. Q. What style corset do I need to waist train?

A.
Our recommendation is a custom underbust hourglass with a front busk closure, because it follows the natural curves of the human body, is easier to close down than a longer overbust corset, and is more convenient to put on and remove. You may choose either the high-hipped Victorian, or the long line Edwardian underbust style.
 3. Q. Does waist training last and how long does it take? I want to know what I am getting myself into. I don't want to have to wear a corset every day after reaching my goals.

A.
That depends. My waist-training coaching students seen on this page, and in my book on the topic, Corset Magic, have permanently lost weight and waistline inches: Waist Training Workshop.

But does it last? No -- if you immediately stop training and pig out on Krispy Kremes. We all know that! Yes -- if you corset about 2-3 days per week ("maintenance corseting") and maintain the moderate lifestyle changes proposed in my book.

One entire chapter in my book is devoted to answering your question. More answers newsletters and on this page.

If you read about and view students of my coaching program, you will see all that changes shown in weight and waistline-inch reduction happened to each in three months of about six-day-per-week of snug, long corset wear coupled with other moderately challenging program elements including proper nutrition and waist-specific exercises.

Waist training is not for those in a hurry or those who want immediate, easy results. For that, you should perhaps pursue (expensive and risky) liposuction and other cosmetic surgery. Even such quick fixes rarely work in the long run; I have plenty of liposuction patients come to me after liposuction for corset waist-training to create a noteworthy waistline and make lasting change.

Liposuction seems only or best to flatten the lower belly but do little to sculpt out the side of the waistline. There is even some recent scientific evidence that by removing subcutaneous fat through lipo, this may accelerate growth of deeper layer visceral fat, the more dangerous level of fat that surrounds and may squeeze the organs such as heart and liver.

In November 2007 we introduced "Sweet Dreams", a fully custom corset by team member Jade, seen right. It is so comfortable from our test wearings that we feel it is perfect for maintenance corseting two to four days per week after formal waist training. Produced in a single layer of strong 100% cotton coutil with single outer bone casings and steel boning, and waist tape, it is a surprisingly excellent value at $150-170 depending on waist size (available in white, black, pink or ecru cotton coutil with black or white outer bone casings, your choice!). This nifty and cute corset is extremely light-weight and therefore suitable for wear as foundation under clothing or as a sleep corset. It is also suitable for post-lipo support and for mothers after childbirth to keep steady pressure on the torso as they train back to pre-childbirth weight. We wear ours out as a fashion garment as well, when we don't want the stiffer feeling of a custom corset with four layers and double steel boning.
  4.Q. I work out and a lot of it strengthens my abs, therefore, will doing my regular workout hinder the effectiveness of the corset?

A. 
Do you intend to corset and workout? It’s not impossible, but likely will dirty your corset far more frequently than normal. Depending on your workout, you may or will be developing muscles and toning others. You do not want to develop the six-pack abs (rectus abdominus muscle) but concentrate on toning the oblique side waistline muscles The pressure of regular corseting, plus better eating habits and diet, and oblique exercises, will serve to encourage reduction of the waistline. In addition, you will likely be losing fat first, unless you follow the inadvisable Atkins diet. Some lifestylers advise waist-trainers to cut out all exercise to intentionally weaken and eventually atrophy waist and back muscles. Frankly, that goes against common sense when it comes to overall health, and is possibly dangerous. Most people who wear corsets do not want to have to rely 24/7 on a corset when their back muscles atrophy without normal use and exercise.
  5.Q. I currently have a 28" waist, and would like to return to my pre-children size of 26". I'm already at my pre-pregnancy weight, but I think my ribs have been pushed out, and I have that little pooch on my lower abdomen. How long do you think it would take if I only wore it during the day?

A.
This is a tough question to answer with precision. Conversion of the typical temporary 1-3" immediate and comfy waist reduction with a first corset, into permanent change, depends on several key factors, including: (1) your genetics, (2) your history with dieting and weight loss, (3) your motivation, and (4) your lifestyle and whether it permits you to adopt all six elements of our waist-training program that over 400 people interviewed, have confirmed has worked for them. You may visit our coaching program webpage located under our red "Waist Training" button, to view real life students who have achieved from 2 to 5" waistline reduction, and from 3 to 50 pounds of weight loss in only three months of six-days-per-week waist training. These students were obviously devoted to the process and motivated to follow through with our suggestions. The great majority of them also have kept off the weight, or only put back on 10% or less, a year to three or four after finishing the program. Obviously for them as for you, some basic lifestyle changes must continue to be implemented, and most likely some periods of "reminder" or "maintenance" corseting must occur to reinforce the healthy new habits our students learn from devoted, short-term waist training. We all know that reaching our goals, taking off our corsets, then pigging out on Krispy Kremes will work only to put that weight all right back on, and usually more weight than we had before! See photos of our nifty "Sweet Dreams" sleep and maintenance corset and discussion about this inexpensive, high quality style in answer to question 4 above.
 6.

Q. Here is a photo of me in my readymade corset. Is it suitable for waist training or do I really need to place a custom corset order?

A. As is generally true with any readymade corset, even well made ones, the one pictured is patterned using a standard female body that is more slender and model-like than your figure (or for that matter, my figure!). That means that the bottom half of the corset is not patterned wide enough around the bottom perimeter to accommodate our more generous, mature hips, but also patterned narrow enough in the top half along the upper perimeter to snug up to our rib cage. Thus, when wearing you are now forced to open the bottom half of your corset wider than the top half, in order avoid flesh squishing out from the bottom edge. Not keeping the back gap more or less parallel during wearing, can or may result in eventual torquing or twisting of the corset. It definitely results in gaping of the front bottom edge that I see. You may want to sew a heavy hook and eye on the front bottom hem to snap to avoid the gaping and then open up the bottom edge of your corset even more for an improved fit.

More of a problem to my view for the full figure, is the U-shape this corset creates on your figure at the waistline. Take a look at the standard figure silhouettes presented on this web page to see what I mean:
http://www.romantasyweb.com/Styles/FigureSilhouettes.html

What works better for curvy figures like you and I have, is a corset creating the hourglass, or even the wasp, silhouette, if we want true comfort and proper fit. The hip panels will then be properly curved out and over our wider hipbones, and the hourglass shape will not press down on our pelvic bone as will the U-shape when we lace tighter. To press on that pelvic bone may or can eventually may lead to uncomfortable and possibly dangerous numbness in the legs if the anterior femoral nerve is flattened during corset wear. Because of that danger, you cannot lace down as much in your present corset, as you would be able to do in a custom-made hourglass or wasp style.

None of this means you can't waist train in your present corset. The point is to watch out for nerve or leg numbness from pressing on that hip bone. Then, as soon as you are able, order good custom hourglass corset!

 7.

Q. Can I really move my ribs with corseting?

A. You may have already noticed on our Figure Silhouette page how corseting with a corset creating the ice cream cone silhouette can immediately move torso flesh inward to narrow the rib cage visually. Take a look at Bret, our waist training coaching program student seen here, Note his narrowed upper torso and the silhouette his corset creates. His main focus however is not rib-narrowing per se, but reduction of body fat and health, thus we have no hard data on how much, if any, rib movement he has experienced over time. However, we've heard enough stories about how wearing a narrow-torso "ice cream cone"-silhouetted corset may result in /permanent rib slimming/ over time, although that will likely take one or more years of almost daily-wear. We know from one client's experience that it can happen. Take a look at Elaine in the two images right side at the middle of the Transgender Corset Page, After wearing our rib-slimming 1901 style corset by Michael Garrod (True Grace Corset Company) for one year every day up to 10 hours per day, we measured her ribs and verified a one-inch reduction! We remain convinced it was rib movement inward, and not floss of flesh (as was most likely the case with Amy shown on the same page at the top), because Elaine dedicated herself to one full year of almost daily corset wear at quite a snug level, pus coupled it with wearing a tight vest she constructed. In addition, she was already a very slim individual when she began corset rib training, had not much body fat content, and did not lose any weight during the process. We have had a few other clients, both women and men, attempt rib training in our corsets, but we have not received any further information back as to their success or lack thereof. The 1901 style is clearly "the" corset of choice for any client desiring to narrow the torso visually to achieve a slimmer silhouette and also improve the fit of bodices of women's garments. The lovely spiraling boning pattern of this unique corset slightly pulls the rib cage forward and inward visually. Over many months if not years of dedicated wear of this style, the ribs can actually move inward as Elaine experienced and we verified.

 8.

Q. I am curious if after waist training, does your waist eventually go back to normal if you discontinue use?

A. We all know that if we diet, then pig out on Krispy Kremes we will gain all that weight back; that is common sense. Some lifestyle change is required in exercise and nutrition, and we must be moderate in how we eat, how much, and our food choices. A chapter in my book is devoted to waist maintenance after corset waist training. I suggest that wearing a corset or tight belt 3 times per week (especially when we dine) will most likely remind us to cut back on portions of what we eat, It will also remind us to stand up straight, hold our muscles properly in, and not slouch, to improve our posture and maintain a trim figure over time.
Some of my coaching students have gained some of the weight lost back, but not all. I am aware of only one who has gained it all back because multiple stressors occurred all at once in her life causing her to revert to poor eating habits.

 9.

Can I effectively waist train at my age of mid-fifties?

A.  We know from fashion history that during Victorian times that young girls were placed first into a light training corset, then into a more restrictive, steel-boned and formal corset as they grew older. For that reason, many evidenced very narrow rib cages and rarely complained about the discomfort of tight lacing. Others were not corseted so early and thus might have tended to rail against precipitous lacing down during late teen-aged years when they were put into corsets as a matter of family preference and fashion. Because today we know that long bones do not complete growth in young women until aged 18 or later, I feel it is unwise for anyone below 18 to waist train. I know of no reason that a /generally healthy individual /cannot waist train at any age, considering of course any particular individual health issue that might mitigate against moving too fast or too far in the lacing down process.

Of course you must consider your own individual circumstances, and pay close attention to what your body -- and personal physician -- tells you!
 10.

Q. When I am wearing my corset but at the same time want out of it, is there a way to force myself to keep it on? It always seems that I let it get the best of me and I take it off.

A. You should NEVER "force" yourself to keep your corset on. You reported that your new readymade corset already tweaks your hipbone and causes numbness down your leg, a possibly dangerous condition! Pain and even discomfort, are important messages to you from your body that something is wrong. Maybe dreadfully wrong--or soon will be! Of course sometimes you want to challenge yourself when corseting and that is appropriate, but it requires good background information about the body and corseting as well, and the proper choice of style and silhouette created by your corset. My book Corset Magic is full of suggestions about how to challenge yourself, and select the proper corset for waist training and long hours of wear, yet never move into pain or endanger your body and health while you are corseting. 

 11.

Q. I've been married for 22 years and during this time my wife has slowly added a few pounds per year to the extent that she has slowly "grown" from a size 12 to a 2XL. She has tried various diets, exercise programs and even medical specialists. I'm wondering if the look and appearance that a corset promotes would help her gain the confidence to see a weight loss program to the end. Could you send her an email that promotes corsets and your figure-shaping services as a way to regain the figure of her youth?

A. First and foremost, do consider that like dealing with an addiction, no one can make the decision to change anyone else when it comes to size or shape. I'm sure you realize that. But having information on what can be a novel and truly fun and effective way to improve one's posture and health by wearing corsets, can be helpful and can spark the imagination.  If you can think of some way for me to send your wife some information or a flyer, I'm happy to do so. I also have a catalog for sale containing many lovely corset photography and lots of information:
http://romantasyweb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=R&Category_Code=c

Could you tell her that you were surfing the web, and for some reason that makes sense, happened upon this most lovely site with gorgeous fashionable and functional corsets? Could you send her to one or more of these fun, inspirational, and informative web pages to take a look?
http://www.romantasyweb.com/second-level-pages/introcorsetmagic.html
http://www.romantasyweb.com/Elegant_Line/CoutureDesignGallery.html
http://www.romantasyweb.com/second-level-pages/before-and-after-photos.html
http://www.romantasyweb.com/cyboutique/corset/vbodies.shtml
http://www.romantasyweb.com/all-galleries/galleries/fullfigure-page-1.htm

You might also refer her to our waist training pages and the amazing before and after photos of real clients who have worn a corset for only three short months coupled with good nutrition and a wee bit of waist targeted exercise to lose a lot of weight and inches: http://www.romantasyweb.com/cyboutique/Workshops/WaistTraining.shtml
Ms. X was 350 pounds and lost 50 of them in three months:  http://www.romantasyweb.com/cyboutique/Workshops/pers_accounts.html

I'd happily advise your wife on the right corset for her that would be comfortable and work well as a foundation garment to improve posture and give good back support, or even to waist train if she gets interested.  Were you folks local to the Bay Area, you would be welcome to join our next Corset Soiree party at the famous Fairmont Hotel, announced periodically on our home page. You may see some former Soiree photographs at the bottom of our gallery page here:
http://www.romantasyweb.com/all-galleries/galleries/index.htm  I do hope this helps! Please let me know if there is anything further I can do to assist.  Back to Index.

J. WEAR, CARE, AND MAINTENANCE OF YOUR CORSET
 1. Q. After the second day laced up in my new custom corset I sneezed and couldn't get the corset loosened in time before I did. It was a surprise sneeze! Needless to say, I need a slight repair job already, because some stitches on the right hip area popped. It's entirely my fault. How much would repairs be and when can I send it in?

A.
I'm so sorry to hear bad news such as this regarding a high quality corset made properly, but (gulp), I've done it to one of my unseasoned new custom corsets several years ago. Even with my experience level, I split an entire side seam in my personal corset! And it's not unheard of once in a while from our clients. This, despite the fact we advise about this very danger in our Wear and Care Instructions sent with our new corsets. Remember that there is an amazing number of pounds of pressure placed on your waistline area when you begin to lace down and move flesh in, up and down (even up to 60 or more pounds if you lace down 4" from your normal waistline measurements). Regarding any damage caused for any reason, it's crucial that you not wear your corset until you address and fix the problem, making the best decision you can as to cost versus the nature of the proper "fix."

For example, sometimes on a workhorse corset constructed of a practical, one-color cotton fabric, I often just pick up my needle, use upholstery thread (thicker than most), and overstitch the splitting or loosening seams or stitches, going above and below it by about 1/4" more. It is almost unnoticeable, and not all that important on a foundation corset worn underneath clothing. If in the future after some wear and tear I find the precise seam, or new one, opens up again, or another fabric or stitch weakening is observed, then is the time to consider something more extensive. With advance photos for our examination and recommendations regarding specific repair needed, our clients may send back their corset to there precise corsetmaker for major overhaul and refurbishment. Of course, if the corset splits at the precise waistline along the seam connecting one pattern piece to the other, the advisable and best repair can constitute a major one, because your corsetmaker has to virtually "gut" and open up the corset to reach that inside seam and reinforce it. Shortening bones, replacing binding, adding outside bone casings, and other repairs or refurbishments, will never be as expensive as repairing a split seam between panels, but in all cases, attending to the repair earlier rather than later will surely constitute a "stitch in time to save nine" in the future!

Above all learn to identify your body's messages and impending sneezes to avoid it, or if you can't, learn to sneeze like a lady does. That is, learn to prepare for a sneeze by sucking in your tummy and then expelling air out your upper lungs and nose, and not out of your low belly. Practice this technique before you corset next, and be prepared. For some men who put especial pressure on corsets due to their heavier musculature and power of sneezes than women have, it's an entirely different, but crucial way to learn to sneeze.
 2. Q. When a skirt or dress is worn under a corset, should it have a waist band in the traditional sense, or should it be made to fit lower down on the top of the hip bone?

A
. Either one, the latter being called a "dropped waist skirt." However, you must consider the nature of the waist band. Sometimes a "normal" waist band in a readymade skirt made to encircle your normal, unreduced waist size, will crinkle and gather as you lace a corset down on top of the skirt, since the skirt is made to fit your normal waist size, and not your reduced waist size. Sometimes gathered skirts or drawstrings at the top edge work far better because the size will reduce according to how far you lace down you corset. Pencil slim skirts never seem to work well with a corset, unless you are pencil thin with no tummy! A soft fabric A-line skirt will work well with a corset, and often any gathers as you lace down will not be that disruptive to your over all "look," however, crisper fabrics (heavy satins) don't work well with a corset, unless you have the waistline tailored down to your reduced waist size (at least 1" less than your normal waist). Some clients do tailor their skirts, if they corset a lot. I find that gathered skirts work best for me as do skirts and dresses made of lighter weight fabrics.
 3. Q. How do I disguise my corset underneath my daytime clothing?

A.
Corsets are not easily disguisable under clothing because they are normally four layers thick and contain double steel boning around the corset, adding 1" of girth to your waistline. In addition, the top and bottom edges are somewhat thick considering that binding (another layer of doubled-over fabric) must be applied to finish off the corset. Thus, some wardrobe accommodation must be made to reduce the risk of the corset showing when worn underneath clothing.

For example, you may wear one or two t-shirts, a slip, or a chemise/cami over the corset, pull control top pantyhose up over the bottom edge, wear your shirts or blouses looser, avoid spandex or tight lycra garments, and order a fully custom corset produced by an experienced, competent corsetmaker such as those on the ROMANTASY team, and made from at least eight separate measurements. Such a custom corset will contour around and snug up against your torso and be less noticeable under clothing (as opposed to one having poor technical construction or readymade to fit standard sizes that might pop out at the top or bottom edge, or buckle and wrinkle).

Two clever French clients of ours carved foam rubber and attached it to a waist band to wear under their male business shirts to fill in the waistline gap created by lacing down and achieving an hourglass figure while corseting. Perhaps you can do the same. Another solution is to avoid daytime corset wear and rather corset and waist train while sleeping at night, but do not do so until your corset is well seasoned or you might permanently torque it to one side! Finally, if anyone sees or suspects you wear a corset, or happens to hug you or clap you on the back and feel the stiffness of it, just mention that you are wearing a back brace, that your back has been bothering you of late.
 4.

Q. Can you wear the corset to bed and sleep in it all night?

A. Yes, but only after you break it in thoroughly and practice sleeping, otherwise it may permanently twist and torque so that you cannot straighten it up even when you wear it during the day. It will have to be a bit looser at night for most folks and it may take you several tries before you can sleep all night long while corseted.

 5. Q. Can I eat a normal meal while wearing a corset?

A.
 Most likely, not. Most people find when they start corseting and for some time later, especially if you lace down four or more inches, that you eat about half as much, and at one-half the speed. It takes some time to get used to eating a meal while corseted. You should corset first, then eat. If you eat first, you will find it difficult to lace down. Corseting encourages healthy eating habits including reducing fats, sugar, heavy protein, coffee and alcohol, because you might tend to get heartburn. It's also important to drink lots of water and choose cooked, high fiber foods if you routinely wear a corset. Our Corset Magic book contains lots of great nutritional information for those in serious corset waist-training.
 6. Q. I've been wearing my corset full-time for some months, and note that a bone has poked through the bottom edge in front. Can you repair it for me? I also notice that the edges of the shoelace lacing cord has slightly frayed. What does this mean regarding quality?

A.
 I'm not too sure what you mean by "full time wear." The rule of thumb is, that a well-made corset as we provide, will wear out in about one year--if you wear it at a 4" reduction every day about 23 hrs per day. Most of our clients will not be doing that, of course. However, the more days you wear your corset, and the longer hours each day, the more stress will be placed on the garment, which is not indestructible. In addition, the tighter you lace a corset and the longer hours you wear it, the more the bones will begin to push down and up inside each bone casing, since the fabric will tend to want to move or "bunch" a little bit toward the waistline. That is quite natural to expect, sooner or later, if you have been tight-lacing and/or seriously waist training for hours on hours and days and days on end.

That one bone pushed out of one casing of your corset is not all that unusual for a well-made, custom corset, when you are wearing it every day for 6 to 12 hours of more, for months on end. From the rather severe or substantial bending of the bones at your waistline, we can see that you have well seasoned the corset by now and most likely are lacing down 3-4" or more, per day for long hours of wear.

Please note that there is a judgment call to be made by every corsetmaker when they pattern and construct a corset, as to how long to make the bones. If they make them too long, they will soon poke out. If they make them too short, the bottom trim of the corset, even the bottom edge, will tend to turn up and wrinkle. Neither is a good result, however some compromise must be made. Your corset maker has many years in this business and has made hundreds and hundreds of corsets. We would put each Romantasy corsetiere up against anyone exercising this present-day art/trade, so you need not think that this indicates any professional inferiority, or unexpected or major problem.

As for the silk brocade fabric you chose, we use it for about 50% of the corsets we produce made by any of our team members. It is very sturdy, although no one can say that a brocade or satin is more sturdy than cotton twill. Cotton twill is the best bar none, and that was used to line your corset. Some clients will choose cotton twill on both sides of a training corset if they know they are going to wear it every day for long hours at very tight levels. Other clients prefer the lovely look and feel, colors and patterns of silk.

ROMANTASY never produces corsets in the lighter weight silk that is out there, that we've seen other corsets made of. We provide only the better quality silk that in our experience, stands up rather well to lacing and wear. However, no fabric is indestructible, except perhaps, Kevlar.

One option for repair is for us to simply over-stitch the fabric at insignificant charge, and "remake" it to hold the bone in. This will likely secure the bones for quite a number of more months of wear, however, we cannot guess at that. The other, more secure option available now or later if the bone pokes through again, is to remove trim, take out the two matching bones, find a pre-made shorter appropriate length, or even cut the bones down, tip them in plastic, reinsert then and resew on the trim. Inasmuch as there appears to be no damage to your bone casings that falls outside the professional quality standards in the corset making field, there would be a reasonable charge for that. Kindly let us know your preference.

As for the lacing cord, each maker chooses the kind of lacing she desires to use. One maker uses rolled satin cording, another delivers with 5/8" ribbon, and your maker uses a shoe lace. We stock yards of black and white shoe lace, and can sell you a length at $1 per yard plus $4 shipping (you need at least 1 yard per 3 grommets). We find that all three types of lacing are equally strong and except in rare cases, provide no problems.

Since all ROMANTASY corsetieres use double-sided grommets that are smooth both front and back, I am at a loss to know why you are experiencing frayed cording. Are you tying off your lacing cord in front, rather than at the waistline in back as we recommend in our written instructions sent with your corset? Are you wearing rougher cotton-fiber over-clothing that might be rubbing your cording? Has one of the grommets come loose so that the rough edge might be rubbing against your cord? Without further information I cannot answer your question about your cord fraying However, changing your cord to a new one (with lacing methods explored on our web page and in the instructions we sent you) is a simple, and inexpensive matter for sure. Over time and wear on all corsets, this may eventually have to be done, although personally I have never done it for other than aesthetic reasons! Back to Index.
K. WHETHER, WHEN, AND HOW TO ORDER A ROMANTASY CORSET OR TRAINING BELT
  1. Q. I was also wondering if the training belts are good to start with while waiting for my corset to be made?

A. 
The answer is not simple and there are some caveats if you choose a belt for its quick delivery (in 2-4 weeks), or your budget constraints (about to 1/4 the cost of a custom underbust corset). My BF wore a belt for two months every day about six hours per day, lost 23 pounds and 3 waistline inches, then converted to a corset. In two more months he lost 3.5" more and lost 11 more pounds. Amazing. However, the belt will tend to pooch out the lower belly, so wear it with a strong body briefer or girdle. I would need to know your snug waist measurements, then how wide you want your belt-- 2.25", 2.5", 2.75", or 3"? Which width you choose depends on your height and distance of lowest rib to pelvic bone, plus your tolerance for some discomfort during the seasoning process until your belt begins to bend at the top and bottom edge and thus, become more comfortable. We can help you make that decision if you send us that

Some like belts, some like corsets, it truly depends on the individual. I like both. I can breath easier in the belt but I go back and forth. One lady experienced a more gaseous tummy with a belt but not with a corset (more even torso pressure).

Whether you prefer a corset or belt with which to train depends entirely on your personal experience with each and your preferences. Further considerations include: A corset (hourglass style) follows your normal body curves, while the wide belt presses awkwardly in a rigid fashion into the fleshy part of your torso between the lowest rib and pelvic bone. I have many clients order both a belt and corset at the same time, then use the belt to train until their corset arrives. Afterwards they switch to the corset but alternate occasionally with a belt, which can be worn over a dress (it is a bit chunky but rather handsome even in plain black leather).
 2.

Q. How do I order?

A.
It's easy to order.

- First (for corsets), view our custom consignment corsets for immediate sale, in case you don't want a custom corset. For custom corsets, view our best styles, fabric choices, and general prices and design options appearing at the bottom of each corset maker's page. For other products, visit our Shopping .
- Second, if you need advice or a final corset price, don't hesitate to email us at: Corsets@romantasy.com.
- Third, when you have decided on your corset style, maker, and fabric, send us your measurements from this page We'll get back to you with a final price and approximate delivery
- Fourth, review our terms and conditions of sales.
- Fifth,
(1) visit our handy Shopping Cart to order, or
(2) email us. We'll take the proper one-half deposit plus a deposit on shipping, then send confirming paperwork to your snail mail address.

 3.

Q. What is the best style for me?

A
.
Without knowing more that is impossible to answer. Please read this page and get back to us with your answers.

 4.

Q. I was wondering if training your waist at a young-ish age is easier than at an older age? I'm 16 (going on 17) and I've been looking into corset training for years.

(see our high school client left, in her Senior Prom Corset Ensemble)A
. You have asked an important question, one that has an easy factual answer: Yes.

Fashion historians say that there were at least two approaches to corseting the young during Victorian times. One approach put girls into structured unboned, or lightly-boned, bodices, then later, into boned corsets, starting at the age of eight or ten. The other approach did not corset the young lady until she reached mid- to late-teens. We can speculate that it was the latter group of girls who most complained and inveigled against corsets and tight-lacing, because their bones were more formed at that time and their bodies less accustomed to restriction, than were the younger corseted children. Also likely is that the younger group enjoyed much smaller waistline dimensions throughout their corseting practices.

You have not asked *a much more crucial question* that must be addressed before you, or anyone, jumps into serious waist-training or remarkable waist reduction, even on a temporary basis. And that question is, "at my age of 16 is it HEALTHY for me to waist train?" If you-- like Romantasy-- value and believe that health comes first, then you will avoid serious waist training now, and only wear corsets with a 2-3" temporary reduction, and from time to time as fashion garments. The reason? Women's bones do not complete growth until age 20 and older! If you begin to restrict their growth now, you increase your risk of osteoporosis in your later years, something you may not appreciate now, but you will when you reach the post-menopause stage of your life.

For the above reasons, we will not accept a student into our formal ROMANTASY Waist Training Coaching Program until she is at least 21 years old. On rare occasions, after an email or telephone exchange with a young caller, we will make a custom corset with a moderate waist reduction potential. However, we must be convinced that this client shares our priority of health first. We must also be convinced that she has common sense, and agrees to exercise it at all times when wearing a corset. Back to Index.

L. BACK SUPPORT AND PAIN MANAGEMENT
 1.

Q. I've heard that a corset can help with back soreness and pain. Is that true?

A. Please realize that we are not medical experts nor medically trained. Therefore, we cannot render a medical opinion, nor make medical claims regarding our corsets. However, we can speak from our personal experience, as well as can let our clients tell their own stories about relief they have experienced from back soreness and pain when wearing a well-fitting custom corset. I suffered for 30 years from occasional disabling back spasms. I used to grab my thick, white cotton-with-buckles medical corset whenever that happened, until the spasm passed. Some years later I discovered thick rubber waist supports. I hated them both. They never fit under clothing and the white one was so stiff as to render me practically upright or prone in bed! ... Until I discovered custom corsets in 1989 -- then threw out the medical versions and never looked back!

Perhaps the most amazing example is that from mid-2008 concerning a lady who attended a corset muslin fitting with her friend and our client. Before they left, I tried an elegant silk underbust corset on the lady, whom we had learned was forced to quit her former long career as a masseuse because of several terrible car accidents that had seriously damaged her neck and back (corset was designed by our senior corsetiere, Sheri). Sitting primly corseted on the couch for a few minutes, my client and I noticed his friend with her face in her hands, softly weeping. I was stunned, the more so when after a few moments she lifted her face which seemed to be radiating pure joy. "For the first time in years, my back feels so wonderful and I am pain-free!" she exclaimed. It was truly a magical moment for all of us, as it well may be for you and your ailing back!

Yet another mid-2008 client, Cherie, ordered a corset by our youngest corsetiere Jill, because the client fractured her spine and had a couple of compressed discs. She was resolved to wearing a medical back brace alternating with a "Squeem," a rubberized and lightly-boned support garment, when she found us. Here is what she said a few days after receiving her corset: "Dear Ann, Greetings. I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with my Victorian Under bust Corset by Jill Hoverman. The workmanship is excellent and the fit is perfect. My mom came over to look at the finished product, and she gushed with pride and said we (she) did an excellent job with the measurements. This corset is so perfect it looks as if I was born with it. When I put it on I feel beautiful, fractured spine and all. I am no longer in pain, and the corset is much cooler than my ugly back brace. I would like to also send an e-mail to Jill to tell her how pleased I am. I have a feeling it won't be long before she is one of your senior corsetieres. Beautiful work for a busy young mom. Once again I thank you. I'll be saving up as I would like to have the same corset done up in red satin as well navy blue. Corset hugs right back at ya:)."

 Nothing can make me happier than hearing similar stories over the years, such as Chris' story in 2000. Here it is in his own words: "I am so pleased with (my new corset), it is impossible to find words that describe how it feels to now be able to do things that I wasn't supposed to do any more in my life! I've had people come up to me and say, "I thought you broke your back? What are you doing on the track riding?" They can't believe I am back riding again, or working out or shoeing horses. I've been wearing the corset you made for me quite regularly and it is doing well. I haven't had a pain pill of any kind since I've been wearing it. Had a good ride today and feel fine--no back problems at all. The corset also makes you sit up straight and in a more balanced riding position. Therefore, the horse seems happier and responds more quickly. Thanks for making my life easier. If you ever need a reference as to what a corset will do, feel free to have customers contact me at my email address: WCRMRR2@aol.com I will be glad to help anyone get back to living and enjoying life again. After all, it's not how long you live, it's the challenges you face while you're here! Thank you for helping me." Chris Rule  (2/13/00) Please see other client stories.

  2.

Q. Should I worry about losing my back strength?

A. Not really, unless you are going to do what is known as "lifestyle corseting" 24/7. In that case yes, you will most likely lose muscle tone and at some point be unable to go without your corset because of back tenderness or pain. This is why we support never waist training or wear of corsets more than six days per week, using the seventh day to test your back strength, noting any soreness developing. It's for that reason that we also strongly support both daily back strengthening and back flexing exercises that we explain in our Corset Magic book, or which you may get from a qualified Physical Therapist. Back to Index.

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