I have an antique corset collection with about 25 corsets. I do not think antique corsets should be worn and certainly not destroyed to reuse any of the parts. But I must confess I have tried on a few of the more sturdy ones and very carefully laced them up to snap a few pictures.
Things I have learnt is even if they look perfect with no visible sign on the fabric, still the fabric can be very brittle and the corset can have broken and brittle whalebone stays.
I will start with showing some pictures of the four ribbon corsets I have in my collection. Ribbon corsets are not suitable for tightlacing. They were used by thin women who did not need much support, or as evening or bridal wear. Ribbon corsets were also used during sports like horse riding.
Three corsets are made from silk ribbon; two are cream and one is light green. One is made from white cotton.
All the ribbon corsets I have are made for a small waist. The light green one is made in France and has an 18 inch waist. The stays are made of whalebone. I wish there were a better name instead of whalebone, as this name is confusing as it is not at all bone from whales. Whalebone or ‘baleen’ comes from the upper jaw of a whale where a system of baleen plates serve the task of filtering plankton. It is a flexible but firm and can be split in any size and length. Today, whalebone is not used and should not be used either.
I include one rather bad picture of me taken by myself of one of the cream ribbon corsets. I just tried the ribbon corset on over my daily corset. So, on this picture, I am wearing two corsets at the same time.
The first corset I bought was a black satin underbust from Vollers. It did not fit me very well and was not comfortable either something I realized after a couple of times wearing it. Already after a short time the stays started to twist and the fabric started to tear so the bones were sticking out. I went back to the corset store a few times to try other corsets. I think I tried every style she had in the store and nothing was well-fitting. I did buy some other brands also off the rack ones and they did not either fit well. I wanted something else. On the walls at the store there were pictures of different women in corsets. Some of the photos showed Cathie Jung and I was amazed by her small waist.
So, I did some search and found more information about Cathie Jung . I was fascinated. She was not very young when she started to waist train and yet she had the world’s smallest waist on a living person.
I decided I would not buy a custom made corset of the type some offer as custom made, asking only for 3 measurements. No, it should be a real custom made corset suitable for waist training. At this time there were about 10 corset makers who were well-known and made custom made corsets. So my search began and I also decided I wanted to train my ribs.
It took me some time to decide who I was going to order from and during this time I still had the Vollers on sometimes, but I also started to wear a belt under my clothes. The idea about the belt I got from Cathie Jung and some other tightlacers. I had the belt on every time I did not wear the corset and during the nights. I did not buy a special waist training belt as sold on several places for example on Staylace. Instead, I had a wide leather belt fitting perfectly between my ribs and hipbones and chose to use that. I had to make new holes in this belt rather often as my waist was shrinking. See the picture.
This is a text on Staylace about starting waist training with a belt.
Some 10 years ago I was strolling around in the old town of Stockholm. In a shop window I saw a dress dummy with old fashioned underwear and an overbust corset looking like taken from Gone with the Wind. I have always loved the look of women in the Victorian era and around late 1940 to the middle of the 1960. I wore such clothes but not a corset yet. Girdles and tight belts did belong to my wardrobe at this time.
I went into the shop and it was filled with corsets mainly from Vollers. I wanted to try the overbust I had seen in the window as it had the old looking feeling to it. But of course it was too big for me all over, both in size and in height, as I am petite, and specifically at the waist. Well, the women who owned the shop suggested I should try an underbust. I was about to leave the store as the type of corset I wanted did not fit me and I was not really much interested in the plain boring looking underbust she held up in front of me. Then I changed my mind and decided to try on the underbust and so I did and a new chapter opened up in my life.
The saleswomen put the corset on me and began to pull the laces. She did this with a hard pull and, as I wasn´t prepared for, I nearly fell backwards. I automatically put my arms up in the little dressing room but there was nothing to hold on. I pressed my hands against the wall. The saleswomen pulled the laces several times and I was nearly screaming stop! stop! It’s too tight, I cannot breathe. I could see the women’s face in the mirror and she smiled at me and pulled the laces once more and tied a knot. I thought I was going to faint and my first thought was get this stupid thing off me immediately. I cannot breathe or stand it.
I saw myself in the mirror and calmed down. I couldn´t stop looking at myself and feel with my hands over the corset. It was me! The unpleasant feeling was now changed into very pleasant and I did not want to take the corset off. I wanted to buy it, but I didn´t have enough money with me and the women was closing the store for the day. I had to wait for two whole weeks before I had a chance to return to the shop and buy the corset. For two weeks the only thing I could think of was the corset and the feeling I got when wearing it.
When I stepped into the store I was not even planning to buy a corset, but I got addicted to corsets at the first try.
Welcome to this blog!
I am Annalai and this is my first post on my new blog and I am not exactly sure where to start. This blog is going to be about me and my affection to fashion, small waists and wearing corsets. It will also cover some of my other interests.
I am a single, petite women living in Sweden. It would be easier for me to write in Swedish but most of you would not understand a word of it. So, this blog will be in English. Sometimes it is difficult for me to explain things in English so feel free to ask or correct me if my writing is not clear.
I have been wearing tight corsets for about 10 years now. My main reason for tight lacing is to get a smaller waist as I love how women in the Victorian time and the 50’s looked like. It is a nice extra surprise that my corset solved for good my back problem that I have had for many years. I feel comfortable and more healthy and do know my body better compared to before I started to wear tight corsets.
When I started to train my waist I did not aim to get an 18 inch waist. My goal was 23 inch but as I felt comfortable and it all went so smoothly and easy, I continued to lace further down and my goal changed to 18 inch. It took me four years to slowly and comfortable reduce my waist to 18 inch.
It is a huge misunderstanding to think that tight-lacing is painful or unhealthy. It is not and should not be unless you are doing something totally wrong, like lacing too tight or too fast or wearing an ill-fitting corset not suitable for tightlacing.