Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Corset love - an obsession with reducing my post baby waist.....

I dont profess to be anything like Dita Von Tease, although I admire her beauty and classic fashion sense immensely. For one thing, she is so very tiny where I am tall, for another, she hasn't had 3 kids in succession and her implanted boobs and floorless figure are fine testament to that - lucky (and hardworking) gal that she is !! Looking as brilliant as Dita does not come naturally though (hence my hardworking statement), as I am sure she would tell you herself. It takes discipline, forethought and a great deal of endurance....check out the photograph below....such a tiny waist is not attained without a good deal of 'waist training' in good old fashioned corsets.

As any fashion historian will tell you, back in 1946 Christian Dior introduced the "New Look" to a style hungry post war consumer market. To me, that look is classic, beautiful, full of eternal graceful appeal. Nipped in waists, hourglass figures we all flattered by Dior's tailored jacket and full skirts, and as the 1950's came along, sundresses, full skirted evening gowns, cocktail dresses, office wear and pencil skirts. Think Joan Holloway.

And so, to pull off a truly stunning vintage 1950's look, one must, I am afraid to tell all you modern gals, resort to undergarments that provide that nipped in waist and hour glass figure. But it is not all bad...infact, personally, I dont think it is bad at all ! I cant tell you how much I miss my natural 26inch waist since having children added an unbudgable inch to my middle for each child (grrrrrr !!!). The only way I can achieve it comfortably is with a little help from a corset, and although I only wear one every now and again if I am off to a particularly important 'do', it gives me that extra confidence just knowing that my belly is held in (smile) and my clothes are not straining at the seams ! It also has done wonders for my posture and (hopefully) my elegance too. I would wear one all the time if I were not chasing babies all day long !!!

So, I wanted to share with you my very small, but growing collection of corsets. This is the first time I have attempted to do my own 'self fashion shoot', and i have to confess it was a bit of a laugh.....I have ended up with carpet burnt knees from racing from the tripod to the pose on my brand new carpet (what a shame it's not carpet burn from that other very worthy means of attaining raw knees - smile, wink !).

The corset above is my first attempt at a waist cincher. It is made from pretty floral curtain material (for thickness and strength) and is lined and boned and laces up at the back. It can pull me in to a rather hideous looking 24-23inches, but needs assistance to achieve it - and who would want to anyhow, it just looks ludicrous on my 174cm frame and build. This corset looks lovely worn in a sort of peasant style over the top of a blouse like above. I had planned to wear it every day when I made it, but I soon discovered it was a total pain in the neck to have to get in and out of it as it laces up at the back.I always needed someone to help me, and that was totally unpractical for my lifestyle......what to do, what to do.......

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

Right away I got cracking on making a full corset as I wanted to hold in my post baby belly as well as reduce my waist. This one is wonderful as it has a steel busk in the front which is ideal for easily getting in and out of myself. It laces at the back, but once done up, I dont need to touch the lacing's and simply undo and do up via the busk. Unfortunately, this one was not laced properly initially so it kind of has a square look to it, rather than the beautiful curve I was after, and I did try wearing it every day for a while, which unfortunately bent the plastic 'boning' into a funny shape as my body retaliated. Lesson learnt - use steel boning if possible. I must get this one laced appropriately so I am comfortable wearing it out again, but otherwise, it has worked a treat - any volunteers for the relacing? (OK, now I am getting too cheeky !!)

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

In a Bridget Jones style attempt to hold everything in (albeit rather unattractively I must confess), I bought myself a girdle from the USA. (Girdle Bound - for everything in underwear!) I couldn't bare to show you the front of it (hideous!!) so I photographed it like this. It comes to just under the bra and goes down to mid thigh holding everything in to perfection, despite the complete unsexiness of the look !! I actually love this girdle because it draws my waist in to 27.5 - 28 inches without needing to be laced etc. It also holds in my baby belly brilliantly ! This is some truly heavy duty girdle material let me tell you !! And it is wonderfully comfortable to wear, I wear this one alot actually, and I know my friends will now be looking at me and wondering "Does she have that hideous thing on today????"

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

But I have now saved the best of my corsets till last. I recently got this little miracle worker in the post from my beautiful friend Miss Kim of the Lindy Charm School For Girls. The only way to describe the wonder this performs is to tell you that it effortlessly takes my waist from 29-30inches back to my post baby 26inch dream! As you can see by the photo, there is a bit too much flab lolloping over the top which tells me it is time to get into the toning exercises again !! (Smile!) This 'Dior' corset guarantees to reduce your waist by up to 4 inches and it is perfect for all those 50's style dresses that require the figure of Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. And you simply wont believe how very comfortable this is to wear as well......it is an out and out winner - thankyou lovely Kim !!

Have a peek at these photos above and below (there's that dreaded flab again !!!) showing just how much the 'Dior' corset (waist cincher) can pull me in........

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

And now for a bit of final inspiration....who can possibly deny the beauty of a corset, particularly a Hollywood showgirl style one as seen in the pictures below? Frills and bows, lace and sequins - the stuff all little girls dream of ! Who doesn't want to be thought beautiful?

Above Allyn McLerie wowing the audience as Katie Brown in the film 'Calamity Jane'

Marilyn as the Saloon singer with a heart of gold in "River of no return'

The most famous corset lacing scene in all of history ( to me anyhow !!!) Scarlett O'Hara was supposed to have had a 16 inch waist according to the novel......get a tape measure and have a look at the size of a 16 inch waist, then tell me if you think a waist of that size is beautiful or not !! It makes a Barbie Doll look overweight !!!

Dita in a darling little outfit with that disarmingly small waist again.

The stunning gal's from Melbourne's Hi Ball Burlesque, driving the tremendous resurgence of showgirl/burlesque performance and thus, the wearing of gorgeous burlesque corsets such as these...... those outfits are so very dreamy ....sigh.....

And finally, have a peek at this snippet from Oprah of the woman with the worlds smallest waist....this is truly scarey....... thankyou Eddie for this one !


  1. I absolutely loved this post.

    Lately I've been wishing to have a corset of my very own, but I'd be too shy to buy one in public, and I don't think I'd be very keen on the whole lacing business (I can barely tie my own shoes, lol!).

    Ah, c'est la vie. Keep doing what you do, and take comfort in knowing you've garnered a very envious reader.

  2. The floral waist cincher is really chic !

  3. Greta post! - I agree that foundation garments are essential for attaining the correct vintage sillhouette - although I had trouble with one "waist cincher" I bought - until I realised I was wearing it back-to-front!!!

  4. Fantastic insight Kesenya. Just quietly I invested in an "undergarment" last year but I'm so disappointed as it looks great when I first put it on but the moment I sit down it starts to ride up and wrinkle. I think I need to invest in some a little more heavy duty with boning.

    Great pis of yourself. Ellie came and asked who you were and said "she's very pretty". How cute. Oh and she's right of course. xx

  5. Lately, my favorite binding undergarments are a high waist, side zip girdle and a vintage long line bullet bra. They always make my vintage clothing look divine!

  6. "lolloping" - that is hilarious!!!!
    I'm so impressed you make your own. I have not found a modern girdle that works as well as a vintage one, although Rago girdles are pretty good.
    I have heard great thing about Miss Kim's cinchers, and am tempted to break my piggy bank to get one!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing! I practically live in my girdles, but they don't quite make me as small as I like. I also hate the bulge that appears above or below the garment. Ugh! I think I am going to have to get myself a corset now. :)

  8. Just a quick note to let you know that I love your blog and I have given you an award. You can pick it up here:

    Emma @ Emma aime

  9. Hey there, Loved the post!

    Just thought it might be worth mentioning thought that Dita Von Teese is known for corseting down to a 16" waist as well which is a 5-6" reduction from her natural waistline. So it's not so odd for Scarlett O'hara to do the same, especially when Vivian Leigh was only 5'3.5" when Dita's 5'6".

    By the way...your pics look great! I'm totally jealous of your hair!!

  10. Oh wow - 7hym3, thanks for that amazing info !!! Totally incredible really, but maybe I just need to get more corsett practise in and it wont be so far fetched to me any longer!! XX


Related Posts with Thumbnails