I have been extremely remiss in not being a better blogger lately, and to atone for my sins I'm finally going to do something I've been meaning to do for a long time and answer the following question left by a reader in response to a post:
Elizabeth said... I just came across your blog while I was searching the net for info on tight-lacing.
I really want to start wearing corsets. But I don't want them to be completely noticeable through my clothing. What type of clothes are appropriate to wear under corsets? Do the laces show through your back?
This is a perfectly valid question. Once you've got the right cincher, of course you want to wear it out and show off your curves. And you should. A corseted figure is simply too good to keep to one's self.
In my years of tightlacing, I have found that nothing works as well as a dress. When you wear something in two pieces, it's very easy for the waistband of your skirt to get caught in the bottom of your corset, making your clothes bunch up in back. You also risk the possibility that someone would see your corset peeking out from the bottom of your shirt when this happens. Yet, with a dress...no such worry. That said, I do love my pencil skirts. When I'm not wearing a dress, I'm sure to wear a long camisole that I can tuck into the bottom of my corset, both to hide it and prevent it from any damage that may result from being constantly rubbed by a waistband.
I write this with the understanding that some people don't mind it being brazenly obvious that they're wearing a corset under their clothes. I am not one of those people. I like to have my secrets. And you'll be surprised how few people realize straight off that you must be wearing a corset to have that waspy waist. I've had people make comments about my 22.5 inch waist, and they are almost always surprised when I tell them that it's not natural and I'm wearing a corset. I think perhaps most people don't realize that there are still people who wear them on a regular basis, and so they don't expect that I'm anything but a lucky girl with an enviably small natural waist. Whether or not you'll tell people outright that you're wearing a corset is up to you. I'll say something if I sense the person is genuinely interested in knowing about my waist--is it natural? what kind of crunches do you do to get that?--but otherwise I find a simple thank-you is sufficient.
To best show off your waist, look for items that are belted. Empire waistlines can be quite flattering, but you just can't see the waspish hourglass you've perfected. I personally prefer dresses with a small bodice and a full swing skirt, but again pencil skirts are great, as is anything A-line. It really depends on your figure, the occasion for which you're dressing, and your own personal style. However it's worth noting that we tightlacers are in luck. After years of designers claiming that the cinched, waist-accentuated look will return to the streets, it might actually be true (click here for an example of some favorite looks from NY's Fashion Week). The high-waisted pencil skirt can now be found even at Express, and super wide belts certainly call corsets to mind.
If you have other specific topics or questions that you'd like me to address, please do let me know. I promise I'll get to answering them faster.