Snowblack Corsets

With each new corset maker I try out, I get closer and closer to finding The One. Not being a rich person this has been a bit of a tedious journey, full of bumps in the road that have all taught me things that mean a lot more when you’ve experienced them than if you had just read about them. So I guess there’s that.

But I just got my new every day corset from Snowblack Corsets, and you’ll have to excuse me while I go nuts for a moment here.

Ahem. Excuse me. The thing is, I haven’t had a proper corset for everyday wear for years. That sounds insane, I know. Basically I wore my first one until it fell to pieces, then bought another standard one thinking it would be the same (it wasn’t), tried to get a custom one in gold that turned out not to have a suitable shape for me at all, and since then just didn’t want to pay for something basic and plain while just a little more money gets you all kinds of lace and feathers and beads and… all of a sudden I had a ton of “show” corsets, but no real reliable workhorse. Well, that moment has finally come.

The first thing you realize when you contact Marta is that her service is impeccable. I was used to waiting a month and then some for replies about a commission, but she responded immediately. And it wasn’t a fluke. She continued to stay in touch with me as needed and respond to my every message with lightning speed, never to leave me wondering if she had taken off with my money and disappeared. And she’s extremely friendly too, of course.

Now I also have to mention that she offers options that you really don’t see that often when ordering a corset. The hardware can be had in gold or black apart from the traditional silver, and the corset can be designed to close all the way or leave a gap (some people prefer this as it frees up their spine). You can even choose a different color of lining. You can tell that a lot of care and detail goes into these.

On the day it shipped, she sent me a message to let me know AND refunded part of the shipping fee I’d paid because it turned out to be less than expected. There’s that stellar service again.

The package had a tracking number so that I could waste hours obsessively clicking the refresh button to see if it was any closer. So on the day it arrived I was expecting it. What I wasn’t expecting was for it to come in a storage bag, and include an underbusk and stiff modesty panel laced into the gap. I’ve never had any of these things before because they’ve always been extra, and here they were included in the already super insanely affordable price (many similar off the rack corsets cost more)! These things offer huge advantages to make wearing your corset a whole lot less annoying. No more shirt or skin to get in the way of the busk or modesty panel that bunches up! YAY!

Now for the corset itself. Usually when I get a new corset my reaction is “It’s amazing! Except maybe…..” Not here. No “excepts.” No “if onlys.” While I was worried the 7 inch length might come up a little (ahem) short, it’s actually the perfect length on me. My ribs are encased enough to give me the wasp shape I desire. It goes low enough AND has a stiff enough busk to not let any tummy escape from the pressure, but is short enough to allow me plenty of movement and not push up my boobs in the most unflattering way. If I’m going to sleep in a corset, it will be this one. It also feels very strong, something that can handle the wear and tear I’ll put it through, that can be worn every day instead of saved only for special events. That stiff busk also means this is going to be nearly invisible under clothes instead of showing the dreaded bottom ridge.

It’s perfect. Holy shit I have found something perfect that I can afford. It IS possible! Now keep in mind I really want to post some pictures of my own corset, but I can’t mar this thing up with a crap selfie. Give me a few days and I’ll update.

Jupiter Moon 3 Corsets

One fun and scary thing about custom corsets is you never know exactly what you’re going to get. Each one is completely unique, made just for you and a combination of your design specifications and the corset maker’s interpretation of your ideas. I recently had the great pleasure of trying Jupiter Moon 3 for the first time. As far as my own experience goes, I think she’s the best yet.

So I guess I’ll start from the beginning. I’m off standard corsets, but I’m no designer. I have zero talent for it, though ordering custom does require you to be able to pull some sort of idea out of your ass so the corset maker knows what to do. My idea took months to refine, and I’m sure my friends are still making fun of me for how much I agonized over every last detail. But you must understand, my money needs to go a long way, and I am very, very fussy when it comes to my corsets. I can find fault with absolutely anything.

The design I finally settled on was powder blue satin with black lace over the hips and f-hole shaped appliques over the front and back with a matching bra. This underbust + bra arrangement is absolutely genius by the way. For the price of the bra your corset can now be worn as both an underbust and overbust, and you have a sexy fancy new bra too. Once I had finalized my design I came across this, which happened to be just so similar it became my inspiration, even after the fact. This is what I aspired my corset to be.

You’re drooling now, aren’t you? Anyway, the process took a while because Jennifer, the lady behind Jupiter Moon 3, is a very busy lady indeed. I let her know that it was imperative that I have my corset by mid-August so I would have time to break it in before Toronto Fan Expo, and that as long as that happened I was happy. I got exactly what I asked for. I admit I had started to worry, but she shipped express to make sure I had it, and got a tracking number too just in case. I’m extremely grateful.

What I got was not what had been in my head, but it is definitely what I had described, and it is just so completely gorgeous. This is the kind of corset you fantasize about. This is the kind of corset you get married in. I want to wear it every day for the rest of my life. Because it works under clothes, I think I will. I’m sitting around on my couch in it right now with my hair in rollers, just because. The lace at the sides contours over the top of the hips and around the waist, connecting to the appliques in front and back. The appliques most definitely don’t look just like f-holes, but I image that would be pretty damn hard to find, and they resemble the example images I sent so exactly I wonder if those aren’t the ones she got for me. They even have little sequins in them for a bit of sparkle. Because I had decided not to get lace trim at the top, the bra creates a perfect overbust effect when worn with it. It’s exactly what I had hoped for.

Another thing I noticed – even before I opened the package because it was smaller than I expected – was that the corset is VERY light. Typical corsets have a few layers of heavy coutil and spiral steel bones, which have some heft to them. In fact if you never saw this corset on a person you might assume it was plastic just to hold it. It’s really pretty amazing. But the bones are indeed steel, flat, not spiral, and there are 3 layers of fabric in the design. The lining is super soft cotton. This would make a fantastic summer corset. And despite this it absolutely is capable of giving me the exact shape I need with the right amount of reduction.

The busk in front has a very soft curve to it almost reminiscent of a spoon busk, or maybe it’s just the perfect amount of flexible, that my tummy is held in while I still get waist compression from the front, which is rare since most busks are super straight and rigid, so I find this such a bonus. The bones at the back don’t buckle EVEN when I bend over with the laces untied, and the fabric doesn’t bubble either. You read that right, I can bend over – at the waist. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not so flexible it flops around giving you no support. But when I really need to I can bed just enough to get my business done in the bathroom and get out of a car. And what a difference that makes when you wear a corset every day. It’s strong and it fits and it lets me move and holy crap it’s so damn comfortable. I’m super impressed.

Would I recommend Jupiter Moon 3? Yes. Jupiter Moon 3 shows every sign of being everything I’ve been looking for. I will definitely be ordering from her again, as soon as I can afford it, and I’ll be doing it with confidence. I think I may have found The One.

An Assortment of Great Corset Articles by The Lingerie Addict

I could go on forever about corsets. That much is painfully obvious. Recently I’ve been flipping through The Lingerie Addict, and loving every minute of it. I’m very impressed by the quality of information provided there, and instead of just repeating what they’ve said, I’m going to share my favorite articles of theirs with you. That way you can learn some cool things, and I can shut up. For a while.

What Everybody Should Know About the Difference Between Real Corsets & Fake Corsets

First off, this article speaks a lot to me. Years back, I was one of those naive unfortunates who bought that (unknowingly) fake red corset featured in the article. Words can’t do justice to how horrible that thing was. I didn’t wear it even once. To be fair, it was the first time I had attempted to purchase a corset since my first one, which was pretty darn great. Though of course common sense should have tipped me off a bit. And Damnit I am SICK of seeing this plastic CRAP every time I go for a night out! No, I don’t care if you’re insulted. This is how bad you look, and I’m cringing at you when you’re not looking, or when you do so much as mention them in a non-negative way. Do yourselves a favor and read this, or wear a shirt instead. I BEG you.

51 Places to Buy Your Next Corset

You know how often I get asked where to go to buy a corset? I don’t either. But it’s a lot. So this list sums things up really nicely. Omitted from the list however are Desert Orchid, which are beyond fantastic if you like the hourglass shape, and Jupiter Moon, which I haven’t tried yet but you bet your ass I’ll be reviewing them when I get my order in a couple months.

What (You Didn’t Know) to Look for in a Corset: 5 Popular Myths Debunked

This article was the first I read, and I found it extremely well-informed, so you should read it. I even learned a few things myself.

Corseting for Your Needs, Part II: How to Choose the Right Corset for Your Body

A complaint I often hear? “Corsets aren’t right for my body type.” Bullshit. So very much, so very steaming. Everyone can wear a corset, unless they have a medical anomaly like something I can’t really think of because I’m not a doctor. The only body type that can’t wear a corset is pregnant. Even then, pregnancy corsets did exist in the Victorian era, though I tend to think your doctor would have an issue with that, so don’t. Here’s…well it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Corseting for Your Needs, Part I: How to Choose the Right Corset for Any Occasion

I do ask myself occasionally what corset would make the most sense to wear/order, but in general “whatever the fuck I want” tends to override that. Nevertheless, here’s a good and practical starting point.

Solo Corset Fun: How to Lace Yourself Up

I’ve never had an issue with lacing myself; pretty much the only time other people have laced me up was because they asked to, or even wormed their way in and just went for it (By the way, girls in the bathroom, it’s not necessary. I can handle it. If you really want to give it a shot, fine, but at least ask. If you just swing behind me and grab on then that’s pretty obnoxious. I don’t just come forth and hike up your pants). But I know many do have some difficulty. This article will help.

Well, that’s it for now.

UPDATE: I found another one! You could see this as an extension to my Corset FAQ, but written by someone else. And it’s SO nice to see there are other people out there who I can relate to about this. So the biggest thing I have to say here is “ditto” and “thank you.” (Though, to be honest I highly question the notion of young girls sleeping in their corsets with their hands tied to the bed. This is more than likely gathered from fetish and fantasy articles of the time and have little basis in fact. A good comparison is with bras today. They were worn for essentially the same purpose of support and shaping, and while some ladies wear bras to bed in modern times, it’s not overly typical.)

Tightlacing 101: 4 Myths About Waist Training with a Corset

Telling the Difference Between a Proper Corset and a Fake One

One of the biggest issues I have with corsets is that so many women don’t know what defines a real one that they continue to waste their money on what constitutes little more than tacky lingerie. The worst part is they never know that they’ve been had, and the problem is so common that I’m sure many of these “corset” sellers have no idea that what they’re selling isn’t actually a corset at all. Ebay is riddled with shops selling these ripoff items that actually have positive reviews because the buyers didn’t know any better (or just had really bad taste), and message boards are full of even more of these buyers who just can’t figure out what went wrong.
When it comes right down to it, nobody can really be blamed. I’m infuriated at the sellers who knowingly show pictures of quality corsets and then sell horrible knockoffs, but this is a problem that can be said for a lot of products. Overall, people are simply in the dark about this issue. I believe the root of the problem is simply that the corset as a garment has evolved over time just like any other garment, so that we kept the title even though they’re completely unrecognizable in their current incarnation. Here’s where the words “Victorian Corset” come into play. I’ve heard it asked many times what this means, and I believe it’s referring to authentic corsets as they were and are meant to be, rather than the cheap imitations we see today. So now I have to get to the point. How can you tell the difference? Here’s a list of what I look for, in order of importance.
Sizing. Truly the most important thing to look for is steel boning, but I’m listing this one first because invariably a corset sized S/M/L does not have it, so looking for this will save you a lot of time. A proper off the rack corset (made to measure and custom don’t come in sizes, they’re made individually according to your measurements) will be sized according to how many inches around the waist is. Commonly this will range from 20-40, and you should get one 4 inches smaller than your natural waist size. I’ve also noticed that “corsets” of the plastic type often come with a g-string and feature a model that looks like a porn star. This is a sure sign that what you’re looking at is crap.
Cost. Also not technically the most important, but a price too good to be true usually is, and a sure sign that this isn’t what you’re looking for. I have seen very expensive junk, but I have rarely seen a good corset for less than about 100$, and finding these is a skill best left to more knowledgeable and experienced bargain shoppers.
Steel boning. If it’s not steel, don’t even think about it. This is officially the number one rule for finding a quality piece. Plastic is not only horribly unflattering due to the way they bend and buckle, but this can also be painful, even dangerous. Plastic bones that bend too easily will jab you in the stomach, under the ribs, and in your armpits. In extreme cases they’ve been known to snap and puncture through skin. There’s nothing good I can say about plastic boning, unless it’s sturdy and strictly worn decoratively on top of a proper corset boned with steel. At the very least, I beg you to NOT attempt tightlacing a “corset” boned with plastic. Lace it just enough to be snug, but not tight. Spiral steel has the required flexibility to curve with your body while also being strong enough to properly support you with comfortable even pressure. One way to instantly tell the difference in person is by weight. A plastic bustier will feel extremely light and flimsy compared to the heavy sturdiness of a proper corset.
Multiple layers cotton coutil. No doubt about it, a corset requires strength. And all the steel in the world won’t do any good if the fabric between it tears under the pressure. This is one of the reasons it’s unsuitable to take a bustier and try making it a proper corset by replacing the boning. The thin layer of fabric just won’t hold up. A good corset is made with usually three layers of strong cotton coutil, with the decorative fabric over top.
Waist tape. I’ve heard of corsetieres claiming that their corsets were extra strong because they use waist tape in the construction. I call bullshit. EVERY proper corset should have waist tape. It’s not special, it’s the standard, and it should always be mentioned that this is part of the design. This is important for reinforcing the waist, which undergoes the most pressure. Without this the corset could quickly tear.
They specifically say the corset is for tightlacing. I don’t doubt there are some dishonest sellers out there, but those people won’t be in business for long. A good corset is suitable for tightlacing and will always say so.
Proper lacing. There are indeed some good corsets out there with improper lacing, but this is a sign that the corsetiere has not fully done their homework and so the overall quality might not be as good as it should be. Corsets should NOT be laced like a running shoe. This creates extra friction, and the laces passing in between the panels will prevent the corset from closing all the way. If this is the only problem you see, it’s simple enough to just re-lace it yourself. A worse issue is when the laces tie at the top or the bottom. Sure these can be re-laced too, but I wouldn’t trust anyone who does it this way to know what they’re doing. This is just obvious beginner stuff that any reputable retailer or corsetiere should know. If you’re trying to draw in the waist, why would you tie it anywhere else? It just doesn’t make any sense. Not to mention this makes lacing much more difficult. The seller might claim that this is so the laces can easily be hidden, but come on, that’s much less important than actually doing it properly so the corset is able to do what it’s supposed to, isn’t it?
Wrinkling in the fabric. I’ve worn many good corsets in which the fabric didn’t lie perfectly flat, but if it does, all the better. This is simply a sign of quality work and attention to detail, and makes for a more attractive and solid-looking corset, with a smoother silhouette under clothing. While not 100% necessary, it’s strongly preferred.
Now I just want to mention one last thing, and that’s grommet placement. A couple people have said to me how strange it is that the grommets or front prongs are unevenly placed, while what they’re referring to is the fact that they’re closer together at the waist and belly respectively. This is actually a very good thing, again to compensate for the increased pressure in that area. So don’t worry a thing about that if you see it, just rest assured that this is even more likely to be what you’ve been looking for!
Good luck!