My newest client Rachel was asked to be maid of honor at her friend’s wedding a couple of months ago – an honor of course, but there was a slight problem. The bride chose strapless gowns for her bridesmaids, and Rachel’s curvy figure demanded better support than an off-the-rack strapless bra was going to provide. Rachel asked a mutual friend, Ann-Michelle, to help her find a suitable corset at one of the lingerie shops in the mall. Ann-Michelle told her for a suitable corset, the mall was not the place to go!
I discussed the options for corsets with Rachel. We talked about the sort of shape and cut she wanted (fairly long lined, coming to a V at the front), the neckline (sweetheart), and kind of closure (front busk, back lacing), as well as the degree of shaping and support that would be appropriate (supportive enough to have a showdown with gravity and win). We also talked about fabrics. Rachel’s corset was going to be worn to her friend’s wedding, but also to her own a few months later, so we definitely wanted fabrics that had a beautiful, bridal feel to them. The time frame was tight and didn’t allow us to shop around, but I had some gorgeous cream and pale gold silk brocade in stock and Rachel really loved it! There wasn’t quite enough for the whole corset, so we made one panel in an accent fabric – champagne satin – which ultimately emphasized the hourglass shape the corset created. I hand dyed the laces champagne as well, to match. The fashion fabrics sit over two layers of sturdy cotton corset fabric so the corset is strong and durable. The entire bodice is supported by 22 pieces of flat and spiral steel bonings, as well as the front busk. We met during the construction of her corset for fittings and made a few adjustments (both for fit, and to ensure the neckline of the corset didn’t show above the neckline of her bridesmaid gown). A good fit is infinitely more comfortable, and more supportive as well!
The end result was exactly what she’d needed. Rachel was thrilled! She told me she’d been dreading her friend’s wedding a bit when she hadn’t known how she was going to manage the strapless gown, but with the corset she was looking forward to it again. After the wedding, she sent me a message to let me know it had been comfortable the whole day, and she’d even found an opportunity to wear it again since. Music to a corset maker’s ears!