January 22, 2023
Last Updated on May 11, 2023 by Dominique de MerteuilHome » Retro Lingerie »
In this post, which is a collaboration with the Orchard Corset brand, I will show you what a difference a corset makes when worn under vintage clothes.
I would like to point out that you should not treat a corset as a substitute for exercise and a healthy diet. In truth, the more toned you are the less chance for the dreaded back bulge.
Thankfully, Orchard has you covered with the Vedette 941 underbust bra booster that will hide all undesirable imperfections.
Proper foundation garments under vintage clothes are a real game-changer. In the picture, I’m wearing;
- Orchard Corset CS 201 in Mesh. This particular, lighter version of the classic CS201 in satin is perfect for the hot summer days
- Vedette 941 underbust bra booster
- Dita von Tees bra
- Abbie Walsh neck tie
- 1980s slacks
- SPITZ loafers
How to Season Your Corset
DISCLOSURE; As of October 2021, I’m part of the Shop Style Collective affiliate program. I get a commission for purchases made through some of the links in this post. When you buy a product via the link in my post you are helping to keep my website alive for which I’m very grateful! All opinions expressed here are mine!
For full disclosure, I’m not a corset novice. There was a time when I used to wear a corset almost every day. When I relocated from NYC to London in 2005, however, my new lifestyle made it impossible to continue with the habit.
If you decide on wearing a corset or corset waist training, make sure you are doing it properly! And yes, there is a right way and the wrong way that usually requires smelling salts.
TIP FOR SEASONING A CORSET
- Avoid the temptation of wanting to lace your new corset really tight as you might damage it and injure yourself in the process.
- If this is your first time wearing a corset, don’t overdo it. It wouldn’t be advisable to have it on for more than a couple of hours during the day gradually increasing the time to six hours or longer.
- Use a corset liner to protect your skin and prolong the life of your corset.
- And last but not least, if you wish to have a small waist, eat healthily, exercise, and don’t expect the corset to do the job for you!
- I take floor barre classes three times a week and do a ballet workout at home.
Make sure you have someone to help with the lacing.
This picture is a true representation of what my husband used to go through when I was seasoning my first corset.
*Image found on Pinterest. Section 107 of the Copyright Act permits ‘fair use’ for purposes of commenting, news reporting, education as well as research.
The CS-201 Orchard Corset Training
I recently started my waist training with the CS-201 corset, a gift from Orchard Corset. The brand that I’ve been desperately wanting to try for the past year, but never thought I would have the patience, and determination, to go through with wearing a corset every day (again), so I kept postponing the challenge until now!
Close-up shot of the Orchard CS-201 underbust corset.
In the picture, I’m wearing;
- Original 1947 Merry-Go-Round by Peter Pan bra
- CS-201 mesh waspie underbust corset
- 1950s belt
- Original 1950s skirt
SHOP ORCHARD CORSET
Find a Corset that’s the Right Size and Style
I’ve been wearing, what turned out to be an incredibly comfortable, underbust corset for about three hours daily for about a week before increasing the time to six hours.
The very helpful and knowledgeable girls from Orchard Corset helped me with choosing the proper size and fit. It’s important to remember that not every corset will be right for you as it will be dependent on your body type and the length of your torso.
The picture of me in the little miracle worker was taken on the fifth day when I was still breaking it in. It’s a process that reminds me of breaking a brand-new pair of pointe shoes.
Strange feeling at first, you don’t know if you are doing it right and it takes much longer to lace yourself in than you would have hoped.
What I Wear Underneath
In the picture taken by Gregory Michael King, I’m wearing;
- Original 1950s velvet bolero
- CS 201 corset in satin by Orchard Corset
- Dita von Teese Black Dahlia high-waisted panties, bra and suspender belt.
It does get easier every day, I promise. My Orchard Corset is completely broken in now. Nothing sticks out as it did before the corset ‘moulded’ properly into a shape.
I can wear it with confidence under all my vintage garments. And that’s the point of this post.
Orchard Corset Under Vintage Clothes!
- Have you ever wondered why your dazzling, immaculately cut vintage clothes, in particular from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s don’t necessarily look on you as they do in the photographs or in films when the Hollywood movie stars from that era wore them?
- Does it ever feel like the shape of your evening gown from the late 1930s or a beautiful Lilli Ann suit from the 1950s looks nothing on you like it does on Joan Crawford or Dovima?
If your answer to all of the above is ‘yes’ then you and I are in the same vintage boat.
If your answer to all of the above is ‘yes’ then you and I are in the same vintage boat.
We are all, of course, of different heights, and body shapes and the same Jonathan Logan dress will look very different on someone who is 5’10 and size 4 to someone who is 5’5 and wears a size 8.
One of the main reasons why clothes looked so beautiful on women in the 1930s-1950s regardless of their body type, is that they all wore proper foundation garments.
What a Difference an Orchard Corset Makes
Here is an example of what a difference a waist cincher makes to a vintage dress.
I accessorised the 1940s DuBarry dress with a 1950s patent belt to emphasise the small waist, an early 1960s Koret wicker purse and French Sole velvet slippers.
I paired the 1950s dress with 1 1950s patent purse, a POPORCELAIN necklace, Megumi-O sunglasses and, of, course, the CS-201 underbust corset.
Even though the ever so popular metal boned corsets were gradually being replaced by a girdle made of two-way stretch elastic and as WWII approached, women needed more flexibility in their movement, they were still more than eager to create the hourglass silhouette of a small waist, broad shoulders and full hips.
If you are after a similar effect, then that’s exactly where the Orchard corset comes to the rescue!
Of course, a corset is only one of the elements needed for a more authentic vintage 1940s or 1950s look. Let’s also not forget about the very popular and extremely pointed, bullet bra with the ‘cone’ effect, my favourite high-waisted knickers known as ‘grannies-panties’, a garter belt, stockings, a half slip and sometimes a petticoat.
If you are not a vintage purist but still want your vintage clothes to fit properly, then a corset, a well-fitted bra and high-waisted knickers dramatically improve the overall look of your vintage ensemble!
You can find more information on how to corset train on Orchard Corset’s website!
- Dita von Teese bra picking from under the 1950s bolero
- Wills & Dollbaby Irma skirt
- CS 201 corset and bamboo corset liner from Orchard Corset
The Art of Corset Stealthing
Corset stealthing is the art of concealing the corset under layers of clothes.
- I can tell you from experience that stealthing is possible only with a well-seasoned corset
- The CS-201 underbust corset in satin or mesh is the easiest to hide
- Replace the standard round laces with flat satin ones
- A slip or half slip on top of a corset will help conceal it rather well
The Tight Lacing
Tight lacing is a controversial topic and it’s not for the faint-hearted, no pun intended.
It’s been four years since I embraced wearing a corset almost every day so tight lacing was the natural next step for me, and here are the results of it.
The Extreme Curve
For the tight-lacing experiment, I’m wearing the Extreme Curve Satin Underbust Corset: CS-479.
This corset is perfect for ladies with curves. I had to use a hip pad to create the dramatic silhouette, and it was worth it.
I’m happy to report that no smelling salts were required during the shoot.
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CarlaAugust 31, 2018
Fabulous!!! I really want to start wearing a corset now. 🙂
Dominique de MerteuilSeptember 4, 2018
Melissa WilkinsJuly 17, 2018
If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with. Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of health; everything absolute belongs to pathology. Whenever I see an ambulance, I like to think there is a baby being born, rather than a death. I always try to collect some informative information about how to solve women waistline problem.
Dominique de MerteuilJuly 17, 2018
I agree with you, that it’s never too late to change or improve what we don’t like about ourselves. It’s important to remember though that creating the body we want involves a lot of self-discipline and will not happen overnight. I choose to eat healthy and to spend my evenings at a ballet studio training classical ballet. I’ve never had problems with my waistline and I’ve had muscle definition in my abs since the age of 14 but again, it’s all a result of a hard work. I wear a corset because a) that’s what vintage clothes require and b) I find an hourglass figure extremely attractive.