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Q.1. How do I start lacing down?

A. There is no scientific answer to your question, and we provide more detailed instructions with delivery of our corsets. However, please consider the following.

in general we recommend you start wearing a brand new corset only two to three hours at a time, at a waist reduction of 2-3" from your natural waist measurement. Remember that any corset will add from 3/4" to 1.25" to your girth, so you will actually be less under the corset than what you measure on top of the corset.

Increase your hours of wear by pairs for 3 to 5 days, building up to 10 hrs. of continuous wear before you lace down about 1/2" and drop back to build up in hours again. After about 15 to 20 wearings your corset will be reasonably "seasoned" of "broken in", after which you may sleep in the corset. Never sleep in it until then because of the risk of permanently torquing or twisting the front busk and/or boning.

Q.2. How do I clean my corset?

A. We recommend dry cleaning by a reputable business that is familiar with cleaning expensive bridal gowns, however with care, some corsets may be hand-washed (but never -- or exceedingly carefully-- machine washed, and never, ever (ever!) machine dried).

Remember that boning and busks are typically not stainless steel, and thus subject to rust if the nylon coating cracks. In addition, washing two different kinds of fabrics can result in one shrinking at a different level from the other, resulting in an unsightly appearance even if no functional difference is involved.

A repeated light brushing of rubbing alcohol will clean some soiled spots, and wearing any corset over a tight tube top will prevent soiling from body perspiration and oils. The less you clean a corset by any method, the longer it will remain lovely and in good condition.

Hand-washing requires careful attention. We recommend washing a corset as you do a fine cashmere sweater using fine quality lingerie soap and cold water, but drying it extremely rapidly and within 2 to 4 hrs. to avoid the appearance of rust. Drug stores carry fabric-safe rust removing liquids, so always keep a bottle on hand in case rust shows on the busk stud area, or along the boning casings. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee against the appearance of rust. Thus you may want to delay hand-washing a fine corset for many years, until it becomes an older corset in your collection. Then you might not be disappointed by the appearance of rust.

Q.3. After the second day laced up in my new custom corset I sneezed and couldn't get the corset loosened in time before I did. Needless to say, I need a slight repair job already, because some stitches in a seam on the right hip area popped. It's entirely my fault. How much would repairs be and when can I send it in?

A. I'm so sorry to hear bad news, but it's not unheard of for seam stitching to come loose or even the stud on the busk to fly off with a precipitous, large sneeze. The damage can most likely be repaired at moderate cost.

We advise about this danger in our Wear and Care Instructions sent with new corsets, and suggest that you restrain or avoid sneezes when you can. It's crucial that you not wear your corset until you repair the problem, making the best decision you can as to cost versus the nature of the proper "fix" and whether purchasing an entirely new corset might be the better way to go.

Sometimes you may be able to make a credible temporary repair using heavy upholstery thread to overstitch and secure the split seam. It may not be noticeable or all that important on a foundation corset worn underneath clothing. If you wish an invisible repair, then likely we will have to do that for you.

If in the future after some wear and tear, you may wish a more substantial repair of the seam, and refurbishment of your corset including shortening bones, replacing binding, adding outside bone casings. Let us know so we can schedule a team member for those purposes. Typically you will enter the normal production queue. Repair or refurbishment will likely never be as expensive as a new corset.

Q.4. When a skirt or dress is worn under a corset, should it have a waist band in the traditional sense, or should it be made to fit lower down on the top of the hip bone?

A. Either one, the latter being called a "dropped waist skirt." However, you must consider the nature of the waist band.

Sometimes a "normal" waist band in a readymade skirt made to encircle your unreduced waist size, will crinkle and gather as you lace a corset down on top, since the skirt is made to fit your normal waist size and not your reduced waist size. Sometimes gathered skirts or drawstrings at the top edge work far better because the size will reduce according to how far you lace down your corset. Pencil slim skirts never seem to work well with a corset, unless you are pencil thin with no tummy. A soft fabric A-line skirt will work well with a corset, and often any gathers as you lace down will not be that disruptive to your over all "look," however, crisper fabrics (heavy satins) don't work well with a corset, unless you have the waistline tailored down to your reduced waist size (at least 1" less than your normal waist). Some clients do tailor their skirts, if they corset a lot. I find that gathered skirts work best for me as do skirts and dresses made of lighter weight fabrics.

Q.5. How do I disguise my corset when worn underneath my daytime clothing?

A. Clothing must be accommodated to disguise corsets. Corsets are somewhat thick adding from 3/4" to 1.25" to your waistline.

You may wear one or two t-shirts, a slip, or a chemise/cami over the corset, pull control top pantyhose over the bottom edge, wear your shirts or blouses looser, avoid spandex or tight lycra garments, and order a fully custom corset that hugs the natural contours of your body.

Unique accommodations have been designed. Two clever French clients designed a carved foam rubber and attached it to it to a waist band to wear under their male business shirts to fill in the waistline gap created by lacing down. Perhaps you can do the same.

Another solution is to avoid daytime corset wear and opt for sleeping in your corset after it is well seasoned. Finally, if anyone sees or suspects you wear a corset, or happens to hug you or clap you on the back and feel the stiffness of it, just mention that you are wearing a back brace for support and relief of discomfort.

How Do I Maintain/Wear/Care for My New Corset?
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