Q.1 Why do you work with more than one corset maker,
and how should I go about choosing among them?
A.1 To provide the best possible service and product to
our corset enthusiast clients, I decided to adopt a
business model that is principally client- and education-centered
rather than sale-centered. This requires offering
real options to my clients, including choices from among
a variety of
Almost each ROMANTASY corsetiere (excepting qualified junior corsetieres
whom we represent from time to time) has constructed
literally hundreds, if not thousands, of custom corsets
during her business history. Her productions have been
"field tested" for hours and hours by clients and by
ROMANTASY owner Ann. All of our corsets are presently
American made, by Sheri Jurnecka, Jill Hoverman, and
Morgan, while Brazilian-born seamstress, Maria Socorro,
constructs our more complex and elegant bridal gowns and
Red Carpet ensembles.
Initially we settled on a team approach to corset production,
specialize in particular styles, construction and patterning
techniques, body silhouettes, fabrics and embellishments.
We decided to produce as well, related garments such as
skirts and gowns. Thus, as a team,
we are able to offer an amazingly wide range of price
points and style and design options, so
that almost anyone with a little to no effort
can find a
way to invest in a quality garment that will last for many
years to come.
Rather than learn to hone my limited corset making and
seamstress skills, I purchased and wear many
custom corsets from many
corset makers (some not on our team) in order to understand
and see the differences in their productions, then interview many other corset
enthusiasts to learn about what constitutes true
"tight-lacing quality." I then searched the world,
and continue to search in every possible location
for corset makers with a certain level of experience,
excellent reputation, and high quality. Many claim to be
making tight-lacing corsets, but time and again I
examine their work, or see how they relate to projects,
clients, and deadlines, and they fall short of my
strict quality standards. We always appreciate referrals
to other corsetieres who might wish to join the ROMANTASY
To educate clients, I help them analyze both corset style and
individual choices from among our wide range of options. I
learn their priorities including budget, and point them
toward one or more corsetieres on our team who will most
likely satisfy their priorities, leaving the ultimate
choice up to the client.
We also work with various other
seamstresses and seamstresses producing related garments
such as our Training Belts, the man's CorVest,
custom skirts, costumes, aprons, baby doll dresses, maid's
outfits, wedding gowns, posture collars,
gloves, purses, hats, and other fashion items to coordinate
with your corset.
Q.2 Can you explain more about the differences?
A.2. We will try, with the initial comment that the one
lesson we have learned since 1990, is that corset wearing
(and how a corset actually fits and feels) bottom line,
is an entirely individual, and somewhat
We must of necessity, use words and pictures for our web visitors
and long-distance clients to represent and interpret
the corsets of the variety produced by the ROMANTASY team.
Many of the differences among the corset productions of our
individual corsetieres are quite subtle, or
are a "feeling" difference hardly visible, one that
can only fully be appreciated when you try on the corset.
What might be called "de riguer" and "required for a good
tight-lacing corset" by one client may be entirely different from
another commentator. We like to say that the "proof of a custom corset
is in the pudding" of the actual wearing over a month
Sometimes I am asked, "can you please ask Sheri to make
this more of an hourglass or more straight rib?" Or I
am asked, "I like Sharon's sturdiness, but can you ask
her to pattern more out over my rib cage as I don't
like pressure there and I like more the wasp silhouette
Or maybe someone likes the wasp but wants Jill to
make her corset. Usually I say: "Yes, but..."
The "but" means that each corsetiere has a specialty in
the silhouette (and production technique and style
plus fabrics preferred etc.) for which she likes to
pattern her corsets. She has come to that over the years
with hundreds (if not thousands) of corsets completed.
Even if this is not a conscious decision to choose a
precise silhouette or pattern (and what she chooses is
usually based on her experience with what her clients
love and prefer and feedback to her), there is usually
a "lean". Some silhouettes of course, like the "stem",
actually require different widths of waist tape and a
somewhat standard pattern (as does the ribbon corset),
because the stem and ribbon corsets are in fact, both
a silhouette and a style.
For example, to my body and eye, our famed elder former
Ruth Johnson (BR Creations) produced the most lovely
and typical of hourglass silhouettes.
But she surely was not an expert in neat finish or
perfectness in some aspects; no one among us is perfect!
By this comment I do not mean to demean Ruth or anyone on my
stellar team or in the corset construction world, but
this is my personal conclusion based on my artistic
preference and my bodily feeling when wearing 19 of Ruth's
corsets for years. As far as I am concerned there will
never be any corsetiere who will make a corset exactly
like Ruth with precisely that same lovely hourglass
silhouette in a simple eight-panel pattern, of the
comfort level I feel along with her tight-lacing
quality (though Ruth used only two layers of cotton-backed satin,
by the way, with no stretching I note, nor have heard of)
Over time new corsetieres may or will approach Ruth's
look and feel.
Sometimes I will venture to request a team
corsetiere to adjust her patterning a wee bit.
For example, once Jill had a client who wanted the
"The Rose" underwire overbust corset, but she was absolutely
convinced she did not want Jill's typical hourglass
silhouette, but a straight rib silhouette. So we asked
Jill to pattern more tightly over the ribs to create
that silhouette, because no one else on our team
in the underwire style. She did, and the client was
You will see the client wearing her corset
(small image to right of the closeup of the corset
on a manikin, a wee bit of rib curvature is still
observable but not much) in one picture of the deep
I like to let each lady do what she does best
and prefers to do best, and don't often ask for
pattern adjustments. That being said, were a client
to be in San Francisco in person to touch our sample
corsets, view them up close, and try them on,
he or she could tell from both body feelings and
visual cues what they like and if truly they
need to request an adjustment --
or truly prefer one corsetiere's productions over another.
To help make this decision, we place multiple images
over time on corsetiere's individual pages of clients
of various figure sizes and shapes, to show what
any new client may likely look like if they order
that corset. What we recommend is that you find a client shown wearing
the style and maker's corsets, one whose figure is approximately
similar to yours, to determine how you are likely to appear in
her corsets. Look carefully at the silhouette, shape and
An interesting example is seen on the
style page of our senior corsetiere, Sheri. I am pictured
a bright orange silk corset and also a blue denim one
with button embellishments (a client is wearing the same
corset in the closeup to the right).
What would you call my waist silhouette? Wasp?
Hourglass? It is likely somewhere in between and
even to my eye, seems more hourglass than wasp. Yet the
feeling on my body and on other clients from their reports,
is major pressure exerted near the waistline and not on
the ribs, more akin to the wasp silhouette or effect.
Her corset is often the corset of choice for those
moving to the next tighter stage of lacing down, or
working up to long, long hours and requiring some
flexibility on her body with easy breathing and
rather quick seasoning. Sheri's patterning is also
just perfect for example, for short-waisted clients
having little distance from the lowest rib and
Some individuals develop a preference for one
corsetiere, period, for multiple reasons. I have one
client (pictured on Sheri's UBV page) who won't order
anyone but Sheri. She ordered five of her corsets
over the years. I cannot convince her of any reason to
try anyone else, nor should I. For her body she loves
I served another lady client pictured on
that page, who actually started to cry gentle tears
when she got to try on Sheri's corsets, which totally
disappeared 10 years of lower back soreness, she said.
of the other team members' corsets did that, when she
tried them on. She argued that she could not afford
Sheri's corset but I refused to sell her any other and
sent her away to save money. She was not particularly
happy. She came back four months later, ordered a Sheri
corset, and was exceedingly happy with the fit and her
ultimate choice -- as I was convinced she would be.
I knew she would never be happy with any other and that
it would waste her money and time to let her choose
anyone but Sheri. Plus I knew her disappointment would
make it a very distressing experience for me, and I
don't like that feeling! I like to be spot on in terms
of what I advise my clients, and hope and pray that I
am mostly right.
I can mention other clients who feel the same about Sharon
and Jill, and each of my past team members!
That is why one corsetiere will or may have a
devoted loyal clientele for years and years.
The reason I recommend that some clients venture out and try
others styles and makers, including others not on
my team, is to experience on their body, the differences.
There is nothing like the body to give us our answers.
I can use words and post images, but the proof is in the pudding of your
individual experience. I have worn corsets by about 15
different makers, not all of whom were ever on my team.
I sometimes buy corsets from others to experience them
and try to understand the subtle differences, if any.
If like me, you are an adventurer and perhaps in
this for many
years, I encourage you to venture out. But at
the final choice is up to you.