Corset woes

This is a bit of a girlie one, but if guys want to know what we deal with via our undergarments, read on. Ladies… let me catch you up…

I finally, finally got my new corset delivered. Yes I said corset, not closet. Coming from the UK (Mr.Corset), it took a while, but wow was it worth the wait. You see I’m not a fetishist or a burlesque performer, but I do love me some underwear. And since my hip and waist measurement are pretty much the same thing, I love the idea that underwear can give me a waist. So I tried on a corset a few years back and fell in love. Instant waist, no dieting required. Plus it held up stockings, replaced my bra and made me sit up straight. What could be better? Except it fell apart during use (No questions please.) Victoria’s Secret is apparently all about shoddy workmanship and overpriced crap. Not really a secret, more of a quality control issue.

This time around, even though I have no occasion for it, I decided that I needed to replace the skeleton of my corset with something that actually stayed up and would last. My horoscope said May was going to be a smokin’ month for me, and what better armor to wear than stays and lacing? (Horoscope later turned out to be bogus, but that’s another blog post). You never need a corset until you need one.. so, hey, it was cheaper than a new bra and they were having a sale.

Selecting the corset is part of the fun. You have no idea (unless you’re into this type of thing), what they do these days. You can be a 1880’s harlot in red and black, a Parisian sophisticate in pink and feathers, or even a serving wench from the 1500s. And that’s just the fantasy section.  In the ‘everyday’ section are the most beautiful brocades, silks and satins, frills and lace, even velvet if you’re feeling chilly. I know why women stopped wearing them, but really, why did they stop wearing them? For the chestical blessed (me), its the only way to go. Your twins are propped up where they should be, you could swim in my cleavage and I’m sitting up straight with a waist. Its not only sexy, its practical. Ok, its practical when its not 83 degrees and you’re wearing a sun dress, but it feels practical. You can have ones which just hug in your waist, ones which allow you to go bra less or just ones which ‘fake’ the look and don’t involve actual stays digging into your flesh (great if you’re a smaller girl). All super girlie, with detachable suspenders for stockings and they make them for size 0 to 26. Egalitarian sexy! I felt less of a hypocrite hitting ‘buy’.

So, 5 weeks later the thing shows up. When I ordered it, I had a regular boomerang, there was snow on the ground and I was 5lbs heavier. The day it shows up, its 87 degrees, the only man in my life is my dog and, thanks to CrossFit, my back looks like a linebacker. Hmm… Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.

But, even though my horoscope was bunk, I decided what the hell and tried the thing on.

Which is what they don’t tell you on the damn website. It looks sexy once you’re wearing it but you sure aren’t sexy putting the damn thing on. Once you’ve loosened laces and hooked yourself in (already feeling quite sexy at that point, have to say), you swivel the thing around, re-site your chesticals where they’re meant to be and are suddenly confounded by 16 sets of eyelets and satin laces 10 feet long. The lacing, of course, is what gives you the great waist, the posture and the sexy look… but which is practically impossible to maneuver around as a single woman, living alone with short arms. With extensive contortions (and I do a lot of yoga), arms wrapped around my head and neck, I managed to tighten  the top two eyelets. Which gave me phenomenal cleavage, but pushed all my body fat down to my waist. Suddenly my waist is wider than my hips and I look like a snake who ate a flotation device. Since my arms didn’t extend to the next set of eyelets I decided to take the ‘bottom up’ approach and started pulling on the bottom laces… suddenly my hips are tiny, but again, all of the my body fat is now squished between my rib cage and my hip bones.. Now I’m pregnant in a corset. How very Posh Spice. So much for that waist.

I stood there mystified – how do you get the essential middle laces tightened when you can’t reach them with your arms??? The ones which, when pulled, will give me that waist I paid $100 for? I don’t know how you’re meant to do it (gap on the YouTube market kids), but for me it involved a coat-hanger, a doorknob and a lot of wriggling.

My dog was most amused.

And it was definitely not sexy.

I stood panting in front of the floor length mirror resplendent in my satin corset with a 24 inch waist (first time since elementary school), the curves of a chanteuse and sweat running off every inch of skin.

It looked fantastic… except now I needed a shower and lord knows how long it was going to take to get it off. If I could get it off…?

How on earth do burlesque girls do this and keep their eyeliner on straight? I suddenly have a whole new appreciation for that Dita Von Teese chick. She must have arms like a python either that or she’s accompanied by a corset lacier everywhere she goes.

So lets just say I won’t be wearing it often, and if you get a call from an out of breath Rachael one Saturday night, just come over with a coat-hanger and a sense of humor. Some assembly will be required.

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