In the world of women’s fashion, the term “bespoke” is rarely used. We’ve been conditioned to believe that if something doesn’t fit us right out of the box, we’re defective. However, this wasn’t always the case. Clothing was once custom-made for each individual. Many women, of course, had to sew their own clothes. Today, we enter a store, sift through sizes, try on the one we think is right, only to discover it is too small, and die a little inside.
Corsets have been making a comeback since their popularity peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries. Corsets are now widely used in all aspects of fashion, including nightwear, bridal gowns, lingerie, and cosplay costumes. As the popularity of corsets grows, so does the demand for them. As a result, there is an increasing number of suppliers offering corsets and waist trainers. These vendors frequently sell mass-produced or off-the-shelf corsets, which don’t always meet the needs of disgruntled customers.
Benefits of ordering a bespoke corset
So, what are the benefits of purchasing a bespoke corset?
1. For a better fit
One of the biggest problems with generic corsets is that they can’t possibly fit all body types, even if they come in a wide range of sizes. When you order a made to evaluate corset, you can rest assured that it will fit your body shape perfectly because it will be tailored to your exact measurements rather than a set of standardized measurements that may or may not portray your frame.
When ordering a waist training corset, keep in mind that you will be wearing it for 6–10 hours per day. Imagine going about your daily routine in an inconvenient corset that digs into your ribs and pinches your skin in the wrong places. Due to the pain, it tends to cause, you would swiftly stop wearing the infringing item and have to discard it. Because you have a garment made to your precise dimensions, a custom-made corset or waist trainer eliminates the pain associated with off-the-rack corsets.
2. For better working conditions
Some off-the-rack corsets can be purchased for as little as $25. When you consider the amount of labor that goes into making this type of clothing, you can see that the workers in the companies that manufacture these mass-produced corsets are underpaid.
With made-to-measure corsets, you know you’ll pay more, but you’ll also get a product made by a skilled corset maker who will be paid fairly for their work.
In today’s “fast-fashion” world, we must consider sustainability and ensure that we do not fund textile factories that employ exploitative labor practices.
3. For higher quality
A custom-made corset has a much higher quality than a generic off-the-shelf version, which is closely linked to better working conditions. A well-made crafted corset can last for decades, and if your shape and weight are reasonably stable, you can presume them to last a decade! Because your corset is made to your exact measurements, ordering a custom-made corset ensures that it will be made by a technically talented craftswoman.
Because your exact measurements are highly improbable to be remarkably similar to the generic sizes they manufacture, your corset cannot simply be run through production lines. Overall, it is clear that you should order a bespoke corset or waist trainer if you want the greatest available fit. Your corset will not only fit better than a descriptively sized off-the-rack version, but it will also be of higher quality.
Comparing bespoke corsets with others
While a custom corset will cost more, you will reap the benefits and avoid contributing to the growing trend of financing terrible working conditions for millions of textile factory workers around the world. Why do we allow a number on a tag to determine our worth? Men, on the other hand, can turn to the tailoring industry for bespoke suits that are tailored to their exact specifications.
How many women do you know who have something made by a tailor? My guess is that it will be zero. Most people are unaware that simple alterations like hemming can often be done at your local dry cleaners. Nonetheless, there are some garments that must fit you like a glove. While customizing something costs a little more, it’s well worth it, especially when it comes to corsets. If you want a steel-boned corset to be comfortable and long-lasting, it must hug you in all the right places.
In other words, the use-value of a bespoke corset will ensure that you get your money’s worth. What exactly is a bespoke corset, and how do you get one?
Ready-to-Wear vs. Bespoke
Because mass production has become the norm, most of us believe we must go into a store, find a size, and make it work, even if it doesn’t fit perfectly. This is where ready-to-wear, or off-the-rack, fashion comes into play. We’ve come to believe that bespoke, or custom-made, clothing is out of our reach.
In reality, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on your everyday tees, jeans, and casual wear. These garments often have some stretch to accommodate size variations, and you can always pay a few dollars to have a really long pant leg hemmed or a waistline nipped in half an inch at your dry cleaner.
Corsetry is a unique form of clothing. Even though most off-the-rack corsets are available in a wide range of sizes, they aren’t suitable for everyone. If ready-to-wear corsets aren’t cutting it for you, bespoke is the way to go. You’ll get a garment that follows your curves and gives you the body-shaping benefits you want without pinching, poking, or causing undue discomfort.
The Importance of measuring
If you’re paying for custom-fit, you’ll want to make sure it’s perfect, which means taking exact measurements. Waist size, underbust, hips, and torso are the most common (from the underbust to the top of the thigh when seated). You’ll also need to provide your bust measurement and cup size if you’re looking for an overbust model.
Many corsetieres, however, will request additional measurements in order to fine-tune your garment to your body. They’ll inquire about your preferred length and spring the waist-to-hip ratio. Once the mock-ups are completed, you may need to go for fittings. This allows your corset maker to make adjustments and corrections.
Check out this amazing article on how to style a corset over dresses.