A Frock Made of Corrugated Iron

| Aug 1, 2011
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I hate August. It’s the pinnacle of punishment by heat stroke. Especially for myself living in the Middle of Everywhere which happens to be a desert climate. The heat starts in April and by August it feels like someone has left the oven on 350 for way too long. Summer brings less clothing and the more we take off the more we seem to try to cover up! For those with meddlesome middles Summer can be terrifying. Ever try wearing your leather corset to the beach?

I received a lot of feedback after one of my previous articles mentioning wearing certain items to help your curves. In that article I of course mentioned the corset method of forming thy self. It would appear ever since then you’ve wanted me to go into detail where the corset is involved. Who better to talk about corsets than the person who wears them as outerwear? I’m like Madonna with the cone bra, but at least I don’t poke anyone in the eye.

When it comes to corsets it’s a fickle world. It’s even worse if you’re not skinny and aren’t born with female genitalia. The latter you may already understand, but the former may have just left you scratching your head. Something I came across time and time again when I weighed near 300 pounds was that a lot of corsets out there aren’t really corsets. They’re shirts. A fashion corset in today’s mainstream culture is this silky night thing with ribbons on it that a chick can wear to the club. Screw that, the definition of a corset is an undergarment to shape the figure. In other words, something to hold a whole lot of junk in!

That being said, buyer beware when it comes to buying your corset on the Internet. Just because it says corset doesn’t mean it’s made with steel and will turn you into a svelte curvy creature with just a few tugs. Key words you’re looking for when corset shopping for a real corset include corsets made of boning or stays. If you want quality you go with something made of high quality boning. Lightweight corsets are made with plastic boning which works in a pinch (no pun). A higher quality boning will be one version or another of actual steel. If you’ve got a lot of you to shape you definitely want to go with a steel version. The outer is almost as important as the inner.

The fabric that makes the corset and holds the boning in place is extremely important to consider. Something made of cloth or light fabric will tear easily. If you intend to reenact the famous scene of someone being put into a corset, with their friend’s foot on their back while they pull the strings tight, you do not want light fabric! The first corset I ever had was made of good bone, but the fabric around the cinches tore quickly. Leather is best and much like a stiletto heel is sometimes worth the torture.
If you happen to be a transgendered individual with no breasts you may end up pulling the corset up too high on your torso to try to hide the fact that there are no breasts. Then you encounter the problem of not hiding what you wanted to in the first place. That being the protruding cheesecake of a stomach some of us have.

The length of the corset is very important and something that usually doesn’t come up. We are often a different build in comparison to the women who they are often made for. Don’t be too dismayed if you find the corset does not suit you as perfect as you had hoped. Check your measurements and check again.

The width of the corset is very difficult to get accustomed to when starting out. You know your size, but you want to change your size so what size are you? Typically a reasonable individual will order a size about four inches (ten centimeters) less than your actual relaxed waist size. If that isn’t tight enough for you then continue your journey by two inch increments less to safely find where you want to be. Taking a page out of my drag queen days I will pass along some sage advice. If you have to drink a bottle of vodka and do several mystery drugs throughout the evening to dull the pain of your corset it may be too tight! After all, we’re reshaping your figure here, not turning you into Jessica Rabbit.

Getting in and out of your corset may also be a consideration, especially if you don’t have any assistance getting out of it. Those neat little metal clasps up front are always my favorite! Not the ones that hook into each other but the ones that slide a metal nub into a flat hook. The other types are damn difficult. The way into a corset is always easiest if you have help. Put it on comfortably and then have someone tighten you up. If you operate alone tighten the back up as much as you think you can handle, lay on the bed, suck in your stomach and start furiously buttoning that bastard up. This is sometimes easier than the traditional way. I’m a loner, so I quickly became very accustomed to being able to cinch up the back all by myself. It’s like tying your shoes backwards and blindfolded.

All in all finding that perfect full corset for you can be difficult. The market appears to be flooded with simple looking corsets, under the bust corsets and corsets that aren’t really corsets. You need to find the one that covers all that you want it to cover. Is it going under your clothes or are you wearing it as clothes? Leather is hot, literally, so do consider where you’ll be wearing your corset and what it’s made of. I used to have a leather corset that had wings for sleeves. It was fabulous but I sweated more in that than a pig in a gunnysack.
Once again and always I will tell you to do what is most comfortable. If your corset is so tight that your kidneys can’t function you’re doing it all wrong. It’s all about being fabulously comfortable. Don’t hide behind your clothes. Never hide behind your clothes! Eventually you’ll be naked and no one will recognize you then.

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Category: Style, Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

The Artist D

About the Author ()

The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine and host of The Artist D's Fabulous Show. Panelist and commentator on Fourthought, a weekly live stream.

Comments (2)

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  1. Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

    A great article!

    I guess I’m an amateur. I own one, which is from Delicious Corsets in Phila, PA. I love it!

    I may get another soon from Contour Corsets. They specialize in tightlacing, but do all custom work.

  2. says:

    The sad part about searching for corsets on the web is that everyone tags indescriminate undergarments as “waist cincher” or “corset” and therby cluttering up cyberspace for the real deal, The Corset!

    I now have seven, six from Vollers and one from Axfords. I have visited both places and found service excellent, will be visiting Axfords again in September.

    I have two overbust Corsets and the rest are underbust of various types. My favourite is the shortest of them which is a C216 from Axfords, they made it to order in under 24 hours which pleased me greatly.

    Best Wishes from Carla T. (Norway)

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