L'Escarpolette's Frequent Asked Questions
A custom corset made to your measurements should not be uncomfortable. You should start with a modest waist reduction to avoid discomforts, and gradually work your way to smaller waist circumferences if this is your desire. If you use your common sense, a corset should never be uncomfortable.
A custom corset is especially designed
to fit your curves and measurements. A ready made corset is great if you want
to try the feeling of a corset without a specific wish of waist reduction or
support, but if you want to achieve a curvy figure and be able to wear your
corset without any discomfort and following your needs a custom made corset
is necessary. This is especially important the more waist reduction you want,
as a ready made corset that doesn't fit properly could cause you discomfort
or even damage for obvious reasons. It is also more important for overbust
styles, and very important for larger busted ladies and plus sizes, and
unusually shaped bodies in general. Not all of us have perfect standardized
model bodies! This is especially noticeably in tight, not stretch garments
such as corsets.
No, you don't need it,
but this doesn't mean you can't ask for it ;)
This is a personal choice that can
depend on many factors. You can choose an underbust for versatility to wear
over other garments, such as a dress or a more informal blouse and jeans or skirt.
You can also wear an underbust as underwear for waist reduction and back
support. They are generally preferred by tightlacers because they are less
visible under clothes for everyday wear. They allow you to wear a bra and
usually give a more natural silhouette. However, overbusts give the feeling
of a strapless bras, this can be useful to wear summer tops. Some overbust
styles are more appropriate if a discreet bust under clothes is desired; with
a good fitting we can achieve a shape that won't be more visible than a
normal bra, and without straps. Padding can also be added to the bust to
enhance the cleavage. Some overbust styles can also be made with a low back.
Overbusts worn on the outside tend to be more dressy, and are more often worn
for especial occasions or clubwear.
A modesty panel (also called lacing protector) is a piece of fabric that is placed under the lacing at the back and also under the busk at the front. The back modesty panel covers your skin under the laces, hiding this way what is called "back cleavage", and it also protects your skin from rubbing and burning while you pull the laces, the front modesty panel hides the space between the two parts of the busk, and avoids pinching of the skin when you move, especially if you don't wear a corset liner.
A corset is conceived to give a significant to important reduction of the waist circumference, support your bust in the case of an overbust and control your hips in the case of longlines, and they have back lacing that will mold the body into a defined shape. They can be used as foundation garments as well as a fashion garment with added waist reduction. They feature steel boning and not-stretch fabrics to shape the body as desired. They are resistant and long-lasting garments. A bustier is just a generally plastic-boned garment, often with elastic fabric, and this very light boning can barely keep the shape of the bustier itself, and can eventually twist and lose it's shape as a result of use and body heat.
Yes, a corset will make your waist look smaller, your belly flatter, your contours smooth, and improve your posture. You can wear a corset as underwear or foundation garment the same way you would wear a girdle, but with better results!
It is not its purpose, a corset by
itself doesn't make you lose weight, but it can help. Your stomach will be
compressed while you wear your corset, and with practice you will be able to
eat the same amount that you did before (or a bit less if this is your wish)
not at once, but into several small meals through the day. Still, even if a
corset can help with weight loss, it shouldn't be used as a proper weight
loss program. For this, you should consult your nutritionist or doctor and
follow their directions.
You shouldn't order your corset until you have reached your desired size. As I have a long waiting list, it is preferable that you wait until I can start working with your order to give me your measurements, but I will only do the corset for those measurements, not smaller than your actual measurements in prospect of a future weight loss.
A new corset needs some time to mold to your body. The material needs some time to accommodate to the pressure evenly; the heat of your body will help. You should lace your corset more loosely the first time, and gradually lace it tighter as the corset adapts to your body, like a pair of new shoes. This will also avoid that you feel discomfort and will prevent damage to the fabric and stitching because of lacing your new corset too tightly too early. You should wear a corset liner especially when you are breaking in your new corset, it will help it to slip over your skin without pulling on it. If it is your first time lacing a corset, follow my lacing steps [coming soon].
Waist trainers are people who spend
significant amounts of time into their corsets, achieving slowly and gradually
smaller and smaller waists until they reach their goal. This can go from
several hours a day to 24/7, even when they sleep. This requires a
significant amount of self-discipline. It is the way to achieve significant
waist reduction without pain or discomfort to your body. This can imply
significant body modification like reduction of the lower ribcage. If you
plan on tight-lacing, you need to do your homework and study the subject
first in deep. You will find plenty of information online. If you need help,
don't be shy to ask me as I tighlace myself and I can direct you to the best
places and informed people to help you.
A mockup is a quick prototype of your corset made according to your measurements for you to try on and see and feel the fit prior to the construction of the real corset. Some modifications to the pattern may be necessary and the mockup is a great tool to provide a perfectly fitted corset. To learn more about my mockups, go to this question: How are your Mockups? What do I have to do when I try on the Mockup?
Of course. My regular* corsets are
suitable for this purpose. However, I can reinforce and make some changes to
accommodate you specific needs. Some corsets are not suitable for
tightlacing; in this case it is mentioned in their description. Some styles
are more suitable to achieve a smaller waist, please contact me about your
project so I can suggest the best style for you. All corsets (that also
includes all the materials) are tested and worn by Joyce before being offered
I do all kind of corsets for all purposes. If you want the style of a corset but with no waist reduction or no support needs, I can adjust the boning (amount and type) for this purpose. The lacing at the back is essential; I will not remove it in any case. Both with waist reduction or without it, they can be worn as especial occasion garments, the great variety of fabrics and embellishments I offer will help you choose the garment you dream of.
All my corsets are based on historical patterns. Some are modified to create a new style or answer a specific need, some are mixed, and some are pure. If you are searching for a reproduction of a corset on a picture, and ad or a painting, contact me, not all my patterns are offered online and I can also recreate a pattern just for you. I also collect antique corsets, some are already patterned, some are not, and I can also make a pattern from an antique corset you own (without taking the pieces apart or unstitching anything!). As you can see, I am especially interested in the study of antique patterns. I can also use historically accurate fabrics and embroideries. Contact me for more details.
Yes. Contact me about your needs and I will help you choose the best style for you. As a guide, corsets with gussets (those triangular pieces inserted on the bust area) are more suitable for larger busts. Some styles can also be modified to follow your needs; don’t be afraid to ask me what can be done instead of instantly discarding a style you like. Many of my corsets can also improve small cleavages, and handmade bust padding can be added.
Yes, I have experience in this, and my corsets are often requested by men and cross-dressers. I can add handmade bust, hip and back padding, to make the figure more feminine, and add petticoats for hip enhancement. Be precise when you request a corset, each of you ask me for different shapes. Some want a feminine shape with a conical torso, others a more hourglass figure, with bust cleavage or not. Do not forget to tell me if your bra size is natural or includes fake breasts, this affects the way the corset has to be cut. You might want to check my news section or livejournal to see examples.
Yes. This might mean an increase in the price due to fabric costs. It will depend on the amount and the kind of fabric I will need. It generally adds up to 10 or 20€, for leather I need an extra skin, and that adds up to 40 or 50€ depending on the kind of leather used. Contact me for a quote.
I will give you exact instructions for
the care of your corset. If you plan to wear your corset daily, you should
choose a fabric that can be washed easily, like plain coutil, brocade coutil
or any fabric using natural fibers. Corsets made of coutil can be hand washed
with a gentle soap. Just let the corset in the water without twisting it or
brushing it. After 15-20 min you can rinse it and remove the excess of water
by putting it between two towels, then let it dry alone, far from the sun or
any source of heat. If you try to twist it you will deform it and it won't
fit you like it did before. Do not iron your corset; you can use hot steam
without touching the corset with the iron. Your corset contains spiral and
flat bones, plus the busk (normal, tapered or heavy-duty), they are covered
with enamel, so they will not stain the corset with rust.
Note that my washing
instructions can be only applied to (some of) my corsets, so don't follow
them to wash corsets by other makers or antique corsets. Their construction
methods, fabrics used or kind of bones might not allow it. In fact, might I
add, never wash an antique corset!
It is not recommended at ll. Your custom corset is made to your measurements, and lending it to another person, even if they have similar measurements, can result in deformation of your corset, and cause it not to fit you as it did anymore.
This causes serious rubbing to the
outer fabric of the corset, and will eventually spoil it. I recommend not
It depends on the outer "fashion" fabric.
Depending on how appropriate it is for corset making, I will need more or less
layers to achieve the desired results. Therefore this can vary from 2 to 4
Yes. It is subject to my approval, it has to be appropriate enough for corset making. Contact me for more details, and how many meters I will need.
I generally use 7mm white (enameled) bones of 0.45mm thickness and 6mm spiral bones. Ready made corsets generally contain 6 or 7 mm wide bones of 0.35mm thickness. I also use underbusks of 15mm wide and 1mm thick. I often use white bones of 6mm and 0.6 mm thick. I have a wide variety of bones to follow the needs of every corset, and for historical accuracy. An example of the range I often use: 26mm 0.7mm thick, 20 mm 0.8mm thick, 14mm 1mm thick, 14mm 0.8mm thick, 13mm .55mm thick, 13mm 0.35mm thick (this is similar to what was used into some antique corsets), 7mm 0.45mm thick, 6mm 0.35mm thick, for the white bones (flat enameled steel). For spiral bones 11mm and 6 mm, I could use 4mm but it is not enameled. Grommets are 4mm and I will not use another size. I have antiqued silver nickel free grommets (I follow EU laws concerning clothing), brass, and other colors could be available too, contact me for availability.
Yes, each corset requires the drafting of a new pattern from scratch, according to your measurements.
Yes, you can request fixed or detachable garters for your corset, detachable garters can be lined. I usually add detachable garters if fixed is not specifically requested.
I normally use round satin laces in a matching or contrasting color following your preferences, but you can also request flat ribbon or cotton laces. Cotton laces are available in ecru, black and white and can eventually be dyed if you want especially colored cotton laces.
If you don't know what a Mockup is, go
back to this question: What
is a mockup?
L'Escarpolette's corsets have an attached modesty panel on the front and back, but you can request a detachable back modesty panel. They are normally vertically boned; if you request it I will add horizontal bones. Some people don't like modesty panels, if you don't want it, I will suggest to avoid round laces and/or a back gap bigger than 2-3 cm, a corset liner also helps. Flat cotton laces and ribbon laces are gentler if the corset is worn without modesty panel. The front modesty panel normally contains the underbusk. Some tightlacers need different combinations, contact me for more details.
Usually, no. You can request it, but I don't do gaps bigger than 5cm.
Yes, I make skirts and other accessories. Check my price list or contact me for more information. I do no make full period costumes or wedding dresses, though. In some busy periods, I reserve the right to refuse to make these accessories. If you absolutely want an outfit made by me, you must be able to meet me and be available for all the fitting appointments. Please read the note about appointments, I don't have a shop or a salon and my work space is not conceived like that.
Yes, contact me for a quote.
Yes. I'm elaborating a range of natural jersey (stretch-knit) liners, contact me for more details.
My corsets come in a breathable draw-string bag.
Yes, consult me for more details. I reserve the right not to accept your request, depending on the state of the garment or other objections I may have.
Yes, due to the amount of people asking
for in person fittings, I decided to agree to receive customers at our home, strictly under appointment
in my workshop in the south of
No, I plan on offering this service in the future, but at this moment I can't offer it.
No, and I do not have ready made corsets to offer in my workshop. I only accept visits under appointment with the strict purpose of an in person fitting.
I usually accept them but sometimes I
just can't. An extra fee of €75 is requested if you want your corset
done within 3 weeks. Rush delivery can also be contracted with
Currently it is around 3-4 months. As I'm a mother at home and I run my business alone, I'm often late and I'm honestly not the person to contract if you are in a hurry. I would not suggest you to wait for a calmer period to reserve your order as my queue tends to become longer and longer. You might want to contact me for a more exact date. I will give you an approximate delivery date in your quote. If you don't send me the mockup (or give measurements!) before this date, or just with time enough, obviously there will be a delay.
Yes, you have to make a down payment of 50% and after this you can make smaller payments until you reach the final amount. The corset will not be shipped until I receive the full cost. Of course, even if you already paid your corset in one payment, you can add details before the corset is completely finished, to be paid before shipping. If you need another kind of installments (like 3 equal payments in 3 months), please contact me to see how we can arrange it.
You can but we need the written approval of your parents or guardian. You will have to print a contract that will require the signature of your parents or guardian, in addition to yours. You will have to send this back to me by snail mail before I accept your order. I cannot be held responsible if a minor orders from me and doesn't communicate her/his minor status. I do not read minds.
If circumstances allow, yes. I normally do everything I can to make your corset for the special date you told me, but sometimes I can't, contact me before reserving your order if you absolutely need your corset for that date.