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L'Escarpolette's Frequent Asked Questions

1 - Corset Basics

-Are corsets comfortable?
-Why is a custom corset better than a ready made one?
-Do I need help or can I lace myself into a corset?
-What should I choose, an underbust or overbust?
-What is a modesty panel?
-What is the difference between corsets and fashion bustiers?
-Will a corset make me look thinner?
-Can a corset help me lose weight?
-I plan on losing weight, what should I do?
-What is "breaking-in" a corset?
-What is "waist training" and "tight-lacing"?
-What is a mockup?

2 - Characteristics of L'Escarpolette Corsets

-Are your corsets appropriate for tight-lacers?
-I want a fashion corset, are your corsets appropriate for this?
-I want a historically accurate corset, can you do that?
-I have a large/small bust; can your corsets accommodate/enhance it?
-Do you make corsets for men & cross-dressers?
-Do you make plus size corsets?

3 - Care of your corset

-How do I take care of my corset? Can I wash it?
- Can I lend my corset to a friend to wear?
-Can I wrap and tie the laces around my waist after tying the corset?

 

 

 

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4 - Lescarpolette's Construction Details

-How many layers have your corsets? And a summer corset?
-Can I send you my own fabric or lace?
-What hardware do you use for your corsets? What kind of boning?
-Do you draft a new pattern for each corset?
-Can you add suspenders to my corset?
-What kind of lacing do you use?
-How are your Mockups? What do I have to do when I try on the Mockup?
-How are your modesty panels?
-Do your corsets have a gap at the back?

5 - L'Escarpolette's Services

-Do you make other clothing items or accessories to match my corset?
-Do you make corset dresses?
-Do you make neck corsets?
-Do you make corset liners or chemises?
-Do your corsets come in a box or a bag?
-Will you repair my corset if I have damaged it / it has aged? Will you repair a corset that is not by L'Escarpolette?

-Do you do in person fittings?
-Do you have ready made corsets that I can try in an in person fitting?
-Do you have a shop?

6 - Terms and Conditions

-Do you take rush orders?
-How long is your waiting list?
-Can I pay the corset in a few payments?
-I am a minor; can I order a corset from you?
- I need my corset for a certain date; will you make it in time?

1 - Corset Basics

-Are corsets comfortable?

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.

-Why is a custom corset better than a ready made one?

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.
L'Escarpolette offers a very wide variety of patterns with numerous pieces that allow will follow your measures and can shape perfectly and very precisely to your body.

-Do I need help or can I lace myself into a corset?

No, you don't need it, but this doesn't mean you can't ask for it ;)
You can lace yourself in a corset with a bit of practice. A busk (the stud/loop closure you find at the front of most corsets) helps greatly, but it is not essential. If you want to learn how to lace yourself into a corset, follow my instructions here [coming soon]
Some people find it difficult to put on stockings and shoes while they are wearing a corset, so you might want to do it before lacing the corset.

-What should I choose, an underbust or overbust?

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.
It is often recommended to choose an underbust for your first corset, as they are less constrictive than an overbust.

-What is a modesty panel?

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.

-What is the difference between corsets and fashion bustiers?

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.

-Will a corset make me look thinner?

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!

-Can a corset help me lose weight?

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.
It is possible that you will not tolerate some kinds of food while you wear the corset (for example, spicy food). Even if you waist train, it is possible to loose a bit your corset while you eat. A lot of tighlacers vary the tightness of their corset through the day (and night too).

-I plan on losing weight, what should I do?

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.

-What is "breaking-in" a corset?

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].

-What is "waist training" and "tight-lacing"?

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.
Tight-lacing is the act of lacing to significantly small waists with more or less degree of waist training.

-What is a Mockup?

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?

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2 Characteristics of L'Escarpolette Corsets

-Are your corsets appropriate for tight-lacers?

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 to customers.
*My corsets are sewn twice with a special and very resistant thread. Leather if thin and thin fabrics are lined and can also be fused, depending on the needs.

-I want a fashion corset, are your corsets appropriate for this?

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.

-I want a historically accurate corset, can you do that?

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.

-I have a large/small bust; can your corsets accommodate/enhance it?

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.

-Do you make corsets for men & cross-dressers?

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.

-Do you make plus size corsets?

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.

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3 Care of your corset

-How do I take care of my corset? Can I wash it?

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.
If your corset has a spoon busk, you should not wash your corset even if this metal closure is made to resist corrosion, I have seen some spots of rust on the clasps growing after a few washes into water. If you want to wash a corset with a spoon busk, I will not be responsible of the stains it can cause.
For corsets made of leather and silk or any other fashion fabric, I will leave you a note about their care, they generally should not be washed in water, just dry clean by the most professional dry cleaner you know, and get insurance if you judge it necessary.
Any corset with contrasted embroideries should not be washed, as the fabric and the thread of embroideries could stain each others. Same thing about white or light lace on colored corsets, or dark lace on light corsets, you should remove the laces before washing and wash them separately (if you don't know how to put the laces back on, here you have an explanation). Corsets should be store rolled into their fabric bag, or suspended or hanged on a chair to let them air out.
Be careful with the kind of soap you use, like you do for your intimate lingerie, a corset is on tight contact with your skin.

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!

Wearing some kind of chemise or corset liner under your corset will make its life longer, protecting it from grease and perspiration, and it won't need to be cleaned so often. You can gently wipe the inside of the corset with a damp cloth (not wet, squeeze it well!) to lightly clean it. You can hang it over the back of a chair, for example, to let it air after wearing it, especially if it smells of smoke from clubs etc.

- Can I lend my corset to a friend to wear?

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.

-Can I wrap and tie the laces around my waist after tying the corset?

This causes serious rubbing to the outer fabric of the corset, and will eventually spoil it. I recommend not doing this.
If you are tempted to because you don't know what to do with the excess of laces, you have many ways to put them. After the bow, you can just slip them under your skirt or your pants. If your skirt is short or the laces very long (some tighlacers or corsets without busk need very long laces) you can squeeze the laces after wrapping them without bow or knot under your skirt or pants, just make a few loose wraps with them around your hips, they will hold alone under your clothes, or tucking the ends of the loops under the corset. You can also tuck them along the lower edge of the corset. Keep in mind that a corset is not a girdle, it can’t be flat like a second skin and the laces are necessary.

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4 L'Escarpolette's Construction Details

-How many layers have your corsets? And a summer corset?

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 layers.
Summer corsets have only one layer, but this means that there is a limited choice of fabrics, usually coutil: plain coutil, coutil brocade, satin coutil. You can consult me for more choices.

-Can I send you my own fabric or lace?

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.

-What hardware do you use for your corsets? What kind of boning?

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.

-Do you draft a new pattern for each corset?

Yes, each corset requires the drafting of a new pattern from scratch, according to your measurements.

-Can you add suspenders to my corset?

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.

-What kind of lacing do you use?

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.

-How are your Mockups? What do I have to do when I try on the Mockup?

If you don't know what a Mockup is, go back to this question: What is a mockup?
My mockups are fully boned like the real finished corset. They also feature two piece grommets and a busk in the same way that the final corset will do. This is necessary to precisely see and feel how the finished corset will fit you. Corded corsets feature no bones or a limited amount of them. A mockup for a corded corset obviously can't feature the cording like the final corset, so they are boned with spiral steel, which gives a very similar support.
The mockup is a requirement in some of my styles, I suggest them for overbusts, for men, for plus sizes, for tighlacers and for highly customized corsets. I can refuse to do a corset without mockup if I judge it is necessary.
You have to be careful when you try your mockup to verify that the bones don't hurt your ribs, your back, your hip bone or your pelvic bone. Following your indications, I will correct their stiffness, their width, their length and their placement. After you have tried the mockup on and you have taken and sent me some pictures* from different angles that I need for reference, together with any comment or suggestion you might have, I will tell you if we are ready for you to send me the mockup back to me, so I can continue working on your corset.
*The pictures are strictly confidential and you can make them without head, I just need to see from shoulders to thighs.

-How are your modesty panels?

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.

-Do your corsets have a gap at the back?

Usually, no. You can request it, but I don't do gaps bigger than 5cm.

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5 L'Escarpolette's Services

-Do you make other clothing items or accessories to match my corset?

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.

-Do you make corset dresses?

Yes, contact me for a quote.

-Do you make neck corsets?

No.

-Do you make corset liners or chemises?

Yes. I'm elaborating a range of natural jersey (stretch-knit) liners, contact me for more details.

-Do your corsets come in a box or a bag?

My corsets come in a breathable draw-string bag.

-Will you repair my corset if I have damaged it / it has aged? Will you repair a corset that is not by L'Escarpolette?

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.

-Do you do in person fittings?

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 France, I do not travel to make in person fittings. As it takes me some extra time, a €25 fee will be charged. This includes a meeting in which I will help you choose your corset, measurements will be taken, and one, two or more following fittings are included in this price. Calculate about 1h30 for the first meeting and 30 min for the fittings. Please note that I'm working at home and that my working place is not conceived like a salon or a boutique. I'm opening the doors just to answer your needs. I reserve the right to decline in person fittings during specific (busy or other) periods. Also, I do not have a stock of corsets to try on. I do not talk in English, unless very slowly, so please be comprehensive.
You should bring a tight cami and a non wired and non padded bra and the clothes you would like to wear with the corset if possible. You are welcome to bring the other corsets in your collection.

-Do you have ready made corsets that I can try in an in person fitting?

No, I plan on offering this service in the future, but at this moment I can't offer it.

-Do you have a shop?

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.

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6 Terms & Conditions

-Do you take rush orders?

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 UPS, at your expense.

-How long is your waiting list?

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.

-Can I pay the corset in a few payments?

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.

-I am a minor; can I order a corset from you?

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.

- I need my corset for a certain date; will you make it in time?

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.

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