|This corset is still in the process of being broken in, so I don't tighten it very far.|
Just a snapshot today. This photo was taken on a whim while I was trying on a coordinate I've been planning for a while now. I have a (fairly blatant) interest in the wear of functional corsets, and have for quite a long time. However, it was only last year that I started to purchase and wear them.
The use of corsets in lolita is sort of a hit or miss subject. Some lolitas proclaim that it is a perfectly fine piece of clothing, others define it as acceptable only if it's under your other clothing, and yet others have decided that wearing a corset at all is outright ita.
As you may have guessed, I belong to the first category, provided that the corset is the same level of quality as the rest of your ensemble.
Many lolitas who don corsets only wear them for ero coordinates, but that certainly isn't the only time that they're appropriate. Gothic, pirate and even classic coordinates can mesh perfectly well with a corset and give it a bit of an extra umph! It adds a bit of an edge to the outfit, and provides a purely feminine appeal. It also allows you another element of layering, which can make for interesting effects.
While lolita in itself isn't meant to be a "sexy" fashion by any means, a corset definitely has connotations in that direction. It takes the wearer out of the mold of a child's doll, and turns her into something with a bit more spine.
A steel-boned corset creates a womanly silhouette, which is further emphasized by the full skirts beneath it. The effect can be quite alluring, and really different. For the right shape, a dropped waist skirt or A-line skirt works best. However, the corset ought to be high enough on the hip not to impede the shape of the petticoat.
The main problem that lolitas face in choosing corsets are that they choose a "longline" corset. These are modeled after post-Edwardian fashions, and extend down over the hips for a smoother line under clothing. When worn over a lolita skirt, this squashes and ruins the silhouette. As such, it's ideal to use a shorter corset (this also makes it easier to sit down and move around).
For websites that sell corsets, I recommend the following:
- Timeless Trends - A good starting point for beginners. They are inexpensive, and have many options in terms of fabric.
- Corsets UK - Another good starting point for beginners. Their corsets are very sturdy and comfortable without being too costly. Just make sure you stick to their steel-boned corsets and avoid the fashion, plastic-boned corsets if you plan on tight-lacing.
- Meschantes Corsetry - This shop provides primarily custom-made corsets. They are very high quality, and the price reflects that. They also sell liners, garters and chemises for those who wish to wear their corsets under their clothing.
- Scoundrelle's Keep - I have not had personal experience with this shop yet, but their designs are beautiful. They have also collaborated with lolita designers in the past to create steampunk lolita coordinates and lolita-friendly dresses.
For information on how to wear and break-in a steel boned corset, please read through Romantasy's Guide!