Friday, March 13, 2015

CorsetDeal Corset CDW-1102-MK Style #106 Review

I purchased my first corset!  I found the Brocade Corset CDW-1102-MK Sytle #106 on CorsetDeal.com for $22 (originally $128 and now $50). At only $22, I could justify buying this corset even if it disappointed me--I could always scrap it for materials and a pattern.


Brown Brocade Corset CDW-1102-MK Style #106 -- Front

Brown Brocade Corset CDW-1102-MK Style #106 -- Side

Brown Brocade Corset CDW-1102-MK Style #106 -- Back
I chose this corset because the brocade fabric on the outside looked sturdier than the pretty polyester satin corsets also available on CorsetDeal.com. This corset also had a very moderate sweetheart neckline, which is similar to late 19th century corsets and better suited to my small frame (here are images of late 19th century corsets for comparison). 

Technical Specifications:
The website's description of this corset was really bare, and so I was pleasantly surprised by a few details when my corset arrived.

According to CorsetDeal.com, this corset is constructed with 6 shaped panels. It has 20 spiral steel bones along the seams (2 bones at each seam), and 4 flat steel bones along the back lacing. It fastens with a copper-colored metal busk that is 12.5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Besides the image below, the only other information the website gave about this corset was the following:
  • Authentic Steel Boned Brown Brocade Overbust Corset
  • 20 Spiral Steel Bone, 4 Flat Steel Bone
  • Front Length: 14.5 inch (36.8 cm)
  • Side Length: 12.5 inch (31.75 cm)
  • Back Length: 13.0 inch (33.02 cm)
  • Fabric: Brocade
  • Lining: 100% Cotton
  • Front Opening: Metal Busk

Technical specifications of the Style #106 Corset
Though not indicated in the website's technical description, I think the outer brocade fabric is polyester because it is shiny.
The corset came with a very long shoelace-style lace, which is rather stretchy. However, this kind of lace is still better than polyester cord or satin ribbon, which are not very strong and easily slip out of the grommets--making lacing a more difficult task. I was very surprised and happy to see that the corset has 6 black satin ribbon loops (3 on each side of the corset) stitched to the bottom edge, presumably for holding garters. This corset also comes with 2 satin ribbon loops so you can store your corset on a hanger!

Fit and Feel:
This corset is comfortable but does not fit very well. I ordered a size 20 (for a 24-25 inch waist) instead of a size 22 (for a 26-27 inch waist) because my size was sold out. Even lacing as tight as I can, I have about a 4 inch lacing gap.

Corsets work by displacing fat from the waist into the bust and hip area. I am very bony, with high-set hips, and my shape negatively affects this corset's efficacy in creating the hourglass figure. I get only about 1.5 inches of waist reduction with this corset simply because I don't have much fat around my waist, bust, or hips. The bones rub up against my pelvis and ribcage uncomfortably when the corset is laced too tight. As you can see in the photos below, the corset is too large for my bust, sticks out from my stomach, and is too small for my high-set hips. I can solve these fit issues by padding out the bust and hip area, which was a period practice. If I had bought the larger size, the corset would have been even bigger in my hip/bust area.


Note: This corset comes with a 6 inch wide modesty panel, which I removed with a seam ripper.
Pros:
  • Steel boned 
    • This corset is boned with a total of 24 steel bones, including 20 spiral steel bones. Spiral steel is a flattened coil of wire and is flexible but strong. Because spiral steels are flexible, they help create the curved hourglass shape. Flat steel boning (also known as spring steel) is very strong and not very flexible; having flat steels along the lacing grommets helps support the corset and make sure it won't buckle under the pressure of being laced.
  • 2 inch wide metal 6-clasp busk
    • The metal busk is the closing mechanism at the front of the corset. The busk consists of two parts: one side with loops and one side with pegs. The loops hook onto the pegs to fasten the corset. The busk on this corset is 2 inches wide when the busk is closed. This busk isn't flimsy like the 1 inch busks found in corsets of the same low price range on Ebay or in costume stores.
  • Sturdy construction
    • The outer layer of this corset is strong brown brocade, and the inner layer is a thick black cotton duck. This corset feels heavy and solid. The cotton (natural fiber) inner layer will help the corset "breathe."
  • Historical look 
    • The subtle sweetheart neckline and overall shape of this corset looks very similar to corsets of the late 19th century. If you're interested in Victorian costuming, this corset is a nice gateway.
  • Garter loops
    • This corset has little ribbon loops on the inside from which you can attach garters. This is a fun detail.

Cons:
  • No waist tape
    • A waist tape is a piece of twill tape or strong ribbon that is used to reinforce the waistline of a corset. It is usually sewn to the inside of a corset. Corsets with waist tapes are able to take more strain on the waist and are ideal for tightlacing. Additionally, the use of waist tapes is historically correct and documented in 19th century and early 20th century corsets. However, it is possible that a there is a concealed waist tape within the corset; I'm not going to rip open the corset to find out (sorry!).
  • Two-layer construction is not as strong as a three-layer corset
    • Many higher-end corsets are constructed with at least three layers of fabric for strength. Some corsets even use twill tape or bias tape casings for boning for extra strength. My concern with a two-layer corset like this one is that eventually the bones will start poking through the polyester brocade.
  • Sizing
    • INSERT INFO ABOUT SIZING/FIT
  • Not designed for tightlacing because of grommet placement
    • Grommets placed closer at the waist will support the increased tension at that point; this is more helpful for tightlacers. 

Final Thoughts:
If you are interested in purchasing this style of corset, Style #106, note that CorsetDeal.com is very poorly organized. You practically have to explore every tab to find what you're looking for. Additionally, most corsets are identified by a name like "Jaime Brocade Waist Training Corset" or "Garnet Brocade Corset" rather than by their style number. If you are looking for a particular style of corset, like the moderate sweetheart shape of the Style #106 corsets or the underbust Style #101, then you have to keep your eyes open on a page full of thumbnails for corsets with the same shape but different names. Also, many corsets can be described as the same style but each have different openings,  numbers of shaped panels, and quantities and types of boning--make sure you look at the technical drawing that accompanies each corset to confirm you're getting what you want.

In addition, if you are looking for reviews of a corset on CorsetDeal.com, be aware that reviews aren't organized either. Very few corsets here have reviews; the ones that do are very short and not very information. The corset I purchased didn't have any reviews, so I looked for other Style #106 corsets to see what people thought about them.

On the website, there is no difference between waist training corsets and fashion corsets. Corsets of the same style can be classified as waist training corsets for no apparent reason. If you are a serious tightlacer, this may not be the best website to purchase corsets from.

I was NOT paid to review this corset and am not in any way affiliated with CorsetDeal.com.

1 comment:

  1. Have you looked into Lucy's Lace-Base? It might be helpful if you are looking for a better OTR corset fit. As it is, I find Corset Story corsets to be very long and tubular, so getting a reduction is hard because the waist isn't defined enough, so it rubs on my ribs and hips instead of just cinching the waistline. Here's a link to the corset dimensions database, if you are curious: http://lucycorsetry.com/research-corset-brands/corset-dimensions-directory/

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