Corsets All Right

With my first-ever attendance, in the company of two friends, at a Cabaret show a mere five days in the future, I decided to give my projected costume a dry run. Fresh from the shower, towel-beturbaned and makeup-less, I dragged my red ribbon-trimmed, Black Rose, black corset and matching skirt from their 2-year retreat in one of my naughty drawers, and Trasparenze fishnet holdups from another.

I wrapped the corset around my torso and attempted to clip it shut down the centre front. It was not to be. I loosened my stay laces at the back. I loosened them further. The back of the garment took up the slack of the laces until there was no more further to be had. I made the attempt to clip up the thing lying on my back thinking it effective for jeans but discovered vertical works best. This time I achieved closure. I’d got the top hook over the eye and with a judicious abdominal pull and, under pressure inwards from the heel of each hand on each of the the opening edges of the corset, the remaining four clicked satisfyingly into place. I attempted a sigh of relief and was reminded that corsets are not built for breathing.

I turned around to check my rear view in the mirror to see that the piece of material that fits under the laces between the two ends of the corset was gaping unattractively, and had to devote several minutes to pulling on the laces and smoothing the inset (so taxing without the services of ones maid, making me regret having giving her the day orf) until the long thin wedge of flesh from shoulder blade to hip had vanished.

‘I’ve been sold the wrong size!’ was my first outraged thought, closely followed by the recollection of having worn the garment a few times. Swiftly entering denial regarding possible weight augmentation since my corset’s last outing, I wondered desperately how to acquire a new and larger version quickly. However, it would seem that over a few minutes the corset becomes more comfortable and slack seemed miraculously to have appeared in the laces. Either the material had stretched or my excess body had found ways out either over the top or out of the bottom. It looked promising.

I added the skirt and the hold-ups. Not bad. I shed my hair towel I went off to apply makeup, unearthing a rather more blatant shade of red lipstick than I would normally sport. Interesting. I added my new pair of first-ever, long, black, satin, Dents gloves. Classy. I blow-dried my (regrettably cliché) blond hair and added a Swarovski bling collar and earrings. The mirror showed me what any concerned mother of a bachelor son would regard as an entirely unsuitable girl. The last addition: black stilettos. The thought crossed my mind about how much I could charge the bachelor sons by the hour. Clearly overkill; I changed the spikes for Manhattan-height (2.5″), Bloch, dance shoes as a boogie was on the cards.

Well! I wasn’t sure what my surrogate brother was going to say but his sister, who owns twice the number of corsets I own and is twice the party girl, would undoubtedly express approval. One thing was for sure, on Saturday night I wouldn’t be looking like a writer!*

*’The Writer, on emerging from the cocoon of the dressing-gown, is often seen arrayed in jeans, t-shirt, horned-rimmed spectacles, with long hair secured with one or more pencils.’ Guide to the Creative Species

About the Author Chartreuse

Chartreuse is a freelance writer, editor, photographer and promotional videographer. She has written a feel-better film review column for Heath & Happiness Magazine, and is the owner of Heypressto. Chartreuse’ greatest inspiration is Abraham-Hicks. Her favourite quote is ‘You can be, do or have anything you want’.

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