Friday, April 17, 2015

How to Break In a Dark Garden Corset

We often equate corset shopping to shoe shopping. Like shoes, if you only have one corset that you wear everyday, it will wear out more quickly. And like new shoes, your corset might need a little bit of time to break in and mold to your body. If you're wondering how long this process should take and how you should do it, this is the article for you! Much of this information is aimed at waist trainers, but even if you're just wearing your corset for a special occasion like a wedding you may have wondered about breaking in your new corset.

Proprietress Autumn Adamme
Dark Garden Bespoke "Sweetheart" Corset
Photo © Perry Gallagher
Our proprietress, Autumn Adamme, has been making corsets for over 25 years, and, having grown up in a historic costuming community, has been wearing them for over 30. You can see she has a lot of experience to draw on when designing the construction, fit, and wear of our handmade beauties!

Your new Dark Garden corset should fit you well from the get-go. Don't worry about "seasoning" your new corset, be it Ready-to-Wear, Personalized Made-to-Order, or Bespoke, to make it fit. Your new corset should lace to a gap of 2-3", with the ribs and hips just flush against the sides of your body, and a comfortable compression at the waist. If you are "seasoning" your corset with only the waist actually touching your body, you may as well just be wearing a belt! Part of the reason to train with a corset instead of a belt is that you support your guts while you make your waist more pliable.
If you train too far without this support for your belly, you will encourage that below the waist bulge that very few people like. Additionally, wearing your corsets with a too-wide gap strains the bones at the back of the corset and can cause them to twist in their channels or warp the fabric.

Dark Garden "Cincher"
Model: Nicole Simone
Photo © Joel Aron
When you first pick up your new corset, wearing it at the standard 2" lacing gap might seem a bit too snug. Breaking in a corset, especially for first-time corset wearers, is also about training your body to understand the compression/redistribution and newly improved posture. With your body heat, the fibers of the fabric will over time relax and mold around your unique body shape and the corset itself becomes more pliable. The waist should stay fairly stable, because of the waist tape running the circumference of that area.

Here at Dark Garden, we do have an organic process of "breaking  in" our corsets. It is a much more relaxed process than the "seasoning" espoused by many. The nuance in vernacular seems defined by common use, different methods to achieve the same goal.

  • Simply lace your corset as tight as you find comfortable.
  • Leave it on as long as you can, going about the sorts of activities you expect to experience while wearing your corset in the long run.
  • Do this as often as is practical.
  • If you're waist training, this will seamlessly translate to wearing your corset at its designated 2" gap on a daily basis.
  • In other words, just wear your corset, but don't overlace.
Dark Garden Bespoke "Cut Out Victorian"
Model: Anneka Quellhorst
Photo © Edward Saenz / Ultravolta Photography
A well-fitted corset should sit pretty flush against your ribs and hips immediately, as would be assessed by our trained fitters on any visitors to our San Francisco boutique. Our company policy is to only sell corsets that are a good fit in both size and shape: a corset that stands away from the ribs and hips to a noticeable extent can chafe and create pressure points instead of support. Unless you are actively losing weight, your brand new corset should fit well with a gap that is no more than 1" wider than the final lacing gap measurement. In most cases, this means that you will have a 3" gap for first wear, and eventually settle to the standard 2". If the corset and your body are in perfect harmony, feel free to wear your corset perfectly laced to its 2" gap immediately, for as long as you like.

Breaking in a corset should not be the mechanism that makes it fit. Breaking in a corset makes it more comfortable to wear, especially for longer periods of time.

Dark Garden "Grable" corset
Photo © Joel Aron

~Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere
Read More

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Corset Boudoir Returns: April 25

Dark Garden is pleased as punch to bring back our beloved Corset Boudoir this spring! On April 25, 2015, from 5 to 10 pm, you are invited to book a session with our featured photographer Chris Gaede. Pamper yourself with an intimate evening of glamorous boudoir photographer and luxe corsetry at Dark Garden's boutique at 321 Linden St., San Francisco.
Dark Garden Risqué Cincher
Model: Miss If-N'-Whendy
Photo © Chris Gaede
Chris Gaede was a great hit at the 2013 season of the Dickens Fair, and I've had the personal pleasure of posing for Chris on several occasions. He is incredibly skilled with light and fantastic at making non-models feel at ease while nailing beautiful shots in-camera.

Dark Garden Sweetheart
Model: Victoria Dagger
Photo © Chris Gaede
Photography sessions may be scheduled beginning at 5:00 pm; allow for up to two hours total time for complete styling and your private boudoir experience. Availability is limited so please reserve your sitting early with a non-refundable deposit. Call 415-431-7684 to book. Wardrobe is, of course, provided by expert Dark Garden stylists, featuring Dark Garden Corsetry for all participants. Bring your own intimates and shoes to complete your ensemble. Expert hair and makeup artists (Danielle Blanchet of Sublime Salon and Lee Stewart, respectively) will also be on-hand should you wish to upgrade your experience. Also included are an 8"x10" print and 10% off any corset purchases - a value of $25-$150! Additional prints and digital images may be ordered online after your session.

Photo © Chris Gaede
All packages include:
Personal styling, including corset fitting & rental
Photo session
Online gallery for additional images
Private shopping
10% off corset purchases
Sneak peak photo print

Dark Garden Risqué Sweetheart and Tailored Cincher.
Client image used with permission.
Photo © Chris Gaede
The following packages are available; additional prints and high-res image galleries may be purchased after your shoot.

Classic Shoot, $75
Personal styling
Photo session
Sneak peak photo print

Swanky Set, $135
Personal styling
Professional hair or makeup
Photo session
Sneak peak photo print

Deluxe Experience, $195
Personal styling
Professional makeup artist
Professional hair styling
Photo session
Sneak peak photo print

Prints and Image Galleries are available directly from your photographer after the shoot.
Prints begin at $15
Single digital images from $25
Digital galleries from $75

Photo © Chris Gaede
Want to hear about events in The Corset Boudoir before everyone else?  Sign up for our mailing list and be the first to hear about upcoming sessions and upgrades to the program!  Never miss out on shooting with your favorite photographer (we almost always book solid for each event); early notification means you get first pick of session times.  No worries about cluttering your inbox - you'll only hear from us a few times a year.

Dark Garden Dollymop Overbust
Photo © Chris Gaede

~Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere

Read More

Friday, April 17, 2015

How to Break In a Dark Garden Corset

We often equate corset shopping to shoe shopping. Like shoes, if you only have one corset that you wear everyday, it will wear out more quickly. And like new shoes, your corset might need a little bit of time to break in and mold to your body. If you're wondering how long this process should take and how you should do it, this is the article for you! Much of this information is aimed at waist trainers, but even if you're just wearing your corset for a special occasion like a wedding you may have wondered about breaking in your new corset.

Proprietress Autumn Adamme
Dark Garden Bespoke "Sweetheart" Corset
Photo © Perry Gallagher
Our proprietress, Autumn Adamme, has been making corsets for over 25 years, and, having grown up in a historic costuming community, has been wearing them for over 30. You can see she has a lot of experience to draw on when designing the construction, fit, and wear of our handmade beauties!

Your new Dark Garden corset should fit you well from the get-go. Don't worry about "seasoning" your new corset, be it Ready-to-Wear, Personalized Made-to-Order, or Bespoke, to make it fit. Your new corset should lace to a gap of 2-3", with the ribs and hips just flush against the sides of your body, and a comfortable compression at the waist. If you are "seasoning" your corset with only the waist actually touching your body, you may as well just be wearing a belt! Part of the reason to train with a corset instead of a belt is that you support your guts while you make your waist more pliable.
If you train too far without this support for your belly, you will encourage that below the waist bulge that very few people like. Additionally, wearing your corsets with a too-wide gap strains the bones at the back of the corset and can cause them to twist in their channels or warp the fabric.

Dark Garden "Cincher"
Model: Nicole Simone
Photo © Joel Aron
When you first pick up your new corset, wearing it at the standard 2" lacing gap might seem a bit too snug. Breaking in a corset, especially for first-time corset wearers, is also about training your body to understand the compression/redistribution and newly improved posture. With your body heat, the fibers of the fabric will over time relax and mold around your unique body shape and the corset itself becomes more pliable. The waist should stay fairly stable, because of the waist tape running the circumference of that area.

Here at Dark Garden, we do have an organic process of "breaking  in" our corsets. It is a much more relaxed process than the "seasoning" espoused by many. The nuance in vernacular seems defined by common use, different methods to achieve the same goal.

  • Simply lace your corset as tight as you find comfortable.
  • Leave it on as long as you can, going about the sorts of activities you expect to experience while wearing your corset in the long run.
  • Do this as often as is practical.
  • If you're waist training, this will seamlessly translate to wearing your corset at its designated 2" gap on a daily basis.
  • In other words, just wear your corset, but don't overlace.
Dark Garden Bespoke "Cut Out Victorian"
Model: Anneka Quellhorst
Photo © Edward Saenz / Ultravolta Photography
A well-fitted corset should sit pretty flush against your ribs and hips immediately, as would be assessed by our trained fitters on any visitors to our San Francisco boutique. Our company policy is to only sell corsets that are a good fit in both size and shape: a corset that stands away from the ribs and hips to a noticeable extent can chafe and create pressure points instead of support. Unless you are actively losing weight, your brand new corset should fit well with a gap that is no more than 1" wider than the final lacing gap measurement. In most cases, this means that you will have a 3" gap for first wear, and eventually settle to the standard 2". If the corset and your body are in perfect harmony, feel free to wear your corset perfectly laced to its 2" gap immediately, for as long as you like.

Breaking in a corset should not be the mechanism that makes it fit. Breaking in a corset makes it more comfortable to wear, especially for longer periods of time.

Dark Garden "Grable" corset
Photo © Joel Aron

~Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Corset Boudoir Returns: April 25

Dark Garden is pleased as punch to bring back our beloved Corset Boudoir this spring! On April 25, 2015, from 5 to 10 pm, you are invited to book a session with our featured photographer Chris Gaede. Pamper yourself with an intimate evening of glamorous boudoir photographer and luxe corsetry at Dark Garden's boutique at 321 Linden St., San Francisco.
Dark Garden Risqué Cincher
Model: Miss If-N'-Whendy
Photo © Chris Gaede
Chris Gaede was a great hit at the 2013 season of the Dickens Fair, and I've had the personal pleasure of posing for Chris on several occasions. He is incredibly skilled with light and fantastic at making non-models feel at ease while nailing beautiful shots in-camera.

Dark Garden Sweetheart
Model: Victoria Dagger
Photo © Chris Gaede
Photography sessions may be scheduled beginning at 5:00 pm; allow for up to two hours total time for complete styling and your private boudoir experience. Availability is limited so please reserve your sitting early with a non-refundable deposit. Call 415-431-7684 to book. Wardrobe is, of course, provided by expert Dark Garden stylists, featuring Dark Garden Corsetry for all participants. Bring your own intimates and shoes to complete your ensemble. Expert hair and makeup artists (Danielle Blanchet of Sublime Salon and Lee Stewart, respectively) will also be on-hand should you wish to upgrade your experience. Also included are an 8"x10" print and 10% off any corset purchases - a value of $25-$150! Additional prints and digital images may be ordered online after your session.

Photo © Chris Gaede
All packages include:
Personal styling, including corset fitting & rental
Photo session
Online gallery for additional images
Private shopping
10% off corset purchases
Sneak peak photo print

Dark Garden Risqué Sweetheart and Tailored Cincher.
Client image used with permission.
Photo © Chris Gaede
The following packages are available; additional prints and high-res image galleries may be purchased after your shoot.

Classic Shoot, $75
Personal styling
Photo session
Sneak peak photo print

Swanky Set, $135
Personal styling
Professional hair or makeup
Photo session
Sneak peak photo print

Deluxe Experience, $195
Personal styling
Professional makeup artist
Professional hair styling
Photo session
Sneak peak photo print

Prints and Image Galleries are available directly from your photographer after the shoot.
Prints begin at $15
Single digital images from $25
Digital galleries from $75

Photo © Chris Gaede
Want to hear about events in The Corset Boudoir before everyone else?  Sign up for our mailing list and be the first to hear about upcoming sessions and upgrades to the program!  Never miss out on shooting with your favorite photographer (we almost always book solid for each event); early notification means you get first pick of session times.  No worries about cluttering your inbox - you'll only hear from us a few times a year.

Dark Garden Dollymop Overbust
Photo © Chris Gaede

~Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere