I’m not a corset wearer in general and certainly not a waist-trainer or tight-lacer. For this reason I can’t claim this review will have all the particular informative depth of a person who has extensive experience in that area, but I can review this corset as a hourglass woman who carries her weight on her stomach, has recently gained enough weight that she feels shapewear in wiggles is a necessity for a better, smoother silhouette, and has tried a lot of different kinds of shapewear of varying degrees of comfort and control strength in an attempt to find the best option.
I probably own 15 corsets, some of them purely fashion corsets with shoddy, cheap plastic boning for costume and play, and some middle-ground quality corsets with full steel bones and decent cinching power. I’d been curious about this Orchard Corset CS-201 Mesh Waspie for quite a long time because I wanted to get a waspie corset that I hoped would give me a more pronounced waist in wiggle dresses without having to go the route of wearing a full corset or a longline underbust that would dig into me when I sat in it. Plus the fact that this corset is mesh made me sure it would be more comfortable in warmer weathers and stuffy rooms than layering a ‘proper’ corset underneath my clothing.
From the Corset’s description on the OC website, there’s this:
|*16 Flat & Spiral Steel Bones||*Rigid Front Steel Busk Closure|
|*Short to Tall Torso Length||*Waist Tape Reinforcement|
|*9.5″ Front / 8.75″ Back / 7.25″ Side||*100% Polyester Mesh w/ Cotton trim|
|*Level 2/3 Silhouette (Enhanced-Extreme Curves)||*High Strength Laces|
|*4″ Back Modesty Panel (Lacing Guard)||*All Metal Grommets|
|*No Garter Tabs||*Bi-directional Lacing|
I’ll be showing you pictures in my underwear with and without the corset, and in the Collectif Penny dress with and without the corset. Unfortunately it was only after I took the pictures for this post that I realised the Penny dress is too big for me and I should have sized down, and that doing so would have shown the benefit of the waspie better in the after pictures.
As you can see in the above pictures, this underwear combination isn’t shaping or smoothing and the stockings give me some thigh bulge as well as the leg holes of the House of Satin briefs being a bit too snug and cutting into the tops of my thighs slightly as well.
Just from these pictures alone you can see the difference the corset makes to cinching my waist and creating a more hourglass silhouette.
I feel like this corset gives an extreme curve to the waist rather than a more gradual one, and even more so in person than I felt I was able to capture in pictures. I think this is because the stretchy nature of the mesh means it cinches you in but doesn’t have the same rigidity of a traditional lined corset, thus leaving the waist tape reinforcement to do the greatest and most dramatic cinching. For me, this works perfectly as my goal in wearing this corset is not to achieve a dramatic slimming effect overall but merely to cinch in the very centre of my waist to balance out my figure and give a more dramatic hourglass look.
The shorter length of this corset gives decent ease of movement and doesn’t dig into my hipbones or lap when sitting, which is excellent. The mesh is breathable and has both the bonus and the slight downfall, depending on your perspective, of having more give to it than a traditional lined corset. That give means it’s more comfortable but it also means that it doesn’t have the rigidity that some might require from their corsets, especially waist-trainers. That stretch means it won’t work for semi-permanent body modification waist reduction if used to waist train, I don’t think, but would work in rotation with other tight-lacing suitable corsets for times when ease of movement or the breathable nature of the corset would be a priority, such as times when seated or on very hot days. As I’m not a waist trainer myself this is just common sense and guess work, but corset-wearing bombshell Rachel of Chicago Chic Blog has reviewed this waspie also, so ladies who are serious about reading a review of this corset from a tightlacer’s perspective should read that blog post for Rachel’s knowledgeable opinion.
The shorter nature of this corset, its stretch and the shape of it means it’s good for not being as visible under clothing compared to other corsets I’ve attempted to wear beneath wiggles, and that lesser visibility is improved still by wearing a smoothing layer over the top, like shapewear shorts for ladies looking for more support, or a slip, etc, for ladies who don’t want additional shaping. I do get some back-fat overspill with this corset, so a longline would be required if you have great concern about that. It molds well to my hips though and doesn’t create any bulging or digging there, which I find a greater concern than my upper back. I’d like to get some ribbon laces for this waspie so that I can wear it beneath my tight dresses without the laces knot being as noticeable from behind.
I was surprised when I measured myself without the corset on and with it on to find there was only an inch difference in my waist measurement when worn. However, that’s an external measurement including the boning of the corset and it was not laced totally closed (with an extra inch or so that could be laced closed with some practice or help.) I didn’t read the information about this corset as fully as I should when I purchased it, so I missed the fact that due to the stretch of this waspie it’s recommended that you size down. Corsets typically require you to remove 5 inches from your waist measurement to find the corset size you should be wearing, and for this reason with my 32 inch waist I chose the 28″ corset. As I was supposed to have sized down, I should have ordered the 26. However, since I don’t yet have the knack of lacing down fully alone and thus haven’t closed this corset yet, that’s not a big deal because I’ve got an inch left to close. If I lost even half the weight I gained last year I think this corset would no longer cinch me adequately and I’d have to size down, so definitely size down by 5-7 inches yourself when you order. Still, I’m really happy with my waspie and I love the confidence it gives me when I wear it below my wiggle dresses, something I’m still getting used to wearing regularly as swing dresses are definitely more in my comfort zone.
This waspie costs $75 from Orchard Corset but they often have 10-15% discount codes available in deals advertised on their website and through their newsletter, and for returning customers, so it’s worth signing up to their newsletter and doing some coupon code googling before you order. They ship internationally and offer economy options like USPS international shipping, which only cost me $5.95 when I ordered mine back in December. It’s worth noting that when mine was delivered the Royal Mail held my item and charged me custom fees, but one of my friends who had ordered the same corset only a few weeks before me didn’t get charged fees. I have a feeling she just got lucky, as it’s typical for Royal Mail to charge fees on anything coming into the UK that has a value (shipping included) of around £23 or more, last time I checked, and any custom fee charged by the Royal Mail includes a £8 handling fee no matter how small the customs charges, so in total I had to pay around £15 on mine. Just be aware that you might have to pay customs fees when your corset arrives if you’re ordering internationally, so factor that into your purchase budget.
Do you own the CS-201 Mesh waspie, or the satin or cotton versions? How do you like it?
The power of shapewear is amazing! The mesh does make a lot of sense for warmer weather, but I think I would like smoother lines because I am quite squishy in the midsection. (Swing dresses for warm weather for me!)
I do not own any corsets as of now (I don’t really feel the fashion ones with plastic boning could actually be referred to as corsets 😉 ), but I am interested in buying/wearing one. Like Rachel at Chicago Chic has mentioned, Lucy’s Corsetry is such a wonderful resource, as well as the measuring/shopping guide on Orchard Corset. I recently found a website that routinely has corsets on sale for approximately $30 USD and a friend online has purchased one but I am not sure if that is the real deal due to the price. (“Too good to be true.”) I think I am better off shopping from Orchard Corset vs. bargain corset shop. The style I am looking at is the CS-426 in black cotton. If my measurements turn out too short, I did notice that they offer a similar one in a shorter style. I don’t intend on tightlacing either, just for occasional fashion-enhancing use.
I considered buying that Mary Ann dress but I am top heavy–I don’t need to minimize my hips with the dark fabric. Super cute, though!
I keep seeing this around and I am falling in love with it, hopefully I can afford one soon!
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I ordered the same corset in beige at the beginning of the year & managed to escape UK customs (very surprised!) so I guess it’s just luck of the draw! I have a 30-31″ waist & ordered a 24″ corset (I used Jessica’s blog at Pinup Persuasion for advice) & after a couple of hours wear I can close it to just over the edge of the modesty panel. The problem I’ve found is that because of the short length I do get a little belly squish over the bottom & because I can’t close it that far the bottom of the corset sticks out under clothes. So I haven’t worn it out yet, I might try it with my Rago girdle. But it is so comfy!!
Ps. I love your blog. I am a UK redhead, 5’8″, pretty much the same size as you & I have a PUG/vintage repro addiction (it’s weird how I own so many of the same items as you, such as the dragon Garden Party & Renee dresses) so I find your reviews so helpful 🙂
Ah ha, a little twinsie! Hello you 🙂 I’m glad my reviews are helpful, how super convenient for you that we’re so similarly sized, lol. I would definitely recommend layering shapewear over your corset to help smooth it out for wearing out under clothes, it helps even just to lessen the visibility of the busk in the front.
Wear shapewear under the corset, either an underbust cami long enough to cover the offending pooch or the full body romper style. Wearing shapewear helps me cinch down easier and doesn’t give me that “tight belt” look from it cinching just my waist. As well as reducing oozing between the boning and backfat isn’t an issue if you get the right cami. Shapewear is basically a miracle imo. 😉