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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Corset advice for young'uns

I recently received a comment from a reader who says, "Hi I'm a young babybat, I just got interested in Goth less than a year ago. I have a bit of a problem. My mom is agaist me wearing fishnets and/ or corsets because she thinks they're... (whisper) sexual. She is very protective and stubborn, but I want a corset REALLY bad. What do you think I should do? So far all I can think of is saving money up for it myself then offering to pay for my own corsets on Christmas. Sadly Christmas is really far away. If you have any ideas/suggestions they would be SO greatly appreciated."

Source: Restyle
I have a couple of suggestions which hopefully you will find useful, Dear Anonymous Babybat. I would however like to begin by pointing out that I can understand why so many parents of young Goths get a bit squirmy and freaked out by the idea of their children parading around in an item of clothing that is, technically, an undergarment. If you do decide to go ahead and buy your own corsets, I highly recommend that you make it quite clear to your concerned parent that you only intend to wear it OVER things, not alone. Leave the bare skin and cleavagey business for your nightclubbing years and let your mother have another few years of (relative) peace of mind.

Speaking of wearing your corset over things, perhaps a parent is likely to be more lenient regarding waspies or waist cinchers than a full-on overbust corset. Waspies can be worn over shirts, dresses or even T-shirts and give a more interesting shape and of course that extra tinge of Gothiness to your look. I'd suggest discussing with your parents whether they might consider a waspie to be more appropriate.

You can also add the impression and aesthetic of corsetry to your wardrobe without actually resorting to a corset. You can create a corset-lacing effect on almost any garment, easily and simply, by pinning two rows of safety pins parallel to each other and criss-crossing ribbon between them. Doing this on the backs of T-shirts or hoodies gives an interesting corset-y look without even a sniff of inappropriate sexy-ness. (If the safety-pins don't appeal you can of course use grommets on stiffer fabrics like denim a la Boots.)

Of course, if you are happy to spend a little, corset prints are a fun and quirky alternative. Try something like this one, or this one. :-)

Hope you find this helpful. Readers, do you have any further ideas?

20 comments:

Alexandriaweb said...

If she's in her early to mid teens the number one piece of advice I can give is that if she does manage to get a corset she should go for one with plastic bones rather than steels because her bones (the ones in her body) might not be fully formed or hardened yet and she could do herself some damage.

Aside from that I think you've pretty much covered it as far as corsets go.

Fishnets can be layered (and are often way more comfortable layered if you aren't used to wearing them) over regular tights, so maybe trying asking if she could do that?

Britt said...

For fishnets, at least when I was younger, were a huge no-no as well. But, when I found a pair that were close knit, my mother agreed. I think some parents only think the huge obvious gaping holed ones are 'sexual.' If you find ones with smaller holes, you'll still get the look of fishnet, just, a bit more approiate. I personally still like the smaller holes better, as I'm very modest and they keep you alittle bit warmer!


(And, hi Amy!! >w< You got me into the idea of a blog for gothyness, and I've been watching and reading your stuff since the early days of your goth guide!! I just hope someday I'll have as many followers as you, but since I have no views at the moment I doubt it. Sorry, I just wanted to let you knowyour awesome!!!)

Ria said...

Unfortunatly we don't know her age, but I agree with Alexandriaweb about the pros of plastic boning. A quality corset can be pretty expensive. Depending on how old she is, she might want to think twice about buying something she could outgrow within a year or two. Some people reach their um... adult proportions pretty early, others quite late. I remember I could throw out almost all of my shirts, because they got to short within a year and a half... The lacing has of course some flexibility but everything has it's borders.

For the fishnets:
Some stores sell knee-hight versions. Maybe she could get some and wear them under longer skirts and avoid the her parent's fear of a 'streetworker backside'.

Boots said...

A la me? Awhh. ^^
The waspies and waist cinchers are a great idea. As for the fishnets, you can always give those patterned fashion tights a go. They're pretty stylish right now and you can achieve that knitting effect without the stigma of fishnets. Hope that was of some help!

Bored_Homeschooler said...

For some reason I never had these problems,despite how conservative my mother is...

I secound the patterned tight thing. They're pretty adorable,and much more parent-friendly. I myself own three or four pairs. Not to mention they'll be cheap and pretty easy to find given their popularity.

Megan Elizabeth said...

My mother seems to have the same idea about corsets. The first mention of one first brings a disbelieving glance and then a roll of the eyes... I'm hoping I can convince her to let me buy one but since she's just getting used to the fishnets I'll have to wait a while D:

Eurofighter said...

Corset-style wide belts are an awesome alternative to common corsets. They look goth enough, can be of any sub-styles and aren't too hard to wear for everyday. Plus they look more or less "casual", that is - are even appropriate for my work on TV with a strict female boss and all consequences. :D I mean, corset-like belts give the "mood" to an outfit, but aren't too freaky.

Concerning fishnets... To be honest, now, being older, I don't like those too much and prefer elegant sheer lace. It doesn't look sexy at all, especially the kinds with flower swirls. But they do look goth.

The parents might be more tolerate to romantic looks. But - as I also remember from my own young years - babybats mostly tend to start from the most extreme styles. ^^

Tenebris In Lux said...

Perhaps she could talk to her parents, and maybe show them pretty pictures of proper ladies with their corsets? Y'know, the ones with flowing black dresses with multiple layers, with a parasol? I've never really seen a "suuuper sexy" photoshoot involving corsets unless it was for some fetish model.

Even better, perhaps her mother is into sewing? Corsets are not exactly beginner material, but maybe -- if her mother or grandmother is okay with it -- trying out to sew something resembling it? That way it gives the mother the control of sewing it, and perhaps helping the younger lady with sewing skills? I dunno, just musing here xP

And I haven't commented in forever! I'm sorry Amy D-:

TeamEdwardJace said...

hey, you blog is really interesting.( I'm into the goth scene(the fashion, and I know it's various types but not all, the music,(I know alot of the bands and listen to various others. I'm also ware that goth covers many different genres. I also love the art, poetry, photography, the makeup, and whole alot more. some of the things I have written are pretty dark. I have some gothic-inspired pieces. i'm an understanding outsider and perhaps might be a repressed goth of varios types. anyways gothic girls can still be sexy and classy(if they want to go that way.) besides doing what you said, there are coreset/coreseted tops(tops with built in corests which is different than wearing a coreset you'd find in the lingere store). the same goes with butiers, bodices,etc

TeamEdwardJace said...

How do I know if I'm a repressed goth? Or what are some ways if someone knows?

Jessie Aaker said...

I'm with the whole layering fish-nets with opaque tights. In my opinion fishnets against bare skin look the best on leggy goths, and sadly those are the ones often over sexualized. But the layerd look (depending on the rest of your outfit) can look a lot more tame. I also think it flatters people who aren't blessed with perfect long slim legs but still want to wear gaping holes in our hosiery. I always found it more comfy too. I know I'm not the only one whose ended the day with sore toes because her fishnets dung into them the wrong way.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

I have the only cool parents in the universe. Got my first corset for my 15th birthday (by guilting my dad because i had stayed at my boyfriend's in sydney, I was REALLY sick and he didn't come get me on my birthday, he got Jonathon to drive us to him), never looked back.

I actually got emailed her comment because I'm a chronic comment subscriber. She had her email in the comment so I emailed her - and I can promise she is a lovely young lady and I gave her all my resources and knowledge.

and then i felt like this. https://fbcdn-photos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/525891_3493831860659_1117418720_33381222_1772508660_a.jpg

Anonymous said...

Corsets & fishnets aren't a necessity of being goth. In fact, a lot of goths don't wear them at all. I would advise, in order to maintain a comfortable home environment (if her parents really are so strongly opposed to them), that she either wait until she moves out, or gradually ease them into the idea by wearing a conservative bodice or a form-fitting vest/waistcoat that can offer a similar silhouette. As for fishnets, wearing them over a pair of opaque tights is a very good option, especially if the tights are the same color as the fishnets, so her parents can ease into the idea. I've always been a strong believer in putting safety, and maintaining a healthy home environment above dressing a certain way; there's plenty of time in the future to fully "express" yourself.

I didn't buy my first corset until I was in my mid 20s, and I found many other ways to express my gothiness. In fact, I still only wear corsets on rare occasions.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's the babybat mentioned in the post. Thanks for doing the blog Amy, I hope that quite a few people will be helped by this. :) Also, thank you to the people who commented, here's your responses:

@Alexandriaweb
Yes, I'm in my early teens. Thank you for mentioing that the steel bones might be harmful, because I originally had thought that steel was better.
I've thought about wearing fishnets over top of regular tights, but never really asked. that acually might work. :)

@Britt
Close knit ones are a great idea. :)
@Ria
I'm in my early teens, but my growing has (seemingly) slowed a bit. I don't think I will grow out of a waspie as fast though, so it might be better that way.
For the fishnets:
My mom considers knee-hight versions inappropriate. One time I wore a pair of those and she had a heart attack (no, not literally) and made me change into socks in the middle of my gym class. Those are a no-no as well, but thank you anyways.
@Boots
I agree, the waspies and waist cinchers ARE a great idea. Patterned fashion tights are a good idea too. :) Yes, it helped, every bit of advice helps. :) 11
@Bored_Homeschooler

I third then. :)
@Megan Elizabeth
Disbelieving glance and then a roll of the eyes... I wish. All I get whenever I even look at one is a flat no, so if you get your mom to listen to you, please mention how you did it... that would be a great addition to the post. :)
@Eurofighter said...
Are corset-style wide belts simular to waspies or waist cinchers?
The sheer lace is a nice alternative to the fishnets, much more parent-friendly.

My parents would definetly be more tolerant to romantic looks. I'm acually not very into the more extreme styles, I just think that fishnets would be a good contrast to all that girliness and lace... maybe she would be more tolerant of a spiked leather bracelet.
@Tenebris In Lux
My mom reacts in a flat no, convo over sense when I even mention a corset (or look at one), so I have no clue how to convince her to listen to me about it.
My mom knows how to sew, and so does my grandma. Sewing is a great option, and would let me design it :) I'd love some help with sewing skills. I think my mom would feel more comfortable if she had control. Please muse more often.

@TeamEdwardJace
I agree, the blog is very interesting.I'm into various aspects of Goth as well. I write a few dark things, and draw some as well. Thank you for telling me about the corset tops, I acually didn't think of that.
If you're a respressed goth, you have an interest in gothic subculture, but feel you can't take part of it, for one reason or another. Some one else might know if you have a darker personality than most.
@Jessie Aaker
Me too. I have long, slim legs, but don't like showing too much skin, and would probably end up layering them anyways. It would probably be more comfy too, as you said.
@Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat
The only cool parents in the universe... lucky :)

Thank you for the compliment, and all the resources and knowledge. :)
By the way, the pic is funny and awesome. :)

@Anonymous
The waistcoat/ bodice thing is a good idea, and you're right, it's best to ease into it slowly.

Min Self said...

I wanted a corset for years and similarly my parents wouldn't get me one. So finally when I was about 17 I just got some money together and bought my own.

I don't really understand what the concern is about corsets either, though I do notice there is some disagreement about the definition of the word (some people think it means any garment that laces up, some people equate it with a bustier, etc.) Maybe my parents were imagining something sleazier than I had in mind... I always wanted one with actual compression ability, and I've ben known to wear it both over and under other clothes (but more often over, since worn under usually just leaves the outer garments so baggy you can't even tell the difference unless it's belted.)

Anonymous said...

I think some parents feel they have a certain conotation. We also don't know if religious and/orcultural tenets are a factor, or what. Besides, some corsets are *quite* revealing. I have a few, myself, in addition to some more "conservative" ones.

As a parent, I wouldn't want my teenage daughter to wear a corset for a multitude of reasons. Luckily, I have several years before that happens. I know I may seem a tad hypocritical, but I don't believe in teens dressing too scantily. Besides, where would a teen wear a corset? At school it would be too impractical, a teen really can't get into a club, and to wear it around town, in certain places, can lead to a dangerous situation. The reality is not everyone shares our aesthetic. I only wear my corsets if I'm attending an event, where there are people who get that I'm not a "slut" just because of my attire; I will not wear one just for the sake of wearing one.

I don't mean to turn this into a big debate on whether corsets are decent and/or proper, but the reality is there is alot of misunderstanding in the world. The bottom line is, if her parents are uncomfortable with the idea, their opinions should be respected. As I stated earlier, there is plenty of time to develop a style. Again, I am goth *and* a parent, and I just hope my daughter grows up to respect my teachings; when she becomes an adult, then she can do as she pleases.

Fae said...

Amy,
I know I`m off topic here-I usually am-but my best friend is having a big bash for her birthday. Around 30 people are going. None of them are goth or alternative. So what do you think I should do when it comes to the 'dress code around norms'?

I want to fit in there for one night and not be made fun of. But I don`t want to come across as a 'norm'. Any tips? And please keep in mind I`m 14? Because last time I went to a party in fishnets and shorts.....the mother of my guy friend made me wear his sisters yoga pants....*Facepalm*

So please if,anyone(!) Has a tip or trick that would work for one night without losing my ideantiy around these people. But still being able to stay for the whole party before leaving due to humiliaty and fights? There would be Many(!) thanks to anyone whom can help this babybat.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of coming off a bit harsh, my advice would be to just "suck-it-up", and try to fit in, as it's only for one night. It doesn't seem to me that you particularly care for any of the guests, so out of respect for your best friend, do what needs to be done to keep the peace. Who knows, there may come a time when you need her to return the favor and "go goth".

Many years ago, I attended a theatrical program in college. One night we were having on a fundraiser that was to be put on by some celebrity alums. Because of the nature of this particular performance, the dress code was fairly dressy. I was working the house that night, but I was given a complimentary ticket that I could give to someone. A close friend of mine was interested in attending, and I gave her the ticket. This particular friend was not the least bit feminine, and only wore flannels and jeans. I told her of the dress code, and expected her to maybe wear a pair of slacks with a button down shirt. I, along with *all* of my schoolmates were nearly floored when she appeared not only in a skirt & nylons, but also makeup! The point of this story is that my friend cared enough about making a good impression on my behalf that she *selflessly* stepped out of her comfort zone, as she realized that her appearance was a reflection on me. This was nearly 20 years ago, and she and I are still close friends. It's the simple things like that I appreciate from a friend.

For most of us, there comes a time when we have to shrug it off, and conform; it doesn't mean that we have to lose who we are. I go to functions at my daughters school, and I wear "normal" clothes, but I'm still me. The same goes for work (sometimes, even a *uniform* is necessary, and they're not always the most flettering).

Fae said...

@Anonymous,
Thank you. Just thank you is all I have to say. You just opened up my eyes. I was being stupid....Thank you once again :)

Ann Gray Ruthven said...

Hello! I have just one simple stupid question : how can I manage to keep my victorian-inspired look WITHOUT looking like metal female singers who offen wear corsets, long skirts,lace...? To sum up, I am totally crazy about the victorian era (especially for its authors, but also for the aesthetic!)and love to show it, but I want to keep a kind of typical goth style - I don't want any confusion with metal female singers (even if I like their work). That's all : ) Could you give me some advice? Thanks : )

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