Then there are the people called "tightlacers". They use the corset to train their waists to get smaller and smaller. A few of these are known through times. Ethel Granger for example. She died in 1950, and was then listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the smallest waist on earth - 13 inches (33 cm)!
I can't say I think this looks good - and I don't want to think about what her insides look like! But for her, and a lot of the other tightlacers, it's obviously about something else. Something to strive for...A slim, corseted waist can look great - as long as it's not to slim. At least that's my opinion. If people want to do this, then fine with me. But when I wear a corset, I don't want my waist to go too much out of proportion. I don't wear corsets often at all, but I like wearing them, and my favorite one is a red velvet overbust corset from "What Katie Did". Normally my waist is 25 inches (63 cm). The size of this corset is 22 inches (56 cm), which means that it pulls my waist in 3 inches (7,5 cm), What I love about this corset is that it pulls my whole upper body in, in a way that makes it really comfortable. It feels like - as the elusive Mr Pearl puts it - a "permanent embrace". Here are a few pictures of this lovely corset. Photos by Christine Engström:
As someone who knows how to build up a corset - I have, so far, made two - I know how long it takes, at least if you use steal bones so you have to cut them into the right lengths and file down the edges and blah, blah, blah...Corset makers aren't so profuse as they used to be. But there are a few good ones out there. There's them...And then there's Mr Pearl...Or Mark Pullin as his real name is. He doesn't only know how to make a corset fit his client like a glove - he wears them too! With a waist measurement of 18 inches (46 cm), he's one of the few male tightlacers. He wears a corset 24/7, and only takes it off to bathe.
In creating corsets he has worked with a lot of people, inkluding Dita von Teese, Kylie Minogue, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, and many more. I guess I don't have to mention that I would be pretty darn delighted if he made one for me too...
"Corsetry is the deepest, most intimate, most enhancing possibility physically and I'm fascinated by this. Corsetry presents endless, almost unobtainable, possibilities, it could always be tighter, more beautiful, longer in the front. The limit is physical - outward appearances are endless." - Mr Pearl
You can find a longer interview with Mr Pearl here.