Chiffon Dior: Layla Marie, thank you so much for talking with me today! I am always in need of friends that can help make this pudgy middle of mine look smaller without actually having to diet. So that big of sad imagery aside, how are you doing today?
Layla Marie: First of all, stop! You are gorgeous and amazing. Secondly, that being said, a corset would look amazing on you. Hi! Thank you so much for talking with me, and having me here! All of us at Corset Connection love your site! Your recaps are hilarious and fabulous.
CD: Thank you so much! It’s good to know that more than just immediate family is reading my work! A lot of our readers might remember the name Corset Connection from your sponsorship of RuPaul’s Drag Race for a few seasons. For those of them that might not, can you tell a little bit about the company?
LM: Well, we’ve been selling corsets, lingerie, and accessories online since 1998 (I’m guessing around when you were born, Chiffon), and we’re all about selection. There are a few players out there as far as corset websites go, but we feel that we have the most varied corset selection on the Internet, or probably the world. Okay maybe not the world, but definitely the Internet. I bought the company about 6 months ago from the lovely previous owner (who decided to start another business), and I have been in love with our products and customers ever since.
CD: Flattery will get you everywhere Layla but you might want to get your eyes checked out maybe! *laughs* So tell me, what separates Corset Connection from the other sites that are out there?
So yeah, like I said it’s not just the high quality, but the selection. We have corsets for men, women, queers, queens, all gender spectrum and body types, etc. All at like a million different price points, all “authentic,” meaning steel boned. You can get our lower priced corsets starting at $99 (steel boned, gorgeous fabrics) , up to the $400+ range for fully custom corsets. We have a gal that hand-makes our custom corsets and people can get them made-to-measure. So in that sense, we can make corsets for almost any body out there! Tiny folks and bigger folks – many of our in stock corsets go up to size 38, that fits waist size 42”-44”.
CD: What goes into the making of a high quality corset as opposed to some of the cheaper ones out there? What are some of the factors people should consider when they’re buying a corset, especially for first time buyers?
LM: Well to start, keep in mind that anything you’re buying at one of the big box stores is going to be total crap. They’ll have plastic boning and cheaper fabrics, which not only won’t give you that hourglass shape, because they’re just not strong. They’re gonna be coming apart at the seams in like a week because… They’re just not made for anything more than decoration. On top of that, they just don’t look as nice!
A “real” or “authentic” corset is going to have single or double steel boning (the vertical pieces that make up each panel and provide the primary support), it’s going to have a sturdy, metal, front busk closure (the hook and eye type thing in the front), and strong, corded or satin lacing in the back, laced through sturdy, steel grommets.
So basically you want to look for descriptions that include those details and words when buying. Even if you’re just buying a corset for occasional use (like a costume, for a wedding, etc.), you want it to be a real one so it does what you want it to! Which is to make you look hot, we assume.
CD: I assume the bulk of your clientele are ladies but I noticed you have designated that several of your corsets are ideal for men, drag queens and transgender people. Is that a growing market that you’re focusing on? What are some of the challenges or differences when it comes to corseting a male body?
LM: So actually almost half of our clients are folks with male bodies! Straight guys, queer guys, drag queens, etc. We do also have quite a few transwomen who use our corsets for waist training (continuous wear of a corset to modify your waist to actually get it smaller), etc. The word is definitely spreading that corsets are not just for cis women anymore! We’re super excited to help get the word out that we are 100% over the moon supportive and excited to help eliminate the stigma of men/male bodied folks in corsets.
So the challenge for making sure a corset fits a male body well is the same as fitting a corset for any body – just making sure it’s cut at the top and bottom in a way that is complementary to their figure, and enhances what they already have going on! We always encourage all our clients to measure themselves, then email us their measurements, or to chat with us on the live chat we have on our site, and we can help select something that is gonna look amazing, and make them feel amazing!
CD: So what is new and exciting that we can look forward to in the near future from Corset Connection?
LM: As I said we are looking to get the word out there that we are a great spot to shop when you are a male bodied person! One of things coming up is a photo shoot to show more of our products on folks that represent that population, so stay tuned! Also, we just started a blog, and that’s going to have a lot of great, funny and informative stuff on it.
CD: Thank you so much for your time this evening. Do you have any final words of wisdom for the readers?
LM: Thank YOU for having me here! So happy and honored for your time with me. My words of wisdom for your readers would be just, don’t settle! Don’t settle on corsets, lingerie, skirts, tops, etc., that you don’t love 100%. You deserve to look FABULOUS in something that is gonna fit you like a glove!
Corset Photography Courtesy of Le Mew Photography.