for the crowd

How I Am Now A Saloon Girl (or, holyshitIhaveacorset!!!1)
July 13, 2008, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Fashion | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve wanted a corset for awhile. Like, a long time. But I’ve especially wanted one since about October of 2006 when I first tried one on, properly, with a competent salesgirl who actually knew what she was selling to me. I figured that now was the time that I finally cave in and fork out a retarded amount of cash for a piece of satin and steel.

Now, I’m no longer what you’d call a Goth (oh, the horror!) but I still wanted a corset because

1) It does amazing things to your figure,
2) It’s versatile, able to be worn above and under clothing, for modern, kinky, or Victorian looks, and
3) It does amazing things to your figure.

First off, I wanted to be careful about who I bought my corset from. There are lots of places in Edmonton to pick up a corset, all of them ranging in quality and reputation. One of the more popular places to go is Sancutary, the “gothic curio” shop just off of Whyte Ave. There was no way in Hell I was going to go buy from there, though. Apart from one or two exceptions, the staff there aren’t exactly going to bend over to please you. They don’t want you in there unless you’re going to buy something – they detest window shoppers to the nth degree, becoming huffy when you try on clothes without purchasing them. When I walked in there and asked if it was possible that I could try on a corset, the girl shook her head and said “Only if you plan on buying one”. Wow! That’s great salesmen skills right there. Thanks, but no thanks. “Alternative” stores in Edmonton seem to go both ways – either they’re wonderfully sweet and friendly and helpful, or they’re downright pretentious.

So I chose Rowena’s, right on Whyte Ave, which is a store that has always been kind to me, ever since I was a wee ninth grader that wanted to be an elf. That, actually, was the store where I first properly tried on a corset. I went in there on Saturday last week to try on and fully intending to buy, but luck wasn’t with me that day – all of the corsets were too big for me, save for one that was just too damn small.

I resorted then to the stash of business cards on my desk and pulled out the one for Nightshade Corsets. I picked up their card near the beginning of the school year when I went to the Sex Tradeshow at the Agricom (and it was delightful, thanks! I bought my mother some Egyptian cotton sheets for cheap. “Hey, mom, I’m at the sex trade show.” “What’s that?!” “It’s like a trade show for sex, but I was wondering, would you like some egyptian cotton sheets?” “Ooh, yes please!”). I’d never gone to the store before, but I figured there was no time like the present. So yesterday I showed up with one of my friends in tow, and we started poking around.

I have to say, Nightshade Corsets has all similar stores beat, because the place was actually air-conditioned and didn’t smell of incense everywhere. It was comfortable to go up and down the narrow store inspecting the wares, because you weren’t sweating your ass off, and the atmosphere was pretty light since, strangely enough, the walls were white instead of maroon or black. So, I found the right store.

The second thing I wanted to be sure of was that I got the corset I wanted, and didn’t walk off with anything cheap or daringly overpriced. What I needed was something black, and plain – no frills or patterns, no bows or Chinese fabric. And I wanted the real deal, too, with steel boning and actual support, not just cheap plastic knockoffs that don’t do anything. The sales girl, who was one of those viciously thin women that pretty much look elegant all the time, asked me for my price range and I said somewhere in the realm of $200, and we were off.

I probably tried on about a dozen corsets, all in varying sizes and styles, trying to get the right fit and neckline for my body type. It’s possible to go in and have your body sized to get a custom made one, but I thought that would just be overkill – if there was a corset that fit me without all of that hassle, then great!

I ended up starting to try on some of the higher end corsets. I was laced into one that didn’t fit correctly, but that would give me the general idea of the difference between the three hundred and the two hundred corsets. I walked in front of the mirror and almost fell over. I was an hourglass. I was a particularly fetching liqueur bottle. I was a freaking saloon girl. I, like every other girl who has tried on a good corset, immediately felt like this:

Suffice it to say it was pretty sweet.

I grimaced at the price tag, but looked at my figure again. “It’ll be worth every penny,” my friend counselled. “You’ll never throw it away.” Ah, too true. I’ll probably still have it when I’m old and leathery and dribbling into my oatmeal. So of course, with a sigh, I bought it, but I haven’t regretted it.

So now I am armed with my brand new corset, and I am pleased. I rushed to show my parents, pulling it out with a smug look. My dad laughed and my mother shook her head and claimed she didn’t understand why I’d pay so much money for it, but I didn’t take her seriously because I get my spending habits from her, anyway. Besides, when I tried it on later last night, she had a demonic amount of fun lacing me up, even putting her knee to the small of my back and nearly breaking my ribs. Apparently she didn’t believe herself when she warned me that corsets were dangerous.

So anyway, if you’re in or around Edmonton, or wouldn’t mind the shipping, visit, or go straight to the source and hit up 108 ave and 124 Str. They’re stocked up to their eyeballs, and they know what they’re talking about. They also sell crotchless panties, but that’s another thing entirely. And no, I’m not being paid to tell you this. But I should be. Or at least get a free pair of fishnets for my troubles.


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