Aside World Magazine
Fall 2020 Issue
Review of Prior Attire Waistcoat Riding Corset
I know many have coveted the beautiful and functional waistcoat corsets produced by the incredibly talented Izabela Pitcher , and several have asked me my opinion of such a garment. For the last decade, I have taught sewing classes specializing in corset production with sidesaddle riders all over the east coast, so I am familiar with the construction.
Amidst the quarantine of the pandemic, I noticed a post listing some ready-made versions of the waistcoat corset and followed the link to find a few styles and sizes available…including one that seemed reasonably close to my measurements…I resisted the urge for a whole 24hours. I was pleased to find the item still available the next day and immediately purchased it! Thanks to COVID restrictions, it would take a bit for the item to arrive, but it was well worth the wait.
The corset is beautifully constructed and made with many thoughtful elements. I chose a corset that was stabilized at the waist and had an elastic top and bottom to allow for additional movement. This is a more restrictive style, but I currently wear a corset frequently, so the restriction is what I am comfortable with. The traditional canary tattersall waistcoat featured a hidden zipper under the button placket, elastic in the shoulders, as well as top and bottom of the side panel. Her sizing was spot on; I suspected I would have a shoulder height issue, but thought the elastic in the shoulder might provide enough give. Sadly, I would find I needed more room and emailed Izabela regarding more elastic. She offered to have me send back the item for her to repair, a very generous offer that reflected on how much she stands behind her work! I opted to have the elastic sent so I could make the adjustment myself.
Pros and cons
· Very comfortable design allowing for freedom of movement in the shoulders and hips.
· Beautiful construction and durable design.
· Outstanding large bust support!
· Looks beyond fabulous
· As an outer garment corset, it is more easily worn at shows or hunts as it isn’t under every layer of your clothing!! Driving in a corset is not fun.
· Excellent customer service
· Bones are ‘flossed’ (preventing them from pushing on the stitching at the ends adding life to the bones and corset)
Cons (to be fair, most of these are personal preferences)
· The pull of the front takes the vest point and rope ‘V’ out of alignment. ( I fixed this by adding a hook and eye at each location, reducing the strain on the placket)
· Ordering from across the pond can make returns or adjustments a challenging and time-consuming process.
· I needed to add a longer lacing because zipping the front requires more space than securing a traditional busk front corset.
I would recommend the item to anyone who has been toying with the idea; it is a beautiful and worthwhile investment. I would recommend doing a ‘made to measure’ if you are not already a corset wearer who knows your sizing well.
Thank you Kate!
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