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I was recently asked where in DC someone could learn the basics of burlesque. I realized that would be good info to collect in one place. That’s part of what this blog is about! So, if you teach burlesque (or any variety art!) and are near the DC/Baltimore Metro area either message me or post a...

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Resource: About Corsets…

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in resources | Posted on 12-10-2012


As a sideshow performer, I’m often asked a lot of questions.  “How did you get started?”, “Does it hurt?”, “where did the balloon go?”. All good questions, with equally good answers. But hardly a show goes by without someone asking  me about my corset and where to get good ones. So I decided to write this article.  * This is being reposted from my website, MabJustMab.com

I tend to wear corsets that are suitable for “tight lacing”. They are sturdier, have better shape, give great reduction, better boning, etc. I personally prefer the “underbust” or “waist cincher” styles.  Other folks perfer the “overbust” cups, but they ~never~ fit right without serious customization, and even then, there are good days and bad days. I like the Victorian style a little better. Renascence styles do not feature the curves as much.  The 1950’s styles are rather industrial looking, and I have to admit, they look kind of cool too.  All of the corsets I wear use front busk closures and lace in the back (lace to the middle!).

A lot of times you will see cheap “corsets” that offer no reduction at lingerie/goth shops. They tend to buckle and crease and do nothing to accent the dead sexy shape of a woman. There is a time and a place for those types of garments, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

My old corset (that survived 4+ years of rough wear) came from Brute Force Leather/ Fallen Angel Fashions.   His corsets use solid steel boning, (which I like), and have a good shape. The customer service is touch and go/crap-shoot. His corsets are at the high end of pricing, so I decided to shop around till I found better for less, which I did.

I also have a black and white pinstripe that came from Isabelle’s: http://www.corsetmaker.com. She uses spiral steel boning which is more flexible than solid steel boning. The cut and her pattern for the underbust is excellent, and gives a good reduction. It was an off the rack job, on sale, and around $99. It looks great, fits great, and feels great.  Great deal!

You can’t discuss corsets shops without mentioning Timeless Trends. They are the McDonalds of corsets. They have a standard formula pattern, not much variation between the cut of their corsets. Since they cut/build in bulk, most of their corsets are $99. I have seen them on some people and they look stunning. I tried one on and it didn’t look/feel right at all. It has a center peak to separate the boobs (not a flattering look on me) and a high back. The waist of the corset didn’t offer much reduction either. So try on a timeless trend before you buy if you can, but if they work for you, they are a good deal.

My latest and most stunning current corset is from Clockwork Couture. It took almost 8 weeks to get to me, it’s not custom fitted, and has flexible boning (even the busk!). All of these features usually lead to unhappy Mab. But lo! I tried it on, and the cut of the corset is beyond stunning. It offered the greatest waist reduction of all my corsets. I suspect if I ordered a smaller size, I would have been able to get a few more inches out of it.  The corset was in the high end of mid-level price range. I was lucky enough to catch it on sale. They run between $200-$250.

Someday I hope to get one of the ~really~ nice ones, specifically a Delicious custom job. (Actually, anything from their shop would delight me to no end.)

If you are getting a corset, a ~real~ corset, expect to spend up to $300 for a basic, well made piece. (Unless you choose to go w/ timeless trends). If you can find a well made/custom for less, ask a lot of questions. Boning used, lined? lacing? busk? etc. There are a lot of people out there that will sell very bad corsets for a lot more than they are worth (but a lot less than you would expect to pay for a nice one).

My current favorite corsetry resource is this corsetry discussion group on Livejournal, which is full of great suggestions, corset sales, and “stay away from this guy!” tips. You can scroll through and read past topics.

Hope this answers some of your questions, but certainly feel free to ask any others. Apparently, I love corsets.

Do you teach classes in the Variety Arts?

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in classes, featured, resources | Posted on 12-06-2011


I was recently asked where in DC someone could learn the basics of burlesque. I realized that would be good info to collect in one place. That’s part of what this blog is about!

So, if you teach burlesque (or any variety art!) and are near the DC/Baltimore Metro area either message me or post a comment here! (comments get your info seen!)

a new mailing list for DC Variety Artists

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in links, resources | Posted on 25-07-2008


Hi folks!

In my never ending quest to have my performer friends meet each other, I have created a new mailing list for local Variety entertainers.

to help maintain the backstage feel, it’s a members only list. if you are a local variety entertainer, professional or semi-professional, please swing by and knock on the door. tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do, your interests etc!

it’s a place to share resources, upcoming gigs, looking for artists, passing on gigs, reviews of venues (good and bad), and more!

Come on out to the DCVariety Backstage!

where to look for things to do – My super secret sources!

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in links, resources, reviews, Venues | Posted on 16-07-2008


This week I’ve been slack with the posting of events. I do apologize. But, to make it up to you, allow me to reveal some of my sources!

Washington post has the going out guru, they sometimes gets lucky and find something worth while. same with the City Paper. I would be happier if they posted more events along the lines of Variety entertainment, but that’s just me.

dcist tends to hit the mark more often. they have great coverage of the fringe festival, and jazz, theater, hip-hop, spoken word, dance, and much much more. I have no idea how they find out 1/2 the stuff they do. and furthermore, I have no idea how they find out about stuff and city paper and washington post miss it. What’s your secret DCist?

upcoming.org is wildly popular in other parts of the country, but no so much here. DCist has access to this site, and I think they might be using it to find out about events. sometimes I see one of my shows that I posted on upcoming.org make it to DCist. then again, they could have heard about them in one of the hundred other places I post as well.

livejournal washington dc community
is where usually start my event postings. it’s a great resource not only for events, but for local advice; where to find the best haircut, bad neighborhoods to live in, favorite all night diner, etc. at the moment, that’s the first place I turn to get opinions on local matters, and the first place I post about my shows.

palace of wonders website – you know nothing at the Palace is going to suck. you want to find something interesting to do next week? check out what’s playing at the palace. and then go.

yelp is a new one to me. it seems a bit like Upcoming.org, but with more reviews. I haven’t gotten crazy into it yet, but I can see where this might be a nice resource.

tribe.net is lousy with bellydancers. 🙂 ooooohhhh yeaaaaaah. baby. it’s a networking website for anyone, but it seems to attract bellydancers and burners. this is my main source for fire and belly events. anyone can set up a discussion group (called a “tribe”) on any topic. I have set up two – dctribal and dc 10-in-1 (one for tribal bellydance and one for variety artists). they have national, international, and local groups. and it’s fun to get lost in the clickie click of information.

myspace – if you have a favorite local artist, band, show, your best bet would be to “friend” them on myspace. if you are a performer, and you don’t have a myspace page, you should get one now. I know, I know. the interface can be extremely annoying. but the thing is, this is where the people go. and with 1/2 hour’s work, you can get over 1000 eyes on your words.

and if they don’t come to you, go to them. check out your favorite venues and artists event listings. take a gamble. find the hidden gem. if a venue has a tendency to consistently host shows you like, take a chance and go on a night that you don’t know the artists. you might find something that blows open a whole new world.

now that I have sent you all over the net, would you like to know my super secret secret? using rss and atom post feed technology, I have all these sources going to one place. I don’t have to spend all day surfing the web, I only check one page throughout the day.

if you have any other suggestions for places to look for events, I am always looking for new places to promote! drop me a line.

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