Corset Style Dress

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                    D ark Garden
   Corsetry and Romantic Apparel
    L e J ardin B ridal C outure
  Guide to Corset Styles and P rices for Women and M en
                 • Ready-to-Wear •
                 • M ade-to-Order •
                                             All Work—from
                     • Custom •               Design Concept
                                                        through to
                                                  Garment Completion—
                                                      Is Done at the
                                                    Hayes Valley Shop
                                                     in San Francisco

                     Open Seven Days a Week
                     Wednesdays – Saturdays 11am to 6pm
                     Sundays – Tuesdays 11am to 5pm
                     Please Call for Custom Fittings
                     and Wedding Design Consultations

                     321 Linden Street (Hayes Valley)
                     San Francisco, California 94102
Updated June 2009
                     • •
                            • •
     • Beauty and Beautifully M ade Since 1989 •
Dark Garden was established in 1989 by Autumn Adamme. She fulfills her
customers dreams of owning beautiful, custom-designed, hand-crafted corsets
made from the finest materials. Autumn’s vision and leadership have brought
her company to the forefront of the world’s corset market.
In 1994, the store, workshop and Le Jardin Bridal Loft moved to its present
location in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. Using the finest
fabrics, we custom-create bridal ensembles, corsets and special occasion dresses.
To learn more, visit us online. Or when in San Francisco, please stop by the store to
enjoy the many ready-to-wear items we sell: Corsets, dresses, skirts, blouses, hats,
jackets, gloves, jewelry, parasols, stockings. . . everything for everyday romantics.
We’ll even let you peek in the workshop where a dozen amazingly talented crafts
people—many native San Franciscans—skillfully build each corset.

   Three Levels of Purchase
  Ready-to-Wear Corsets come in 5 styles            We base the size and shape of our
  and a variety of fabrics, details and sizes       Ready-to-Wear and Made-to-Order
  for women and men for immediate                   patterns on an average of thousands
  purchase. They have a more comfortable            of our clients, rather than dress forms,
  and shapely fit than any other available.         which most other off-the-rack corset
                                                    makers do. This means our corsets are
  Made-to-Order Corsets are available               made for real flesh and blood people just
  in the same 5 styles as the Ready-to-             like you.
  Wear styles; but you can pick the fabric,
  trim and fittings to create a unique look         Our construction techniques are unique
  that fits your lifestyle and dress.               to Dark Garden, so our corsets are of
                                                    very high quality. Brocade patterns
  Custom Corsets are beautifully created            match at center front, the stitching is
  for both men and women. Each pattern              clean and we take great care with the
  is drafted for the individual. We can take        grain line when cutting.
  orders in person at our shop or by mail
  order. We have 18 examples listed in the          The result is the best made, most
  pages of this guide. However, Dark Garden         comfortable corset money can buy!
  excels at custom work so if you don’t see
  exactly what you want—call us!                                  ••
Updated June 2009
                          • •
                                    • •
 • Ready-to-Wear & M ade-to-Order Corset Styles •
Generally, we recommend wearing corsets that are four inches (4”) smaller than the natural waist for
women and five inches (5”) smaller for men. If possible, please see a professional Dark Garden fitter to
determine your size. Dark Garden corsets reduce the waist, while fitting comfortably and smoothly over
the ribs and hips. All styles (except the Corselette) close in the front with a typical busk closure and
lace up the back with double-sided satin ribbon through sturdy two-piece grommets. All Dark Garden
corsets are boned with spring steel. (Prices below do not include extras, such as back panels or garters.)
           A completely modern corset with a smooth             Poplin: $375
           front and square neckline, it features gussets       Silk Brocade or Silk Duchesse: $450
           for visual contrast and adjustable shoulder          Silk Duchesse w/Lace Overlay: $475
           straps for additional uplift. It reduces             Leather: $575 | Metallic or Patent Leather $625
           the waist and fits smoothly over the hips.           *2-Week Turn Rush Fee (No Alterations) $150 Extra
           Sizes: Available in even sizes 20” – 30”
           The Corselette gently reduces the waist and          Poplin: $200 | Stripes or Plaids: $300
           looks fantastic over a simple dress. This corset     Silk Brocade or Silk Duchesse: $250
           does not have a busk and laces in the back.          Silk Duchesse w/Lace Overlay: $275
           Optional lace overlay adds a hint of color.          Leather: $325 | Metallic or Patent Leather: $375
           Sizes: Available in even sizes 18” – 34”             * If made w/ front busk, RTW WC pricing applies.
           Classic Victorian
           Inspired by mid-century Victorian corsets,           Poplin: $325 | Stripes or Plaids: $425
           this waist reducing corset has a smooth,             Silk Brocade or Silk Duchesse: $375
           uplifting front, offering breast support with        Silk Duchesse w/Lace Overlay: $400
           a gently curved neckline and slightly lower          Duchesse w/Lace Overlay (no boning casings): $500
           back than the Sweetheart.                            Leather: $500 | Metallic or Patent Leather: $550
           Sizes: Available in even sizes 20” – 30”             *2-Week Turn Rush Fee (No Alterations) $125 Extra
           Sweetheart Victorian
           Offering excellent bust support, reducing            Poplin: $325 | Stripes or Plaids: $425
           the waist and flattering the hips, it is a perfect   Silk Brocade or Silk Duchesse: $375
           foundation for wedding gowns and other               Silk Duchesse w/Lace Overlay: $400
           strapless dresses. It is superior to strapless       Duchesse w/Lace Overlay (no boning casings): $500
           bras or bustiers as it is boned with spring          Leather: $500 | Metallic or Patent Leather: $550
           steel. Sizes: Available in even sizes 18” – 38”      *2-Week Turn Rush Fee (No Alterations) $125 Extra
           Waist Cincher
           This corset fits from under the bust to over         Poplin: $250 | Stripes or Plaids: $350
           the hipbone. Even sizes are cut for women            Silk Brocade or Silk Duchesse: $300
           and odd sizes are cut for men—but just like          Silk Duchesse w/Lace Overlay: $325
           jeans, some women prefer a “men’s” fit.              Duchesse w/Lace Overlay (no boning casings): $375
           Sizes: Available in even sizes 18” – 38” and         Leather: $375 | Metallic or Patent Leather: $425
           in odd sizes 23” – 37”.                              *2-Week Turn Rush Fee (No Alterations) $100 Extra
  Updated June 2009
                                  • •
                                 • •
                           • Custom Corset Styles •
Since 1989, Autumn Adamme and the Dark Garden workshop have built thousands of Custom
Corsets for women and men. From Couture Bridal Wear for brides and grooms and prom gowns
that beg to be worn again and again, to New Year’s Eve dresses and Steampunk-tastic creations, as
well as building the corset of your dreams, Dark Garden can design and create your entire ensemble.

Ask us about custom ensembles and Le Jardin Bridal Consultations.

Custom Corset Styles
          Sweetheart Victorian                                 Underbust Victorian
          A more curvaceous version of the                     Based on corsets worn in 1890, this
          Classic Victorian described below, we                corset extends from just under the bust
          refer to this as the “wonder corset.”                to down over the hips and is very good
          The custom version has more pattern                  for waist shaping. This is the best style
          pieces than the made-to-order version                for advancing waist trainers. Also a
          for the finest of fits.                              popular man’s style.

            Sweetheart Longline                                Underbust Edwardian
            A combination of two very popular                  Inspired by the S-Curve worn by
            styles: The Sweetheart Victorian for its           the turn-of-the-century Gibson
            neckline and the elegant hip shaping               Girls, this corset offers excellent
            of the Underbust Edwardian style—                  waist reduction and elegant hip
            curvaceous from over the bust to over              shaping.
            the hip.

            Classic Victorian                                  Sweetheart Victorian with Straps
            Over the bust with a modest smooth                 A more curvaceous version of the
            front, the mainstay for every Victorian            Classic Victorian, we refer to this as the
            lady. The custom version has more                  “wonder corset.” Shoulder straps offer
            pattern pieces than the made-to-order              more coverage and additional support.
            version for the finest of fits.

            Arch Rival                                         Sweet Rival
            Named for the “Arches” that the fabric             An over the bust version of the Arch
            permanent garters create, this corset has          Rival, this corset supports the breasts,
            the same body shaping as the Pointed               creates an elegant waist shape and
            Victorian described on page 5.                     brings the eye to the hips and tops of the
                                                               stockings with the permanent garters.

 Updated June 2009
                              • •
                                • •
                          • Custom Corset Styles •
          Aziza                                               Alyscia
          A shapely corset with straps that rest              This scoop-neck corset is designed to
          daringly on the edge of the shoulders, this         flatter smaller bustlines. The diagonal
          corset creates an elegant décolletage and           seam lines enhance the corseted waist
          is exquisite for evening and wedding                and highlight the shoulders. The points
          ensembles. The angled seams offer                   next to the bustline are repeated in the
          excellent bust support for fuller bust lines.       back, covering the back of the underarms.

          Empress                                             Amazon
          A clever combination of the Baroque                 This flat-fronted corset enhances cleavage
          and the Classic Victorian, this cleavage-           and shapes the waist. The wide front panel
          enhancing flat-fronted corset has                   includes a top stitched boning pattern
          shoulders straps that adjust with                   similar to the Baroque, and decorative side-
          ribbon ties at the front of each shoulder.          front-lacing exaggerates the shapeliness of
                                                              the waist. Also a popular man’s style.

          Baroque                                             Pointed Victorian
          This corset is based on a pattern from              An elegant pointed version of the Classic
          1780 and laces in the back. It is perfect           Victorian corset, this style was favored
          for your most “Dangerous Liaison,”                  by Victorian ladies for horseback riding
          and beautiful in brocade.                           and other athletic endeavors.

          Pointed Victorian with Straps                       Princess Victorian
          Reminiscent of a gentlemen’s vest,                  An updated version of the Classic
          with the option of a high-laced back                Victorian, this shapely corset has a
          or criss-cross straps in back, this corset          scooped neckline and the option of
          encourages excellent posture. The                   delicate “spaghetti” straps.
          wide set shoulder straps create an
          eye-catching frame for the chest.

          Waist Cincher                                       Cross Back Halter
          Our best seller, due to its versatility and         The ultimate in cleavage, this above-the-
          comfort, the waist cincher fits from just           waist corset top laces at the front, both
          under the bust to over the hipbone. Also            sides and the back. Shoulder straps criss-
          a popular man’s style.                              cross in the back and buckle in front.

Updated June 2009
                              • •
                              • •
                        • Custom Corset P rices •
  Corset Style                              Fabric               Leather           Patent Leather
  Alyscia                                    $975                 $1,075                $1,125
  Amazon (Triple lacing included)           $1,045                $1,145                $1,195
  Arch Rival                                 $945                  $995                 $1,055
  Aziza                                      $995                 $1,095                $1,145
  Baroque                                   $1,075                $1,175                $1,225
  Classic Victorian                          $945                  $995                 $1,095
  Crossback Halter                           $785                  $855                  $895
  Empress                                    $995                 $1,095                $1,145
  Pointed Victorian                          $895                  $950                  $995
  Pointed Victorian w/ Straps                $985                 $1,075                $1,125
  Pointed Victorian w/ Straps High Back $995                      $1,085                $1,135
  Princess Victorian                         $985                 $1,050                $1,095
  Sweetheart Longline                        $945                  $995                 $1,095
  Sweetheart Victorian                       $945                  $995                 $1,095
  Sweetheart Victorian w/ Straps             $995                 $1,075                $1,125
  Sweet Rival                                $995                 $1,050                $1,095
  Underbust Edwardian                        $895                  $950                  $995
  Underbust Victorian                        $895                  $950                  $995
  Waist Cincher                              $725                  $795                  $845
  Custom corset prices include the matching back panel. Certain fabrics may carry an additional
  charge, though poplins are less expensive. Please contact us for further information.
  Collars & Cuffs                           Fabric               Leather           Patent Leather
  Collar                                      $40                   $45                   $50
  Cuffs                                       $45                   $50                   $55
  Collar & Cuffs                              $80                   $90                  $100
  Corsets Dresses                           Fabric               Leather           Patent Leather
  Amazon Ankle Length                       $2,090                $2,290                $2,390
  Amazon Knee Length                        $1,880                $2,080                $2,180
  Amazon Mini Length                        $1,670                $1,870                $1,970
  Sweetheart Ankle Length                   $1,890                $2,090                $2,190
  Sweetheart Knee Length                    $1,700                $1,900                $2,000
  Sweetheart Mini Length                    $1,510                $1,710                $1,810
  Underbust Ankle Length                    $1,790                $1,990                $2,090
  Underbust Knee Length                     $1,610                $1,810                $1,910
  Underbust Mini Length                     $1,430                $1,630                $1,730
  Prices may vary according to height, measurements and custom additions desired. Corset dress
  prices are based on an average height of 5’6”. Zipper fronts only available on dress style corsets.
  Corset Extras                   Cost                 Corset Extras                      Cost
  Back Panel Fabric $25 | Leather $30 | Patent $35     Locking Lacing Guard               $150
  Buckles                         $25                  Piping                           $30–$70
  Busk Cover                      $35                  Pockets                       $20 per pair
  Corset Bag                      $25                  Removable Garters             $10 per pair
  D-rings                     $20 per pair             Silks & Chinese Silk Brocade        $50
  Extra Boning Fee                $50                  Special Order Fabric Fee            $25
  Fabric Covered Garters      $25 per pair             Triple Lacing                       $70
  Lace Overlay or Trim            $50             6                   All Prices Subject to Change
Updated June 2009
                            • •
                                      • •
                         • F requently A sked Questions •
                                                                  How does payment work?
                                                                  50% down when you order and 50% upon completion.
                                                                  We accept cash, money orders, Mastercard, VISA and
               All Work—from                                      American Express.
                 Design Concept                                   What should I wear with my corset?
                   through to                                     There are countless ways you can wear a corset—it is
                                                                  simply a matter of personal taste. Some of our clients
             Garment Completion—                                  wear them as part of an elegant evening ensemble with
                 Is Done at the                                   a complimentary long slim skirt, or full pleated skirt.
               Hayes Valley Shop                                  Others wear them under fitted jackets for a slightly less
                                                                  formal evening look. For a racier look, try tight jeans
                in San Francisco                                  and high heels. The possibilities are endless.
                                                                  What is the difference between the Waist Cincher and
                                                                  the Underbust Victorian?
Is wearing a corset uncomfortable? They look so tight,            Both corsets fit from just under the bust to just past
will I be able to breathe?                                        the hip bone. The Underbust Victorian has more pattern
Well made corsets are snug, but not uncomfortable.                pieces than the Waist Cincher, allowing for more
Dark Garden makes a pattern for your body, which fits             comfortable and evenly distributed waist reduction.
comfortably at the ribs and hips and compresses only
                                                                  Can I use my corset as a weight loss aid?
your waist, allowing for easy breathing.
                                                                  A corset will compress your stomach during wearing, but
Just how small can I make my waist?                               when you take it off your tummy returns to it’s normal
We recommend a waist reduction of 3 to 5 inches,                  size. It’s very important to continue to eat small regular
depending on your natural waist size and how far your             meals. Proper nutrition is necessary to your health and
lower ribs are from your hipbones.                                well being. Suppressing your appetite with a corset is a
                                                                  bad way to reduce your weight. Consult your doctor for a
I’m not a skinny model type, do you have a corset
                                                                  proper weight loss program.
for me?
Because our corsets are made to measure, we can                   I am male, what style do you suggest?
produce one that will fit and flatter you beautifully.            For masculine wear, the Waist Cincher accentuates the
We can and do make corsets for women and men of                   shoulder to waistline “V.” Another favorite is the Amazon,
all body types, shapes and sizes.                                 cut higher at the center front than we do for women.
Why should I purchase a corset from you instead of                Is the Corset Dress restrictive?
from another store? How do I know this costly item will           Yes. You cannot sit down. Also, to walk, you must take very
fit correctly?                                                    small steps. However, the look is so stunning and unusual,
At Dark Garden we use 14+ measurements to draft a                 the restriction is worth it. And yes, the ankle-length Corset
pattern to fit your body perfectly. Off-the-rack corsets          Dress is more restrictive than the knee length version.
are made on a nonexistent average and usually attempt
                                                                  Do corsets stretch?
to compress ribs and hips as much as the waist, which
                                                                  Because our corsets are fully lined they do not stretch.
makes for an uncomfortable fit and less attractive waist
                                                                  Rather, they “break in” molding to your body like a fine
curve. In addition, Dark Garden corsets are fully lined and
                                                                  pair of shoes.
interlined, which guarantees a long life for your corset.
Store bought corsets often tear after repeated use. Since         Can I send you my fabric?
1989, Dark Garden has corseted thousands of satisfied             Not all fabrics work well as corsets; for example, velvet.
customers. We stand behind our work. If for some reason           We carry a wide variety of fabrics. However, you may send
you are not perfectly thrilled with your purchase, we do          us a swatch and we will determine if the fabric is suitable.
everything in our power to remedy the situation.                  We offer a $5 discount when you supply your own fabric.
 Updated June 2009
                                    • •
                                      • •
                        • F requently A sked Questions •
So, I buy a corset, a considerable investment, and I lose      and then take it off and miraculously have a tiny waist.
weight. What happens then?                                     Corset training means frequent corset wearing. The way
A corset will fit your body within 1 to 15 pounds either       your body responds to the snugness at the waist changes
gain or loss, depending on your current composition. This      gradually and you eventually are able to lace the corset
is one of the advantages to the corset lacing up the back.     more closed. When you take the corset off you see a slight
We recommend that your corset have approximately               reduction in your waist size, but this progress will not last
2 inches gap down the back when you receive it. That           without maintenance, just like a diet program. You can’t
means you can reduce up to 2” and still have a snug            expect to keep weight off without continuing to exercise
corset. You can also gain up to 2”, but we don’t like to see   and eat sensibly and likewise your waist will not stay
more than a 4 inch gap in the back of any corset.              smaller without the corset to encourage it to be so.

Can you alter my corset to fit me since I’ve lost 30 lbs?      Why do your corsets cost so much?
Yes, assuming that your weight loss is more or less            Our corsets are stitched by highly trained seamstresses
evenly distributed because we alter the corset by              that live in San Francisco, one of the most expensive
removing the lacing the replacing it with a new lacing         cities in the United States. We believe that all people
panel. This makes the corset smaller by 3” from top to         deserve to be paid a living wage and to that end, have to
bottom. This alteration costs $75.                             pay for their labor by charging for it in the corset price.

Tell me about waist training. How much smaller can I           The process that goes into a custom corset is very involved
make my waist and how fast will it happen?                     and has several steps. We start with measurements, draft
In our waist training experience it seems that each            an individual pattern, test the pattern by stitching a
individual body responds differently. There is no “usual”      mock-up made of cotton poplin which is boned with
amount or speed with which it happens. The best results        spring steel and laces up the back, just like the finished
are achieved by moderate and frequent corset wearing.          corset. The mock-up is tried on our clients in our shop,
Much better results are achieved by wearing your corset        or is mailed to our mail-order clients. After the mock-up
every day for a few hours than all day one day a week.         has been tried on and seen by our designer in person or
Also, it’s best if the corset is only comfortably snug. The    in photos, they correct the pattern, making any changes
body will respond much better to a gradual comfortable         necessary to achieve a perfect fit. Only then is the corset
compression than it will to an extreme and painful             cut out of three layers; the fashion fabric, the interlining
experience. Please don’t wear a corset that pinches or         and lining. It is then stitched, boned, grommeted and
causes you to be short of breath. A well made corset will      laced up.
support your ribs and hips comfortably and will very
gradually reduce the actual size of your natural waist.        In addition to the time and labor intensiveness of this
                                                               process, we use high quality materials for each part
What won’t happen: You buy a corset that’s 6 inches            of the process. What results is the best fitting, most
smaller than your natural waist, you wear it for a week        durable and beautiful corset money can buy.

        • Everything for the Everyday Romantic •
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Updated June 2009
                                   • •

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