Do you secretly yearn to lead the life of Scarlett O’Hara? Or Anaïs Nin? Looking for a way to heat up a long winter’s night? Have you ever considered that the solution could come in the form of an undergarment that your great-grandmother probably wore?
It’s true. The corset, a perennial favorite among those with Gothic or Harlequin inclinations, is creeping out of the underground and into the mainstream, for better or worse. What’s more, unlike its Victorian predecessor, the 21st-century corset appeals to a diverse group of purchasers: as a sex toy for some, a trend-of-the-moment for others, and for a few, a way of life. The sort of corset to look for depends on what you want to get out of the experience of wearing it.
For the corseting novice, Victoria’s Secret is a good place to start. Carrying a variety of styles, from seamless ($48) and velvet ($98) to animal print ($68), the reigning princess of panties should get you well on your way, and its dozens of local locations, not to mention its expansive Web site, make it a convenient choice as well.
For trendy chicks on a tighter budget (and who isn’t these days?), H&M features a corset for $21. While too flimsy to be taken seriously, this naughty number could help give you a new reason to smile at the office.
If having an array of choices is your priority, Hubba Hubba in Cambridge boasts the "area’s largest selection of corsets" ($160–$480), along with lots of other goodies from the S&M world.
Finally, for those who are tired of off-the-rack corsets, there’s Deliciouscorsets.com. While pricey ($250–$375 and up, depending on style and fabric), each and every corset is custom-made by Mr. Delicious and his partner. Simply type in your measurements, fabric and accessory specifications (garters, etc.), and method of payment, and in four to six weeks the corset of your dreams should arrive on your doorstep. Delicious Corsets caters to plus sizes, those looking specifically for waist training or erotic benefits, men who want to look like women, men who want to look like men, and, of course, the average woman. For the truly ambitious, Delicious Corsets even has a page where you can purchase corset parts and build one yourself.
So suck in and explore the possibilities. Your great-grandmother definitely never had it so good.
Where to find it:
• Delicious Corsets, www.deliciouscorsets.com.
• H&M, 350 Washington Street, Boston, (617) 482-7081.
• Hubba Hubba, 534 Mass Ave, Cambridge, (617) 492-9082.
• Victoria’s Secret, various locations, www.victoriassecret.com.