Tips for bridal customers

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A few helpful tips to make ordering your custom gown a more relaxed and enjoyable experience!

Dress fittings- to make sure your dress is the perfect fit on your big day we need to make sure your measurements are accurate, to help this process you need to wear the same underwear or shape wear that you intend to wear on your big day as different underwear can affect for, bra padding can vary in thickness and leave a dress loose or too tight on the breasts if the wrong bra is worn for fittings, different pants can shape your bottom differently and if you plan on wearing a corset your whole torso shape will likely be affected. Wearing the same shoes or at least those with a similar heel height is also helpful for fitting, especially when it comes to doing the hem! Petticoats or crinolines must also be bought along to fittings if they are purchased separately to the dress.

Budget- tell me your budget, this is not so that I can squeeze as much money out of you as I can! This is so I know what I can and can’t suggest. I don’t want to show you some beautiful lace that you fall in love with but then find it blows your budget, once you’ve fallen on love with that pattern on that expensive lace nothing else will be able to top it and you’ll just get disappointed and disheartened! I want everything to be perfect for you!

Enquire early!- Chameleon Couture is currently a one woman business and can only accept a certain number of commissions at a time. Get in touch early before I’m fully booked up! Wedding dresses also require a lot of work so there needs to be enough time before the wedding to ensure its finished in time.

Inspiration- if you know exactly what you want then make a sketch, or find pictures that illustrate the silhouette you want, the neckline, embellishments or other special features so that we both know exactly what the other is thinking of. If you’re less sure about what you want look through pictures, and just look for dresses that have a feature you like, you don’t need to like the whole dress but make sure you write a note that says exactly what it is you like about each picture, this will help me to get an idea of what you like and don’t like so I can help you more.

Useful to know- silhouette, fabric, colours, embellishments, necklines, wedding location, month of the wedding, classic or contemporary, your favourite and least favourite feature (of your body), these things are all important to know for the design of your dress. I also need to know what you need to be able to do in your dress – sit, stand, dance, go horseback riding? I need to know so we can make sure your dress gives you enough freedom to move and do all the things you want and doesn’t inhibit your plans for the big day.

Speak up!- I will make suggestions and offer advice throughout the whole process in case we come across something that won’t work or if I think something will look better another way, if you’re happy with them tell me! If you’re not happy with them, tell me! I’m not a mind reader and I can’t help to make everything perfect if you don’t tell me there’s a problem!

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Don’t forget Chameleon Couture can also design and make your bridal lingerie, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses and even make the groomsmen accessories so they match perfectly with your colour scheme!

Advice for first time corset owners

Corsets are not your average garment, they are special and need to be treated as such. Here I will give some tips on breaking-in your corset, cleaning your corset, lacing your corset on your own and some general tips.

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Breaking in your new corset

All corsets must be broken in. If you put a new corset on and straight away lace it down as much as you can you risk damaging the structure of the corset. You may pop/split the seams, get rips or tears in the fabric, break the bones or busk, pop grommets, snap laces or even cause serious long term damage to your own body.

The process of breaking in a corset is also widely known as ‘seasoning’. To do this you must wear the corsets at a small reduction every day for a period of time and then slowly tighten it little by little over time. I usually use the 2-2-2 method, this means wearing your new corset at a 2” waist reduction for 2 hours a day for 2 weeks, you then can build up the amount of time you wear the corset slowly. If further reduction is required you should carry on with 2 hours per day for 2 weeks increasing the reduction steadily.

Always listen to your body, if you experience any pain while laced into a corset loosen it or take it off immediately. Seasoning helps your body get used to your corset as well as vice-versa.

 

Cleaning

Machine washing a corset is never a good idea, you can experience fabric shrinkage which will affect your corsets fit and may cause wrinkles and bubbles depending on how your corset was made, it can also warp the bones or make the bones rust which will stain your corset. For this last reason any kind of full submersion in water is a bad idea. Spot cleaning your corset with a damp cloth is generally the best and safest way, it can also be dry cleaned although this can be risky as well. My suggestion is always to spot clean your corset with a damp cloth and then air dry it. You can also air your corset to keep it fresh. One more tip would be to wear a thin top under your corset, generally natural fibres are better as they breath and wick away moisture, this will protect your corset from dirt, sweat and body oils reducing the need for cleaning.

Lacing

lacing up on your own can be quite difficult, as it’s hard to see what you’re doing, you need to try to keep the corset straight on your body while you lace, keep the back parallel and concentrate on keeping the pressure at a comfortable level. I find the easiest way to lace my own corset is when it is laced using the ‘bunny ears’ method and for this reason all Chameleon Couture corsets are laced this way when new.

When you are going to put on your corset you first need to make sure the laces in the back are loosened so that there is very little pressure on the busk while you are trying to fasten it. Next make sure your corset is the right way up, this may sound silly but you wouldn’t believe how many pictures I’ve seen online of models in upside down corsets! If your corset has a busk then the easiest way to tell which way up it goes is by looking at the pegs, most busks will have two pegs placed closer together on one end, this end of the corset is the bottom. The reason or this is the pegs being closer provides better support for any tummy pooch.

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