Frequently Asked Questions

Is wearing a corset comfortable? They look so tight, will I be able to breathe?
Well made corsets are snug, but not uncomfortable. Dark Garden makes a pattern for your body which fits comfortably at the ribs and hips, compressing only your waist. This allows for easy breathing.
Just how small can I make my waist?
We recommend a waist reduction of 3-5 inches, depending on your natural waist size and how far your lower ribs are from your hip bones.
I'm not a skinny model type, do you have a corset for me?
Because our corsets are made to measure, we can produce one that will fit and flatter you beautifully. We can, and do, make corsets for women and men of all body types, shapes, and sizes.
How does payment work?
For Garments we are making specifically for you, we require a 50% down payment when you place your order and 50% upon completion. We accept cash, money orders, Mastercard, VISA, and American Express.
Why should I buy a corset from you as opposed to someone else? How do I know the item will fit correctly?
At Dark Garden, we use 14+ measurements to draft a pattern to fit your body perfectly. Many off-the-rack corsets are based on a nonexistent average, attempting to compress the ribs, hips, and the waist equally. This can make for an uncomfortable fit and less attractive waist curve. In addition, Dark Garden corsets are fully lined and interlined, which guarantees a long life for your corset. Store bought corsets often loose their shape after repeated use. Since 1989, Dark Garden has corseted thousands of satisfied customers. We stand behind our work. If for some reason you are not perfectly thrilled with your purchase, we do everything in our power to remedy the situation.
I am male, what style do you suggest?
For masculine wear, the Waist Cincher accentuates the shoulder to waist "V." Another favorite is the Amazon, which is cut higher at the center front for men than for women. The Beau Brummell is a full vest corset which is equally fashionable under a suit or along with a pair of jeans.
What should I wear with my corset?
There are countless ways you can wear a corset - it is simply a matter of personal taste. Some of our clients wear them as part of an elegant evening ensemble with long slim skirts. Others wear them with full pleated skirts. Some wear them under fitted jackets while others like to put on tight jeans and high heels. The only suggestion that we have is that you wear your corset with confidence and the knowledge that you are stunning.
What is the difference between the Waist Cincher and the Underbust Victorian?
Both corsets fit from just under the bust to just past the hip bone. The Underbust Victorian has more pattern pieces, allowing for a more comfortable and evenly distributed waist reduction.
Can I use my corset as a weight loss aid?
It's very important to continue eating small, regular meals while wearing your corset. A corset will compress your stomach during wear, but when you take it off your stomach will return to it's normal size. Suppressing your appetite with a corset is an inadvisable way to approach weight loss, as proper nutrition is necessary for good health and well being. We recommend consulting your doctor for a proper weight loss program.
Is the corset dress restrictive?
Yes. You cannot sit down. Also, wearing a corset dress will restrict the length of your stride. That being said, the look is so stunning that many people find the restrictions worth the it. As you might guess, the ankle-length corset dress is more restrictive than its knee-length counterpart.
Can I send you my fabric?
Corsets put more stress on fabric than other articles of clothing, so not all fabrics work well with corsets. We carry a wide variety of suitable fabrics. That being said, we understand and appreciate that you may have a particular fabric that you would like us to work with. If that was the case, we would have you send us a swatch so that we could make the proper determination.
Why do corsets cost so much?
Our corsets are stitched by highly trained seamstresses that live in San Francisco. We hire the best seamstresses available, train them on the methods of corset stitching, and retain them by paying a comfortable wage.

Our process of corset creation is very involved, and each corset passes through many hands. We begin with proper measurements, draft individual patterns, test those measurements and patterns with a mock-up made of cotton poplin which is boned with spring steel and fully laced, much like the finished corset. From there, the mock-up is fitted by the client and any necessary changes are made to attain the optimal fit. Only then is the final corset begun. The three layers of fabric are cut (fashion fabric, interlining, and lining), then stitched, boned, grommeted, and laced.

In addition to the labor intensiveness of this process, we use the highest quality materials for each part of the process. The result is the best fitting, most durable, and most beautiful corset money can buy.
Do corsets stretch?
Because our corsets are fully lined, they do not stretch. Rather, they "break in," moulding to your body like a fine pair of shoes.
What happens when I lose weight after investing in a high quality corset?
A corset will fit your body within 1 to 15 pounds of either weight gain or loss, depending on your current composition. This is one of the advantages to the corset lacing up the back. We recommend that your corset has approximately a 2 inch gap down the the back when you receive it to allow for future weight loss. This also allows for a 2 inch weight gain, giving you a 4 inch gap in the laces. A four inch gap is the most we recommend.
Can you alter my corset to fit since I've lost 30lbs?
Yes, assuming that your weight loss is more or less evenly distributed because we alter the corset by removing the lacing and replacing it with a new lacing panel. This makes the corset smaller by an even 3 inches around at the top, middle,and bottom of the corset.
Waist training... how much smaller can I make my waist and how fast will it happen?
In our waist training experience, each individual body responds differently to waist training. As such, there is no "usual" amount or speed with which it happens. The best results are achieved by moderate and frequent corset use. Much better results are achieved by wearing your corset for a few ours a day, every day, rather than wearing the corset for a full day once a week. The body also responds better if the corset is worn comfortably snug, as the body will settle into a gradual change as opposed to an extreme or painful experience. We do not recommend wearing a corset that pinches or causes a shortness of breath. A well made corset will support your ribs and hips, and will very gradually reduce the actual size of your natural waist.

Please keep in mind that a corset training involves frequent corset use. Immediately after removing a corset, you will notice that your waist will be smaller. This reduction is temporary. A sustained reduction will not last without maintenance, much like dieting.
Unless specifically noted, all photos courtesy of and copyrighted by Joel Aron Photography.