“ Lingere by Voller's The Corset Company „
Do not trust their next day delivery policy. I went all over London to find a Voller three corsets for my wedding dress fitting when I found that their website did next day guaranteed delivery. It did not arrive on Tuesday or the Wednesday despite ordering Monday morning.
I rang on Wednesday and was told by Ian himself he did not know why the delivery guys had not sent it and promised it would be with me on Thursday. Now it's Friday and I am now missing my wedding fitting that I had to take tim off work for because corsets have not arrived.
No one answers the phone on Fridays or over the weekend and you are left afloat with no tracking number or person to call about the delivery. The corsets are historically good and I am sure these will be when I see them. The delivery promise however is a load of tosh. Do not rely on it.
Vollers Corsets are a small family run business based in Portsmouth. They have a lovely website - www.vollers-corsets.com though I have also visited their shop.
These are proper corsets with steel boning - a long cord at the back and steel fasteners up the front.
These corsets are designed to take up to 4" off your waist size so it is always advisable to order 4" below your own waist size. Vollers cater for a huge range of sizes going as small as 18" and upto 36", however you can always go that extra mile and get a made to measure. If you are not sure of your size the website has a helpful part that will advise you, if you are still not sure they are always happy to help either online or in person in Portsmouth.
Although daunting at the beginning to fit and wear, they are relatively simple once you have the knack of the steel fastners up the front.
Vollers supply a huge range of styles and fabrics to choose from, and a rnage of prices from just over £100 to over £400 for the more expensive fabircs and styles.
Corsets come as overbust - with various upper edges, some shaped some straight across and in a normal length or a longer length (comes just below the hip bones) and under bust which can come right under hte bust line or be more of a waspie style waist clincher, all in fabrics ranging from plain satin, to embroidered brocade to leather and PVC. Some of the corsets come with removable suspender straps others do not though they are available to buy and you can pick up a set from eBay reasonablly easily, all the corsets have the loops so you can attach the straps.
They also have recently branched out into supplying blouses and skirts which compliment the corsets, which can be worn as outer wear with pride.
Corset Art - Photos and stylised drawings of women wearing corsets and corset jeweler complete the range.
Their customer service is fantastic - having snapped a cord they sent me a replacement cord out free of charge and if they can suply that corset of your dreams they will do all they can to do so - though it may cost you an arm and a leg.
For the women out there they are a beautiful item of clothing that makes you feel like a million dollors, whatever your size or shape, for the men out there having been given one as a gift its probally the most romantic and appreciated gift I have ever been given and made me really feel appreciated - its not your average dodgy tacky lingerie.
They are currently running a few offers on their website including a free photoshoot worth £199 with every corset ordered, a free corset art book - these are absolutely gorgeous pieces of artwork and a loyalty card , £10 charge which gives you 5% off every purchase for a year, for those like me who just cannot get enough of these classic items. Next Day delivery on all items cost around £5 and everythign is quality checked and individually wrapped and packaged before being sent out.
Care for your corset is simple - either dry clean or hand wash in warm soapy water.
There are other corset makers, but I would honestly say that Vollers truly give a unique service which justifies the expense. (you can now and again find good offers on eBay).
If you can't tell I love these corsets and have worn them to places like 'The last Night of the Proms' or to a night out in a pub with simple jeans, whether dressed up or dressed down they look amazing.
I suggested that this product be added, and I can't wait to write my review. I have literally been obsessed with corsets for many years. I bought my first 'proper' corset shortly after I turned 17, and now own a collection which runs into double figures.
Before I write my review, I'd like to make something clear. When I talk about corsets, I don't mean fashion items which you can buy in most chain stores, having a hook and eye fastening does not make a garment a corset, it's more of a bodice. And now I've got that off of my chest...
Vollers are a family run company who have been making corsets since the late Victorian period (1899 to be precise) from their factory in Portsmouth, where they employ 30 people. Each corset is handmade to a very high standard, though considering that the price of even the most basic corset is around £100, this ought to be the case.
Vollers manufacture corsets in a range of materials including (most commonly) satin, lace over satin, PVC, leather, velvet and silk. Off the rack corsets range from a tiny waist size of 18 inches (46cm), and run up to a size of around 38 inches, or 96cm.
These corsets are made using a steel busk (that's the fastening part which runs up the front of the corset), the busk is designed so that it has two fastenings closer together at the bottom to bring your stomach in that little bit more. A typical 20 inch vollers corset is constructed using 14 sprung steel bones, all of which are designed to reduce the waist of the wearer, and push their chest up and together. There is also some waist tape sewn inside of the corset to add further support to the waist. All corsets are laced up using an extremely long and very strong woven cord. Corsets usually come unlaced, but there is a piece of paper with some diagrams included which show the buyer how to lace up the corset correctly.
When choosing a 'real' corset the wearer should be able to obtain a waist reduction of around 2-4 inches, though some experienced wearers are able to lose as many as 6 inches (though this feat is easier to obtain if your waist is larger to start with). There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when you are wearing a corset, though from experience you don't want to wear one of you are likely to get allergic at the same time, as sneezing is near impossible. Whilst a real corset will limit your breathing ability slightly, you aren't going to be gagging for breath either. I'm a lifelong asthmatic and this doesn't cause me any problems. Bending over can be an interesting experience though.
Different varieties of corset include the most common - overbust, along with underbust ones, and longline ones which are longer in the body than a standard corset. As I have already mentioned, a basic overbust corset in plain satin will set you back around the £100 mark, with a more elaborate longline silk corset with lace trim costing anything up to around £270+. Leather & specialist corsets can sometimes cost even more than this.
To my knowledge, each vollers corset has loops which you are able to attach suspenders to should you choose to do so. Some corsets are sold with suspenders, and some simply aren't, though you can usually pick up a set of genuine vollers ones for around £10 on ebay.
Whilst vollers corsets are expensive and likely to be a considered purchase rather than something you'd buy on a whim, the quality you get for your money makes it all worth it. Just think about how much some people will spend on a wedding dress that will get a single days wear. Looked after properly your corset will last you a lifetime.
In the 5 years I've been wearing vollers corsets I've never had a single problem with one of mine. The stitching has all remained perfect and all corsets are constructed using multiple layers of fabric to add to the strength and waist reduction ability of the corset. These are so strong that the wearer is able to use them for waist training (that's when the wearer aims to permanently reduce the size of their waist, though I don't do this personally).
One thing to watch out for is that you don't try to undo the busk before you've loosened the lacing at the back sufficiently, as this can cause the hooks on the busk to bend out of shape. However this is not specific to vollers, and is easily avoidable if you treat the corset properly. If you need to wash your corset, it should either be hand washed in warm water, or sent to a dry cleaner. In no circumstance should you ever put one in a washing machine!
Vollers have a website which can be found here:
The website is simple to navigate and features all of the current line of vollers corsets. In addition to corsets the site also stocks a small range of shirts, skirts, and corset themed jewellery (this is also a bit pricey though). For those who would prefer to look at corsets than wear them, there is also a selection of corset art available.
Although I have always bought my corsets from Fairy Goth Mother before they closed their Camden store (if you get the opportunity to visit you should, the staff are really friendly and helpful, and best of all they know their corsets...), the vollers website offers next day delivery on items purchased by mid-day Monday-Thursday.
The site also has a useful FAQ section for corset novices, and if you are of particularly unusual proportions, the opportunity to get a custom made corset according to your own measurements.
There are plenty of cheaper imitations on the market, but I've found you get what you pay for. Brands such as deadlygirlz also offer high quality, but some lesser known brands are of a dire quality.
So, to conclude, (as you may be able to tell) I'm involved in a bit of a love affair with vollers. There really isn't anyone better for corsets, and some of the designs are absolutely beautiful. If you only ever buy one corset, vollers are the people you want to make it.