The difference is a consequence of the thickness of the corset material. Ethel always wore a corset chemise under her corset, and its thickness also took up space within her corset. After a corset has been worn for a long time, it stretches and no longer has its original waist size. Whenever a corset had to be repaired, Will always requested that it be modified back to its original size. The 17½ inch corset was poorly made and soon failed at the seams. The maker repaired it but recommended to Will that he go to a custom corset maker, because corsets with a 17½ inch waist and smaller were very difficult to make. After the corset had been repaired, Will put it around Ethel's waist and found that it could be closed easily with no complaints from Ethel. Will could easily grasp Ethel's corseted waist with his two hands. To keep Ethel from loosening her corset when he was not at home he made a steel belt which he fastened around her waist when he was not home so that Ethel could not loosen her corset. Some days Ethel came close to fainting.
Ethel became accustomed to the pressure on her waist, and Will assumed that her internal organs had adjusted to new positions. Will next ordered a 17" (42.5 cm) corset made of smooth grey coutil cut high at the top and low over the hips. He found that three suspenders for each leg were better than two at holding down the lower edge of the corset. After she was used to this corset, her body was rigidly confined from top to bottom. Ethel looked marvelous, and Will was delighted with the beautiful curves of her waist and hips. After a couple of weeks they had the corset fully closed, and Will could easily span her waist with his two hands. Her waist felt as hard as the trunk of a tree. The waist band on her skirts had to be taken in, and Will also made her steel belt smaller. Her figure, her high heels (5½ in, 11.5 cm), and the rings in her ears gave her a superb appearance. Both Will and Ethel became accustomed to the attention they received whenever they left home.
The mail order company that made her earlier corsets had problems with Ethel's corsets, so Will had to look for a new source, He answered several advertisements in London Life and other magazines and received brochures from well known makers such as Laurence Lenton, M. Overett, Mme Lorette, and Mrs Kayne.
Ethel and Will chose Mme Lorette. Her prices were reasonable, and they liked her materials. Will sent her Ethel's measurements and ordered a corset with a 16" (40 cm) waist. It was to be made of black broche adorned with pink and cerise flowers. It turned out to be a beautiful corset.
When the corset was almost ready, they arranged an appointment at Mme Loerette's shop on High Street in London. Her shop window was full of beautiful corsets, and Will could scarcely tear his eyes away from them. Ethel's corset had to be made rounder at lower part of her abdomen to fit properly, so the busk had to be bent accordingly. To strengthen the front busk, an extra stay was fitted behind it . Mme Lorette was very friendly and asked Ethel how long she had been tight lacing and many other questions. When Ethel said that the corsets she had been wearing had given her much pain, Mme Lorette said, "Ah, ma pauvre petite, I will see if I can cure that problem".
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