Oh, have we been excited to share these reviews with you! You might remember that all the way back last February, Charley and I got the chance to try on our first ever Vollers corset at our Rigby and Peller styling appointment, and we fell in love. I was already slightly obsessed with corsets at this point, and that just pushed me over the edge into full on true love. I knew that one day, I would have to have my own Vollers corset, it being the epitome of corset couture made in Britain in my eyes.
Can you imagine how excited we were then when Vollers Corsets starting following us on Twitter? And how even more so we were when we were offered the chance to review a piece each for them?!
Before I get into the actual review, I wanted to mention a bit about the history of Vollers first. The company started up all the way back in 1899 with Harry and Nelly Voller in a tiny single fronted house in Portsmouth. They may have started small, but due to their popularity, within a few years’ time, they’d had to move over to larger shop with a first floor factory where they remained until 1999 – can you believe how much corsetry history that building must have seen?! Vollers is now owned by the 5th generation of the family, Ian and Corina. Watch this video to find out a bit more Behind the Brand:
We started off by sending our measurements over to Corina for her to use her expert eye and choose pieces that would suit our styles and measurements best. Of course, I managed to mess my measurements up every so slightly again (I swear, they change like crazy! It was only a couple of cm this time though!). But with my final measurements over to Vollers, they set to work creating our corsets especially for our measurements. This set also included our overbust measurements, and I was excited to find out that the corset I would be receiving was an overbust one. My What Katie Did Laurie corset is an overbust that, to be perfectly honest, fits me fairly badly in the bust (see more in this review), but as the Vollers one wasn’t just an off the rack corset, I was looking forward to trying an overbust that would fit me! For reference, the measurements I sent over for this corset were:
Overbust: 98cm (38in)
Underbust: 70cm (27.5in)
Waist: 70cm (27.5in)
Upper hip: 92cm (36in)
Lower hip: 96cm (38in)
As the corset I was being sent wasn’t yet available to buy on the website, all I knew was that I was being sent a sheer corset which was designed for the boudoir – it is intended to look see through, but it actually isn’t. The corset I received is now available on the website and is the Summer style, ideal for a more dramatic hourglass shape like mine with space for a larger bust. And here it is in person – isn’t it gorgeous?!
First impressions of the corset when it arrived were…wow! Both corsets arrived matte black branded boxes with a magnetic strip opening – I’m keeping my in it for storage currently too because it’s so gorgeous. We also received a very posh Lookbook featuring Vollers current corsets, now resident on my sewing room shelves as it’s too pretty to pack away anyway! And of course, we shared this very excitedly with you on Twitter as a small teaser. The corsets were wrapped in tissue paper inside the boxes, and the corsets themselves? The only word to describe our first impressions of these is gorgeous. I won’t give away Charley’s yet, but mine is made of delicate black lacing over a semi-sheer chiffon lining layer. Compared to other corsets, it also feels very lightweight in the hands, thanks to the thin fabrics used.
I did have a minor issue on first try on with my corset in that it was slightly gapey on the bust – can you imagine my surprise at this, nothing has ever been gapey on the bust for me before! I had it fully laced closed at the top, with about an inch gap down the lacing panel at the back (around 1-2 inches is recommended). I consulted Corina, sending over a few pictures, and without hesitation, she apologised and asked that I send it back for them to sort it out. I’m not sure whether it was that I’d done my measurements wrong (quite likely!), that my largest bust point measurement is set in a different place than expected (being a full on top, fairly low set shape), or if there was an error in making the corset, but whatever the reason, it sorted very quickly and professionally. The corset was back with me within days of me sending it, and now it fitted perfectly, with the bust nice and snug so everything was supported. I could have got away with it as it was, but it wasn’t really providing any support – now it definitely does! The customer service was fantastic in getting it sorted so quickly for me.
Charley and I decided that the corsets we’d received from Vollers most definitely deserved a photo shoot befitting of their beauty. And with mine being designed for the boudoir, to the boudoir we took it!
Comfort wise, this scores very well. As I said before, it feels very lightweight in the hands, and is the same on the body. Corsets in general, due to their nature, have the effect of compressing the body, which means that they’re usually constructed out of heavy weight material in several layers, plus boning, busks and laces; all of this a heavy corset makes! The Summer corset though, with its outer layer a simple delicate black lace, and its inner layer a very light chiffon, is different. It feels breathable on the body and is much more flexible than other corsets I’ve tried. Despite this, it still feels sturdy enough to stand up to the pressures that lacing puts on it. I’d imagine it’s ideal for corset wearing ladies in warmer climates (not that we would know about that around here!). It has 12 steel bones which I’d imagine also contribute to the lightness of this corset, as many corsets have more. Again, as this isn’t intended strictly for waist training, it doesn’t need a huge amount of boning, but the eyelets at the back are supported by 4 flat steels which will strengthen it.
The laces are strong and sturdy, and I find it very easy to lace up – in fact, once the modesty panel is straightened, it only really needs pulling from the middle with tweaks here and there, rather than multiple pulls on each of the crosses up and down the back. The Summer corset also has a waist tape to help distribute pressure throughout and strengthen it. I also find a waist tape helps me to get my corset on in the right place – this sounds silly, but you can often wear a corset slightly too high or too low (remember, every body is different – my waist is higher and shorter than the average). So feeling where the waist tape is in relation to my actual waist can help.
Looking more specifically at fit, the Summer corset from Vollers is a pretty good fit for me. As I mentioned, the bust was sorted out so it now fits me really well. The lacing panels at the back are pretty much completely parallel at the back, and it has around a 1in to 1.5in gap. I could possibly have got away with sizing down slightly, but then again, this corset isn’t intended for daily wear for waist training, so I’m unlikely to pull it much further closed at this point in time.
While the bust does fit well now, the shaping of the bust isn’t completely ideal for me. It is very low cut, meaning that with my full on top shape, it’s slightly liable to bust spillages over the top (as is slightly evident in these pictures!). It creates a pretty fantastic cakes on a plate cleavage though! The top edge of the Summer corset is taller at the busk (centre front) and dips down towards the sides, which I find can be difficult for my shape as I need a little more support at the edges at times, particularly as the centre front being higher pushes them out slightly to the sides. It does make for a very pretty shape though and creates a beautiful hourglass figure.
Overall, this is a very well made (how could it be otherwise?!), stunning corset. Despite the fact that it’s not designed as a specific waist training corset, it gives me a very well defined hourglass shape while still being lightweight and very comfortable. The Summer corset retails at £145, but for 25% of the price, you can have it made to your measurements as this one has been done for me, allowing you to achieve a properly fitting corset – it’s well worth the price, believe me!