Review: Pop Antique – Semi-Custom Gibson Girl Corset (worn with Angela Friedman)

This corset by Pop Antique is easily the most treasured garment I own. It’s beautiful, comfortable, impeccably sewn, and surprisingly versatile both as foundation wear and outerwear! In the illustration here, I have it paired with a sheer dressing robe and silk bralette and panty set by Angela Friedman and stockings by What Katie Did – but more on that later.

I had been pining and saving for a Pop Antique corset for at least a year before ordering, and when I saw Marianne post a picture of a corset in delicious pink silk and then announce a special on a new underbust corset, the Gibson Girl, I knew it was time to take the leap! I had quite a bit of anxiety about spending so much on a single garment on a student budget (even though I had been socking away fabric design earnings for months), but Marianne (the woman behind Pop Antique) was so kind and helpful in guiding me through the design process and fee structure. Over a year later, this is a purchase that I’m still incredibly glad I made! So, without further ado…

Pop Antique_Angela Friedman_What Katie Did
Gibson Girl Corset by Pop Antique, Bra, Brief and Robe by Angela Friedman, and Stockings by What Katie Did 

DESIGN AND SHAPE

This corset is a semi-custom Gibson Girl underbust in delicious sherbet pink silk duponi. You can read more about this shape in Marianne’s words here, but I was drawn to this design for the beautiful sweetheart binding and flattering shape – and believe me, the shape does not disappoint! As with all Pop Antique corsets, this is a cupped-rib style, which minimizes compression of the ribs and allows for a more comfortable and dramatic reduction.

The corset has six tabs for detachable garters hidden along the binding on the inside – two at the front about an inch away from the busk, two at the tip of the points at the hip, and two in the back. I’ve noticed that if I’m not wearing stockings (which I don’t very often these days), the corset doesn’t lay quite flush at the pointed longline hip. Additionally, there’s about one centimeter at the very end of the hip that is unboned, and almost never lays flush as a result. This is a minor annoyance (and an expected price of such a uniquely shaped edge), but if I order another corset in this shape, I may request a curved hip instead.

I also decided to splurge a little more than I already was doing and requested white flossing at the top and bottom of all boning channels

FIT

At the time of ordering, I measured 29” at the waist, and after providing my measurements to Marianne and discussing options over email, I opted for a size 23” with a few custom fit alterations. Rather than listing the rest of my measurements for reference, I would recommend reaching out via email to Marianne if you have fit questions. I will say this, however: These corsets are designed to be worn with a standard two-inch gap at the back, but I’ve put on two or three inches since ordering this corset, and I now wear it with a gap of about four inches most days, and it’s still very comfortable and well-fitting. While I would love to be able to return to my size of a year ago, the shape of this corset feels adaptable enough to fluctuations in my body that I don’t mind either way!

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Rough Sketch in Sketchbook

COST AND ORDERING PROCESS

Pricing on this corset now begins at $525, but because this was a new pattern to the shop when I ordered, I was lucky enough to catch the introductory pricing of $399. I also opted for flossing at the top and bottom of boning channels for an extra $100, six garter tabs for $15 (these are normally $15 per pair including garters, but I had my own detachable garters from What Katie Did and only needed the tabs sewn in), and custom fit alterations for $50.

Marianne and her assistant walked me through the ordering and design process and answered all of my questions with kindness and plenty of information until we decided on the fabric, design, and other additions that were best for me. The corset arrived lovingly wrapped in pink tissue paper, with cute branded stickers and postcards.

After wearing it lightly for a few weeks, I realized that the fit wasn’t quite perfect, and the underbust was a bit too loose. I reached out to Marianne and she explained that she prefers a slightly looser underbust and ribcage to allow for maximum flexibility. However, after a Skype session, we both agreed that the ribcage gap was a bit too much, so I sent the corset back for a small alteration free of charge. A few weeks later, it was returned to me in an adorable branded corset bag, and the fit was perfect!

Prelims
Sketch, Value Comp, and Color Comp (Drawn in Photoshop)

WEARABILITY

This corset is both beautiful and practical, and can be worn as foundation wear or outerwear. It looks delightful as a dramatic statement piece over clothing in the same color scheme, and the shape under clothing is incredible. However, because I work from home, I get the most wear out of this corset at my desk.

As an animator and illustrator, I spend long hours (sometimes up to eleven hour shifts on some tight deadlines!) at my desk, and I often suffer from moderate to severe back pain as a result. I work on a Cintiq (a large adjustable pen-sensitive desktop monitor), so I’m not quite as hunched over as I was when I only had my Intuos tablet (a pen-sensitive drawing surface that translates pen strokes to a screen), but I still deal with issues from sitting long hours. Wearing this corset with a moderate reduction over a tank top or t-shirt is a comfortable physical reminder to sit up straight and engage my core slightly while I work. In recent months, I’ve been donning my trusty Gibson Girl as needed for a few hours per day, a few days a week, depending on my work schedule.  It almost feels too pretty to be used in such a utilitarian way, but I love the touch of luxury if gives my day-to-day life. And why shouldn’t functional garments also be breathtakingly beautiful?

If you’re on the fence about ordering from Pop Antique, do it! She is a pleasure to communicate with and she sews the most incredible corsets. I’m already plotting ideas for the next corset I hope to commission from her next time life allows!

 

Crop - Pop Antique_Angela Friedman_What Katie Did copy
Lace and Flossing Detail

WHAT I WISH I COULD WEAR IT WITH:

Ahh, one of my dream brands…  I think I first discovered Angela Friedman when I saw a pair of silk frilly knickers and a custom corset she made for the Lingerie Lesbian years back, and I’ve been drooling from a distance ever since!

Angela Friedman is known for her luxurious laces and sumptuous silks from which she carefully crafts beautiful and practical lingerie, loungewear and corsets that are meant to be worn and treasured. I love garments that are both over the top and deeply practical so it seemed like an obvious pairing with my Pop Antique corset. This corset is illustrated here with the Nicole bralette and panty and classic Claire de Lune robe. The bralette and panty are both made from silk, of course, and how glamorous would that robe look on top of, well… basically anything? There’s also a pink silk slip in the Nicole range that’s just delicious – you have to see it for yourself. I don’t yet own anything by Angela Friedman, sadly, and I most likely won’t for a few more years, but she’s at the top of my list for when I feel like I can indulge!

Also pictured in this illustration is a pair of pretty pink Glamour Stockings by What Katie Did. I don’t own these in pink (yet) but I’ve bought them in several other colors over the years and they are fabulous! They have the perfect amount of stretch for comfort and ease of fit, and they look wonderful on. I’m not quite sure what witchcraft is involved in making them, but they’re also some of the hardiest “every day” stockings I’ve ever owned! I bike commuted every day through college, and these were some of the only stockings that held up to months and months (two years, in the case of my red seams!) of rough wear, including carrying my bike up and down my narrow apartment stairs most days, fixing the chain on the sidewalk, and general clumsiness. With a range of skin tones and fun colors for only $15, these stockings are a steal! I may be investing in a pink pair soon if I start wearing stockings regularly again…

 

What pieces of lingerie do you treasure the most, and what brands do you lust over?

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