My simple and straight answer to the question is NO. The music is basically free today and the internet is full of information on everything. Now, I’m talking about goth from the standpoint where it’s the music that’s most important, it’s what the entire scene is revolving around. To actually listen to bands and hear […]Is goth expensive? All the free goth stuff. — And she stumbled down the rabid hole
Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.The Minimalists
A nice lady in a completely unrelated Facebook group I’m in saw my blog and quickly became interested in my minimalist posts. She suggested I write more about it. That was *cough* last summer but hey, here I am!
Disclaimer: I don’t think I am The One to be talking about this. This is just how I, and many others, see minimalism. You should absolutely spend a little time looking into this, gather ideas and inspo and see if it’s right for you.
I started my minimalist journey with KonMarie back in 2015. The post is probably cringy. Don’t read it. I think that it’s worth mentioning that minimalism and KonMarie are not quite the same thing and I may get into that later. But that is still where all this began for me.
What is minimalism?
This is a debated topic in some circles but minimalism is largely seen as living without excess. It’s a tool, a mindset, a lifestyle, and *cough* an aesthetic. This post isn’t about minimalist art, design, or structure. It’s more about looking at what you own and asking yourself some questions. There aren’t any official “rules” you have to follow except the ones that you make for yourself.
The way I see it is I’d rather be invited to a smaller party with all my favorite people than a huge party with a ton of strangers and a few of my favorite people. I would rather focus on enjoying my time with the people I like the most rather than be overwhelmed amongst strangers in an effort to find my people.
How many items am I allowed to have?
Well I don’t know, how many items do you want to have? How much space do you have to work with? What is your life like? Don’t ask me! It’s going to vary, person to person. And you probably shouldn’t even count your stuff, that could get annoying. There are people who get really hung up on numbers… if it works for them, great. But that’s not the point.
There are some minimalists who live out of a backpack and hand wash their clothes every other night. Some minimalists can’t hand wash their clothes frequently and they have really messy dirty jobs or hobbies and need more clothes than some. Some minimalists have one more more hobbies that require many items. How many items you keep is going to first and foremost depend on your lifestyle.
OK but why minimalism?
Well it’s different for everyone. I can’t quite remember why I started on this path but I personally find that visual clutter adds to my anxiety. I also really like being able to find something quickly when I need it. It’s much less frustrating to look for an object among 25 objects than 250 objects. I think minimalism in general helps with some of my ADHD frustrations.
Other people go for minimalism so they can easily travel the world without worrying about their things. Others may do it to save money. Or for spiritual reasons. Everybody has their own reason.
What’s your problem with the aesthetic then?
Yo, I’m big on the aesthetic. It’s just that some people get a hold of the trend and try to sell on the idea that you have to have stark white walls, no furniture, certain colored things, buy only certain brands, etc. You know: people who want to make a buck or gatekeepers.
If that is what you want in your life, that’s great. But you don’t have to do that to be a minimalist. Minimalism can look so many different ways. I couldn’t stand being surrounded stark white walls and I find some furniture very handy, thank-you-very-much.
Isn’t minimalism for rich people?
Not really? Ugh. I hear this way too much. It’s for anyone who wants to be a minimalist. Before I even knew what minimalism was I had spent good chunks of time living out of 1-2 backpacks and I had no money. I just had what I had and used that. I wasn’t buying $80 merino wool shirts. I… used what I had. I lived with various other people and was allowed to use the household things (cookware and such).
It helps to have the money to buy nicer quality things that will last longer. A quality pair of shoes will last longer than a cheap pair of shoes. It can be hard saving up for the those shoes and if you just can’t do it, I think it’s fine.
As I’ve said, minimalism doesn’t have official rules you have to follow outside of the basic idea of “live without excess”. Use that idea and make it fit your current situation.
What can I minimize?
Everything physical you own: books, electronics, trash, mail, Christmas cards, unfinished projects, finished projects, white elephant gifts, ungifted gifts, clothes, etc.
But also intangible things: Toxic relationships, digital files, e-mails, bad habits, bad foods, etc.
OK, how do I go minimalist?
There are many ways to go about this! You can use one technique, or many. There are even games to make it fun. I’ll list only 3 items here.
The Moving/Packing Game: When you’ve moved into a new place, keep everything packed. Only pull out things when you need them. After a certain amount of time you gotta go do an honest poke through the boxes. Think about why you haven’t needed what you didn’t use and consider getting rid of them.
30 Day Minimizing Challenge: Not moving anytime soon? Or you are and want to lighten the load beforehand? Try throwing out 1 thing on day 1, 2 on day 2, 3 on day 3, and so forth. If you make it the whole 30 days you end up throwing away over 400 things.
The Tidy Up Challenge: OK I don’t know what to call this. I came up with it yeeeears ago and I used it before I knew minimalism was “a thing”. It’s pretty similar to the Packing game but a little more chill and my speed.
Fine an area that needs to be
taken down a notch minimized. This can be an entire room, one wall, or even just a shelf or desk. Remove EVERYTHING from that area. EVERYTHING! And then think about how you want that area to serve you, what you want it to look like. Go through all the items you removed and find the items that will make that area work out for you. Put nothing else there.
All that leftover stuff? If I was a hard ass I’d tell you to blindly ditch it. But I say: do a little poking around and be honest with yourself. Put those things where they belong…. in the trash, in someone else’s hands, in a different room, on a different shelf, etc.
You can start googling “minimalism”, hitting up hashtags on social media, join /r/minimalism. If it seems like something you can benefit from you can start minimizing. Be honest with yourself about what you need and truly love to have in your life. Strip yourself down to your ideal minimalist state.
This process helped me to realize how much I really really love alternative fashion (the pandemic helped with that as well). It helped me to realize how much I don’t really enjoy drawing or painting. I know now not to buy those supplies. I do enjoy doing collage, off and on. I also came to appreciate my absolute pure lust for hand knit socks. I love looking at hand knit socks, looking at yarn, knitting them, wearing them, planning outfits around them. So I now know to steer clear or painting/drawing supplies, I know to keep collage material on hand, and I allow myself to stock up on sock yarn and patterns.
I hope this was useful to at least one curious soul out there!
OK so my back has been fucky for about a week now. I haven’t had an injury like this for quite awhile, probably because I’ve been extra inactive, therefor I am extra weak.
I had cleaned half the tub the week before and spent a few days with one side of my back suffering consequences. When that was better I prepared a lot of boxes to take out to recycling and a day or 2 later the other side of my back started hurting, but like in a terrible “You actually injured something and it keeps seizing and making it hard to walk” kind of way.
Standing and leaning are the worst for it but for some reason I can crawl around on the floor just fine? Also squatting is a huge no-no.
So I need to build some core strength. I hope it will help me not to be in so much pain after doing chores. So I was thinking I should get back into Ashtanga yoga. But I remembered how weak and pathetic my arms and legs are so here is what’s happening, with lots of corner cutting to accommodate for my back problem:
Pre-workout Ashtanga.. for as long as I can stand it (first day I only lasted maybe 7 minutes, 2nd day I got to nearly 12). Some of this seems to help my back a little bit.
Then I take a break and work on some stretching to help any problem areas. Right now my problem area is the weird thing in my lower back and I found this video helps it feel better.
And then I do the daily challenge for Chloe Ting’s 2 week shred challenge.
And then I do maybe a little bit more friendly stretches to cool down, all nice ‘n easy-like.
Then I was thinking of tossing something kind of chill to do at my leisure throughout the rest of my day. Like today I did my arms and I can already tell it’s going to help me build some strength. I love the wall pushups! I wish I knew about those sooner.
I think I’ll also toss in some of this since I have to do a lot of laying around anyway.
Anyway, I went ahead and took some starting measurements but I don’t think I’ll keep track of it. I’ll be able to feel my progress as I exercise. Since my focus is leaning more towards core rather than limbs then I’ll toss the limb work for now if I need to.
Have you gotten weak and doughy lately as well? Have you made any plans to do any exercising? I’d like to hear about it down below.
To explain my 2020 I need to explain what happened in the summer of 2019: I realized I have The Big Gay (I still need to make a post about this). The problem here is I have been married to a man. And I have no job. And I have some shitty issues so I can’t currently support myself.
I haven’t had a job in a long time and it’s not for lack of wanting one, or lack of trying. I readily admit that I gave up ages ago and fell into a cozy housespouse role. I found that it has been beneficial for my mental and physical health and I realize how insanely lucky I am and I am thunkful every single fucking day.
So this Gay Revelation was the catalyst for trying to become a Productive Member of Society. I started taking a good hard long look at my fucking issues and paying attention to how they affect my life. Sure I’ve got anxiety and depression and leaving the house on my own makes me feel panicky and like I’m actually going to puke. Those seem like totally treatable things but they seemed kind of surface level.
I don’t remember how anymore but I somehow found myself peeking into the online autism world and finding myself relating. I looked into it pretty hard and realized it probably wouldn’t be worth getting a diagnosis and I am pushing 40 so I didn’t think this needed to be pursued. Then at some point, somehow, I realized that I may have ADHD.
When this realization dawned on me it was like this click. A puzzle piece. A big ol cosmic click of a cosmic puzzle piece. I had no clue what ADHD really was before so it wasn’t something I thought I had before. I took a pile of online quizzes and stalked the online community and omgwtf. This became my mission: Getting diagnosed. And I did so early this year.
Early 2020 – Whoops I have ADHD
This revelation was so validating. So empowering. And so… depressing. There is no fucking cure, of course. There’s a ton of stigma behind ADHD and I’ve seen countless people say they have to hide it to get employed or to keep their job. I immediately got on Adderall and it absolutely changed my life.
I decided to take this opportunity to (try) to focus, yet again, on learning to program. With the help of Adderall I made more progress with Python in 6 months than I did in 10 fucking years. I found it also took the edge off my depression and anxiety and it makes me more relaxed. Things were really looking up… until I realized that I still hate programming. It’s so boring. There is no part of it that is compatible with the way I think, no part that clicks with me. There is no enjoyable part of it except seeing errors go away.
A few months ago I decided to try a different form (XR) to hopefully make my days a bit better but it did absolutely nothing for me. Now the pandemic is so bad it’s not worth risking to go pick up my IR refill. I have been thinking about shifting my job studies to something like web design. I used to love doing web design way back in the day. Was I ever good at it? Fuck no. But I enjoyed it.
But the stress from the pandemic and not having my Adderall… super not helpful. So now I’m kind of…. lost.
Which comes to something that came up just this week: a good friend of mine is trying to convince me I have narcolepsy with cataplexy.
OK HOLD ON. I don’t think I actually have it but I think she’s on to something. As we talked it was really incredibly nice having someone to relate to as far as sleep issues go. I have had my sleep issues my entire life but I never addressed them. Much like the ADHD thing I just thought I was lazy or normal whatever. But naw, this shit ain’t normal. I know something is wrong so with that…
2021 Plans: Addressing the Sleep Issues
So for 2021, when things are less… pandemic-y… I’m going to go see a sleep specialist. Who knows, maybe I do have narcolepsy. Or sleep apnea. Or both. Or something else. In any case, if I can get to the bottom of this it’s possible to improve the quality of my life and improve my chances of Building a Foundation for Success.
So here’s the shit that makes my friend (not me, not a doc, just my friend) thinks I have narcolepsy:
- Lots of daytime sleepiness.
This seems like such a “normal” thing to me so I’m used to it. It also fluctuates. The past few months I’ve been almost completely dead tired in a new kind of way almost constantly except in the evening. I think it’s related to weather changes and allergies, which I’m suffering with for the first time ever. But the last couple weeks the tiredness has been mostly because I have been getting a constant 3-5 hours of shitty sleep every night (*cough* morning).
- Quick REM stage
I often start dreaming pretty quickly and I dream a lot. I can tell because I wake up so often I can get a sense for how much time has passed. I have stopped keeping a clock near where I sleep but that used to tell me how quick I am to dream. I always thought this was normal.
- Takes awhile to get to sleep and has fitful sleep
Yeah, as it says on the tin. My entire life I’ve had a hard time getting to sleep. If I am overtired then it’s even harder and stressful. I also wake up a lot doing my sleep. I had a fitbit once and tried comparing my sleep pattern to my husband’s (yeah it’s not like a perfect tool for it but it was pretty interesting) and I obviously had much more fitful sleep than him.
When I wake up I will often have hallucinations. Yes, I am wide awake and can move around and I know the things aren’t real though it is still disturbing and disrupting to my sleep.
She seems to think I have cataplexy. If I’m standing and I laugh I bend over to support myself. If I get startled I feel like I’m going to faint. I feel like the fainting bit is a different problem but she thinks it’s cataplexy.
- Naps suck
I hate napping because I don’t wake up refreshed and it takes too long to actually fall asleep. I only lay down to nap if I am so uncomfortable that the idea of sleeping offers me hope of escape from the tiredness. This whole “Just take a 20 minute nap” thing is such bullshit when you spend that 20 minutes (and more) tossing and turning and in a half sleep/dream state. It just sucks, man. But boy it does feel good to lay down.
- Awake at night
A Big Curse. Even when I’m getting “good” sleep (which is still really fitful) I will be tired to some degree throughout the day and only “wake up” at night. It’s when I feel like I can start doing shit.
So yeah, there might be more but honestly I’m so tired right now it’s hard trying to be organized. But yeah, I’m going to see a sleep specialist and see what can be done.
(whoops, ADHD strike again. I wrote 98% of this post around the same time I wrote my first ADHD post and then ADHD and pandemic happened. I’ll go ahead and polish this turd and post it now. Just pretend this took place right before fit hit the shan)
So when I did my ADHD testing I was basically given the same test I had seen online in a couple places. There were some things I wasn’t super clear on which is probably why my psych said I had “borderline” ADHD. Now I understand things a bit better. Here are my responses and thoughts on the test questions.
How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?
Often or very often. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I’m not a “details” person and after being diagnosed and learning about ADHD it all makes so much sense. Trying to do final details is really hard to do, if I even think to do them.
How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?
Sometimes, maybe often? I feel like I always forget something. It’s pretty frustrating but I feel like everyone will typically forget something.
How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?
Rarely for appointments because I don’t have appointments very often and when there is one it’s something horrible like a dentist appoint. I will hyperfocus, I guess, on it the day of and make sure that I’m not late.
For obligations… I often or very often forget those 😦
When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?
I’d say… often. I get really turned off by the idea of projects that require a lot of thought because I know it’ll be frustrating. I can just picture the hot mess of trying to do it. Trying to organize it, stay on task, understand it, etc. Now I think this is all because of ADHD.
It often doesn’t even help if the thing is something that I’m super into and know a lot about.
I often don’t get things started unless it’s just spontaneously. It’s so hard to plan to do something or just consciously decide to do it. I just wait for it to happen.
How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have to sit down for a long time?
How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?
I didn’t understand this question when I saw it so I either answered “never” or “rarely”. Now I know what it means and I would answer “often”. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t get much at all done if it wasn’t for that “driven by a motor” thing. I touched on this idea above.
How often do you make careless mistakes when you have to work on a boring or difficult project?
How often do you have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring or repetitive work?
If “Every. Single. Fucking. Time.” was an option, I’d pick that. This is one of my biggest life struggles and I think why I haven’t gotten anywhere with life.
How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you, even when they are speaking to you directly?
Very often. This is another big thing that has impacted my life dramatically. It doesn’t matter how much I like the person or even what they’re talking about. And it often upsets me. It’s so, so horrible.
You know in the Peanuts cartoon how adults sound to kids? Yeah that’s a pretty close approximation.
How often do you misplace or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?
Sometimes? Often? It depends on whats going on. The less stressed I am and more relaxed and chill I can be, the more this happens and it sucks. I have found minimalism to help some.
How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you?
Very often. It sucks. It’s that whole “squirrel!” stereotype. Ugh.
How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated?
For this I said “never”. I may want to leave my seat, but I don’t.
How often do you feel restless or fidgety?
Often/Very Often. And I feel like some times are worse than other times.
How often do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time to yourself?
Very often! I find it very hard to relax. I’ve marveled at how other people seem to be able to relax and I wonder how to do it. Maybe I am relaxing and don’t know it? Yeah, let’s go ahead and overthink whether I’m relaxing or not…
How often do you find yourself talking too much when you are in social situations?
Rarely. I think? Once I get started on something I can really get going. I used to be teased for being The Quiet One. There have certainly been moments when I felt like I couldn’t shut up.
When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentences of the people you are talking to, before they can finish them themselves?
I’d say sometimes? I really hate being interrupted so I’m pretty careful about doing it to other people. I think I might do it about the same, or less than your everyday, garden variety person.
How often do you have difficulty waiting your turn in situations when
turn taking is required?
This one was worded slightly different on the test the doctor gave me. It gave examples like waiting at a crosswalk and waiting in line. I got locked in on those examples so I scored myself very low on it. Now after learning more about this… yeah, I have issues waiting. So I would score that higher, maybe at “often”.
How often do you interrupt others when they are busy?
I really hate interrupting people! So I often find myself trying not to. Uh… I can’t remember what I scored on this, I think it was “sometimes”. This is a hard one.
I don’t know, man. This is just a fun post. I think Ride or Die items are pretty fun.
What is a Ride or Die item? I consider it my favorite thing, something that I love so much that I would buy it again if I had to, as soon as I could. It’s something I get a lot of use out of and find myself recommending to other people and sometimes people even wonder where I got the thing. These are top notch, stand-out items.
Am I misusing the term? Probably. But there’s a pandemic so let’s go with it.
Ride or Die: Dress
Yeah so I have a zillion dresses because I’m a dressaholic. I have some suuuuper cute dresses. Some of them are hard to find. Some of them originally cost a lot. All of them are fantastic quality. But this dress… this thin af flowy cotton dress is the tits.
You can dress it uppish or down, style it in so many ways, add a cardigan and belt, and it goes with different footwear. It’s great for horribly hot weather. It’s easy enough to put layers under for warmth. Floral print is best print. I can sit in really weird twisted ways and not risk flashing anything.
When it eventually gets ripped up because it’s so thin, it can be recycled into dusting rags!
Ride or Die: Mascara
Essence Lash Princess. This is the one mascara I have bought again and again. My one redeeming feature are my lashes so I really like to play them up and this shit does it. It’s easy enough to do a nice light layer but also it’s pretty buildable. The brush is easy to use and the packaging is my colors: black and purple! Last I checked it’s cruelty free, and they don’t have excessive packaging and it’s easy enough to find online, usually around $5!
I’d also like to note that not only is this my favorite mascara but mascara in general in my favorite kind of makeup, so that’s a 2-for-1 for ya.
Ride or Die: Kitchen Gadget
Instant Pot. So I don’t know how to cook like a normal person anymore. If you asked me to make you some pasta on the stovetop I would probably mildly panic while running to Chef Google. I would take a bullet for this thing. Maybe even multiple bullets.
I hate standing around minding pots and pans and it’s just safer for me and the surrounding neighbors if I don’t. I thrive on that Set It and Forget It lifestyle. I can dump a bunch of delicious shit in here and let it cook and BAM it’s done.
Ride or Die: Shoes
Y.R.U. Aura booties. *internal screaming* I love these boots so hard. It took me months to decide to buy them and I’m glad I finally did.
Comfort 8.5/10 (but after a long day of tons of walking/standing they are NOT comfortable)
Ride or Die: Tarot deck
ok this one is just unfair I’ll get back to you on that one
Ride or Die: Corset
Mystic City Corsets 61. I still haven’t broken this bitch in. But she is an obvious fav. She is super sturdy and beautiful and well fitted (from what I can tell, I bought her to close but we’ve got a ways to go). She doesn’t really go with my clothes but she is very nice to stealth in.
If you’re considering waist training, check out my post here!
Ride or Die: Music
Goth! There’s a ton of music I love and rock in general is my fav, but goth rock is specifically my favorite. Check out my favorite songs here.
Ride or Die: Purse
Killstar Magica Fringe Handbag. Ok this is a tough one. I don’t buy many purses. I’m super picky and I just don’t like having more than maybe 2 at a time. So my favorite purse is mostly going to be whatever one I have at the time. Right now I have 2 and it’s almost impossible to pick but I’ll go with my Killstar purse… if only because it’s a bit more versatile than my other one.
It’s got a gothic vibe. It’s got a “hippie/boho” vibe. It’s got a “witchy” vibe. It’s easy to pin and hook things onto it. It’s roomy but not too big. It’s attention grabbing (my least favorite part, believeitornot). Are there better purses out there? I’m sure there are but I ain’t payin’ for them.
Ride or Die: Podcast
Psychology in Seattle. This was a very difficult one. I’ve always had a hard time getting into podcasts but I fell in love with one last year and recently fell for another one. I’m going to have to pick the recent one only because my ADHD loves new things.
I love this podcast because the host, Doctor Kirk Honda, is so easy to listen to. His voice is wonderful, warm, and soothing. He’s easy to follow. He’s down to earth but obviously very knowledgable. He explains things very well. He makes lengthy episodes and you can tell he puts in actual effort. And finally: he’s a little bit dorky.
I’m lumping his YouTube channel in with the podcast category because to me it’s mostly the same thing.
Wow. Where do I even begin?
On my FB page I’ve been posting a bunch of stuff supporting black businesses and individuals. I’ve posted a little bit on my IG (it feels clunky to do there but I’ll do more). It’s been such a crazy week I… I still don’t know what I’m doing. So I’ll share some of the things I’ve found along the way.
I’ll try to remember to add more later.
So earlier this year I was diagnosed with ADHD and it’s been a Huge Thing. I never had a clear idea on what ADHD was. I thought it was simply having a poor attention span and I figured eh, I probably have that. No… noooo. It’s so much bigger than that. ADHD is a Big Deal. Big Time Big Deal.
I casually stumbled across some information about it one day and I got super interested in learning as much as I could about it. That’s what I do: I find a topic and I research the fuck out of it (probably what is called “hyperfocus”). It was Just Another Research Topic at the time.
The more I looked at it the more I thought it sounded like me. I was seeing stories from people who didn’t know they had it and how their lives were better once they knew and found the right treatment. There are also people who decide to not medicate but knowing it about themselves was really important.
I had thought my entire life that I was stupid and lazy and worthless and that’s just how I am and I’d never amount to anything. I saw countless other people saying similar things. I tried not to get my hopes up but it sounded worth looking into.
I’m not into self diagnoses but I did do several online tests (yeah yeah, I know) to see if I should even go for an actual diagnosis. One test was actually done with a local place that specializes in diagnosing and treatment. You do the test online and their doctors “review” it and get back to you. They said I had signs of “combined ADHD” (hyperactivity and inattentive). They had some weird thing with insurance and weren’t taking new patience and they seemed too good to be true anyway so I started searching for other places to get an official diagnoses from.
At the end of my search I found someone through ZocDoc that had great reviews. I got the appointment pretty quick. My insurance deductible made it painful but what really sucked was the diagnosis process itself… it took me longer to wait in the waiting room and fill out all the New Patient paperwork than it did to actually talk to the doctor and get my diagnosis. I’m doing a separate post about my test results and will link it here after it’s posted.
When I told her I wanted to see if I had ADHD she simply handed me her laptop and asked me to fill out a test. It was one of the ones I had taken online. Here is a PDF version of the exact test I took.
I was hoping for a thorough testing. The other places I looked at said it would take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. This test took me 1 minute, 2 tops. I just felt… defeated. I didn’t go in looking for a heart to heart talk therapy sort of thing but I wanted thorough testing.
I finished the test and handed her laptop back. She looked at it for half a second, shrugged, and said “you may have borderline ADHD”. (maybe she would think a little differently now if I had answered the questions better, discussed in my test results post mentioned above).
We then jumped into discussing medication and 30 seconds later she had electronically sent a prescription for Adderall to my pharmacist. We discussed side effects, I had a question or two while feeling dead inside. Then I left and went home (well not really but that’s a whole ‘nother post, even more boring than this one).
So ok… BORDERLINE ADHD?! You either have it or you don’t. Right? Yeah. Pretty sure. So I figured my next ADHD “test” would be to see how I react to medication, and I’ll do a separate post about that as well.
But basically yeah. I think it’s safe to say that I have ADHD. Further thoughts on it later but I do want to say that it explains so much. SOOOOO MUCH. And the more I learn about it the more I say “Wow that explains so much”.
Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful somehow. I’d love to hear from other people diagnosed in their 30s and beyond.
OK we’re not shopping for you. We’re shopping for me. Spoiler alert: I already know what I want. I don’t have the money for it, it’s out of stock anyway, and I’m not yet ready for it so it doesn’t matter but I thought I’d walk you through the process of finding a corset. I’ve purchased great fitting corsets so far so I feel comfortable enough doing it that I can help others a little.
We need more measurements but I’m just being quick ‘n dirty right now: My underbust is 28″, my waist is anywhere from 27-29″. My upper hip is 32″ and my lower hip is about 35″. The lower hip is only important for a longline corset.
What I have in mind: I’m currently able to kinda close a 20″ so I’m thinking about going to an 18″ next. I will need a rib spring of 10″ and a hip spring of 14″. I’d like a longline, but it’s not a deal breaker and I don’t mind hipties. I don’t have my heart set on any kind of material. Mesh would be nice for the summer (our apartment gets to be 100F, easy). Cupped is preferred, semi cupped is acceptable I think.
So I’m going to head over to Orchard Corset. I remember they have a rather curvy model, something that I need to look for at this point. A newbie might want to look at the 426 standard. It is a cozy comfortable hug but it’s just weird on my body for some reason and can’t be worn for long. Other people have better luck than me.
For shits n giggles go ahead and check out their satin 426 longline and see if you can find the rib and hip spring measurements. Go ahead I’ll wait. Yeah ok so it’s just not going to be a good fit for what I’m looking for. Also why don’t they give a lower hip measurement if it’s a longline? Anyway…
OK Let’s go look at their curvy model. Find the rib and hip springs again. It’s 2″ too big in the hips and 1″ too small in the ribs. I could get a 16″, lace it with a V shape to allow room for my ribcage and waist. It is a very lovely shape and it might be something worth getting in the future if there is a sale. The only problem is I think it’s got a conical rib? Sometimes I can’t tell very well and I don’t see it mentioned on the page.
We can look at other websites like Timeless Trends. I don’t have any from there but they are very popular. Go ahead and have a little lookie-loo, see if there’s anything you like. Would anything fit me? I couldn’t find anything. 😦
(While we’re at TT, go ahead and check out their silhouettes page.)
OK I’ve looked at a variety of websites now and I’ve had a hard time finding something that’ll fit me, largely because anything below 20″ is a bit out of the norm for off-the-rock (OTR). I could get custom made but I honestly just really love Mystic City Corsets so let’s head over there. Hashtag not sponsored. Hashtag please sponsor me.
One of the great things about MCC is they provide loads of measurements for each corset and tell you how to measure for them. So you ought to do that and write those numbers down.
They have a pretty handy tool right here. Plug in your measurements (or mine, if you want to follow along with me) and go.
Now we can scroll down and look at the numbers and see what we can find that is similar to our measurements. I’d love to have a longline but it’s not a deal breaker. Just going by rib spring (the first column) I have to scroll alllll the way down to find the 10″ ones.
Whoa! MCC112 is a perfect match! Let’s type that into the search field… we get these results:
OK let’s look at the comparison chart again…
The search isn’t working for some of the models and I’m lazy so I’ll jump to the corset I think I’d like to get next (although nothing wrong with the MCC112)
The more I look at them the more I think I like something about the 112’s shape better. I have loads of time to think about it and look at other companies. I looked at the other measurements I mentioned near the top of the post and it looks suitable.
So that’s it! I hope that walking through this process gave you a better feel on how to find a corset for yourself. I highly recommend you send your measurements to the companies that you like, along with what you’re looking for, to help you find the best corset for you.
I think I will do at least one more newbie related corset post after this and it will be about lacing up, different lacing techniques, and fitting issues.
So hopefully you’ve read my first post about corsets. When you’re done with this one you can read a walk through on finding a corset. And hopefully you’ve watched a bunch of videos and looked at pics and read other stuff. Now we’re going to look at what measurements you need and some considerations. Then we’ll go shopping together for my next corset, yay! (I’m not buying yet but I’ll walk through the process to help give an idea of how to find a corset)
I recommend you watch this video and read through this page.
Then visit Lucy’s page right here about measuring yourself. Watch the videos, do the reading. Write your numbers down. Measure again just to be sure. It will tell you exactly what size corset you should look for, including rib and hip springs but I will get into how the springs work down below.
Consume all the information on the above links. It’ll help.
Rib and Hip Springs
I’ll be talking about these springs with the idea of being able to completely close the corset. I personally love the idea of closing a corset but if you want to wear it with a gap I’ll get into it at the end of this section. As a reminder, wearing with a gap/closed is personal preference + up to your own body. Some people can’t handle a closed corset on their spine. I like how a 2″ gap looks, it’s very nice but I dunno, I just like a closed corset on myself?
A rib spring is the difference between your rib (underbust) measurement and the waist of the corset you want.
i.e. I have an underbust of 28″. If I want a 22″ corset (which is reccomended for me) then I need a rib spring of 6″. The 6″ is the difference between the corset’s waist and my underbust.
The hip spring is the same thing but the difference between the corset’s waist and your hips.
i. e. The difference between the corset waist size I want of 22″ and my 32″ hips is 10″.
So for my first corset, that I’d like to close, I’d need to look for something with a waist of 22″, with a rib spring of 6″ and a hip spring of 10″.
If I want to train in a 22″ corset but I want a 2″ gap I would want to look for a 22″ corset with a rib spring of 4″ and a hip spring of 8″. You will be unable to close the corset but you’ll get your 22″ waist and be able to wear it nice and parallel and it’ll eventually fit like a glove. I have this corset in a size 22″ and I can get it closed. If I wanted to wear it with a 2″ gap I could have gotten it in a size 20″.
Things to Consider
If you have a medical condition, please consult your doctor before getting into corsets. Hopefully you have a corset-positive doctor. Some may have crazy preconceived notions about them. If you see other people with your condition successfully waisting, then you should present those cases to your doctor.
I have lost close to 25 pounds since I got into corseting (not because of, I just started cooking heatheir food for myself, yay whole foods plant based!). I started with tightlacing and the corsets that were comfortable at first got uncomfortable and then just too big as I lost weight. I was only buying from Heavy Red, who makes slim corsets (loved them for fashion and back pain management) and I wasn’t knowledgeable or taking corsetting very seriously. So I can’t give very good advice in this area.
Many people will tell you to go ahead and get a corset and start waist training now, don’t wait until you loose your weight. I’ve seen them recommend talking to who you get the corset from, many people will get one a bit smaller than they should get so they can wear it longer.
As for weight gain, I haven’t seen any advice about this. Perhaps getting a corset with waist ties would be beneficial. You should talk to others more experienced about this, and discuss it with the company you want to buy from.
Off The Rack (OTR) vs
(will do this later)
Stealthing is wearing your corset under your clothes, especially without the corset showing in any way (laces, outlines). If you mainly want to stealth you’ll want to consider how thick the corset is, the material it’s made from, and any additional decoration it might have that would show through your clothes or catch on the material.
I have this PVC corset and I can stealth it with loose clothing but not something like a tight t shirt or dress. The material is nice and slippery so clothes I wear over it don’t “stick” like it might with a cotton corset.
I have this satin corset and I haven’t tried anything tight over it, but I’m currently wearing it with a loose cotton dress and I can tell that it would be much easier to wear something tighter without the actual corset lines showing.
Cupped vs Conical rib shapes
This may not be something you’ll care about with your first corset. I say: Don’t worry about it. Unless you hate the look of one of the other or if you have some bitchin’ ribs.
Something to take into consideration is the rib shape of a corset. Some listings will tell you what it is. And if you like the shape in the pic, then go for it!
A cupped rib will be more comfortable on your ribs than a conical. As it sounds, it will “cup” your ribs. You’ll also be able to get a greater reduction. But that’s not a big deal for your first corset.
A conical rib is less of a cup shape and more of a harder straight shape over the ribs to your waist. It will push your lowers ribs in more, especially if you’re doing a large reduction or you have beefy ribs.
I personally prefer the look of conical most of the time, but I’m going to be trying to get cupped or semi cupped corsets to make training more comfortable.
Waspie, Average length, Longline
(will do this section later)
This brings us into rib training. This isn’t something you should concern yourself with as a newbie and I can’t talk much on it but I think it should be mentioned briefly. It’s mostly something to think about if you’re looking at extreme reductions in the future.
I am not a doctor, I just have to mention again to listen to your body. Know your body. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns or medical conditions.