THE busk-front corset is a plain wrap-on belt which does not contain elastic panels down the sides. It may, however, and in fact usually does, contain some elastic sections, probably at the waist and possibly in gussets over the thighs.
Its principle advantage is that it gives very firm abdominal control, though it is insufficient where the abdomen is pendulous.
One type of figure for which the busk front is especially good, always assuming that the correct figure type garment is available, is the woman with very big hip development and at the same time a high, firm abdomen.
It is a somewhat tricky garment for the young corsetiere to deal with, and before a beginner tries to fit a busk front on a customer she should have had a certain amount of practice. Heads of corset departments usually arrange practice-hours for new fitters, when the girls can practice fitting each other and learn by trial and error as they must not attempt to learn with customers. Once the action of fastening the busk front is mastered it is easy enough, but few things are more embarrassing than to try to put a busk front garment on a customer and fail.
Here is the method of putting on a busk front corset–
(1) Turn the customer with her back towards you, place the garment around her and ask her to hold it in position while you fasten the back suspenders.
(2) Turn her to face you, and, holding either side of the corset with the appropriate hand, put two fingers inside the top, and the thumb outside, at about one inch from the busk.
(3) Slip on the top stud. That is merely to hold the corset and to free your hands for the rest of the doing up.
(4) Now put the back of the right hand flat against the customer's body, with the bottom of the right hand busk (facing the fitter) resting in the crook between the thumb and the first finger. The thumb is outside the garment and the flat hand–it is most important that the hand and knuckles should be flat–inside. With the left hand, grasp the left side of the busk, again with the bottom of the busk firmly wedged between the thumb and the first finger, but in this case the index finger should be pointing upwards and pressing on the busk itself, while the other three fingers remain curled up outside the corset (Fig. 37).
FIG. 37. THE KNACK OF DOING UP A BUSK FASTENING MUST BE MASTERED. STUDY DIAGRAM AND TEXT CAREFULLY, THEN PRACTISE TILL PERFECT
(5) Now pull the right hand over to the left and do up the third stud from the top. That is the key stud, and it must be done up in one quick, even movement. Next fasten the first and second studs (the first will probably have come undone as the third was flicked into place), and lastly the bottom stud; then do up the hooks and eyes at the base of the busk.
If the fitter does not hold her hands properly, she will never get the busk fastened. A demonstration by a practised fitter is worth a great many printed words to the beginner and she should soon find somebody to show her how it is done. After that, she must practise till she can do the fastening perfectly every time, without hesitation.
As with all other corsets, the first thing to do in fitting is to fasten the back suspenders to the stockings. This pulls the corset into a straight position and anchors it there. The corset should be worn well under the buttocks, at least two inches below the gluteal fold.
When fitting a busk front, it is always advisable to give the corset a little pull up at the front, especially if the customer has any accumulation of flesh at the front of the waistline. This pull will take the busk up above the line of the rib-cage so that it does not stick into the wearer when she sits down, but so that at the same time it prevents her from sagging. Any flabby tissue will be securely held inside the corset. Test for fit as instructed in Chapter VII.
There is a correct way to take a busk front corset off as well as to put it on. Undo all suspenders and the hooks and eyes at the base of the busk first, then undo the studs, always from the top down. Place the hands as shown in Fig. 38, press inwards with the thumbs, and so undo the last stud.
FIG. 38. THERE IS A CORRECT WAY TO UNDO A BUSK FASTENING ALSO
An inner belt in the corset is a necessity for women with the form of figure problem known as pendulous abdomen, and indeed, women with excessive abdominal development of any kind find such a garment very comfortable.
The important thing to consider when fitting a garment with inner belt is that the inner belt must fit firmly, and any tendency to pull it down and make it act as a sling to hold the excess of flesh in the abdomen must be discouraged. In fact, once the inner belt is done up, and before the main part of the garment is fastened over it, the customer should be invited to put her hands down either side of the front of the abdomen and gently lift the flesh upwards to a comfortable position inside the belt. (Some fitters prefer to do this themselves, but it is on the whole more satisfactory to let the customer do it.)
The inner belt must not be pulled down under the abdomen. It must be kept in a perfectly straight position across the abdomen, not underneath it. The customer will in most cases want to pull it down; she may pull it down when you are not looking, so be careful to explain to her that the reason for fixing it firmly across the front is to push back the soft flesh into its correct place. The effect of pulling the inner belt down is to cause a bad crease across the back and sides of the garment when it is fastened up. In fact, if when you have finished doing up the garment, such creases appear at the sides and back, they are a sure sign that the inner belt is too far down at the front.
The inner belt is fastened from the bottom up. Having made sure that it is firmly fixed across the abdomen and not too much pulled down, see that the garment is quite straight and exactly centred on the customer. Turn her round and do up the back suspenders, then proceed to do up the fastening of the outer section in the usual way.
Inner belts in corsets are usually very well boned, but a soft allelastic inner belt can be very useful for a woman with a lot of soft loose flesh.