CHAPTER VIII
FITTING THE HOOKSIDE BELT AND CORSELETTE

How to put on hookside girdle–How to test for correctness of fit–Putting on and testing a corselette–Hookside corselette with inner belt.

OF all forms of fastening for modern foundation garments, the sidehooking method is foremost in popular demand. Where the customer has not excessive abdominal development the side-hooking garment usually gives sufficient control. Hip-heavy figures wear side-hooking garments very satisfactorily, provided they are long enough and have sufficient room in the skirt of the garment to take care of the fleshy buttocks and thighs which go with this figure type, and the fastening does not fall on the hipbone. Average figures again wear side-hooking garments with success, especially the fuller average figures. The topheavy woman, always so short below the waist, finds a side-hooking garment perfectly satisfactory if it is the right length for her and has been designed to fit her small buttock and thigh proportions.

How to Fit the Hookside Girdle

Sitting down by the client, who should be wearing no more than one thin undergarment, place the girdle round her and do up the top hook temporarily. This will hold the garment in position while you loose your hold of it. Now gently move your client round so that her back is towards you and straighten the garment, centring it on the figure. Do up the back suspenders to anchor the girdle in the correct position and turn the customer so that the fastening of the garment is toward you.

Most corsetry teachers will nowadays advise fastening the garment from the bottom upwards, for in so doing you are lifting back the flesh, taking it upwards as you fasten. It is important to know how to hold the garment. With the left hand, keep only the thumb inside the garment, and with the right hand, no more than two fingers inside (Fig. 31). Remember to pull with the right hand, for it is at this side you have the elastic panel to "give." A good grip and pull with the right hand is the secret.

When you have fastened a few hooks and eyes, stand up and survey the garment. It must be fitting 1½-2 in. below the fold where the buttocks join the thighs at the back, and it must be straight on the figure. Straighten it if necessary now, and, turning the back of the customer towards you, take the side of the back panel in your left hand and the elastic side panel itself in your right hand. Now give a long, steady pull downwards. Don't jerk the customer. Repeat the operation at the other side. This settles the garment well down over the seat and over the thighs and makes sure that it "sits" properly on the figure before you complete the fastening (Fig. 32).

Girdle
FIG. 31. HOW TO FASTEN A HOOKSIDE GIRDLE
Only the thumb of the left hand and two fingers of he right hand should be inside the garment.
Garment
FIG. 32. PULLING THE GARMENT DOWN WITH A LONG, STEADY PULL MAKES SURE THAT IT "SITS" PROPERLY ON THE FIGURE BEFORE THE FASTENING is COMPLETED

Now sit down again, undo the top hook and draw the customer towards you, keeping your knees together and against the customer's body. Continue to hook up to the top. Turn the customer towards you and, if there is any sign that the garment does not take in all the flesh at the front of the waist, give it a little lift at the front. Last of all, do up the front suspenders.

Fitting the Hookside Corselette

Take the two shoulder straps in the right hand and, lifting them on to the customer's right shoulder, take one over her head in a neat, quick movement. Straighten the garment on her and do up the back suspenders. Proceed to fit in exactly the way described for a girdle, but as you approach the bust, ask the customer to bend slightly forward and to settle her bust in the bust pockets herself (Fig. 33). If, when the fastening is completed, the garment needs settling neatly under the root of the bust, turn the shoulder straps right down and take one good pull up of the entire garment at the front. Put back the shoulder straps and pin them or adjust them at the back if they need any shortening.
Corselette
FIG. 33. WHEN FITTING A CORSELETTE, SHOW THE CUSTOMER HOW TO LEAN FORWARD AND SETTLE THE BUST IN THE POCKETS
Bone-length
FIG. 34. TEST FOR BONE-LENGTH WITH THE CUSTOMER SITTING

If the corselette fits correctly while the customer is standing, you will see that the breasts fit exactly into the cups, the under-seam fitting neatly under the root of the bust, and there will be no bulges of excess flesh showing at the front or under the arms. There should not be any "gape" under the arms, but if there is, you must arrange for a dart to be made under the arm to rectify it. Look carefully at the corselette to see that it is the right length for the customer between the root of the bust and the hip line. This, termed the torso, is where the corselette may sometimes not be exactly right. If the garment is too long in the torso, the wrinkles will demonstrate the fact; if too short in the torso, it will drag down the bust or come up too high on the thighs or buttocks. Assuming the corselette to be the correct torso length for the customer, see that it comes 1½ in. to 2 in. below the gluteal fold and proceed to test for bone-length and thigh fit, as described on page 54 (Fig. 34).   If the customer is a heavy figure, watch the flesh on the back of the shoulders in case it bulges over.   If so, you need a corselette with a higher back to take it in.

Inner Belts

Sometimes in large size hookside corselettes there is a hookside inner belt. Hook this up from the bottom upwards and deal with it as described in Chapter X.

Hookside garments are the easiest of all corsets to fit, and if in early attempts you feel you have "no strength in your wrists" or that the job hurts your fingers, do not be misled. The knack comes quickly and you will soon cease to be worried by any difficulty. A few tips for beginners are–-

Be firm with yourself and hold the garment just as instructed in the diagram.

Pull with the right hand–it is easiest.

Don't struggle with a garment that really is too small–discard it and try with a larger size. It is better to fit too slackly than too tightly.

CHAPTER IX