Nuback`s Corseted Life StoryUnlike some boys I did not sneak family members corsets to try them on. I was measured and fitted for a laced girdle by mothers Spencer Corsetiere when aged just 13 in an attempt to hide serious puppy fat. Then, Spencer still made corsets for children, known as Junior Supports but I was far too big for those, hence the deeper ladies style girdle. Worn when out of school, laced sufficiently firmly to stay in place should it be worn without stockings, it was comfortable but not too successful in hiding my bulge, nor did it cure the problem. There was no Draconian force to wear the girdle, a tacit understanding that "it is best for you" and this was the age when you did what you were told! Within the year, after comments from school about my size, mother decided I needed what she called a proper corset. I was mesured for and supplied with a Spencer busk front and front laced corset, a much longer and considerably stiffer garment I was shown how to get into and adjust, then told to get used to wearing it. This I wore first through the long summer holiday and then evenings and weekends in term time.
The corsetiere seemed to find little unusual in me being fitted for either girdle or corset, it was clearly still accepted practice to corset boys in the early 1950s as when measuring me for my first girdle she reassured me by pointing out she was fitting several boys, I never found out who. Once I had the corset I did wear my girdle when playing out and because I either liked wearing it or was used to its support, wore it to school some days. Whilst still at school some loss of puppy fat brought smaller corsets, mother changing me to the more economic priced ready to wear by Twillfit. Tea rose cloth, heavily boned and busk fronted with hooks and eyes below the busk which I fastened as usual, mother then spun me round to tighten the back laces, something I had to get used to when adjusting my own laces. These were even higher waisted and stiffer than the Spencer garment and I no longer had a less restrictive girdle to wear as relief. When again needing a smaller size I was taken to a towncentre shop to be measured. When I started College I could now wear my corset all day long as my female contemporaries did their much lighter styles. Eventually I had lost all my puppy fat and could have gone without a corset or at least worn a light girdle. However after several years daily wear I felt lost and indeed uncomfortable without their firm support so mother agreed to continue buying 26 inch waist Twillfit corsets for me.
Once working I had to buy my own clothes and corsets, reverting to being fitted for a Spencer garment, to avoid the embarrassment of purchasing in ladies outfitters. I actually found no discrimination when buying in major department stores, sales ladies were clearly used to men buying corsets as one would accompany me to a gents changing room on another floor to try on my intended purchase. One sales lady suggested I did not need a heavy corset and persuaded me to try a much advertised firm elastic girdle as they supposedly gave good figure control and support. This was not so, they could not match the support of a corset busk. Needing to also wear stockings to prevent them riding up was essential, the reassuring pull of the suspenders was countered by finding wearing stockings uncomfortably hot in summer. With the usual six suspenders the back ones caused uncomfortable suspender sitting. I can understand ladies abandoning stockings for tights. I abandoned girdles for a well stayed almost under-bust length hook-side corset sold under the name "Nu-back" which took its name from a boned floating back panel. Hook side corsetry has the disadvantage of the hooks digging into the hip bone and the multiple hooks can be fiddly. Eventually in my early thirties becoming ever more dependent on my foundations I returned to Twillfit busk front back laced corsets for comfort, support and control. Surprisingly, the under-belted models I wore in my fifties were the most comfortable I have ever worn. By the late 1990s, hip belt corsets of the Twillfit style became unavailable so Victorian style laced stays were adopted without a great deal of success as they did not support my tummy, I never thought of teaming it with a panty girdle! Even so. I succeeded in lacing in several inches over a period of a few months .
Medical problems brought two changes to my foundation wear. Gynomastasia developed, possibly worsened by corsetry forcing tissue into the area, my breasts eventually filled out to a 40C size, very uncomfortable. A mamogram proved clear but the breast care clinic advised a firm control bra which brought relief. A heart attack revealed my tight lacing and I was faced with the medical instruction to cease constricting my chest. This I did, but my dependence on support to my back and tummy after nearly fifty years of rigid corseting all day every day was difficult to overcome and after persevering for months without or using panty girdles but still suffering almost constant pain led me to try light ribbon corsets. These are perfect for comfortable support and were quite easily worn 20/7, relaxing only for a few hours in the evening before resuming them for bed and fully tightening on rising in the morning. I then graduated to a long under-bust corset during the day, keeping everything including my tummy, under control by lacing my now natural 36 inch waist to 34 inches and slept in a ribbon waist cincher. Whilst happy with this arrangement I recently treated myself to a long, overbust corset at 32 inches waist so I can pull in for more support. It does seem more visible than the underbust so I dont wear it in public, but it is a relief to have breast support without bra straps. Whilst I bewail the non availability of the hip fitting corsets of my youth I have recently added the option of less restrictive foundations, a Triumph Doreen long line bra teamed with a Rago extra firm high line girdle does give me good breast, back and stomach support, comfort and holds up my stockings.
Was it right to put me in corsets as a boy? I have never regretted it and made my own decision as a teenager to continue wearing one, there is a lot to be said for boys so doing. A male wearing corsets does have some problems. I have been fortunate that it was never remarked on by friends, as a schoolboy perhaps they reralised I had little choice and colleagues in later life were perhaps too embarassed to mention the subject. Eating and particularly drinking has to be carefully monitored. How do you introduce the matter to special lady friends? Actual girlfriends and a few girls who were family friends became aware of my wearing corsets and I became a honorary member of the female foundation freemasonry with them telling me about their experiences. Then, schools insisted that girls of 13 also wore rigid type foundations as easier to don after a shower. A close friend confided that her mother put her into a girdle for some months before going intoTwillfit busked and laced corsets for school and daily wear when aged 14. A style and identical size we wore during our romance. Fortunately my wife of over forty years has tolerated my taste without demur, and without her or our children being similarly encased. There is little external evidence of my corsetry as I did not have a too defined waist, and still dont even though lacing, perhaps some restriction in movement. I have never flown but the increasing use of metal detectors in public buildings has led to having to explain to unbelieving guards about the busk and stays in my corset and that no, they are not a dangerous weapon and most definitely they can not be removed.