Damselites Unite!

The Corsets

Damsel in this Dress was founded by Michelle Thorstrom with the aim of helping women feel their very best. On her website she says, "We have been in business for 12 years and have only grown and expanded because we listened to women about their needs, changed our patterns to fit real bodies, and made them able to adjust to the particular woman's shape.  We are here to serve you and help you see your body in a loving, beautiful light." These corsets aren't meant to be foundation garments, they are made to be seen as costumes, garb, and every day wear.

The Damsel line has underbust and overbust corsets. The underbusts are the Wench, Torian and Vixen. The most common overbusts are the Aurora, Crossfire and Duchess. There are even corsets with sleeves and tails - the Deluxe Peacock Tailed Corset, Duchess with Tails and Siren. Prices on corsets range from $50 on a good sale day to over $400 for custom pieces.

The Damselites

Over a decade later, Thorstrom has succeeded in creating a loyal following of women. They call themselves Damselites - creating Facebook groups to talk about their self proclaimed "addictions" and forming groups of women who work to build each other up while creating some beautiful costumes. Sometimes they just help justify purchases or help the starstruck Damselite remember that sometimes groceries come before pretty corsets in the budget.

These Damselites vary in age from 8 to 63 - a wide range of ages for a target market, but a target market that has proven to be ready to spend whatever amount of money for just the right corset.

When asking for pictures of them wearing their corsets, I was thrilled to have so many who were happy with their photos and willing to share - below are some of the Damselites.

Beverly in a Wench
Beverly in a Vixen
Beverly in a Wench
Laura in a Torian
Laura in a Duchess with cap sleeves
Laura in a Torian
Ginger in a Vixen and a friend in a Torian
Ginger in a Wench
Ginger in an Over Archer
Julia in a Duchess with Buccaneer panels

Dawn in a Duchess
Dawn in a Torian

Cheryl in a Torian
Roxanne as Snow White in a Torian with steampunk accents
Roxanne in a Vixen
Sarah in a Vixen
Sarah in a Wench with Belt detail
Three generations: Cheryl, her daughter and 2 granddaughters in Over Archers (and her grandson, but he's a dragon not a Damsel!)

It's common for a Damselite to be wearing a corset when at a Ren Fest or Dagorhir tournament and hear, "IS THAT A DAMSEL?" from across a crowd and fall into talking garb. Even as I was working on gathering photos for this post, a UCM grad reached out to say HI while in the same group - going to show that Damsels are everywhere!

Written by Dawn Snow


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