Dangerous curves

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Corsets give a girl curves.

That's been the case since they were commonplace in the 17th century, and the idea still applies today.

But what are people wearing laced-up-tight, suck-it-in corsets for today?

"I get a surprising amount of information from my clients without even having to ask," said corset creator Shannon Mingus, laughing. "They'll tell me, 'I want one for waist training,' 'I want to wear it for everyday,' 'I want it to go to clubs,' 'I want it for a photo shoot,' 'I want it for my birthday party.'"

But given the uber-detailed order form for Mingus' SugarKitty corsets, this outpouring of information might seem natural.

For her, custom means custom. To the unfamiliar, the options seem endless: eight different designs and dozens of choices for fabric, trim, laces, piping, boning, beading and feathers, among other things.

It's details like those, as well as painstakingly custom design and flawless construction, that put SugarKitty above others, Mingus said. "Sometimes I wish I'd picked a simpler thing to make."

She's been sewing since childhood and made her first corset in 2002, after a year of reading, studying the not-so-well-made commercial competition and constructing trial-and-error designs.

"I made a corset, and I fell in love with it, and I decided that's what I wanted to do for a living," she said.