Devon Dale is a twenty something Vancouverite. When she isn’t being a lady adventurer for hire she is at Venus & Mars selling you corsets, kilts and other steampunkery. She enjoys hula hooping, reading and yoga. When you see her in the store, mention the Doctor and she will squeal like a delighted child.
I wrote this pre pandemic and I’ve been holding off sending it out. Just a quick reminder, our Express Window is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1pm-4pm for sales or curbside pick up. AND we are offering free shipping within Canada. DON’T FORGET we’re also having a 50% off sale on our imported items. And now, let’s jump into one of our most frequently asked questions.
What exactly is a corset?
Traditionally, a corset is a tight fitting undergarment that is designed to cinch the waist. They typically have boning throughout the garment and lace up in the front or back. They have been used for fashion and medical purposes and have been worn by both men and women. Under bust corsets or waist cinchers are worn below your bust. Over bust corsets cover your bust. They can be worn in place of a bra or over your bra depending what you’re comfortable with.
What is a Bustier?
A Bustier is a tight fitting undergarment that is designed to boost the bust. Unlike a corset, bustiers do not lace up. They may or may not have boning. Whereas corsets can be worn as a top or as an undergarment, bustiers are traditionally worn as undergarments and are more comparable to shape wear. They are worn in place of a bra.
What is Boning?
Boning is used to give the corset or bustier shape on your body. The more boning and the closer it is together, the more shape you will get. In Victorian times whale boning (made out of the baleen) was the standard but today steel, and plastic are generally used. Plastic boned corsets are the less expensive and typically what you would find at big box stores. Plastic boned corsets are great for costumes and causal wear however the boning can be prone to kinking. Steel boning is great for people who are really serious about corsetry. They are typically more expensive but give amazing shape. If you are not used to wearing a corset, you may find that steel boned corsets will take some getting used to.
Which one is better?
It’s hard to say which is better as they are used for different purposes. Bustiers are great for under tight fitting tops,wedding gowns, or anytime you want to smooth out your waist while accentuating your boobs. Corsets are great for going out, cosplay/ costuming, drag or anytime you need a really snatched waist. It really comes down to asking, which one is better for specific circumstances.
How was your weekend? Did you get to go out and get a haircut or go out for dinner? It’s so nice to see businesses opening up again. We’re still holding off a little bit longer. We just want to make sure that we’re prepared to keep everyone safe. We may not be fully open but our Express Window is open for curbside pick up and sales Tuesday – Saturday from 1pm – 4pm. If you’re going out and socializing again, it might be a good idea to pick up a face mask even if you just wear it on transit. No one wants to go back to a full quarantine.
Enough of that, now for some exciting news! We have added some of our most popular imported items to our 50% off sale! Have you ever tried on one of our Brocade Gothic Jackets but it just wasn’t in your budget at the time? Bam! 50% off. What about our zip up uniform dresses? Pow! 50% off. Need an emergency fancy dress? Our beaded 1920s dresses are 50% off! All your favorites, half the price. Grab them while you can. They’re going to go quickly.
We have also added some brand new handmade things. We’re still making new stuff for you all the time. We have some super cute Wine Crinkle Dresses that are perfect for summer. We also made some Furry Festival Hoods that are all one of a kind, super cute, and great for your festival tickle trunk. You may have missed it but we also have some extremely dapper black stripe waistcoats that are essential for a gentleman’s wardrobe.
We hope you’re doing well and staying safe. We’ll keep you updated on when and how we’re going to reopen but for now you can come say hi at the Express Window or chat with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
We’ve made the decision to not be fully open yet. It was a hard decision to make but we want to err on the side of caution. We want to hold off to see if there is a second wave after the reopening of restaurants and bars. Don’t worry, you can still shop online 24/7. We’re offering free shipping within Canada and curbside pick up. As an added bonus, we’re having a 50% sale so be sure to check that out!
We may not be fully open yet but we are extending our Express Window hours. Starting Tuesday, May 26, our new hours will be Tuesday – Saturday from 1 -4. You won’t be able to try things on but if you know what you want, you can pick up anything from the shop. We’ll be featuring our face masks, 3 in 1 tube scarves, veils, and goggles. You can also pick up online orders if you don’t feel like waiting for Canada Post, just add a note in your order saying you would like to pick up your order.
If you really want to browse the shop and try things on, we are taking one on one shopping appointments. We will ask that you wear a mask, sanitizer your hands and limit the amount of stuff that you touch and try on. You can call, email, or DM us to book an appointment. Do not book an appointment if you are feeling COVID symptoms or you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID in the past 14 days.
We really appreciate all your continued support right now and we hope that you and your loved ones stay happy and healthy.
PS. Lookout on Tuesday, we’re adding more awesome things to the 50% off sale!
We’re having a sale! If you don’t need any more information than that, CLICK HERE to check it out. For anyone else sticking around, let me tell you why we decided to have a sale. But first, I need to remind you that we still have FREE shipping within Canada and we have our express window open Monday – Friday from 1:30 – 3:30 for curbside pick up and sale of masks, goggles and face coverings.
Okay so why are we putting stuff on sale? This pandemic has given us the opportunity to re-assess the business, our goals and our brand. Alternative clothing designed and handmade in Vancouver has always been at the core of Venus & Mars. Most of our stock is designed by Sanne (the owner) and made by Sanne and the staff, most but not all. We want to transition to exclusively carrying locally handmade clothing.
You may be wondering why. There’s lots of reasons. First, we can control what we make. We know what the quality will be. We know how the garment will look and fit. Second, we have control over when we can have it in the store or more control. We can’t control what our suppliers have in stock or when they will ship it. If we make it, we know how quickly we can have it in the store. If all our black cloaks sell out the last week of September then we can make more and have them ready for sale in time for Halloween. Third, the fact that we make the clothing makes us special. It’s kind of nice to know exactly where your clothing comes from and it’s even nicer that you can say hi to the lady who designed it.
So we decided to put our imported items on sale for 50% off. We’re starting with corsets, waist cinchers, skirts and dresses. We’ll roll out more in the next couple of weeks. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you up to date on what’s going on sale. What do you think of our decision? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We haven’t made a concrete decision regarding when we’re going to be open again but we’ll let you know as soon as we do. In the meantime, we are going to continue to offer curbside pick and mask sales at our express window Monday – Friday from 1:30 – 3:30. Monday May 18, we will be closed for Victoria Day. We’re also continuing to offer free shipping within Canada if you order online. As businesses start to reopen, I think it’s important to remember that we’re not completely out of the woods yet and that if we don’t take the right precautions, things could go badly again.
First, you should continue to wash your hands and try to keep yourself from touching your face. Soap and water will clean the virus off your hands so that you don’t spread it to yourself or others. Touching your face is basically like eating a Corona pizza if you have the virus on your hands.
Second, continue to social distance. Stay 6 feet away from people. Give strangers a wide berth on the street and in the supermarket. COVID-19 doesn’t always show symptoms so avoiding being in close contact with people keeps them from giving it to you and keeps you from giving it to them if you have it and you don’t know it. Whenever you can, stay home.
Third, you might want to get a face mask or something else to cover your mouth with. Hospitals and medical professionals need medical grade and N95 masks more than you do. But using a cloth mask of at least 2 layers will keep you from spreading Corona to others if you have it and you aren’t exhibiting signs. It is also a helpful reminder not to touch your face while you’re wearing one. As much as possible you want to avoid touching anything except the ear straps. As an added bonus, wearing a face mask also shows the people around you that you are being aware and respectful. We have lots of different colours of face masks available, if you want to look cute and be safe but we also have our 3 in 1 tube scarves, veils and bandanas. We are continuing to donate a mask to health care workers for every mask we sell. Whether you get a mask from us or from somewhere else the most effective ones are going to be double layered, breathable and washable.
What do you think about shops reopening? Do you feel like it’s the right time? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stay safe! We can’t wait to see you again.