“ Allycat Metalware / bow belt accessory / various colours. „
I love dressing up in a gothic or burlesque style when I go out, and the easiest way to alter an outfit is with great accessories. I have been admiring Allycat's corsets for years now but decided to go for a smaller item as my first purchase to see what the service was like and to have a good look at the item in real life to see workmanship etc. Allycat Metalware is an independent company creating unique alternative fashion accessories. If you are lucky enough to get down to the Cyberdog shop in Camden market, London then you can see some Allycat items in the flesh, as they sell through Cyberdog. You can buy directly online from http://allycatmetalware.com.
Allycat Metalware say: "These corset bows are the perfect way to change the look of our, or any other plain corset. The belt fastens under the bow with a popper so they are easy to get on and off."
The retail price for this item is £20.00 and includes a belt and a matching bow detail. Each corset belt accessory is custom made for you and will be made to order once you have submitted your item details. Your bow belt can be created from a choice of 7 different latex colours including pearlescent finishes. You can choose from a range of sizes to suit your waist measurements. A word of advice here, if you are going to be wearing this over a corset as recommended, then take into account the structural shaping will alter the size of your waist when wearing a corset. A strongly boned and heavily laced corset can reduce your waist size by several inches, and you do not want to end up with a drooping baggy belt by basing your order measurements on your standard waist size. This also explains why the sizings appear to be smaller than you would expect. XS = 18" - 20", S = 21" - 24", M = 25" - 28", L = 30" - 34".
The bow itself is sculpted in a way that gives it a fully 3-dimensional look and feel. The belt is simply a long strip of latex that is tapered at each end. To attach the bow to the belt you simply thread one end through the centre loop on the bow. I only put the very tip of the belt through, as I prefer to have it fastened underneath the bow so that it hides the join. The belt fastens very securely with a heavy duty popper stud, and this makes it easy to put on and take off again. I think the belt works best worn at waist height, which is very popular and fashionable, or slung a tiny bit lower so that the bow trails down over the base of your back. I always have it so that the bow is on the back of my outfit, although you could have it on the front if you prefer.
The latex feels very thin and soft to the touch, but the sculpted bow holds its shape and stays in place thanks to the way that the curves have been positioned. The tails of the bow are left flowing so that they have a bit of movement as you are moving around. The feel of latex is very sensual and just begs to be touched! Latex needs a little more looking after than some materials, and I always keep my bow belt stored wrapped in acid-free tissue paper away from light. You can leave latex unpolished if you prefer, or build up a glossy look by treating with latex spray. To maintain a glossy look you should polish the item before and after each time you wear it. I have this bow belt in pink, as shown in the photo, and as it has a beautiful almost pearly luminescence I didn't want to polish it too much and have it looking glossy. A quick spritz with some latex spray on a soft cloth to clean it up works wonders and keeps it in good condition.
As for actually wearing it, I have tried this on over some of my outfits and think it looks very effective. It adds the perfect finishing touch to an outfit and the large size of the bow definitely stands out to make a statement. I experienced a few problems with the belt slipping and folding upon itself as I move, sit, or dance, but I think it's possible that this could be as I have not tried wearing it with a PVC corset, as shown on the website. I imagine that the latex would cling to the PVC and help it stay in place better, so will have to give this a try. When I wore it with a satin corset at the weekend I had to keep re-adjusting and pulling it back into place so that it stayed straight.
I think this is a beautifully made accessory and I love the quality and feel of the latex used. I am very happy with my purchase and would definitely consider buying from Allycat Metalware again. I received constant email updates regarding the progress on my order and the item was in the post on its way to me well in advance of the original estimation. Very happy all round and would recommend this for any lady who likes to wear a corset. A simply but effective way to brighten up a plain corset and add a touch of drama.