Instructions in Spirella Corsetry/Chapter 9
Chapter 9: How to Study the Spirella CatalogueEdit
1. The catalogue contains specific and technical information
concerning Spirella corsets. Since they are the medium through
which you have the opportunity to render service, you should ac-
quire this information with as little loss of time and effort as
possible. To do this its study should be systematized. A prominent
educator once said, "It matters not so much where you study, or
what you study, as HOW you study." With this thought firmly
and definitely fixed in your mind, consider HOW TO STUDY the
2. The title page shows that this catalogue is the twelfth edition.
This indicates the years of Spirella's growth. During this time Spi-
rella offices and factories have been established in various parts of
the world, as shown by the addresses given. There are three factories
in the United States alone, located to facilitate service to the cor-
setieres. The location of the city offices indicates that Spirella is
situated in the fashionable centers of the important cities of the
3. Turn to page 2, "Foreword." Read carefully the first para-
graph. What points of value to you did you fix in your mind as you
read? Re-read that paragraph; as you do so draw a line under the
wards "twelfth annual catalogue." This is the first statement. Now
draw a line under the words "a text book of Spirella products."
That is the second statement. Next, "every garment catalogued is
treated under the following headings." Underline those words in
your catalogue. What is the next point? "Description." Of what
does the description treat? Underline the words, "points out con-
struction and features." Of what? "Spirella products." What
next? "Measurements." What do they do? "Determine the various
heights and lengths of the standard pattern." Now underline those
words. The next is "Adaptability." Underline that also. Why
should you study and know all about the adaptability of each corset?
Read what is said after the word "Adaptability", and you will know,
"sets forth the specific use or purpose of each corset." What is the
next specific statement? "From no other source can so accurate and
comprehensive a knowledge of Spirella garments be obtained." What
is the conclusion of this paragraph? "This catalogue, then, should
be studied, mastered and used ONLY BY THE CORSETIERE."
4. The first paragraph under "Foreword" has been analyzed sen-
tence by sentence. Read and study the remainder of pages 2, 3, 4
and 5 the same way, underlining each definite and complete state
ment made. It will be time well spent. The first eight paragraphs
under "Foreword" can be made the basis of a SALES TALK that
will be well nigh irresistible.
5. In studying the information given under "Foreword," see
haw many points you can remember that will be helpful to you in
presenting Spirella corsets to new clients. By thoroughly familiar
izing yourself with the subject contained in each paragraph, you
will acquire a fund of knowledge which you can use in your daily
6. "The International Honours and Awards" prove that Spirella
is considered the most healthful corset by the best authorities. It
is worthy of note that this is the first time that any corset has
received the Palme d'Or of Paris, France. The many fashion awards
attest the superiority of Spirella from the standpoint of style.
7. Before beginning a study of the corsets, turn to the "Explana-
tion of the Abbreviations and Terms", on pages 86 to 89. Read
these pages carefully, as this knowledge will make it easier for you
to understand the information given and is necessary to read the
printed matter intelligently.
8. For instance: on page 86 you are told that the series or style
number indicates the type of figure for which the corset is designed
and. in the last paragraph on this page you are told how to read the
style number and why.
9. With this knowledge, turn to page 6. The illustrations in the
catalogue show one style of each series and give some idea of the
construction. Corsets cannot be selected from the illustrations,
but from the careful consideration of all information given. Pages
7 to 11 comprise eight corsets for 20-type; five of these are back-
laced and three front-laced.
10. To show you how to analyze the text and study the corsets,
take style 222 from your demonstration models. You will find the
style number on the inner side of a half of the clasp. On the oppo-
site side you will find the size written thus, 302. Read the number
backwards, paying no attention to the cipher in the middle. The,
cipher simply makes what we term a blind number. This method of
disguising the size has been adopted to remove any difficulty you
may have with the client who habitually wears too small a corset
and who might object to a garment larger than she had previously
worn, simply because of the size marked. Since you know how to
read the size, you will have no difficulty.
11. Turn to page 9, "The 221 Series." On page 86 we learn that
the numeral 20 in the style number indicates this series is a group
of corsets designed for 20-type. To impress on your mind this con-
nection of style number and type, take a pencil and mark a circle
around the 21 in the series number and in the beginning of the sec-
ond line under "Adaptability", another circle around 20-type.
12. Under "Description" are listed the various features of con-
struction. The first three statements made are, "Back-laced,"
"Boned with Spirella," "Straight clasp." Notice these details in
the corset. The function of each of these is defined on page 87.
"Tape re-inforcement," "Soft extension," "Skirt cut straight," "Hose
supporters," "Waist tape," "Draw-tape," "Trimmed according to
material," "Unboned hip space," "Standard pattern" are explained
on page 88. Study these details in the corsets, so that you will be
able to recognize them and understand the construction of this
13. The varying heights, lengths and development of the stand-
ard patterns make it possible for you to use standard measurements
without changing them, to corset clients of the 20-type who vary in
body length and development. Because this series is designed for
20-type, its sizes do not range above 26 in the standard pattern. It
is better not to use this series in sizes larger than 26. Larger sizes
might take it into another type and it would not perform the func-
tions for which it was designed. A smaller size than 18 would not
14. "Measurements" and the abbreviations used in connection
with them, are explained an pages 88 and 89. In the 221 series
there are three corsets, the measurements of which vary. There
are four measurements which, if memorized, give you a mental pic-
ture of each corset. These are DEVELOPMENT, CENTER BUST,
CLASP BELOW AND BACK BELOW.
15. To fix these in your mind mark a circle around each of these
important measurements. You have style 222 which is one of this
series; by knowing the four measurements of the other two styles
in the series, you will understand the points of difference between
them and so get a clear idea of each one.
16. "Adaptability" is defined in the last paragraph on page 89.
To make this meaning perfectly clear, adaptability means the ability
of the corset to conform to a certain type and adapt itself to the
correction of conditions. A corset designed for the normal figure
acts as a mould to bring back to normal any irregularities of that
type. With this thought in mind let us consider the text under
17. The 221 series is designed for the normal, small, slender
figure—20-type. The location of the lacing adjustment affords
compression in the back and, because of this, the standard patterns
of this series are adapted to the correction of kangaroo poise and
18. The unboned hip space is a feature in the design of all 20-
type corsets. This unboned space avoids pressure of stays on promi-
nent hip bones and so is adapted to this condition.
19. Style 221 adapts to the flat, bony figure with waist small in
proportion, because its larger hip development gives more width
across the pelvic girdle. This bony structure cannot be moulded by
compression; hence the necessity for the greater hip development
in style 221. Style 221 also has the greater bust development. The
rib structure of a thin person is as large as though there were
normal flesh development. For this reason there must be suffcient
bust development in the corset. The height of style 221 furnishes
bust form for the figure with scant breast development. Because
this style is the highest of the series, and therefore covers more of
the rib structure, it is designed with the greatest bust development
of this series.
20. Style 222 conforms to the medium developments of 20-type;
therefore it is adapted to figures conforming closely to normal. Be-
cause it is designed for the medium proportions, of the 20-type it
has a wider range of adaptability to correct irregularities and
mould them to normal proportions.
21. Because style 223 is the shortest of the series above waist
line, it is adapted to the short-waisted figure or where a low bust
corset is desired. The smaller hip development requires the selec-
tion of a larger waist size. While style 223 has wide adaptability
to normal 20-type, it is especially adapted to the correction of
kangaroo poise and cut-in waist when found in this type. The com-
pression afforded by the lacing over the back of the hips combined
with the small hip development of the corset and the length of
clasp below results in a correction of the slant of the pelvic girdle,
tilting it downward in the back and upward in the front. This
combined action corrects kangaroo poise and brings it to normal.
22. The price list to which you are referred for materials, fur-
nishes you the prices of all garments manufactured by The Spirella
Company. It will be helpful to memorize the prices of the various
models in two materials.
23. We have shown you how to study one series for the 20-type;
now turn to page 17 an which is a series designed far the 60-type.
Style 463 of this series is included in your demonstration models.
Follow the same plan and mark a circle around the numeral 60 in
the series number and around 60-type under adaptability. This will
impress itself on your mind so you will remember that the series
is designed for the normal medium figure.
24. Study the description carefully, comparing each statement
with the details of construction of style 463. Observe that the
standard pattern is graded in larger sizes than the 20-type series.
This pattern is designed for the normal medium figure; therefore it
is necessary to have larger sizes. Study the measurements of the
three corsets in the series and mark a circle around the four im-
portant measurements to be memorized.
25. In the first paragraph under "Adaptability" you will find
the statement that this pattern is adapted to the correction of flesh
out of proportion over side hips. The skirt of this series is long
over the hip and hugs the side hip closely. The upward curve from
the hip toward the front and back allows far the necessary spread
of flesh in the sitting position. This makes a short soft extension
26. Notice the angle at which the hose supporters are attached.
Fastening the supporters to the hose at the inside of the leg con-
trols the skirt of the corset and holds it snugly and smoothly over
side hip in the standing or sitting position.
27. Style 463, which you have, has smaller developments than
style 462, and is adapted to moulding the flesh to slightly straighter
28. Turn to page 35. Style 35 of this series is included in your
demonstration models. You will note this series is designed for the
normal stout figure with curved outlines, 30-type. Follow the sug-
gestions concerning the marking of the two series previously studied.
29. From the four important measurements, you know that this
series is of medium height above and of medium length below waist.
The developments indicate to you that it has only medium curves
for 30-type. Because this series is of simple construction and
medium dimensions, such as height, length and development, it is
a practical series far general use on 30-type. For a client of this
type who always has two corsets in her wardrobe, this would be
suitable for comfortable, every-day wear.
30. In the second paragraph under "Adaptability" you will find
this series is adapted to the correction of flesh developed out of
proportion over abdomen as well as side hips. This design controls
abdominal flesh, when not excessive, by re-distributing it and so
corrects the condition of prominent abdomen.
31. The skirt, being short and shaped straight around, allows
room for a slight amount of thigh flesh. It is not designed to con-
trol or correct thigh flesh.
32. Turn to page 43. Select the front-laced corset, style 596,
from your demonstration models. The numeral 90 in the series
number, as explained an page 86, indicates that it is front-laced.
Mark a circle around the numeral 90 in the series number and
around 30-type under "Adaptability." This will remind you that
the series is front-laced and is designed for 30-type.
33. Read the description and notice the points of difference.
The first is "Front-laced." The function of "Front-laced" is defined
on page 87. The other points of difference are "Skirt cut out in
front" and "One and one-half sets of hose supporters." The addi-
tional half set of supporters serves to keep the skirt of the corset
smooth a s well as to perform its regular function.
34. Follow the former suggestions as to marking the page so as
to help you memorize the four important measurements. Read care-
fully all of the text under "Adaptability." Consider each statement
thoughtfully as all points therein differ from those of the back-laced
corsets previously studied. In the first paragraph you are told that
this series conforms to a C back curve. This is the back curve
normal to 30-type.
35. The lacing adjustment located in the front of the corset fur.
nishes compression over the front of the body. Because of this, the
standard pattern is adapted to the correction of gorilla poise. This
compression in the front changes the slant of the pelvic girdle, tilt-
ing it downward in the front and upward in the back, thus bringing
gorilla poise to normal.
36. The condition of prominent and pendulous abdomen is cor-
rected by the re-distribution of flesh upward and toward the sides
and is brought about through the compression over the front of the
37. Prolapsed abdominal organs are replaced through abdominal
control and uplift furnished by the compression. Following ab-
dominal operations, all front-laced corsets, through the location of
their lacing, adapt to adjustment in reclining position.
38. A deficient back curve may be brought to normal through
the change of the slant of the pelvic girdle and the re-distribution of
39. Turn to page 29 where you will find the 243 series. Follow-
ing the same method in studying this page, marking it as you did
the other series, will give you specific information concerning a
series for the 40-type.
40. You have now studied back-laced corsets for the four types
and a front-laced corset for one type. This shows you the differ-
ences in construction, design and adaptability of back and front-
laced corsets. Study all of the information concerning the garments
in the catalogue in the same manner, one page at a time, gradually
acquiring a mastery of all of it.
41. Page 90, "Spacing Deductions," gives you the rules for mak-
ing deductions for lacing space. Pages 91 and 92 give information
and illustrations of the lacing space when the corset is adjusted on
the fig-tire. The information on pages 93, 94 and 95 will be of great
assistance to you in your daily selection of corsets for types and
conditions. The last page is a complete index of the catalogue. It
enables you to refer quickly to any subject desired.
42. As a result of the study of this catalogue you must realize
that it is a working text book and as such it should not be displayed
to your client. It is not only your working text book, but it con-
tains full information concerning the garments through which you
give service and build a permanent business. For that reason, it is
worthy of your earnest and constant, study.
43. "Hard work accomplishes more, in the long run, than genius.
But hard work alone will not bring success. The foundation of all
success is preparation. There must be the 'know how' behind the
effort to bring results. Salesmen and saleswomen are developed,
not born. You can be as expert as you teach yourself to be."