London Lingerie Adventures: What Katie Did

I was so, so excited to visit What Katie Did because I’ve been lusting over their sweet vintage-inspired lingerie and loungewear for so long. The walk through Notting Hill to get up to the boutique was nice one and there were a lot of cool knick knacks and antiques to scope out on my way up and get me in the mood for the brief ‘back in time’ moment that is the What Katie Did boutique.

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The first thing I tried was a 1940s-style soft bra in a size 34B (the 32C wouldn’t even close in the back!) in a gorgeous eau-de-nil color– sadly the style wasn’t right for me at all, but it was interesting nonetheless. I really wanted the matching tap pants, but my size wasn’t available. I also tried the Hollywood camiknicker, which was gorgeous, but not available in my size in the color I wanted. It turned out they had a shipment coming in the afternoon of the day when I was there but I couldn’t stay long enough!

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Overall, the sizes were closer to my ‘normal’ size than I had expected from the size chart– I had always gotten the impression that they would run small. Except for the bra, which was a little smaller in the back than expected, I fit best in a UK12 (US8), my most common size.

I honestly wasn’t planning to try on a corset when I was in What Katie Did because I already have a corset and a waspie from Angela Friedman that I absolutely love and wasn’t planning to expand my collection just yet. But when I saw all the corsets lined up on the side of the shop in all of the different shapes, I just knew I had to give them a try.

The Lingerie Lesbian at What Katie Did Wearing a Corset

Me, in the What Katie Did Sophia Corset

And that was a seriously good idea. I tried two corsets: the Laurie and the Sophia and I was amazed and impressed by how lovely they looked on me. The Laurie offers a slightly more hourglass silhouette than the Sophia, with gores that allow for greater room for your hips. Corsets are sized not by dress size, but by reduced corset waist size, which can be tough to get your head around if you’re used to S/M/L or number sizes. In this case, I decided to first try a 26″ reduced waist because my waist is between 29″-30″ normally, but found that the 24″ was a much better fit. I didn’t end up buying any in the shop because they didn’t have the Laurie in black (my favorite shape + color) but happily it is available online.

In the end, I didn’t end up buying anything in the store, but I do have my eye on some pieces to snag online! If you like vintage inspired lingerie or want to try some ready to wear corsets, I really recommend you visit the boutique. I just wish there was one in New York!

5 Comments
  1. They’re gorgeous! Their tap pants have stolen my heart, and I’ll definitely have to check them out one day.
    I do have a question though, I sometimes find that “ready to wear” corsets aren’t always that nice. I had one that started stabbing me with the steel after three wears, and had only been comfortable when they laced me in at the shop. Do the corsets seem like they’d be comfortable even after being brought? And the Sophia corset looks a touch long, is it or do the gores you mentioned accommodate for that?

    • Given that I didn’t wear the corset for an extremely long time I can’t say how it would deal with long wear, but it seemed quite comfortable. The Sophia in the photo isn’t perfect for me– I preferred the ‘Laurie’ with the gored hips because I got a little more hip room. The length wasn’t bad though :).

    • I own the Sophia Cabaret in peach and the Mae in black and have worn both quite a lot over the last 2-3 years. They’ve held up well so far and in my experience are comfortable. The only problems I’ve had with them have arisen because they’re not made for my measurements — the Sophia barely contains my boobs and I’m constantly on the verge of an epic nip slip. My hips are also a little constrained by the Sophia, I would definitely recommend the styles with gored hips over the styles without.

  2. Glad to see you’re having such wonderful adventures. Where are they located and what’s the service like?

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