Mermaid Aerial Princess Mermaid Top Reviews

For those of you who follow my blog for the aerial equipment info…I’m taking a bit of a side track and highjacking my blog for my Mermaid fans. I’ve developed a bit of a Mermaid Top collection (it’s really an obsession, at this point). I have tops from several big Mermaid brands (& some from lesser known designers). They range quite a bit in price and quality. In my reviews I’ll give insight into some of things I wish I knew before I purchased them.

Please click the links below to read my reviews:

#1 MerNation Silicone Scale Top

#2 Merthology Creations Silicone Seaweed Top

#3 Merthology Creations Silicone Shell Top

#4 Sirenalia Silicone Starfish Top

#5 Mertailor Silicone Scale Top

#6 Marine Magic Silicone Stingray Top

#7 Merbella Studios Silicone Ariel Top

#8 DIY Lions Paw Real Shell Top

#9 Mermaid Kariel Top of Art Silicone Scale Top

#10 FinFolk Silicone Mythic Top

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Mermaid Top Review 2: Merthology Creations Seaweed Silicone Top

Top #2 Merthology Creations Seaweed Silicone Top

Custom made to size and color request.

Price:

$180.00 + $50 shipping UK to US, included with a 2nd top. (UK dollars £145) = Total $230

Production Time:

  • First message 5/20/17
  • Ordered & payment sent 6/12/17
  • Production started 7/9/17
  • Shipped from the U.K. 8/3/17
  • Arrived in Tampa, FL USA 8/7/17

Customer Service:

I saw some pictures of a top on Facebook that I really liked. I thought they would make a great addition to my top collection.

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Photo from Merthology Creations

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Photo from Merthology Creations.

I found Merthology Creations on Facebook and FB messaged her about prices and ideas. We FB messaged for a few days about 2 different styles she offered (I decided to get both). All our communication was done on FB messenger. I was worried about the European sizing compared to the US sizing and she calmed my fears by telling me she coverts it for the proper fit.

She kept me in the loop about everything. She double checked what colors I wanted and sent pictures of both tops before they were shipped. It was one of the best custom ordering processes I’ve had.

https://www.facebook.com/merthologycreations/

Quality/Durability:

It is built onto an underwire bra base. It looks like she uses pieces of silicone seaweed to build the top. The cups are molded using the bra but she cuts the edges of the bra down to make it look perfect with the silicone. The painting has several shades of green giving it nice dimension. My favorite is the two pearls above the pink/cream silicone seashell. I think it gives the top a final bit of

It it a robust top that hold its shape really well. The halter strap attaches with Velcro and over time this may be the first thing to wear.

Fit/Comfort:

This top is full coverage and VERY comfortable. I love wearing it. The sides are very wide and cover extra “side boob.” The bra is lightly padded but does not have any “push up” padding. It is a supportive top.

The halter strap is also wide and connects with Velcro. This has made for wonderful land/dry gigs because I can adjust the strap for my comfort. I tend to get neck pain with a lot of halter strap tops or swimsuits. It was also OK for the few times I was swimming/floating around my little pool. But as soon as I took it in bigger open water and really swam around in it, the Velcro did NOT hold. Suddenly I was holding to top up with one hand and treading water with the other….I think the can be easily fixed by sewing a hook to the halter.

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First swim.

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Reaching to hold the straps after the Velcro came undone.

These photos show one of my first long underwater swims with the top. The first is me swimming and the next is me reaching up to hold the top together after the Velcro came undone. LOL.

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Has great support and good coverage
  • Silicone is thick and very durable.
  • The straps on the side do an awesome job covering any extra “side boob” *this is probably my favorite thing about this top.
  • The top is unique and I don’t find a lot of other US mermaids with a similar top

Cons:

  • Velcro on the halter comes undone when swimming. (I have very large shoulder muscles). I need to figure out how to attach a good hook to the halter.

Lessons learned:

  • I took a risk and ordered a top from someone who didn’t sell through a website and it worked out really well. But I was prepared for it to have not worked out & me being out the money. (I had a really good feeling about Merthology Creations & I just went with it.)
  • Shipping from UK To US can be expensive but for the right price of the goods it can be worthwhile.

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Mermaid Top Review Series: MerNation Silicone Scale top

 

For those of you who follow my blog for the aerial equipment info…I’m taking a bit of a side track and highjacking my blog for my Mermaid fans. I’ve developed a bit of a Mermaid Top collection (it’s really an obsession, at this point). I have tops from several big Mermaid brands (& some from lesser known designers). They range quite a bit in price and quality. In my reviews I’ll give insight into some of things I wish I knew before I purchased them.

Top #1 MerNation Silicone Scale Top

Custom made to match my full silicone MerNation mermaid tail.

This was my first silicone mermaid top. It was purchased from MerNation at the time I ordered a full silicone mermaid tail (2017). It has a an “add on” feature of a light gold decorative filigree on the top and on the straps. It also has a glitter top coat.

Price:

Starts at $275 (pricing as of Mar 2018). I actually can’t remember what I paid for this top as it was included in my total Tail price.

(I also ordered a silicone waist/gap wrap…which was the BEST mermaid purchase I’ve made so far. Ask me why & maybe I’ll do a review on it too.)

Production Time:

  • First meeting/placed order 3/6/17
  • Paid 3/11/17
  • Update from MerNation with photo of painting 4/3/17
  • Complete & picked it up 4/6/17

Customer Service:

When I was at MerNation’s business to get measured for my tail, Erin gave me several plain bra tops to try on. I believe they were a few different brands (I know one was a Victoria’s Secret). I vaguely remember picking one but saying I needed at 36 (not a 34) for the chest size. I can’t remember if this was written down or not.

MerNation kept me posted every part of the way with text messages and pictures. This is a photo Erin sent to show where they were at after they finished painting but before they attached the filigree.

Quality/Durability:

The top is built with a plain bra top as the base. The silicone is thick and sturdy. The scales match my silicone tail exactly. They are about the same thickness as my tail. The filigree is thick and attached very strong.

The one place that may eventually have issues are the straps. They are more stretchy than the rest of the top therefore may wear out faster. So far I have had no quality issues with them at the one year mark.

I like this top mostly for my more “professional” gigs as it’s one of my more expensive tops. I want to keep it in the best shape possible. I’ve wore it for several underwater photoshoots but just once at a pool party and once at a Mermaid Florida Springs meet up.

 

Fit/Comfort:

I’m usually a 36/38 B. The cup shape is amazing and it gives me a perfect amount of cleavage without the risk of “spilling out.” It is slightly padded & a bit of a push-up. I feel like it gives me adequate coverage for it to be one of my more conservative tops. I’m very comfortable doing underwater acrobatics with it without being afraid of inadvertently flashing anyone.

It is VERY tight on me & it takes a few minutes for me to put it on without help. (Silicone sticks so clasping it in the front and sliding it around the body can be a humorous dilemma.) I did purchase a bra extender to make it fit better and now (although still tight) is just snug and not constricting. I still don’t want to wear this top for long periods of time because it doesn’t fit me just right. (Maybe if I loose some weight it will fit better…actually I’m sure it would…)

When my hair has been down, it has gotten tangled in the straps . It made for some awkward underwater modeling experiences. The photographer said he couldn’t tell but for me it felt really weird. I ended up taking the straps off to finish the shoot. Then in more recent events wearing the top, I’ve pulled my hair back and not had any issues.

First time wearing it and couldn’t get it hooked correctly because it was too tight.

Pros:

  • Matches my MerNation tail perfectly
  • Colors are amazing
  • Superb, unique artistic workmanship
  • High quality, thick silicone
  • Very professional looking

Cons:

  • It’s too tight. I had to put a bra extender on it. It can get uncomfortable (because it’s tight) after wearing it for a long time.
  • Long hair sometimes gets tangled and stuck to the silicone filigree on the straps.
  • The flaps in the back look sort of odd. I’d like to figure out how to tack them down in place.

Lessons learned:

Silicone once attached to a bra does not have much stretch. If you are a 36B and wear the bra on the last hook and it’s at its maximum stretch….the silicone top will be VERY tight.

Bra extensions are your best friend. They are cheap (you can get them off Amazon). They come in several colors and can give added inches in comfortability.

* The last 4 photos are of the top after I have had it for over a year.

DYI Mermaid Tail Stands

DIY Instructions:
Mermaid Tail Stand

* This is what worked for me. I do not know how it will work with your tail as they are all different. Measure and make your own changes as needed. So far my tails have been fine on the stand but I do not know how they will hold if displayed long term. For now I am using these stands to dry my silicone/silicone hybrid tails after swimming in them.

Made out of wood and steel.


Measuring:

Step 1: Measure for the height of the stand. I measured from the foot pockets to the waist of my tails. Mine were around 4 feet. Initially I thought we could use a 3 foot (36″) piece (with the fork on top of that) but I forgot to factor in space needed to allow for air flow or a fan under the tail. So for me the 4 foot (48″) pipe worked best for me. To make it taller you could go to a 5 foot pipe but it will make the stand less stable.

Step 2: Measure the length of the foot pockets. Mine are about 9-10″ long. So the fork needed to be around that size. Initially I was trying for about a 12″ fork. But these are my final numbers that work are: Stand 1’s fork is 10″ & Stand 2’s fork is 9″ without padding.

Step 3: Measure the width of the foot pockets. Mertailor tail is wider at 9″ and MerNation tail is a lot more narrow at 6.5″. This made me have to have 2 different size forks (you can probably find a universal size that will work for several tails wanted 2 stands).


Tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • Pipe wrench (you don’t really need this but it is helpful if you really have to screw the fork tight to make it fit in your foot pockets or to un-screw the pipe if you make it too tight)
  • Cleaner/Acetone to remove pipe grease
  • Painting supplies: foam brush, paint brush, gloves, drop cloth, etc.
  • Wood stain & polyurethane sealant
  • Clear coat spray paint

Tools


Parts:

All the parts were purchased at Home Depot (Tampa, FL Jan 2018).

First Stand:
made for my Mertailor Spellbound Tail
(34 lbs, heavy fluke)

Since this tail is a bit heavier and more heavy in the fluke area with wider foot pockets I decided to go a bit beefier. I went with 3/4″ pipe and regular elbow pipes. I up-sized the floor flange to a 1″ because it has a wider footprint and it will be more stable on the base.

Pieces:

  • 1 Pine round 1″ x 23 3/4″ $10.35
  • 1 Galvanized steel pipe 3/4″ 48″ $16.38
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ x close nipple $1.68 each / $3.36
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ x 8″ nipple $5.33 each / $10.66
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ elbow $2.94 each / $5.88
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ cap $2.97 each / $5.94
  • 1 Galvanized steel 3/4 Tee $3.70
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1″ to 3/4″ Bushing $4.26
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1″ Floor Flange $13.20
  • Zinc sheet metal screws 14×1 (4 pack) $1.18

Total cost: $74.91 plus tax

Second Stand:
made for my MerNation Signature full silicone tail
(25 lbs, heavy body)

This tail is very narrow at the foot pockets. I had to downsize to 1/2″ pipe & use the “street” elbows that screw directly into the Tee. I couldn’t find a up-sizing (bushing) piece to go from 1/2″ to 1″. The 1/2″ Flange seemed very small to me but I compromised by using the 3/4″ Flange. It seems to be stable enough to hold up the lighter tail. I also couldn’t put metal caps on the top of the stand (they got caught on the silicone & didn’t fit very nice) so I used some plastic caps that were on the long pipe at Home Depot as a cap to keep the edges of the metal pipe from digging into the silicone while sliding the tail on the stand. Later I put padding over them.

Pieces:

  • 1 Pine round 1″ x 23 3/4″ $10.35
  • 1 Galvanized steel pipe 1/2″ 48″ $12.98
  • 2 Galvanized steel 1/2″ x 8″ nipple $4.26 each / $8.52
  • 2 Galvanized steel 1/2″ elbow “90deg street” $2.94 each / $5.88
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1/2″ Tee $2.94
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1″ to 3/4″ Bushing $3.18
  • 1 Galvanized steel 3/4″ Floor Flange $8.42
  • Zinc sheet metal screws 14×1 (4 pack) $1.18
  • Keep the 2 little red plastic caps that sometimes come on the pipe. (This will help protect the edges of the top of the fork they are free)
  • Something for padding (I used old socks) & tape (I used athletic tape)

Total cost: $53.75


Assembly:

Step 1: Screw the pieces together. See diagrams below.

Step 2: Measure the forks to make sure they will fit in the foot pockets. At this point I folded my tails down and carefully slid the forks into the tails to see if it fit. I needed to screw the elbows into the Tee on the First Stand a lot more than I thought I would. This was difficult and took a lot of muscle. (Just be prepared to put some elbow grease and leverage into it. My Fiancé brought me his pipe wrench to help.)

Step 3: Find the center of the wood base (use your measuring tape). Screw the Flange into the wood base using a drill. Screw the Bushing into the Flange.

Note: Now you have 2 pieces: the fork (It kinda looks like a Triton) & the base. You can store it separately like this when not in use.

Step 4: Screw the fork into the base.

Step 5: Add padding to the top of the fork.

I only did this on the Second stand (for my MerNation tail). I thought the 3/4″ caps on the First stand had a nice round surface area that wouldn’t dig into the foot pockets too much (if needed I’ll add padding later). I used 2 old socks and rolled them up so there were several layers covering the top of the stand. Then wrapped them with athletic tape.

NOTE: If you are going to seal the steal pipe with Rust-Oleum, add the padding after the paint is dry.

There are many different options for padding and I’m curious to see what you guys decide to use. My way isn’t likely to be permanent and I’ll probably have to redo it whenever the socks or tape come off.


Finishing:

The wood and steel need to be sealed (especially since water may be dripping from your tail as it dries). The wood may warp or do weird things. Eventually, the steel pipe will rust (it will take many many years…but eventually it will happen).

Step one: Stain wood and seal with polyurethane. Or paint with a water resilient paint.

Optional Step two: Clean the steel with Acetone to remove the grease from the pipes. Seal with a clear coat of paint. I used Rust-Oleum Clear Spray Paint. I didn’t want to use a colored paint because I was worried it would transfer onto my tails.


Final product:


Final thoughts:

When I put my tails onto the stands, I roll/fold them down so I can see the foot pockets. Then I lift (or attempt to lift) them onto the stand. Or you can keep the tail on a table with it folded over and lean the stand into the tail. Once you see the fork is in the foot pockets than lift the tail and stand upright. Be very careful with your tails so you’re not allowing the stand to poke into the silicone bodies and potentially making holes or weak points.

Note: My MerNation tail had been dry for almost a week (or so I thought)…Then when I put it onto the stand for the first time there was hidden water that had dripped from it. I realized how much I needed a new way to dry my tails. I hope these will help. This is also why you should seal the wood base…to protect from water damage.

There are concerns about monofins cracking or the weight of the silicone body pulling away from the fluke. Remember that each tail is made differently. They are connected differently. They weigh differently. I do not recommend leaving your tail hanging unobserved for too long. Please check for possible damage. I do not know how your tail will react with the long term use on the tail stand.

I would like to hear the good and bad experiences that you’ve had with tail stands. Please leave me a comment.


There are also several options to making tail stands. The above just what I have done. I didn’t come up with the idea on my own. I got the idea from a Pod member who posted a picture of an already made stand. Then I asked my Fiancé to help me make one. These are some of the pictures I used for reference. *Please let me know if these are your designs or pics and I will give you credit (or remove the photos, if you request). A lot of the popular tail stands are made with PVC and maybe a good and less expensive option for you.


Side note: I also attempted to hang my tail on the wall using guitar hooks. It worked well for about 3 months then one day as the tail shifted one of the hooks pulled out of the wall. The tail fell and one of the heel fins tore. Sooo, I decided that wasn’t the best option for me to dry or store my tails.

If you have a tail stand or you build a stand like mine, please send me a photo and/or post on Instagram and tag me (my IG mermaid site is MermaidAerialPrincess). I’d love to see how everyone else is doing it.