The Complete Corset Guide
At True Corset we are not only passionate about corsetry, but after committing the whole of our adult lives to working in the corset industry and being instrumental in the corset revival of the 1990s, we are also incredibly knowledgeable about corsets. When you are designing and making corsets for multiple different designers, brands and manufacturers who all use different terminology to describe the same thing, you get to understand corsets on a whole new level. We understand the complexities of crafting corsets, fitting them and even wearing them, because sometimes our customers need a little advice in how to get the best out of their corset. After years in the industry, we learnt that each manufacturer had vastly different ideas on shape and fit, we were able to take these ideas and concepts and translate them into a corset that could be crafted by one corsetiere from start to finish. It was a steep learning curve but one that has meant that we know everything there is to know about corsets.
As our company has progressed to direct online sales, our knowledge and passion have grown even stronger. We know exactly what each corset is capable of and which body shapes they suit. We understand that the world of corsetry can come across as a little overwhelming from the outside and so we have created this simple guide to demystify the wonderful world of corsetry.
The Different Types Of Corsets
For most people, they fall in love with corsets before they have even worn one. The sexy, streamlined silhouette and sensuality of the garments makes them very appealing. As soon as you put on a corset for the first time... [Read more...]
For most people, they fall in love with corsets before they have even worn one. The sexy, streamlined silhouette and sensuality of the garments makes them very appealing. As soon as you put on a corset for the first time, its results are both dramatic and instantaneous. Your waist is brought in, your curves enhanced and you stand a little taller. This transformation is what corset-lovers are most drawn to. In the time it takes to lace yourself in comfortably, your waist goes from its original size right down by 4" to 5" with a steel boned corset or even down by an impressive 6" to 7" with a waist training corset.
Steel boned corsets are great for those who want that fantastic curvy figure in an instant. They are available in a wide variety of colours, shapes and styles. They can be worn under or over clothes and are highly versatile. At True Corset we have a great range of separates that can transform your corset into a show stopping complete outfit. Steel boned corsets are also great if you want to start waist training, or even just to emphasise your curves. Corsets can add a playful twist to your wardrobe with styles that are more burlesque or pin up in nature, or you may be drawn to the sophistication of more classic or vintage looks. Corsets are ideal for gothic and steampunk attire, and add a flirtatious edge to any cosplay outfit. Available in a variety of fabrics from opulent velvets and satins to more understated cottons, the corset is one of the most versatile items of clothing and once you've tried a good quality steel boned corset you'll be desperate for more.
Waist training corsets are specially designed to gradually reduce your waist size over a period of time. The waist training corsets on True Corset have 24 steel bones, a steel busk front closure and four layers of cloth. They are shaped slightly differently from steel boned corsets to help target the waist without putting undue pressure on the ribs or hips. Designed to be worn all day, they can help reshape the wearer’s waist permanently, by dramatically reducing the wearer’s waist by up to 7 inches.
Fashion corsets and corset tops give you a sexy and sassy look without compromising on comfort. Made from fashion fabrics and acrylic bones, they are incredibly light and have seductive ribbon laces at the back. They are a fun, flirty item that can be worn in a variety of settings from the boudoir to a night out on the town. Fashion corsets will not only give you enviable curves and an enticing silhouette but they are also full of personality and character. They highlight the sensuality of a woman's curves as well as injecting a striking dose of style into any outfit.
Waist trainers are another item that we stock alongside beautiful corsets for your fashion wardrobe and lingerie collection. We have a wonderful collection of waist trainers (also known as body shapers or fajas). They are great for use when working out or doing physical activity. They aid weight loss through compression of your core and can reshape your waistline. More information about waist trainers can be found in the tab dedicated to them below or you can click here.
What Is The Best Corset Shape For You?
As well as opting for a corset that appeals to your sense of style and personality, it is worth bearing your body shape in mind too. Your current body shape should dictate the shape of corset you select. There is a corset to suit each different body shape... [Read more...]
As well as opting for a corset that appeals to your sense of style and personality, it is worth bearing your body shape in mind too. Your current body shape should dictate the shape of corset you select. There is a corset to suit each different body shape. The four most common shapes are :
The modern / gentle curve figure: this figure type is one of the most common. If you have the modern figure it means that there is a difference of 9” or less between your hips and your waist. People with this figure type often fall in love with corsetry and the curves that it produces. Both overbust and underbust corsets work well with the modern figure. Steel boned corsets are perfect as they will create more of a dramatic hourglass shape. Just be sure to get a good fit, your corset should fit well on the hips and ribcage to really draw in the waist. Opt for something tubular that creates curves.
You can find corsets suitable for the modern / gentle figure here.
The pear shaped figure: This is a very common figure shape. If your hips are over 12” larger than your waist and your bust is comparatively small then you have a pear shape. Underbust corsets are ideal for your figure. They will cinch in the hips and emphasise your defined waist while creating a sense of balance between the bust and hips. Alternatively, you could go for a corset with more adornment near the bust as this will draw the attention away from the hips.
You can find corsets suitable for the pear shaped figure here.
The apple shaped figure: If you have this figure type, then you may find that you gain weight around your tummy areas easily. You are likely to have slim legs and a flatter bum but will have broad shoulders, a less accentuated waist and a full bust. Corsets are great for an apple shaped figure as they add curves while offering support. Opt for an overbust corset in one shade. Longline corsets will mean that there are no bumps or lumps. Steel boned corsets will offer more support and slimming colours such as blacks and deep rich shades will enhance the overall effect.
You can find corsets suitable for the apple shaped figure here.
The hourglass figure: The classic pin up hourglass shape is highly coveted and is often associated with the 1950s, which means that any corset that has a vintage, pin up or burlesque feel to it is ideal for you. Girls with an hourglass figure will have a 10-12” difference between their waist and hips. If you have this figure type you should avoid anything too small as your hips may squish out of the bottom of it. Go for a longline corset in your size, something that will smooth your curves as well as emphasising them. A corset with built in curves will suit your figure more than a tubular or flat-fronted corset. A corset with a sweetheart neckline is a good choice, as it will enhance your bust.
You can find corsets suitable for the hourglass figure here.
The pronounced hourglass figure: The pronounced hourglass shape makes the wearer's waist look tiny, it is highly coveted and quite rare. This is for girls who want a difference between their waist and hips of more than 12”. Only corsets designed with built in curves can help achieve this figure.
You can find corsets suitable for the pronounced hourglass figure here.
How To Put On Your Corset
Some images and instructions to help you put on a corset. [Read more...]
More details will be coming soon.
The First Time You Wear Your Corset
When you first put on your corset, it should feel snug and comfortable. If there is no gap at the back, where the lacing is, it means the corset is too big for you. Prior to seasoning the corset... [Read more...]
When you first put on your corset, it should feel snug and comfortable. If there is no gap at the back, where the lacing is, it means the corset is too big for you. Prior to seasoning the corset, the gap at the back should be 3-4 inches on standard steel boned corsets and 5-6 inches on waist training corsets.
Corsets are rigid by nature, so your corset may feel stiff. This is perfectly natural, over time your corset will start moulding to your shape. Just make sure the corset fits well at the ribs, hips and bust. For example if your corset feels good at the waist, but is very tight on the hips, it may be that you need a corset that is wider in the hips.
Should you need any help with this, just drop us an e-mail on email@example.com, our devoted team know everything there is to know about corsets and will be delighted to help. Helping our customers to find the perfect corset for their needs is something that we pride ourselves on.
Seasoning Your Corset
Seasoning or breaking in your corset is not essential, but we would recommend that you at least lightly season your corset. [Read more...]
Seasoning or breaking in your corset is not essential, but we would recommend that you at least lightly season your corset.
In the same way that you wouldn't choose to wear your newest shoes out for a long walk, you also wouldn't want to take your corset straight out of its package, tighten it to its fullest capacity and not take it off again for 6-10 hours. If you were to do this then you'd run the risk of causing yourself significant discomfort. So try to be patient and season your corset properly. We promise that it will be worth the wait!
Below are a few quick steps that will help you lightly break in your corset.
For those who wish to fully season their corset or are engaged in waist training, we have a more complete guide to seasoning which can be found here.
1. Before trying to fasten your corset, make sure that you have fully loosened the back laces. This will ensure that you do not warp the front busk by trying too hard to get it to fasten.
2. Once fastened, gently pull the laces in until the corset feels slightly snug. At this stage you'll feel that you could keep tightening the corset, but for now it's important that you stop at the snug spot.
3. After wearing your corset like this for half an hour, pull the laces in a touch more.
4. Continue to take the laces in a small amount every half hour, until the corset is fully tightened.
5. Do not wear your corset tightened to its full capacity for more than 1-2 hours, on the first wear.
6. Repeat this process on the next day, but this time you will only need to wait 15 minutes between each tightening.
By the end of that period your corset will be well seasoned, the laces will slide smoothly between the grommets, the front busk closure will fasten without any effort and you will be able to take your corset in to its fullest degree without any gaps, pulling, warping or bending of the bones.
Some manufacturers insist that a full seasoning period be observed for their corsets, otherwise the stitches will break. True Corset does not stock any of these manufacturers.
Please note fashion corsets or corset tops cannot be seasoned due to their nature.
Lacing Your Corset
There are a number of different ways of lacing a corset but our years of experience have left us with one preferred method. We love this method because it limits the strain on the fabric of the corset... [Read more...]
There are a number of different ways of lacing a corset but our years of experience have left us with one preferred method. We love this method because it limits the strain on the fabric of the corset, meaning it last so much longer and it allows the corset to be tightened evenly which gives a much smoother finish.
Step One: Using a single strand of lace, thread it through the top eyelet on each side of the corset so that there is a horizontal line on the inside of the corset and the ends are emerging out of the eyelets. Ensure that the ends of the lace are the same length.
Step Two: Create an X by taking the right lace and threading into the second eyelet down on the left, then taking the left lace and threading it into the next eyelet down on the right. The laces should be inside the corset and the X shape on the outside should be even.
Step Three: Take the right lace and keeping it inside the corset, thread it out through the next available eyelet on the left. Take the left lace and keeping it inside the corset thread it out through the next eyelet down on the right. You should be left with an even X shape on the inside of the corset with the laces coming through the eyelets to the outside of the corset.
Step Four: Keep repeating steps 2 and 3, so that the Xs continue down the inside and outside of the corset. Ensure that you apply the same amount of tension to each lace, so that the X shapes are even. When you get to the waist of the corset and with the laces coming through to the outside, pause a moment.
Step Five: At this stage you must create 'puller loops' these will help the corset to fit even more snugly into the waist. Take the right lace and rather than crossing it over to the left, lace it into the next eyelet down on the right so that the lace goes through to the inside of the corset and a loose loop is formed. Repeat on the left side. Ensure the loops are big enough to eventually be tied in a bow.
Step Six: Repeat stages 2 and 3 consistently until you reach the bottom of the corset. Adjust the tension in the laces so that there is an even gap of around 4-6 inches between the sides of the corset and the tension is balanced throughout.
Step Seven: Tie them into a double knot on the underside.
Step Eight: Draw the puller loops out until the corset is sufficiently tightened, then secure them in place using a neat bow.
Step Nine: To minimise any back bulk you can braid the laces and tuck them in, instead of using a neat bow ( as described below).
Don't Tie a Knot:
Even if you were to have someone assist you. Knots can be very difficult to undo. For this reason we strongly advise that you don't knot your corset. Through years of experience and experimentation we have discovered that braiding the laces and tucking them into the corset actually looks great as well as being much easier to undone.
Do Braid the Laces and Tuck:
For this method, you will need to leave a gap of 2" at the back, to make it easier to pass the laces through the laces.
- After tying up your corset laces as you normally would, take the excess lacing and braid it in to one slim plait.
- Once the excess lacing has been braided, pass the braid beneath the laces either going upward to tuck in at the top, or downward to tuck in at the bottom of the modesty panel:
Removing Your Corset
A lot of people think that they can simply remove their corset by undoing the busk. Although this method will mean that you get out of your corset quickly, it can also warp the busk quite badly and should be avoided at all costs... [Read more...]
A lot of people think that they can simply remove their corset by undoing the busk. Although this method will mean that you get out of your corset quickly, it can also warp the busk quite badly and should be avoided at all costs. The proper way to remove a corset is to firstly undo the laces at your puller loops and then to loosen the laces evenly. Once the laces are slack and the corset begins to slip down, carefully remove the busk from top to bottom. There shouldn't be any tension on the busk at this point and it should be easy to unfasten.
Taking Care Of Your Corset
Don't Wrap the Lacing Around Your Waist. [Read more...]
Don't Wrap the Lacing Around Your Waist:
If your corset laces are too long, a lot of people think they can simply wrap the extra lengths around their waist to hide the excess lengths and avoid any back bulk. This idea may seem logical, but it can actually cause damage to your corset so please don't ever be tempted to try it for yourself. The friction from the laces will eventually cause wear to the fabric of the corset and can even cause the steel bones to warp. If the laces are too long and back bulk is a worry then simply braid your laces, more information can be found here.
If you waist train, consider alternating between two different styles:
Waist training is a highly effective way to change your shape and is the natural progression from wearing a corset as a fashion or lingerie item. However, many people who waist train invest in one waist training corset and don't consider the advantages of buying a second different corset.
This will not only give your corsets a chance to rest between regular/frequent use, but will also provide you with different styles to suit how your body is feeling on each day. For example, on a day where you may be feeling a bit bloated, a steel boned corset may feel more comfortable than a waist training corset would. You will appreciate having a less constricting corset on hand for those days when a waist trainer or even a full blown steel boned corset feels like too much. Our mesh corsets are steel boned and also offer great flexibility and comfort.
Wear a corset liner:
A corset liner is another layer that can be worn in between your corset and your skin to protect your corset. You natural skin oils and perspiration will rub onto the corset liner and not onto your corset. This will reduce the frequency with which your corset needs to be cleaned and thereby increasing it’s lifespan. You don’t have to buy a specialist liner you can use a vest or fitted stretch cotton camisole. The straps of the camisole can be tucked into the corset or cut off. The multiple layers and well-crafted structure of our corsets means that anything you use as lining will not be visible through the corset.
Air your corset:
Perspiration and natural skin oils can cause a build up of moisture on your corset, so it is important to allow your corset to air between wearings. This can be done by simply draping your corset over the back of a chair or on a hanger. In fact, a beautiful corset draped across a chair can be quite a fitting decoration for a bedroom.
Store your corset in a cool, dry place:
Moisture isn't ideal for corsets so stick to storing your corset(s) in a cool, dry place. It is wise to keep your corsets out of direct sunlight, because (as with any garment) the sun can bleach the fabric and leave it looking patchy, or worse still, weaken the fabric and leave it more prone to fraying or split seams.
Cleaning Your Corset
Corsets are so much more than items of clothing; they offer structure, change our shape and the construction process is much more complex than that of your average fashion item. Read more...
Corsets are so much more than items of clothing; they offer structure, change our shape and the construction process is much more complex than that of your average fashion item. After wearing your corset, you can't simply toss it in the washing machine, you need to take great care in cleaning it. Here are our best tips to ensure that your corset always looks as fresh and clean as it did on the day it was bought:
Dry clean only!
Corsets are not designed to be machine washed, no matter what precautions you take, a washing machine has the potential to destroy a good corset. You should only ever dry clean your corset, or use the gentle cleaning methods that are described below.
Spot cleaning is okay.
If you happen to get a little mark on your corset, it is safe to spot clean it. Gently rub the soiled area with a damp cloth. Start with just water, if that isn't enough, sparingly use a delicate non-bleach laundry detergent. Most laundry detergents, even those intended for the most delicate fabrics, tend to be quite strong so a drop should be plenty.
If you do decide that you will need to use laundry soap of some kind, then be sure to apply the soap to the cloth rather than directly to the soiled spot on the corset. Few corsets can cope with being fully immersed in water, so you will need to take a new cloth that has been dampened with water and use this to remove any last traces of soap from the corset fabric. This can be a lengthy process, so try and be patient, it will certainly be worth it in the end.
Once clean, allow your corset to air dry, preferably out of direct sunlight.
Crack open the vodka!
Spot cleaning is fine for small marks on the outside of your corset, but what about the lining of the corset? After dancing it out at an all-nighter at the club, a steamy night between the sheets or even a refined dinner, any item of clothing that has been clinging to your skin is going to need a bit of a freshen up before you can wear it again.
This is when you can crack open the vodka. Yep, you read that right! Equal parts vodka and water in a spray bottle are a great way to clean your corset. As vodka has no scent, you don't need to worry that you'll smell like a wine bar!
Once you've got your mixture ready in your spray bottle, simply lay your corset flat lining side up, hold the bottle at least 6" away from the lining and spray a thin mist evenly across the surface. There is no need to saturate the surface. This homemade cleaning product will work as a simple antibacterial and will thoroughly clean the fabric as well as taking away any odour.
It is important to note that you only want to do this on the interior of your corset as the lining is the part closest to the body and most affected by perspiration. The shell won't be affected by these factors to the same degree that the lining will. You wouldn't want to potentially damage the finish of the corset's shell/exterior fabric by spritzing it with alcohol.
Once you've applied an even misting of the solution to the corset, simply leave it on a flat surface to dry and voilà! Your corset will be fresh as new!
Hand washing (NEVER MACHINE WASH)
The corsets that are made from sturdy fabrics such a taffeta, cotton or mesh can be gently submerged in warm soapy water if they require more than simple spot cleaning, but always remember:
-Keep water temperatures cool or luke warm
-Only use the mildest of detergents such as ones designed for hand washing delicate garments
-Thoroughly rinse to ensure that no traces of detergent remain
-Only ever let your corset dry naturally, don't be tempted to put it in a dryer, even for a minute
-Ensure sure you let your corset dry thoroughly before wearing it again (either lying it flat or hanging it out to dry - out of direct sunlight)
-Never wring excess water out of your corset as this can cause damage to the fabric, bones and busk
-Never machine wash your corset, under any circumstances
You may also want to clean the laces of your corset. Simply place them in a laundry bag and machine wash them on a delicate cycle or hand wash them when you wash the corset.
Waist Trainers, Fajas & Kim Kardashian
Waist training is the biggest fitness and fashion craze of the last few years and it looks like it is here to stay. You'd be forgiven for assuming that waist training is the same as corset waist training... [Read more...]
Waist training is the biggest fitness and fashion craze of the last few years and it looks like it is here to stay. You'd be forgiven for assuming that waist training is the same as corset waist training, but in fact the two are very different. The fitness waist training craze is based on what has traditionally been known as a faja. Popular culture now refers to fajas as waist trainers. These serve a completely different purpose from waist training corsets. After all, even the most devoted burlesque fans wouldn't dream of going to the gym and working out in an actual steel boned corset! A waist trainer is something you wear during exercise but not as part of your fashion or lingerie wardrobe. Both of these garments are classed as corsets, and they both are worn with the intention of shrinking the waist, however they go about it in very different ways.
The basic premise is, that while you work out or do physical activity, you wear the faja/waist trainer. The waist trainer/faja, through a compressing effect, increases perspiration at your core. In other words, you sweat more around your mid section and stomach area, which reduces the amount of fat in those areas.
To achieve dramatic results from your waist trainer you need to partake in some form of regular physical activity when wearing it. We would advise against wearing a waist trainer/faja for a long period of time. They are not designed to be worn all day, whereas waist training corsets (once seasoned) can be worn for much longer periods.
Waist trainers are easy to wear and a great way to get the most out of your work out, you can access more information on waist trainers here.
We hope that this simple guide has helped you to understand corsets in a little more depth. From choosing the type of corset for your needs to discovering what suits your body type, from seasoning your corset to keeping it clean and fresh, from lacing your corset to getting to grips with the language used in corsetry, there is a lot of information for you to digest and reflect upon. If ever you need a little more help, then please contact us and our passionate and knowledgeable team will be delighted to share their wisdom and insight with you. Corsets can seem a little overwhelming to the first timer or even when you haven't had the right guidance in the past, which is why we want to do all we can to ensure that you learn everything you can about corsets and love them just like we do at True Corset. Once you've found the perfect corset for your body type and learnt exactly how to take care of it, then you'll never want to be without it!