Hollywood movies love to portray corsets as instruments of torture. Remember the scene in Gone With the Wind when Mammy laces up Scarlett or when Rose’s mother tightens her corset in Titanic? In both instances, the women are holding onto bedposts and seem to be in immense pain. But is that what it’s really like to wear a corset?
The truth is, wearing a corset should not be uncomfortable, but it’s definitely going to feel different. You know how switching from t-shirts to long sleeves or shorts to pants in the fall can take some getting used to? It’s kind of the same thing – your body will take the time to get used to the sensation. However, if you are highly uncomfortable or in pain while wearing your corset, something is wrong.
While Scarlett and Rose were determined to lace up as tightly as possible, that’s not how waist-training works. After all, it is called “training,” and, as we all know, training your body in any way, whether through diet, exercise, or modification, takes time, patience, and determination. You won’t be winching every time you lace up your corset, but slowly increasing your cinch over the course of days and weeks. By the time your laces are pulled tight, your abdomen will be slimmer, stronger, and quite used to the feeling of wearing a corset.
That said, there are some steps you can take to insure your comfort while wearing a corset. From finding your perfect size to learning how to listen to your body, these tips will have you lacing up like a pro in no time.
Find Your Perfect Size Corset
If your corset does not fit well, it’s not going to be comfortable – end of story. Here are Glamorous Corset, our corsets range from 18” to 40”, but to find the one that is right for you, you’ll need to take some measurements of your waist, bust, underbust, hips, and torso. To see a how-to guide for this step, click here.
While it might be tempting to shave an inch or two off for your order (after all, you want it to be tight, right?), that is not a good idea. If you are buying a corset for waist-training purposes, we advise buying one that is four to seven inches smaller than your natural waist. This means that if you waist is 35”, we’d recommend starting out with a 30” inch corset. Your corset will already be snug when it arrives, so there’s no need to try to squeeze into a too-small size.
Lace Up Properly
Lacing takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if you get it wrong the first time. There are lots of videos on YouTube that can help you perfect your lacing skills. However, even if you are a lacing pro, there are a few common mistakes that can lead to discomfort, such as lacing your hips too tight. While the laces that run along your back may be able to handle a tight cinch, your hips need room to move, walk, and expand when sitting down. After lacing up, take a few steps and try to sit down – it’ll be worth taking the time to re-lace if something feels off.
In addition, take care that your modesty panel lays flat while lacing, Any bunches here will lead to discomfort, as will tying excess laces around your waist. To avoid this, check out ways to hide your laces here, and use both your hands and a mirror to make sure that everything is lying flat.
Layer With a Corset Liner Or Thin Tank Top
Even if the material of your corset is 100% cotton or a smooth satin, we suggest always wearing a corset liner or thin tank top underneath. While a tank top works fine, fleshier individuals may prefer the body contouring and shaping that a spandex liner provides.
Layering with a liner or tank isn’t only for your comfort, but to help protect your corset from body sweat and dander. Over time, these natural oils can break down the fabric of your corset.
Identify Your Problem Areas
So, you’ve followed all of this advice and something still doesn’t feel quite right? Grab a mirror or a friend and identify your problem areas. Is the discomfort in your back? Your hips? Your bust? Experiment with your laces and the position of your corset until it fits naturally against your body.
If you happen to have a particularly heavy bust, you may be most comfortable in an overbust corset. Overbusts provide coverage from the top of the hips to over the breasts, eliminating the need to wear a bra. Many large-breasted women have told us that they feel more secure, confidant, and comfortable while wearing an overbust corset than ever before!
Listen To Your Body!
Above all, we can’t stress the importance of listening to your body enough. If it hurts, take it off. If something feels wrong, readjust. The best waist-training results do not come from torturing yourself, but working with and shaping your abdomen over time.
My name is Rachel, I am the owner of Glamorous Corset, a small business founded by me in 2010. Back In 2005, I was in a car accident that left me with a herniated disk. Much to my surprise I learned steel boned corsets were beneficial to several medical injuries including mine. I was always intrigued with corsetry, their history and their beautiful aesthetic. I love sharing knowledge about corsets, educating my wonderful readers and breaking the negative stigma related to corsetry. In combination with my years of research and personal experience I hope my articles are useful and can help anyone who has struggled with some of the same things I have. More about me…