Authentic Corsets vs. Fashion Corsets: What’s the Difference?

Authentic Corsets vs. Fashion Corsets

Sometimes you feel like a gut, sometimes you don’t. Okay, nobody, anywhere, ever said they wished they could find a garment to show off their excess belly fat. And yet, when you choose a fashion corset over an authentic version of this shapely garment, you’re virtually making a choice to forego the waist-cinching structure that corsets are famous for.

Fashion corsets offer a bit of shaping, but nothing like the steel-boned structure of an authentic corset. How can you tell the difference when these garments look so similar outwardly? Here’s a primer for the ladies looking to add some va-va-va to their voom with a sexy sheath, or alternately, women who want to whittle their waistline with the real deal.


The biggest and most important difference between authentic corsets and fashion corsets is the type of boning used. Because fashion corsets aren’t really intended to be shapewear, the boning is generally only lightweight plastic.

If you attempt serious waist cinching in a fashion corset, you’re probably going to ruin the garment. The plastic boning will bend and bow, and it certainly won’t provide the support you’re seeking. Fashion corsets also famously feature hook-and-eye closures, which are not very sturdy, and these can pop off and leave you dealing with an epic wardrobe malfunction. Yikes!

An authentic corset designed for waist training features steel boning that is meant to hold you in place, along with sturdy, steel busks for closure. Even with significant cinching of laces in the back, these corsets will provide the shaping and structure you need when waist training.


Authentic corsets also tend to be made from sturdy fabric. This isn’t to say you won’t find pretty, satin materials or touches of lace like you see with fashion corsets, but the textiles for authentic corsets will be reinforced, high-end, durable materials that are going to stand up to a little abuse, so to speak.

Fashion corsets have their place, but if you try to use them like authentic corsets, the materials are likely to tear at the seams, and the last thing you want is for your body explode from your corset like a package of Jiffy Pop! Whether you’re involved in waist training or you simply want some shape control, an authentic corset is the way to go.


When attempting to discern between authentic corsets vs fashion corsets, pricing is often a dead giveaway. Whereas a fashion corset might set you back no more than a moderately priced blouse, an authentic corset designed to offer significant shrinkage in the waistline will certainly cost more.

The truth is that you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a pretty undergarment that will provide some smoothing, a fashion corset delivers at a suitable cost. If, however, you want additional support, structure, and shaping, not to mention a permanent reduction in your waist size, you’ll have to shell out a little more for extra features.

Consider how much most of us are willing to spend on face creams, gym memberships, highlights, and whatever else helps us to look like Heidi Klum or Jessica Alba (we wish). It’s worth a few more bucks for a product that is proven to deliver results.

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