Sometimes, gaps in clothing are a good thing — like when you get a dress with peekaboo cutouts that show off your sculpted shoulders or strategic bits of your abdomen. On the other hand, unintentional gaps in clothing can easily cause embarrassment, like when Lil Nas X dropped it like it was hot on SNL and split his pants.
When it comes to corset flaring and gaps, you’re in a situation where the shape and configuration of the garment is intentional, but there may clearly be a problem with how it fits. It’s either not the right shape for your body or you may not be tightening the laces correctly.
How can you tell if the problem is the garment or the way that you’re wearing it? Here are a few tips to help you find the right fit for your body and avoid unfortunate corset flaring and gaps.
Issues with the Lacing Gap
Corsets come in a wide range of styles, shapes, and sizes. While you want to choose the style that suits your preferences, the shape that suits your body type, and the correct sizing, the laces in the back allow you some wiggle room, so to speak, when it comes to finding the perfect fit.
The lacing gap is the open space between the rows of grommets – the gap that the lacing is stretched across. Typically, you want the edges of the garment to be more or less parallel on the sides of the gap, but you may not be able to manage this for a number of reasons.
Corset Gap Shapes
This occurs when the corset gap is narrow at the bottom edge and wide at the top, creating a V. When this happens, it usually means that the corset you’ve chosen isn’t wide enough for your hips or is too wide for your underbust area (or both).
It won’t necessarily harm the corset if you wear it this way, but because it isn’t properly shaped for your body, the corset may not deliver the results you crave, especially since you’ll run out of room to tighten it further at the bottom.
This is the inverse of the V – wider at the bottom edge of the lacing gap and narrower at the top. Again, the corset simply isn’t ideal for your body shape and/or measurements.
While V- and A-shaped lacing gaps aren’t a huge concern, curvature in the lacing gap that resembles parentheses – ( ) or ) ( – is a problem. These configurations will not only impede your ability to continue cinching smaller at some point, but they could lead to warping of the garment itself.
A // diagonal gap means that the corset fits your ribcage, waist and hips reasonably well, but it is twisting on the body (causing the diagonal vs. parallel gap).
The || vertical parallel gap means that your corset fits you well in all the right places!
If a corset is properly sized for your body, the lacing gap should be no more than about 4-5 inches across at the widest so you have room to size down. If it’s bigger, it could indicate that the corset is too small at the bust and hip, which could cause you some discomfort. You’ll want to consider a more pronounced spring to solve this problem.
Corset Flaring at the Hip or Underbust
Corset flaring occurs when portions of the corset, like the hip, don’t fit snugly against the body when laced and cinched, leaving a visible gap. This usually indicates a corset with too much spring for your body shape. It can also occur when you’re planning to size down the waist significantly and you’ve chosen a corset with the potential for a much smaller waistline for that purpose.
For the former, consider a different spring; for the latter, you’ll just have to wait it out.
It’s important to remember that gaps and flaring are not due to something being “wrong” with your body. Instead, they almost always indicate that you may want to choose a different corset style that’s more aligned with your unique physiology or perhaps that you could use a hand with getting your laces straight.
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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…