How to Measure Yourself for a Corset

How to Measure Yourself for a Corset

By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have become acutely aware of the importance of measurements.  Unless you’re one of those carefree, Boho girls who prefers a bra-free existence, accentuated by sack-like dresses and one-size-fits-all broom skirts, you’re going to need to understand sizing so you can choose the right tops, jeans, office attire, and undergarments to complement your daily lifestyle.

If you want to streamline your torso with a corset, you’re going to have to take very specific measurements to ensure a perfect fit.  This can be a bit daunting if you’ve never actually taken your own measurements.  What if you don’t have the first idea of how to measure yourself for a corset?  Relax, ladies!  It’s not like you have to take 50 different measurements for a 3-piece suit.

With a soft, vinyl tape measure and a few tips and tricks, you can easily take the 4-5 basic measurements required to swathe yourself with a well-fitted corset.  Although having someone to help you measure is ideal, you can definitely manage it on your own if necessary.  Here are the measurements you’ll need.

How to Measure Yourself for a Corset


It’s best to take a top-down approach to the measuring process, as the upper portions of your body are likely to be the hardest to measure on your own.  This way, when you succeed, you’ll gain a hefty dose of confidence to get you through remaining measurements!  Or at least you can breathe a sigh of relief that the difficult part is over.

The bust measurement is only necessary if you’re planning to purchase overbust models that cover and support your breasts.  In the interest of keeping your options open, however, it’s not a bad idea to take this measurement anyway.  Overbust models are a great addition to any wardrobe that features tops or dresses you can’t wear straps with.  Just saying.

This measurement is taken around the fullest part of your bust.  This is easiest if you lift your arms to the sides at about shoulder height and have someone else wrap the measuring tape across your back and around the breasts, at about the nipple, keeping the tape snug and level all the way around.  If you have to do it yourself, just use a mirror to eyeball it in the back, making sure the tape doesn’t slip down and affect the accuracy of your measurement.

Underbust (A)

The name is pretty much a dead giveaway, but just in case, this is the area immediately under your bust line, where your abdomen and the underside of your breasts form a crease.  Again, it’s important to keep the measuring tape as level as possible across your back, front, and sides, and a mirror can help to ensure a proper and accurate measurement.

Waist (B)

Some will say this measurement needs to be taken at the smallest part of your torso, but we all know this descriptor doesn’t work for every body.  Some torsos are straighter than others, making it difficult to determine where the narrowest part is.  For full-figured women, this assessment of the waist might be totally useless.

Instead, use the universal bend test to figure out where to measure for your natural waist.  Bend at the waist to one side, then the other, placing a finger on the part of your torso that pinches in.  This is where you should place the vinyl tape to measure your waist.

As a note, when you see a corset size in inches, this is the measurement referred to.  Unless otherwise specified by the seller, you’ll typically choose a corset about four inches smaller than your natural waist measurement, since the number indicates the size of the corset when fully closed, with no gap in the back.

Hip (C)

Finding your hip bones and figuring out where to measure can also be difficult.  Again, bending can help here.  Your hip bone is at or slightly above the crease between your legs and your torso when seated, so measure around the torso at this point for your hip measurement.

Torso Length (B)

Even women who have taken measurements before likely aren’t familiar with this one, which is sort of particular to corsetry.  However, it’s relatively easy.  Simply sit on a chair, with upright posture, and measure the distance from the center of the crease under your breast to the top of your thigh.  This will tell you how long your corset can be if you want to sit comfortably while wearing it.  Right and left measurements may vary slightly – just use the shorter of the two.

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