Let’s face it – choosing the corset that’s right for you is different to picking just about any other garment. Don’t get us wrong – picking an outfit takes time, it’s just that picking the perfect corset takes a little more time again. The reasons for this are many, but other than bras few other items from your wardrobe are as intimate, as personal as your corset.
With that in mind, let’s look at five of the most important things to bear in mind when you’re shopping for a steel-boned corset!
1) Bones – It’s Not About the Numbers
While it’s true that many so-called waist-training corsets (which, typically, offer a significantly larger reduction in the waistline) have around 24 bones, the number of bones a corset has isn’t necessarily a guarantee of quality, or suitability. If you’re already familiar with steel-boned corsetry, you’ll have some idea of what works best for you. If you’re new to corsetry, it’s probably wise to start with a lower number of bones, but your early days as a corset-wearer will tend to involve a fair amount of trial and error!
2) Fabric – It’s About Quality, Not Type
Some corset aficionados insist that coutil is the only choice for corset fabrics, but this simply isn’t the case. For one thing, coutil itself comes in a wide variety of thicknesses and qualities, as variable as just about any other type of fabric. Also, it isn’t always about the number of layers involved. The layer closest to your skin should be a good quality, breathable cotton, and the main fabric should be tough and durable.
3) Attention to Detail is Vital
One of the earliest warning signs that a corset might not come up to scratch is in its tailoring. If the corset features a patterned fabric, check that the pattern matches up on both sides of the enclosure (i.e. that the pattern appears to be continuous). If it doesn’t, it implies a somewhat lazy attitude on behalf of the manufacturer, increases the likelihood that it was produced on a conveyor belt with little attention to detail, and is probably best avoided altogether!
4) Size Matters
Stop giggling at the back. We’re talking about corset size, yes? And when it comes to picking the corset that’s right for you, size is more than important – it’s essential! For one thing, if you see a corset advertised as coming in a “Small, Medium or Large”, run like the wind. A true corset’s size will be measured in inches, usually 2-4 inches smaller than the wearer’s usual waist size.
5) Wear, Lace and Grommet
The key to a good quality corset is its lacing and enclosure. The laces should crisscross through two-part grommets (or eyelets), while the front should have a busk rather than a hook-and-eye enclosure. Most corsets will also have a “waist tape” that allows you to stabilise the waist once you’re wearing it.