Hello All my Swimwear and Lingerie friends! It’s Fitting-Tip-Thursday and time for another little pearl of wisdom…

I was thinking that I might try to mix it up a bit this week and not have a rant. You know, give the old soapbox a bit of a rest.

{If this seems a bit out of character… it’s probably because I feel all sunshiney and happy from lingerie shopping all day!}

The fitting tip for today has to do with Corsets. Actually, it is more of a cautionary tale than a tip. Nope, scratch that… still a tip, but with a few good things to take into account first.

Generally, speaking, most people see a corset as a luxury item. I doubt that there are many people, aside from the truely passionate tightlacers, who see corsets as a staple of a well stocked lingerie drawer and daily attire.

I, however, would be one of those crazy types of people. No, not the tightlacers… pictures like this are enough to remind why extreme body modification isn’t really all that healthy:

But wait…don’t be scared! You can still wear a corset without any of the gut-squishing, breath-hampering issues, provided you don’t try to redistribute your innards through overly tightlacing and continual wearing.

I love the feeling of a corset, especially on days when I want to exude confidence and strength. A well-fit corset gives a gentle hug to your body and is quite a comforting feeling. Almost as cozy as a snug pair of flannel pjs but with twice the visual impact!

The real trick to a beautiful corset is actually not in the tightlacing, but in finding one that is a good match to your body type.

Most corsets sold in stores come in the usual ‘small-large’ sizing with a few coming in extra-small, petite or plus size. {Head nod and slow clap to the retailers that recognize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!}

These types of mass produced corsets will have varying waist sizes and lengths which are the real measurements that you will want to be aware. Basically, you just need to take the time to try on many different pairs and see which ones seem to work with your body size and dimensions. I have a wider back and shoulders but a rather short torso, so corsets can’t be too long or they won’t fit properly at my waist and hip.

A better sizing system for corsets comes in the bra sizing equivalent. For example, some corsets ar labelled as 38 D or 34 B. This may seem odd, considering that corsets are adjustable and meant to accommodate many sizes, however, there are several basic rules that you should understand when shopping for and wearing a corset;

1. A properly fit corset should NOT show the expanse of your back. No one looks good with their flesh straining and puffing out through their back laces. For more information on how to properly lace a corset to avoid the whole issue you can read the article I wrote for Treacle’s Lingerie Addict.

2. Corsets come in so many lengths that it helps to know your measurements before you order or try one on. The lovely folks over at Romantasy Equisite Corsetry have a great page detailing how to properly take these measurements, so I will point you there and let the experts walk you through it!

3. An easy fix, if you don’t have the funds to get a custom made corset {a purchase that is definitely on my wish list and when I do save up enough I will be going to Puimond for his superior product and excellent attention to detail} and have either a longer or shorter torso than “average”, is to look at the style of corset as well as the measurements.

With my short torso, I have found the best luck with under-the-bust styles (like this one from Vollers) and waist cinchers rather than the over the bust style. I don’t feel as though I am being artificially elongated or stuffed in a tube like L.S. Lowry’s sketches but have more freedom in my movements. Also, I tend to avoid the type of corset that is intended to smooth the hips as they seem to be more for the taller/longer crowd.

For a longer torso, an over-the-bust and/or over-the-hips style may be more forgiving for your body type like this Axford one.

Above all, you should feel comfortable and confident, because really whats the point in being all pinched and annoyed by your underpinnings? Life is too short for that, which is why I also advocate wearing all your lingerie regularly and not saving it for a special occasion!

Hope you found some helpful bits and pieces here and some ideas to marinate.

Cheers,

Maggie

Ps. For all you Star Wars Fans out there….. how awesome are these?