Monday, June 11, 2012

How to wear a corset - part I

I really like corsets, I do. But since returning from WGT, I saw a lot of people wearing corsets just wrong. This is not about styling, this series is will e plainly about finding a good fitting corset. I understand that not everyone is able/willing to sew their own corsets. Unfortunately, getting a corset made to your own measurements is the best and easiest way to having a good wearing and comfortable corset, whether you sew it yourself or have it sewn.

Let's discuss some definitions before. You will notice that this is the only post on the series where I will use real (store) pictures. While I saw a lot of horribly laced corsets at WGT, I personally would not want to be used as a bad example. So, I decided to draw some sketches and use these for the showing common mistakes.

Corset vs. corsage
Many people don't understand the difference between a corset and a corsage. The main purpose of a corset is to form the body, while a corsage main intend is to look good (mostly just for a short time). If you compare them side by side you should notice the differences:

corset back with laces
corset front with steel boning cases

corsage with hook and eye back
Points that set a corset apart from a corsage:
  • a corsage is an undergarment, a corset can/should be worn as outerwear
  • laces to form the figure by applying pressure on the body instead of a hook an eye closure (like a bra)
  • steel boning instead of plastic bones. This helps the corset to keep it's shape for a longer period of time and help to equally distribute the force by lacing
  • at least one layer of -unstretchy, coutil - lining, preferably more
If you want to buy a corset, watch out for these quality markers. Otherwise you might buy some expensive underwear which cannot withstand the forces of (tight) lacing and/or will start to become deformed. Plastic bones will take other forms when warmed (as by your body temperature) and pressure (like sitting, when your belly might stick out a bit). And this process is unfortunately not reversible!

All corsets have laces in the back, sometimes additional laces in front. A further front closure is not necessary (and way cheaper if you sew them yourself), but it allows easier access. This closures can be zips, hooks and eyes, and a real corset closure busk. If you want to buy a corset without a busk, just buy those with steel boning next to zip or hooks and eyes. Pictures as examples:

Busk front closure
heavy duty busk front - great for taming your belly!
Zip front closure with steel bones next to zipper
Hook and eye closure with steel bones next to closure
No front closure - this allows for great details on a larger front panel


Salome said...

oh ja ... den gleichen gedankengang hab ich auf dem WGT und bei so manch anderer Veranstaltung auch immer ...
Schöbn wirds wenn bei den billigen Dingern dann auch noch alles verzieht und dann am besten sich die Stäbe noch unten durch den Stoff pieksen ^^

S. van Vleermuisland said...

ich hab mal eine gesehen, die trug ein korsett mit ca 20 cm schnürlücke - und die war nicht parallel, oder zur taille hin enger werdend, nein: im taille/bauch-bereich war die lücke am größten xD da konnt ich mir nen kommentar zu meiner freundin auch nicht vernkeifen xD rücken hab ich keine augen, da kann ich auch nie gewährleisten, dass meine lücke akkurat ist ^^

Alexandriaweb said...

Great to see someone who knows their stuff :)

MindLess said...

@Salome: Ja, das sieht schrecklich aus! Und ich frage mich, ob diese Trageweise nicht furchtbar unbequem? Ich versteh das nicht!

@Sue: Dazu schreib ich auch noch was! ;) Und natürlich kann man das nicht unbedingt selbst sehen, aber ein Spiegel hilft! Und wenn man schon beim Kauf sieht, dass es nicht sitzt, sollte man das Korsett lieber im Laden lassen!

@Alexandriaweb: Thanks! I'm always open for corrections, so if you have any suggestions: Do tell!

Wollmaus said...

Danke danke danke für diese Reihe! Und deine Lösung, Zeichnungen der Fehler zu machen, finde ich toll.

MindLess said...

@Wollmaus: Ich würde ja auch nicht wollen, dass man mich als schlechtes Beispiel anführt. Und danke, das es dir bis jetzt gefällt!

Beklet said...

We were at WGT, and my friend is a costume maker - she spends so much time raging about ill fitting corsets and people who wear them upside down (more common than you think!)

MindLess said...

@ Beklet: I know! ^^ I saw a girl with an upside down over bust corset! I can partly understand turning around your under bust corsets (if you don't wear them often and they don't have pronounced tips) but if you have 2 bulbs on your hips, you should notice something is odd... ;)