1. Corset Perfection? The corset is a magical, wonderful garment. However, please remember that the corset cannot give you a perfect figure even though it can address figure issues or problems you wish to improve.
2. Who should measure? It is better to have someone else measure you rather than attempt it yourself. If you cannot find a friend to do so, contact a local seamstress or tailor who will usually provide that service for a small fee. You can usually find such a person by contacting the following: local dry cleaners who usually employ seamstresses to make hems, cuffs and minor repairs to dry cleaned goods; bridal or alteration shops. Take the measurement form to that person with the following instructions. If you cannot find a person to measure, then follow these instructions, measure yourself five times, and take the average.
3. Dressed or undressed? The closer the measurement to the natural body, the better. Therefore, measure next to bare skin or over a thin slip.
4. Accuracy: Measure three times, by 1/4 inch increments, and take the middle measurement.
5. Guidelines: Tie a string around your natural waist as a guideline.
6. Standing or sitting? Stand erect but breathe normally.
7. Tight or loose? Measure the waist snugly but all other measurements should be normal.
1. Determining proper waist reduction: There are two basic kinds of corset "fit":
(a) tight-lacing fit (corset closes at 4 or more inches less than your snug natural waist measurement; and
(b) fashion fit.
You must determine which kind of fit you desire. To make that determination, please consider the following:
a. The standard fit is a tight-lacing fit of a 4" reduction. Rarely do we recommend a greater reduction. This means that when the corset is finally closed in the back after a period of "breaking in," your waistline inside the corset will be 4" smaller than the measurement with which you started.
b. A 5" or 6" reduction may be possible only in the following circumstances: if you are accustomed to corseting with a steel-boned corset, if you are a genetic female and have a waist measurement of 30" or more, if you are a genetic male and have a waist measurement of 36" or more, or if your waist is quite "plastic" or "squishy" as opposed to firm and muscular.
c. Remember that if you plan to wear your corset primarily over clothing, especially winter clothing, a tight-lacing fit will feel even more tight, and may be uncomfortable. Therefore, you may wish to reduce the recommended waist reduction by 1/4" to 1". In other words, a normal 4" reduction should be ordered as a 3" reduction.
d. A fashion fit is desirable for improving your posture and fit of garments, and when you do not wish to present a notable or impressive waist reduction but prefer comfort. An example might be a corset as a foundation garment under a wedding dress that you have to wear for many hours on your wedding day.
2. For overbust corsets: Either wear your bra, or put your fingers together and cup your hands under breasts with thumb covering nipple; push 1" inwards and looking in a mirror, move your hands until you achieve the proper "look" of your bustline. Then measure straight over your hand for the requested measurement.
3. For better tummy control: Measure from the waistline to just over pubic area while standing, then sit and repeat the measurement. Be sure you can sit comfortably. If in doubt and you desire more tummy control, take the lowest measurement you can tolerate. You may also request that the bottom hem of a Victorian corset be rounded out to provide better control than the pointed front provides, or order a longline Edwardian corset to smooth out hip and tummy curves.
4. Maximizing bustline: Although it is difficult to say with certainty, in general, an underbust or a to-the-nipple corset style is preferred to enhance the bustline of modestly-proportioned clients. An overbust may actually minimize the silhouette. The only exception may be the flat-bodied styles such as the 18th Century and earlier corsets with shoulder straps. Placing a silicon enhancer inside the bustcup of these styles may also achieve the look you desire.
5. Minimizing bustline: The 18th Century style reduces the bustline by pulling inward, but also "squishes" the bustline up, creating what we like to call the "grapefruit" line. Be sure you desire that look before you order this style. A simple Valentine overbust corset may be the best choice; the "look" can be adjusted via the muslin fitting process. It is therefore important to take accurate measurements and tell us exactly how you wish your bustline to appear.
Proceed to order form.