Corsets are fantastic things. They give you support, slim you down, create a perfect silhouette and make you feel confident and sexy at the same time. And some can even be worn as part of an outfit, helping you showcase your unique style. But as a specialised compression garment, it’s important to find a corset that fits you well and is comfortable to wear. Otherwise, you risk being uncomfortable, irritable or even in pain as you wear it – and no one wants that! But where do you start? After all, all corsets are different, from fit to fabric, from colour to support structure, just like all women, so how can you possibly hope to find one that works for you? Never fear, we’re here to help.
Why Do You Want to Wear a Corset?
This is the first question you should ask yourself, as it’s answer will help you in the beginning of your corset search. If you’re unsure, the broader question might be why do girls wear corsets at all? Are there any benefits to wearing a corset? After all, they seem to have a reputation as being constricting, uncomfortable things the Victorians introduced to make women conform to their idea of perfection. But contrary to popular belief, corsets really aren’t as bad for your health as everyone thinks, (so long as they aren’t too tightly laced and worn 24/7). They also won’t ruin your organs or your spine, and can even be used to help people with spinal issues find relief and good posture. But nowadays, they are mainly a fashion choice, helping women to look pretty, sexy and classy at the same time – a combo that’s fairly difficult to achieve any other way! So before you being your search, ask yourself – do you want a corset to add to your overall look and outfit (in which case a fashion outwear corset will be best), or do you want one that improves your figure without being seen (in which case, you want an under corset)
Choosing a Comfortable Corset
The first part of working out which style of corset you should choose is figuring out how comfortable you want to be while wearing it. Yes, we always want to be comfortable, but women know all too well that sometimes comfort isn’t the primary concern when it comes to looking good. If you plan on moving around a lot and want it to feel natural, you should opt for a corset with light or no boning. This style of corset allows extra movement and comfort while sitting, eating or even dancing. But they do lack some of the defined shaping ability of their boned counterparts. If you’re going somewhere where wearing a corset will be easier, then you might opt for something with boning or extra support, as you won’t be moving much when you get to your seat. Regardless, you should always make sure it isn’t difficult to breathe in your corset, no matter where you go, because this is what causes people to faint!
Choosing the Right Effect
So once you’ve chosen what kind of corset you want in terms of comfort, you can now look at your body and decide what effect you want the corset to have. If you already have the perfect hourglass figure or a more square torso that isn’t too curvy, you’ll probably be pretty happy in a traditional, fully boned, full-length corset to just smooth down and accentuate these features. If you’re a more boxy shape, then you might want to opt for a waist control corset to draw you in and give you a slimmer, more defined figure.
Plus Sized Problems
Most, if not all of this advice can be applied to women of any size and shape. But as a plus-sized underwear specialist, we would be loathed to not mention some of the extra issues plus sized women can have when they’re shopping for corsets. The first is having large hips and a smaller waist. While this is the shape that most people are longing for when they wear corsets it can be difficult if you already have this shape, since full-length corsets can be known to dig into your hip bones. This is also a problem if you have a shorter torso. There are 2 options for solving this issue – one is to try cropped length corsets, so they are too short to dig into your hips. The other is to opt for a full-coverage corset and brief combo, where the corset actually turns into a brief at the hips, giving the fit and support of a corset without the digging into anything.
The second issue plus sized women often come across is having a bigger bust that is simply too big to fit into a corset. This is a huge turn off for a lot of women, who just don’t want to cram their bigger breasts into a constricting, too-small corset bust (and I can’t say I blame them!). It’s even worse when you have a smaller waist than your breasts, and it can be a challenge to find a corset that will fit both. The best option for this is something called an underbust corset, which will still give you support and shaping but will stop with cup-shaped cut-outs under your breasts. You can then wear a normal bra, a bralette or even go commando if that’s your preference!
Whether you need something to give you a bit of shape under your favourite evening dress of a full Victoria style corset, you can always find a corset to fit your unique shape. Size isn’t a barrier to the corset world any more, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or a 22, you’ll be able to find something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. At Elle Courbee, we specialise in providing under-garment corsets of all shapes, sizes and styles, one for every occasion. And thanks to our no-quibble returns policy, you can try on a few options and see what your perfect corset looks like in the comfort of your own home, and just return the ones you don’t like. If you’d like to find out more, just browse our collection of corsets here, or get in touch to ask us a question.