If you’ve always had your eye on a corset – we have the post for you. You see, most retailers will only carry corsets for natural waists measuring around 40 inches. Which sounds fine, except when you realise that equates to around a size 14/16. So if you’re a plus sized lady, you might find it hard to get your hands on a corset that fits. But that’s where plus sized corsets come in. While harder to find, plus sized corsets are out there – and today we’re here to give you a little guide.
The Types of Corsets
When we say corset, you might think that there is only one type of corset. And while in its most basic sense that’s true, in reality, there are a few different varieties of corset that have been designed to suit the purpose you wear them for:
Shaping Corsets – The main purpose of a corset is to alter and refine your shape – in the same way as shapewear. But they are designed to give the extreme level of support, and are usually worn under clothes. But a traditional corset doesn’t typically offer the highly dramatic results many people expect. In regular sizing (which is defined as a waist of less than 34 inches), then you can expect a reduction of around 3 inches to your waist size. But in plus sizing, you can expect to take up to 6 inches off your waist- much more than in regular sizing! Which makes shaping corsets a great choice for plus-sized women who want those killer curves.
Fashion & Costume Corsets – Beyond their use as traditional shaping undergarments, corsets have also become something of a fashion statement. Using a corset you can manipulate the size, material and fit of your clothing, and can become their own piece in their own right. Corsets used for fashion purposes typically include glazed or beaded detailing, lace additions and extra embellishments to make them stand out. This makes them pretty hard to wear as underwear, but then again, they aren’t supposed to be!
Personal Use Corsets – And then you have their final use – the more intimate, personal moments. Many of the corsets sold today, including many of ours, are sold as lingerie. These corsets are generally on the softer side where support is concerned and designed to make the wearer feel sexy. They can be worn under clothes to offer a softer shaping effect, or in the bedroom as part of an ensemble. Many brides will wear a corset underneath their wedding gown to give extra shape and transition to a bridal bedroom look.
Measuring For Your Corset
So given that corsets are designed to shape and refine, how on earth do you work out what size to order? It’s a confusing world, with so many rules and conflicting guidelines. So heresy’ the bottom line – corset sizes are measured once they are laced – not before. That means as plus-sized women, you can choose a corset size that’s up to 6 inches smaller than your current waist size. But every brand varies, so you shouldn’t rely on dress sizes here. Instead, you should be measuring yourself and buying based on that. You will need to measure:
- Your Hips: Place a tape measure right below your stomach, at the top of your thighs, to measure your hips. This might feel like you’re measuring your waist – but trust us, that’s your hips.
- Your Under Bust: Place the tape measure around the bottom of your bra, at the tip of your ribs. This measurement isn’t the same as your bra band size, so you will need to measure again and not just provide your band size. For example, if you wear a 42DD bra, don’t assume that you’re underbust measures 42 inches.
- Your Full Bust: Finally, place the tape measure around the largest, fullest part of your breast. This is typically in line with the nipples, or across the middle.
At Elle Courbee, we believe that all women should have the opportunity to try on corsets in the comfort of their own home, and with their own wardrobe. There isn’t much you can tell by trying one on in a fitting room, and many women are put off by this. That’s why we operate an online shop with a simple, no quibble returns policy – so that you can try on a variety of sizes and styles, and return any that don’t work for you. So why not browse our range of plus sized corsets and find your new favourite?