Gorgeous pix by Clinton Cardozo of Vanguard Red Magazine
Corsets are a staple of a Burlesque dancers wardrobe. Aside from endless sets of matching lingerie sets, corsets of all shapes and sizes are often the highlight of a costume. They come in myriads of styles, types and shapes, so pretty much anything you can imagine can be created. However its a bit like separating the men from the boys too. Something on-line can look amazing but what turns up in a package at your door step is a cheap tacky lightweight plastic version of what ever the pretty photo was you were looking at on-line Of course all with on-line shopping you run the risk of ending up with a rip off version of what you wanted.
SO! If you don’t have a spare $500- $1000 to spend on an outfit and don’t want want to look like a cheap and nasty rip off of your favourite Burlesque celebrity, where do you go and how do you do it?? Buyers remorse isn’t too fun so supported by my friends at Corsets.Au I wanted to bring you some things to look out for and recommendations of what I like, complete with some pretty pictures so show you.
Here are my top three tips on buying a corset on-line.
1) Know the difference between a “fashion” corset and steel boned or waist training corset.
Plastic boning is the cheapest and most common type of boning found in modern corsets. If you’re after a pretty top or something to impress in the bedroom, then go for this option. It’s cheaper than other types and you will have plenty of designs and styles to choose from. Plastic boning cannot be used for waist training and should not be laced tightly, as this can cause the plastic to bend and dig in. If you choose an over-bust corset and have large breasts, you should avoid plastic boning as it will be uncomfortable and will not provide enough support.
Steel boning comes in two different types, spiral steel and flat steel. Spiral steel is more flexible than flat steel, and they are often both used in the same corset. This type of boning provides a lot more support than plastic boning and is usually much more comfortable. While corsets with steel boning are usually a lot more expensive, if you are planning on wearing your corset regularly or for long periods of time, the benefits of buying a corset with this type of boning are well worth the additional cost. Not only will it be much more comfortable, but it will last much longer and is far less likely to lose its shape. A steel boned corset can be used for waist training if the overall construction of the corset is strong enough.
If your looking at purchasing a corset on-line and it doesn’t tell you what kind of boning the corset has, take this as a warning as it’ll probably be cheap and bendy plastic.
2) Know your size!
Fashion corsets normally come in a standard dress size, where as steel or body shaping corsets have specific waist circumference sizes, and should be ordered smaller than your natural waist. Remember steel boned corsets are usually designed to reduce your waist by 4-5 inches, but some waist training corsets are designed to reduce it further, to around 6-7 inches smaller than the natural size of your waist.
Some corsets are really long in the body and others are very very short. If you are wanting to lace something very tight with out a dress underneath for example, a short corset might not be the right choice as you’ll end up with unsightly skin bulges above and below the garment. On the other hand if you have a shorter torso and order a long corset you might find it very difficult to sit down.
To prevent all this, have someone else help you take your measurements before you order a corset. A good shop will have a size chart and the length of the corset on the listing so you can be 100% sure you’ll be happy with your purchase.
3) Fabric and closures – Plan your costume before you purchase.
We all love a little on-line impulse buying but before you buy that shiny blue thing consider the rest of your wardrobe. If you are a performer, will it match your staple lingerie sets? Or do you have a specific costume you are shopping for with a colour or style theme to match?
A zippered corset are very easy to take off, but these are generally only found on costume or fashion corsets with plastic boning and after a couple of wears it will have buckled in the middle and start feeling stabby!
Hook and eye corsets: Really cheap fashion corsets often do up with hooks and eyes. They will need to be ordered in your exact size as it doesn’t have the strength to reduce or shape your body with out the risk of the fabric tearing.
Steel busk with hook closures and lacing at the back: This is the strongest type of corset and allows tight lacing and often the eyelets at the back will be reinforced also.
I have drawers and drawers of corsets with a huge mix of types both fashion and steel boned. I love them all although my favourites are the really heavy ones. After performing recently we all compared the weight of our corsets, and it was quite surprising. All of really comfortable ones were the heaviest and reinforced with steel or sprung steel. I really recommend these as they are some of the most comfortable corsets, look great, last really well and give you a beautiful hourglass shape!
Corsets.Au were amazing and shipped me THIS Waist Training corset. I am a 10-12 dress size and ordered a 24 inch under bust corset. If you’ve not worn a steel boned corset before don’t get scared off, this one is gorgeous and is the most amazing and comfortable off the rack corset I’ve ever worn!!
Priced very affordably, I recommend Corsets.Au as they make it very easy to see what they have available and know what you area going to get for your money. Obviously my preference is for the sturdier, less flashy steel boned or waist training corsets. However they’ve beautifully laid out their website, listing all the features of each corset so that once you know what your looking for, choosing is much easier!
(I’ve then bedazzled this corset with blue aurora crystals after it arrived so it matched the lingerie nicely!)