Tips for Wearing Corsets

Worn as a figure-shaping, bust-lifting, and dress-supporting undergarment – corsets were worn by women for hundreds of years. No other piece of lingerie captures the imagination, just like the corset. Though in terms of functionality, it was replaced by bras a century ago, its sinuous lines still capture the attention. Many are thrilled that it’s become a hot trend again in the 21st century, as designers release newer, bolder, and sexier styles. It’s also used by women who want to cinch their waist to look slim under a fancy outfit, while some use it to train the waist and keep it in a great hourglass shape.

Whatever purpose you have for using corsets, here are some helpful tips for wearing corsets:

Listen to your body.

The most important tip for successful waist training is to listen to your body. Corseting is a personal practice, and it all depends on your body. Let yours tell you what works best and listen to what it needs. Don’t wear it too tight too soon.

Listening to your body will help you reach your waist training goals while keeping yourself comfortable and safe at the same time. Though you might want immediate results, know that it would take time to see results that last.

Buy a corset that’s right for your size and body type.

A woman wearing a fitting dress

Corsets are not a one-size-fits-all undergarment. If you buy a corset that’s uncomfortable and too small, it would only set you back because you’ll find yourself in pain. There are different corset styles made to fit different body types. You’ll be more comfortable and will achieve your desired results if you choose a corset suited for your body type.

If a corset is too curvy or not curvy enough, it may cause you pain or make you look unflattering. It’s only safe and logical to waist train in a corset with the right body shape curve, so it hugs your curves comfortably.

Get a high-quality corset.

Don’t expect great results from a lingerie-type or fashion corset. These corsets look chic and sexy, but they are only designed for looks, not waist training. They don’t come with the steel boning needed to “cinch” properly. However, if your goal is simply to look slimmer for the night, then the fashion corset will do the trick.

Corsets designed for waist training are made with flat and spiral steel bones and a flat steel busk. It laces up in the bank to cinch in overtime. High-quality corsets that will give you a slimmer and curvier waist aren’t made of cheap plastic bones or hook and eye clasps.

Break it in (season it) before wearing it.

Portrait of a beautiful steampunk woman over vintage background
Portrait of a beautiful steampunk woman over vintage background.

Before you wear it at an event or somewhere important, you will need to “season” your corset first. It means you have to break it in over a couple of days or weeks to make it fit your body. Put it on gently at first without pulling the laces too tightly. Lace it so that it’s snug, then wear it for an hour or two the first time you wear it. Repeat it several times for the first days of breaking in your corset so that you would be comfortable with it once you wear it for a special occasion. Just as you would want to break in a new pair of shoes, give yourself some time to break in your corset before you actually use it. By the time it has been seasoned, it must fit snugly, the laces must get through the grommets easily, and there would be no gaps.  

Don’t wear it too tight.

After seasoning your corset to get used to your curves, you can pull those laces as tight as possible. When you start corseting, one of the first things you’ll notice is its strong compression. It may feel tight during the few wears, but you will not feel discomfort once your body gets accustomed to it.

But while a corset is meant to be tight, be careful not to wear it too tight. You may want a drastic change, but you’ll most likely damage the corset and even your body if you wear it too tight too soon. Remember the first tip: listen to your body! If you start feeling pain, if it becomes hard to breathe, or if the discomfort is more than you can handle – take it off immediately.

If you notice in your reflection that the back of your corset resembles an open and closed parenthesis shape, it means your waistline isn’t ready to be laced yet at that reduction. You need to loosen your corset enough to achieve an even gap in the lacing at the back.

Start a waist training regimen.

Once you feel like your corset is seasoned enough, you can slowly start wearing it regularly. Don’t go from wearing it an hour a day at home to wearing it for eight hours at the office – remember that your body needs time to adjust to wearing it. Do the process gradually, and the key is to wear it consistently to make your waist training successful.

It can feel uncomfortable as your body adjusts to being cinched when you start out. But stick with it, and take breaks when necessary. To keep you motivated, track your progress. Record your waist measurements over time and take photos of your progress. It will help you maintain perspective.

Don’t exercise with your corset.

If you want a smaller and shapelier waist, you probably know not to depend on corsets only. It helps if you keep weight or fat-loss journey along with it. However, a corset won’t melt your belly and waist fat or target your problem areas. While pairing a corset with exercise and a good diet is recommended, don’t wear your corset while exercising.

Thankfully, you can use waist cinchers instead. Devoted waist trainers who wear corsets wear a waist cincher or shapewear while exercising.  

Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Eating may feel different when you’re wearing a corset, but after seasoning and a few changes, most people are able to eat comfortably while wearing a corset. Though you may not be able to eat large amounts of food at once, it’s important to eat enough food and water for your body’s needs. Instead of eating three meals a day, you probably need to eat 5-6 small meals instead. Plenty of water, healthy fruits and vegetables, and a balanced diet will help you feel great in and out of your corset.