Corset Safety and Comfort


     Bettie Page pinup tying a corset

Since my last post on corset wearing,  I've been wearing my corset off and on this week, breaking it in. I'll be honest, I don't like to wear it for longer than 5 or 6 hours but I'm getting used to it. The corset is very well made and comfortable but I'm not crazy about the way my body looks in it, believe it or not. With an already quite large bust, I deal with the boob issue daily but the under bust corset lifts them up and out in a very unnatural way. I didn't want to have the squished boob look of an over bust corset but even when I pull the corset down over my hips more, I still have a very....prominent silhouette. I've tried wearing a tighter bra, followed by a snug slip but it doesn't help very much.

I'm feeling a lot like Salma Hayek. Don't get me wrong, she looks amazing but that's not a look that's easy to handle on a daily basis, know what I mean?

I may try a minimizer bra or something with under wire. I generally wear vintage bras, which are very structured and don't have under wire so we'll see if a modern bra works.

 I do love the waist shape I'm getting, though and the back and neck are feeling SO much better with the support of the corset. 

Corset Safety and Comfort

 Many people are uneasy about corsets because they believe that they are unsafe, unhealthy and uncomfortable. The once "proper" garment has become quite taboo in our modern world. With topics of shifting organs, moving ribs and unanswered questions, the topic of tight lacing is a controversial one. Corset wearing is certainly not appropriate for everyone. If you have a medical condition or prior injury, consult a physician before beginning a waist training program.

 Shaping the Body

Corsets do change the shape of a body. I wouldn't call it a "permanent" change because after removing a corset for a long time, the body will go back to its original shape. Even after taking it off to shower, swim or exercise, it will loose a little bit of that laced-up silhouette. When worn very tightly over a period of months and years, the organs and ribs will shift.

via The Pragmatic Costumer

Yeah, that's pretty gross to think about but just look at what happens during pregnancy- also pretty gnarly!

While there are loads of images of women with waists smaller than their necks, there are also plenty of lovely normal-ish hourglass shapes created with moderate tight lacing.

Set a Healthy Goal 
Just like regular weight loss, set a healthy goal for yourself. Corset Story corsets give a decrease of 4-5 inches in waist size. My current measurements are 43-36-45 so my goal is more like a 3-4 inch reduction so I don't look too extreme when I'm done.

Corset wearers should always take care to exercise back and abdominal muscles. Since the corset provides much of the support, those muscles need to be toned, strengthened and stretched out. Focus on flexibility and range of motion by doing exercises such as yoga, crunches and those old fashioned twist, bend and stretch movements. Walking is also a good exercise while wearing a corset.

Skin Care
To protect a corset from skin oils, sweat and dirt, something should be worn under it. Corset liners are available but most of them are made of spandex. I usually wear a cotton spaghetti strap top or silky slip under my corset. To prevent chafing and dry skin, be sure to moisturize after a shower and give a few minutes for your skin to dry thoroughly before lacing up again.

Inexperienced corset wearers can be spotted a mile away. They are so tightly laced that they can't sit, eat or even breathe. A corset should never be painful. A tightlacer should be able to breathe, walk, sit, talk, eat and even lay down. If it's uncomfortable, always loosen the laces or take it off completely. 

Eating Habits 
Naturally, eating and drinking habits will change during corset wearing. many tightlacers eat several smaller meals instead of three large ones. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains and stay hydrated to avoid belly problems from compression. Excess amounts of breads, sweets and carbonated drinks don't usually do good things for a corseted tummy.

For more questions on corsets and tightlacing, I highly recommend Lucy's Corsetry. She has some excellent videos on You Tube, all about her experiences and knowledge in corset wearing. 

Now for some corset candy from Corset Story. I'm watching Marie Antoinette, can you tell? 

1 hot pink corset with pleated frill trim
2 Silver blue brocade corset
3 blue denim underbust corset
4 cream tapestry bridal corset

* My waist training corset was provided courtesy of Corset Story. The views and opinions in this post are entirely mine. See your doctor before starting a waist training program*


  1. wow, I love corsets and the look they give. I've always wanted one for myself, but never found one in my price range that I loved. Once concern I had is that I work out a lot, like usually every day, and I'm worried corset wearing would make that more challenging (tho of course, I wouldn't work out with it on)

    1. I think that a lot of corset wearers work out, without a corset on of course. I guess it would be easier to work out in the am and put the corset on afterwards...or work out in the pm before bed

  2. I built a historical corset last spring, it's Civil War/Victorian. I only wear it for special occasions, but I do like the shape I get--I can easily get a 3 inch waist reduction, but I'm a little larger in the waist than you and I've heard that when you are heavier you actually can get a better shape because you have more "squish" (which I certainly have).

    I don't wear a bra with mine, I used to until a corset forum pointed out I'd get a better silhouette. I do wear either a body shaper such as spanx underneath, or a men's sleeveless cotton undershirt that fits snugly. My measurements are 42" 37" 45" and corseted I'm 44" 34" 45".

  3. I love my corset even though it only comes out for special occasions. Can't wait to follow how your waist training goes. x

  4. I love the look a corset gives, too. I definitely like the late teens-early 1920's corset styles, like the drawing of the woman doing her corset exercises the best. It evens you out without making you looking like a number '8' like the old Victorian styles do. When reading this post, you got me thinking of the benefits you mentioned of the torso/back support a corset can give. My doctor has mentioned that I have pretty crappy posture, so I think I could give it a whirl.

    Great post!

  5. Excellent, wisely written post, dear Brittany. Thank you very much for sharing your insight with us.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. Very informative post, however, I can't help but to find myself cringing over some of the images of how the corset moves your internal organs! Sounds scary!

  7. If you're unhappy with the results in the bust, perhaps a waist cincher is more suited to what you're looking for? I love corsets, making and wearing them, but I only do so as foundation garments for wearing under outfits (generally Victorian). I feel a note should be added regarding the removal of corsets- that it should be gradual, allowing time to inhale and exhale on each loosening. I've seen women faint after tight-lacing and then being "sprung free" in one move (i.e. laces cut, or some such nonsense). Not a good thing.

  8. A waist clincher is an excellent idea! I have some spiral steel boning so I could probably whip one up with ease. You're absolutely right about corset removal. There's a ay to do it and a way to not do it. Not only can ripping a corset off cause pain or fainting but it'll ruin an expensive corset in no time. Ill be covering all of that next week :)

  9. I've been wanting to try this for so long but I keep having second thoughts about it. I live in Australia, in Queensland where it's hot and humid most of the year so I worry that it would be really itchy and sweaty :(

    1. Yes, I'm in St Louis and it's very humid and hot in the late spring- early fall. I seriously doubt that I will ever want to wear a corset during the warm months!

  10. Good luck with your journey, Dita Von Teese would be proud.

  11. I have noticed the same thing wneh I wear corsets and the last time I actually measured my bust. And found that my bust measurement had 4 added inches! And with a a 44 inch measuremnt on a normal day, one really don't need more...

  12. I can't stand my underbust corset for the same reason you have discovered: The girlies really do go EVERYWHERE. My corsets are mostly for costume support (Victorian) to achieve the right shape or minimizing in general. It's amazing how different your clothes look even when you've barely tightened your laces!

  13. Deep sea diving also moves organs about for those who do it regularly, particularly free divers. How does one wear an under bust with an underwire bra?

    1. That's interesting!! I never thought about it before but it makes sense with the pressure that you deal with under water! I don't usually wear an underwire bra. I often wear a vintage bullet bra or other non-wire pointy bra like the exquisite form full-ly but I tried an under wire bra and it was okay since the corset sat just beneath the underwire. It's still much more comfortable without wire though

  14. Excellent, clear article! I've grown to love wearing my Rago waist cincher all day and my corset for special occasions. I have decided that underbust corsets just aren't for me: the girls go everywhere and it's hard to find a short-waisted one! I do love my utilitarian overbust, though. It's OTR (off the rack), so it doesn't exactly fit my 32DDs very well, but since the corset is a tad small, it actually reduces my bust measurement by an inch without being suffocating, an effect I really like! It's hard to explain to most people why I like a reduction in breast size (especially since corsets these days are considered less utilitarian wear and more like sexy lingerie), but having big boobs can be so troublesome. As for organ arrangement, I've never had a bit of trouble, except when I forgot I was even wearing a corset (yes, it's that comfy) and downed a whole soda! Sodas are baaaaaaaaaaaad news when you're laced up. The gas has nowhere to go and you'll feel like a balloon.


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