After centuries of wear, corsets have well and truly earned their place in women’s fashion. Renowned for enhancing figures, and sex lives, corsets are now a bedroom staple in many households. These days, the corset is equally as at home in the office as it is in the boudoir. Here’s Butterfly Corsets’ guide to buying and wearing your corset, in the bedroom and beyond.
Corsets are equally at home in the office as they are in the boudoir.
Corsets were originally designed to cajole our bodies into the much sought-after hourglass shape, by pulling together bones sewn into strong fabric. Today, the emphasis is still on body sculpting; with under-bust, over-bust and waist-cincher designs all on a mission to pull us into shape.
Corsets are often confused with basques, bustiers and bodices but each have their own distinct characteristics. Traditionally, basques were designed to elongate the waist, narrow the hips and gently flatter the body. They tend to be shorter, with a U or V line towards the bottom and are made of lighter fabric than corsets. While their shape mimics corsets, basques do not have the same degree of figure-sculpting severity – where corsets insist, basques merely hint. Bustiers tend to be strapless and shorter than basques or corsets. They are designed to add shape to the upper body, particularly the bust area, by pushing up and amplifying the bust when tightened against the upper midriff. The bodice is also a figure-shaping garment but was traditionally worn externally, over a corset, with lacing to bring two panels tightly together against the body. These days, any of these items can be worn as outer or under garments and, despite these so-called definitions, many identical designs are described as a variety of the above! For the purposes of this post, we’ll refer to them all as corsets but keep in mind the differences when making your final selection.
All corsets, basques, bustiers and bodices are on a mission to pull us into shape!
As with most clothes, corset sizes can vary wildly between manufacturers but here’s a few points to consider when trying a corset on. In many designs, the body of the corset is fully adjustable so getting this aspect right is crucial to the shape and fit of the corset – too loose and the cup size may appear too big, too tight and you may incorrectly assume you need a larger size. It often helps to have someone with you when trying on a corset as pulling the intricately laced designs together can require a bit of effort and finesse.
Wiring under the bust should lie flat against the body, and breasts should be completely encased by the wire. If the wires lift away from the body, or dig in under the arms, it may be sign that you need a bigger cup size. Cups should lie smoothly over the breast with no bulging or gaping. Baggy cups are a sign that you need a smaller size; bulging breasts could be a sign that you need a larger cup size. Some cup design features are more suited to specific breast sizes; for example, padded bras and balconette styles are designed to give lift and boost, which is great for smaller breasts, whereas full cups and plunge styles are fantastic for those with an ample cleavage. The back of the corset should sit snugly and horizontally across your body, in line with the under-bust wiring at the front. Straps should offer support to the cup without digging into the shoulders.
The correct fitting of your corset is vital to your pleasure.
Corsets now come in all shapes and sizes, from novelty bedroom items and high street fashion, to steel boned, waist-training and bespoke designer fashion statements. Choosing between them can be tricky, so let’s have a look at a few of the factors that could influence your choice. Whatever the occasion, a corset should hug the figure beneath, so your body type is going to play a massive part in your choice of style.
- Average – almost any corset will work for you (lucky thing!) so choose a corset that makes the most of your favourite parts of the body.
- Petite – look for shorter bodied corsets and, if you have a smaller bust, focus on ruffled bust lines and intricate detailing around the bust area.
- Tall – seek out longer bodied corsets with shaping around the waist and ruffles/skirts around the bottom to enhance the hourglass silhouette.
- Curvy – focus on supporting your breasts and seek out a firm fabric that won’t cling to every curve, helping to define a smooth silhouette.
Allow your choice of corset to mirror your mood in the bedroom.
Corsets with integrated suspenders are best worn with stockings to keep the suspenders in place;
- If you’re looking for a corset to wear with jeans, you’re probably better to opt for a shorter one without suspenders;
- Don’t be afraid to wear your corset over other clothing – they’re a great way to vamp up a blouse or t-shirt;
- For an evening event, velvet, satin and flocked corset designs look fabulous with a long skirt and some sparkling accessories;
- For the office, pinstripe and satin corsets are a fantastic way to add a little zing to a tailored skirt or trouser suit;
- A shorter style will show midriff and the top of your hips so, if you’d rather hide these outside the bedroom, go for a longer style;
- Consider whether you’ll need the support of straps. Many come with removable straps so it’s possible to have the best of both worlds;
- To make a corset work in the bedroom, mirror your mood with lace, leather, vinyl, velvet or ruffles.
- Don’t forget access arrangements – long and lingering laces? Or zippier zips?
You can’t help but feel sexy in a corset!
Corsets are designed to bring out the very best in every woman. No matter what your shape or size, there’s one to suit you. And when you find the perfect one, you’ll know; you just can’t help feeling sexy in the right corset …wherever you are.