This article was suggested by our customer Laura who, at the time was 16 months into using steel-boned corsets. She said in the first few weeks she made many mistakes when getting dressed, trying to do it by lacing her corset first. Lovely Laura made some suggestions herself and we took suggestions from the corset-wearers in the office to come up with tips that will hopefully save you some time and frustration when getting into your corset.
Why wear a corset?
Corsets are beautiful things and it is a natural impulse when your first one arrives that you are so taken by the look, smell and feel of it that you just want to get the thing on as quickly as possible. Corsets are probably the best feminizing body-shaper that give you instant visual gratification with their immediate waist-narrowing effect even before you begin waist training. They narrow the waist, flatten the tummy, create the illusion of hips and also give you the best posture you have probably ever had. Throw in the fact they can help with weight loss by reducing your stomach size and appetite and I don’t know why everyone doesn’t wear them.
It’s important to remember that corsets are designed to be tight, and therefore they restrict your movement. On first wearing a corset, you will find you cannot move with the freedom to which you are accustomed. No more bending at the waist or even twisting to the side. This takes getting used to, but will actually encourage you to move more gracefully. Relatively simple tasks will take a little getting used to; for example putting on hosiery, sitting down and standing and driving require that you make adjustments to do these tasks efficiently. Just breathing means having to make small changes to compensate for the fact you will now have a reduced lung capacity necessitating shallower and gentler breathing. No more running for that bus, you need to take it easy!
The first time you try your corset should merely be for checking the sizing is correct. However, when dressing for pleasure and/or going out you need to take note of the following considerations to reduce frustration and time when getting dressed.
Tips for putting on a corset
The following tips assume you are dressing and lacing the corset on your own. Whilst these are not hard and fast rules, they will certainly help as a guide until you find your own shortcuts:
- Undergarments. Start with your ‘frillies’ first and as we also encourage using a liner with corset wearing, this should also be put on here.
- Pretty ‘piggies’/toe nails. If you are using attachable nail tips or using nail polish do this well in advance or now as it will be near impossible to bend over to do once you are fully laced.
- Bra and enhancers/breast forms. Will help if you put these on at this stage so you are not left corseted trying to scrabble around on the floor for your favorite bra etc. If you prefer to leave until later/after you have your corset on, just make sure you have everything organized and readily available at a convenient height so you do not need to bend.
- Hosiery. Stay-ups, stockings and even socks go on here as you need to be very flexible to get them on once you are fully laced up. If you wear anklets this is a good time to put these on too.
- Skirt/pants/jeans. Again, save time and frustration by pulling these on now. Dresses can be left until after you lace up as they can generally just be pulled on over the head.
- Shoes. Again, as bending at the waist is very difficult once you are cinched in your corset it is advisable to put your shoes on at this point. However, if you are wearing very high heels you may want to leave this to the end of getting dressed. To help you, purchase a long-handled (12 to 18 inches preferably) shoe horn so that you can comfortably sit and put your shoes on whilst already wearing your corset.
- Other pre-corseting considerations: Try to think of anything else below the waistline that you may do as part of your preparation which can be done in advance of putting on the corset, for example shaving legs, moisturizing or even applying a fake tan or bronzer to your legs.
When discussing with others there was not general agreement on everything to be done pre-corseting. For example, some preferred to apply make-up prior to putting on their steel boned corset as they found it uncomfortable to sit whilst applying a new face. However, some commented they preferred to be cinched up before their makeup application as putting on the corset can take effort and a little perspiration which is not the best thing when you have just had makeup applied.
Given there was no general agreement on certain elements of getting dressed we will merely point them out as other considerations. You can try yourself with the following elements and figure what works best for you as part of your order of getting dressed.
1. Applying makeup
As discussed, some prefer to do this before lacing up and some prefer after. If you have broken in your corset sufficiently, so, that it has formed to your body shape and has become more comfortable to wear then you should be able to sit comfortably in your corset whilst applying makeup. If you do, be mindful of spills and take precautions to protect the corset particularly if it is a lighter colored fabric. A makeup cape or simply a towel draped over your front will work perfectly well in keeping your corset looking fabulous.
2. Wearing favorite wig or styling your own hair
Pulling your wig on is one of the last parts of dressing. You want it out of the way whilst applying your makeup and also the hair piece is another part of dressing that can retain heat and lead to perspiration unless you take steps to keep cool. If you have grown out your own hair, clip it back whilst applying your makeup and keep it off your face so it doesn’t get it in the way. You can then style it at the end, similar to if you were putting on a wig.
3. Adding jewelry to finish your look
We feel like the clue is in the title here – to finish your look. Most folk we asked felt that jewelry should come after the corset has been laced up. Bracelets etc can have sharp edges, especially crystals/rhinestones and so at the very least do not wear these when lacing up your corset as you can scratch/mark the outer panels quite easily. You also want to choose the right pieces to fit with your overall outfit and look, so by adding jewelry at the end, you’ll pick the right things to accentuate your overall outfit.
So yes, corsets are wonderful garments that can make you look and feel like an hourglass goddess. They can not only radically enhance your female body shape but they feel like a firm hug all the way around, giving you fantastic posture and helping add to confidence. But wearing a corset can take a little getting used to with regards making certain movements. With a little planning with regards getting dressed and being mindful of small adjustments you need to make whilst carrying out some everyday tasks due to having restricted movement you’ll find your corset wearing a stress-free and pleasurable experience. Indeed due to the fact you have to move more gracefully many find the whole experience of dressing and wearing corsets a more feminine one.