Corsets are sexy little things that instantly amp up the heat factor in the bedroom. We love these pieces of lingerie so much that we think every woman should own at least one! However, corsets are not only worn as lingerie. In fact, a corset is defined as "a woman's tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure."
A corset can be worn underneath clothing to define your curves, or it can be a built-in part on your clothing, like a wedding dress with a corset in the back. But no matter your reason for wearing a corset, one thing rings true: Corsets can be tough to tie!
We've provided our best tips on how to lace a corset so that you can slip into this sexy undergarment without any qualms.
Let's get you laced up!
Choosing a Corset
First thing's first: Is your corset the right size? Nothing is worse than a corset that doesn't fit—since these structured pieces are already one of the less comfortable undergarments you can wear, it's important that your corset is the correct size.
Generally speaking, corset sizing goes like this:
If your natural waist (where you bend side-to-side) is under 38 inches, select a corset four to seven inches smaller than your natural waist.
If your natural waist is over 38 inches select a corset seven to 10 inches smaller than your natural waist.
How to Measure Yourself for Corsets
When wearing a corset that includes your bust, be sure to keep your bra size in mind. If your corset only measures throughout the torso (like a cupless corset or garter corset), this information is not needed.
Underbust: Measure right at your bra line. To ensure accuracy, measure parallel to the ground.
Natural Waist: Measure where you bend side-to-side—it's usually about an inch above your belly button.
Upper Hip: Either measure at or just below your hip bone. You should be measuring just above where you bend when you sit.
Other Factors to Consider During Corset Sizing
- If you're wearing a corset for back support or fashion purposes, you likely only need to go three to five inches smaller than your natural waist (opposed to the usual four to seven inches).
- If you're new to corseting, start bigger and work your way into a smaller corset.
- What's your "squish" factor? Lean muscle is not going to have as much leeway as soft tissue, and the more leeway you have, the more aggressive you can be with your silhouette.
Knowing how to re-lace your corset is a great skill to have as a lingerie lover. You can replace the lace with something more your style this way. Below is how to lace a corset, step-by-step.
Quick tips before you start:
- Generally, use five to eight yards of lacing for underbust corsets and seven to 10 yards for overbusts
- The amount of lacing needed depends on how long the back of the corset is, how closely set the grommets are, how much reduction you achieve, and the overall corset size
- Ribbon may be used; cut ends at 45-degree angle to reduce fraying
- For easy lacing, go down with one length of ribbon and come back up for the other side instead of switching back and forth
1. Hook the front of the corset.
When you hook it, put one busk loop behind and towards the middle—this will maintain the tension and keep it fastened. You'll need to know where the waist is to make the "bunny ears." It might be helpful to mark the waistline with a straight pin or safety pin (unless it's a leather corset—then don't stick it!).
2. Pull the lacing through the top grommets.
Take each end of the lacing and pull them up through each of the top grommets from the interior. Then, use one hand to brace the corset and one hand to pull the lacing through both sides at once so that they are the same length. You should have about an inch or two of space between the edges of the center-back of the corset.
3. Start lacing.
Take the left side of the ribbon where it comes out of the grommet, and pull it flatly through your finger and thumb to keep it from twisting. Coming up from the bottom of the grommet, bring the ribbon through the next hole on the right side. Go back to the left side, skip a grommet, and come up from the bottom. Go back to the right side, skip a grommet, and come up from the bottom.
To lace, it is fastest to pull just the end of the ribbon through three grommets, then catch up and pull the length through those three, and then move onto the next three. So, you would lace: Right, left, right, pull. Left, right, left, pull.
4. When you reach the waist level, stop lacing with this pattern.
It's time for the bunny ears! If there is a grommet even with the waist level, that grommet and the one below it will be the pair for the bunny ears. Or, if grommets frame the waist tape, that's your pair.
When you get to this pair of grommets, skip two grommets as you go across with the ribbon. You'll bring the ribbon from directly above the waist on one side to the lower grommet on the other side. Come up from the bottom, and pull the slack through.
Then, go straight up, do not skip a grommet, and do not switch sides. Now, from above, insert the ribbon into that grommet. Pull out a little bit of slack (you'll see it at the bottom). Most of the slack lives in the waist loop, but you'll only need a couple of feet for most corset styles.
Now, going back across, skip two grommets (the waist loop for the other side), and lace from above. Then go across, skip one grommet, and lace from above. Continue all the way down to the last grommet. (Below the waist, try lacing by pairs rather than triples.)
5. Go to the top of the corset and look at your waist loop.
Look at which side of the lacing is on top. If you followed the order we suggested, it should be the overhand lacing that goes across right-to-left on your waist loop.
To tidy up the lacing so it all looks consistent, you'll go down the other side of the corset. Pull the length of the lacing through your finger and thumb again to eliminate twisting. Then, coming up from the bottom of the grommet, go to the empty grommet on the left side (don't skip any). Go over the bit of lacing you cross.
Then, coming up from the bottom of the grommet, go under the existing piece of ribbon to the next grommet, working in threes again. Over, under, over, pull. Under, over, under, pull.
6. Find the two open grommets at waist level.
This is your home-stretch! Once you get back to waist level, your two open grommets should be there. Maintaining your over-under pattern, go through the lower grommet from beneath and then into the higher grommet from above. Pull out a couple of feet of ribbon. Switch back to working in paired grommets to keep track of your over-under pattern. You're now inserting the ribbon from above, so be extra careful.
When you get to the last grommet, pull the ribbon through. Bring the two ribbon ends together and treat them as one. Then, make a loop and pull a tiny tail through. Seperate above the knot to tug it and make sure it's tight.
7. Tidy it up!
Lastly, make sure your corset lacing is as flawless as the woman wearing it! Distribute the extra slack through the waist loops from the bottom, then bring it down to the waist loops from the top, skipping every other pair of grommets.
To finish, tie the loops in a giant bow. You did it!
Though lacing a corset is not the simplest endeavor, it's certainly one that will make you a proud Lingerie Diva! Learning how to lace a corset is a fabulous trait that just might come in handy one day—especially if you love to wear these sexy. structured pieces.