Corsets

I love corsets. It's a crazy sadistic kind of love. They're restricting, expensive, and sometimes downright frustrating. But oh how I love them. I've been a near-daily corset wearer for around 5 years. If I'm not wearing one I feel naked an incomplete with that steely hug around my middle. A nice, plain black corset can really turn a casual Kuro Lolita outfit into something Gothic and oh-so-elegant. Or, even better, worn under your clothes, a corset can help with that extra bit of padding that all the layers required of Lolita adds to the waistline. It can help define the waist, hold a petticoat exactly where it needs to be, and thus create a perfect Lolita silhouette. Along with all this, I have to admit I love the idea of Lolitafying myself right down to my underwear XD

What kind of corsets go best with lolita?
Most importantly, a steel boned under-bust corset. Those over-priced, plastic boned, mall corsets aren't going to cut it. At all. In fact, they're just going to make you look frumpy. They're going to bunch up around the tummy, twist around, make you uncomfortable, and waste your money.

If you're a beginner to corsets, and aren't looking to spend a lot on a corset (because let's face it, you'd rather be spending that money on Burando), I'd suggest the corsets from Timeless Trends. They're $99 and just perfect for waist cinching. My oldest and most worn corsets are from Timeless Trends, and they've withstood the time and pressure just dandy.

Go for a plain corset at first, either black or white would work just fine, and be versatile enough to wear over or under just about any lolita outfit. Or if you're feeling adventurous, go for something like leopard print or a gorgeous jewel toned velvet that will turn a couple of choice outfits into something totally awesome. And you can always wear it under anything that wont match. No one has to know you're wearing a leopard print restrictive Victorian underwear under your fluffy pink Angelic Pretty monstrosity!

Don't corsets hurt?
Not at all! As long as you're wearing it right. Don't make your first corset one that will cinch you in too far! Buy a corset size 3-4 inches smaller than your natural waist, but on the other hand, don't be scared and order something too large. Remember that you don't have to wear a corset laced up as tight as you can, but you can't make it any smaller than the size you bought it at. A corset that is too large for you will just be uncomfortable and won't even be able to stay closed around your waist, since the busk relies on pressure to stay closed. If you are wearing a nicely made, well-fitting hour-glass corset that is only a couple inches smaller than your natural waist, you don't have to worry about any awful health risks that are too often associated with corsets. Most of the “dangers of corsetting” you hear about are directed at extreme corsetters, such as reducing your waist to a waspy shape or a few corset shapes such as the S-line or Pipe Stem Hour Glass that tend to take years of dedicated corsetting to be able to fit into.


A few tips for wearing corsets with Lolita
  • If you're planning on wearing the corset under your clothes, buy an unadorned one. No ruffles or bows, no matter how Lolita it may look, it's just going to show through as ugly lumps.
  • Stick with an under-bust with a short-hip. If you're wearing it over Lolita you're not going to want the corset to be too long, or it's going to give you a really weird shape. I've found the Timeless Trends corsets are just perfect for Lolita since they are a little on the short side. If you're buying from somewhere else, such as a custom corseter, and plan on wearing your corset over your Lolita clothes, try going for a waist cincher rather than an under-bust. It's exactly what it sounds like, a short corset that cinches in the waist.
  • Invest in a couple plain camisoles to wear under your corset. So long as your corset isn't touching your skin, you need not worry about washing it too often. Frequent washing or skin contact can damage a corset. Plus, a couple cute camisole tops with a little bit of lace detail always adds to the dress-up thrill that Lolita brings.
  • The corset should go over your normal Lolita under things. Put on any stockings, bloomers, petticoats, and camisoles that you are planning on wearing, then put your corset on over that.
  • If you plan on wearing a JSK with a blouse, wearing a corset over the blouse, but under the JSK will help eliminate any bulk that the blouse would add, and also make sure that the blouse stays in place. Do a double check before you go out to make sure the corset can't be seen under the JSK, especially in the back!
  • If you're going to be wearing the corset under your Lolita clothes, make sure you get your corset laced up with a ribbon. When you tie the corset off, the bow will lay flat against the corset. If your corset laces up with a cord, the bow will show up as a little lump through your clothes.
  • Corsets don't look too good with A-line dresses, either over or under. Unless the A-line dress has a lot of poof to it, the corset is going to make it look really weird.

Links to some great info for anyone looking to buy their first corset

Just one final note, I am by no means a corset expert or seamstress. I am just an excited wearer who likes to read up about them and occasionally introduce other people to the joys of corsetting.

23 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! I love both historical corsetry and lolita, and it is nice to know that there are more people who do that. :)

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  2. I agree! This was very interesting and fun to read! n__n

    After I read the post, I looked at my own corset and found that it was actually a Timeless Trends corset! I didn't know, as I bought it in a store. But it's good to know that this corset is actually a quite nice one.

    I have one question though: How do you avoid shelf-boobs?? >: O
    When I wear my corset, no matter how loose or tight I lace it, I get this awful, pushed up and shelf-like bust. How do you counter this?

    Thanks for answers!

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  3. Is it an underbust corset? Because if it is it shouldn't do much to your chest at all (a little bit of lift, but not full on shelf-boobs). If it is indeed an underbust you might want to just pull it down a little bit. You might be just a little too short in the torso for the corset (which is a problem with off the rack corsets, you cant just have them made to your exact measurements!). Maybe try a sports bra or reducing bra?

    I know this might sound silly, but make sure you are wearing it the correct way XD I have seen some people wear corsets upside down or trying to wear underbusts as overbusts.

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  4. Thank you!

    I believe you're right, I have a pretty short torso I think. It is an underbust corset, but it is so long at de top that it makes a pretty impressive shelf-boob, sadly... I will try to pull it down a little and see how it goes. I have a small waist and huge hips so it might slide up, but I'm hopeful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree! This was very interesting and fun to read! n__n

    After I read the post, I looked at my own corset and found that it was actually a Timeless Trends corset! I didn't know, as I bought it in a store. But it's good to know that this corset is actually a quite nice one.

    I have one question though: How do you avoid shelf-boobs?? >: O
    When I wear my corset, no matter how loose or tight I lace it, I get this awful, pushed up and shelf-like bust. How do you counter this?

    Thanks for answers!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is it an underbust corset? Because if it is it shouldn't do much to your chest at all (a little bit of lift, but not full on shelf-boobs). If it is indeed an underbust you might want to just pull it down a little bit. You might be just a little too short in the torso for the corset (which is a problem with off the rack corsets, you cant just have them made to your exact measurements!). Maybe try a sports bra or reducing bra?

    I know this might sound silly, but make sure you are wearing it the correct way XD I have seen some people wear corsets upside down or trying to wear underbusts as overbusts.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really enjoyed reading this! I love both historical corsetry and lolita, and it is nice to know that there are more people who do that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Timeless trends itself has an option for oyu to buy an set of laces of ribbon or shoe lace if you need it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have an all-black floral silk brocade corset and I love it <3 I think it's from timeless trends.. I got ripped off though, because I ordered it from goodgoth.com and it was $125 >:[ It's too large now that I've lost a teensy bit of weight and I'm used to it.. plus the lacing broke :/ Does anyone know where I could buy replacement corset lacing? Shoe laces are obviously too short.. :/

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  10. This is so old, but still... imho if you're going to wear your corset on the inside, put it on before bloomers & pettis... going to the loo is a right pain in the bum otherwise, you have to either take off the corset, or pull the pettis, bloomers, wtv out and then stick them right back in... so... yeah.

    Also, corsets can look awesome with a-line, but mostly if the a-line is worn on top of the corset. The a-line skirt accentuates the waist a lot, and if you have one where the material is not gathered, then it should look really great over a corset.

    Nina :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. hello Caro-chan! Do you know if if corsets uk (http://www.corsets-uk.com/waist-training.html?bust_line=115) have good corsets and does they work with lolita?

    ReplyDelete
  12. "The corset should go over your normal Lolita under things. Put on any stockings, bloomers, petticoats, and camisoles that you are planning on wearing, then put your corset on over that."

    No - no, fuck, don't do this. Don't. I'm a seasoned corset wearer and this is a Grade A shit idea.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a great post on corsets. I would like to add, for the younger viewers of this blog, that you should probably wait a little until you are 18-20 years old, at least, to start waist-training, since your body is still growing.

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  14. Also, a word of advice when it comes to corsets and being plus-sized.

    A good corset is usually thick with the outer decorative layer, an inner thick supportive layer (usually coutil, but Timeless Trends uses a thick twill), and a lining layer. If you are pushing the limits of your dress, a corset isn't going to cinch you down 4 inches to fit into it. The exception would be if you are a serious waist trainer. So you will want to make sure that aside from the few extra cms you need for breathing room, that you have at least 2-3 more to spare. I find that while a corset makes me look better in my Lolita, I am almost stretching the shirring to the max on some of my more snug but still comfortable dresses worn without a corset.

    Also if you have a large cup size and your bust usually eats up the entire space of your bodice, an underbust corset will help lengthen the bodice area visually and push your bust upwards, making your bodices much, much more flattering. An overbust corset would probably have the best overall look as the line between the corset and your bust wouldn't be present, but it doesn't look too bad. It also helps with full shirred pieces as it helps to smoothen out any lumps and bumps underneath. I wear a really sturdy sports bra usually and that keeps my bust from looking super-bumpy in full shirring.

    Also keep in mind that tight lacing will push your body fat both up and down from the corset. So if you have a higher body fat percentage, I would avoid tight lacing. Instead, pull the ribbons to where it's comfortable but still holds you in well enough.

    Also, corsets are wonderful for posture. I do artist alley and either staff and sit at a table for most conventions while wearing lolita. I have terrible posture and my back hurts after a few hours. In a corset, I'm in literally no pain after 10+ hours in lolita.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, I have a few questions about these! I am considering getting a corset. The website says underbust ones (which I've been looking at) push the breasts 'up and out'. However I already have a huge cup size and I don't want that, I barely fit in some blouses I have already without one. Is the effect really noticeable or not? Also, will the ones from Timeless Trends be long? Because I am only 5' 1" (161 cm) due to hormonal issues, and I don't want to drop $95 on something I can't fit into.

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  16. another great place for info on corseting and its effects and benefits is https://www.youtube.com/user/bishonenrancher lucy is a seasoned corseter and can answer a whole slew of questions

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  17. Not sure if I agree with corsets not hurting! I always have minor discomfort when I start waist training again! Nothing serious! Otherwise a very informative article!

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  18. Great post.. lots of women start with wearing a large size corset and slowly move on to a medium and find some added health benefits while you are wearing your Corset.

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  19. This is a great post about corsets. I love histories and I really enjoyed reading this post. It is nice to know about Lolita.
    UK Corsets

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  23. Corset Queen Design fashionable corsets collection like underbust Corset, overbust corsets, waist training corsets, and many more collection for plus size women. More detail ,visit:- http://www.corsetsqueen.com/

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