Corsets 101 Part 2: Types

Shopping for a nice corset can get tricky.  Because there are a whole lotta things for sale today that are called “corsets” that aren’t really corsets!  Here’s your buying guide for exactly what’s out there today, and how to tell one type of corset from another.

“Corset” Trainers

If it has latex, or rubber, it probably isn’t a corset.  Yes, there are real latex corsets (drool) but these are the exception to the rule.  Corset trainers are basically one step up from a girdle.  What’s cool about these is, they come in steel boned styles.  The steel boned styles can sometimes be used to train the waist down, depending upon your level of “squish”.  I’ll write about waist training later.  What you can do with a corset trainer, you can do way better with a real waist training corset.

This appears to be the best rated waist trainer on Amazon. (affiliate link)

“Corset” Bustiers and Bridal “Corset” undergarments

If it has bra cups, it probably isn’t a corset.  There are exceptions to this rule too – real corsets can be made with shaped cups – but a cupped corset is very unlikely to fit you unless it’s custom made to your measurements and costs at least $300.  The distance between waist and underbust (bra line) tends to vary greatly between women!  Bustiers solve this problem by being made of elastic, and not having a real waist point, only a gentle curve that can be placed higher or lower on your waist if necessary.  And they are usually plastic boned.  They’ll smooth you out a bit, and look quite nice under a strapless dress (or by themselves at a club!), but they do not truly alter your natural form.

I linked this because I kind of want to buy it! But haven’t yet. If I do, I’ll update this note. (affiliate link)

Lingerie “Corsets”

Lingerie corsets aren’t actually a thing – it’s just something I’ve noticed.  Anytime I’ve seen a “corset” in a lingerie store, it has been the most seriously poor quality corset EVER.  And it has cost a lot too for the bit of poorly sewn fabric, lace and plastic boning.  So just a little warning for you – beware the corset that is made by a big brand lingerie store!

Fashion “Corsets”

Now here’s where it gets extremely tricky.  Fashion corsets are typically copies of real corsets made by various manufacturers overseas.  And they often steal photos to sell them!  So they’ll look just as nice and as curvy as a real corset in the photos, but what you receive could surprise you. Most of the time, fashion corsets have plastic bones.

There are also steel boned fashion corsets – but those aren’t quite the same thing as a real corset either.  The steel bones are thinner than the bones in a real corset (they are called “soft steel”
bones), and most of the time the fabrics used are thinner too.  And we all know that manufacturers (and pattern makers) often do not understand female curves!  Lol fashion corsets will most likely be less curvy than your natural form.  So it isn’t possible to reduce waist size with a fashion corset.

I still love fashion corsets (the steel boned ones, at least).  Sometimes I just want something cute, and I don’t have enough for a real corset in the budget!  I sell the cutest steel boned ones I’ve found in my store.  I don’t use the photos my supplier sends – instead take my own photos for each and every one of them, so you’ll know exactly what you are getting!  I also don’t sell fashion corsets in plus sizes.  Remember what I said earlier about the thinner steel bones and fabric?  Because of this, fashion corsets provide slightly less support than a strapless bra.  So if you are a plus size women, I’ll recommend a real corset instead, which will be better designed to handle your beautiful curves.

These are my favorite fashion corsets (at least the ones that I’ve taken real pictures of so far!)

Real Corsets

Now that we’ve gotten all the random out of the way, we can talk about real corsets!

And there are so many types and so many styles of them that it will require an entire other post to share them all with you!  Watch for it coming next week.  🙂