Wear & Care
WEARING YOUR CORSETS AND STAYS
First Wearing of Your Corset
When you first receive your corset, we recommend tightening it gradually over the course of an hour or two, and ideally, wearing it several times before your first event. This will allow the corset to adapt to your body and you to get used to the feel of wearing one. Think of it like a pair of new shoes! We highly recommend wearing a shift, chemise, camisole, or other layer under your corset. This will prevent chafing and reduce the need for laundering.
Your corset should not be tightened to the point that it causes shortness of breath or pain. When tightening a corset, keep the lacing gap as even and parallel as possible to avoid damaging the center back bones. Our corsets are designed for moderate tight lacing (1”–5” waist reduction) but are not intended for modern waist training or extreme reductions.
Back lacing corsets should fit with a small, even gap in the back (1”–3”) to allow room for size changes.
Front lacing corsets should fit with a small gap in the front (1”), or you can add a stomacher to span a wider front gap.
The interior waist tape should sit at your natural waist at the sides and back.
To put back lacing corsets on without assistance, loosely lace the corset up on your body backwards, so that you can see what you are doing, and then turn it around to tighten the laces and adjust the straps.
Spiral lacing can be tied off by looping the ribbon through the bottom grommets a second time and then tying it in a slipknot.
Watch our video series on lacing yourself into a variety of corsets here.
Synthetic Whalebone Corsets
Synthetic whalebone will eventually mold to your shape, retaining it even when removed—this is normal and expected, and mimics the qualities of original whalebone stays.
Corsets with Drawstrings
Corsets with drawstrings allow you to easily adjust the bust fit. The bust should be settled in the cups before the drawstring is tightened to the desired silhouette.
Corsets with Metal Busks
Always loosen the laces before fastening or unfastening the front busk. This will avoid any undue strain on the busk hooks. Always pull the slack out from the “rabbit ears” (the two loops of lacing at the waistline of the corset) not from the top or bottom edge.
Learn how to properly bend and shape your metal busks here.
These come with optional hip pads to help achieve the dramatic S-bend silhouette of the period. Do a fitting to determine their best placement under the corset, then tack in place, catching through the coutil.
CARING FOR YOUR CORSETS AND STAYS
Our standard 100% cotton and steel or synthetic whalebone corsets can be hand washed with mild laundry detergent. Lay flat or hang to dry. Do not soak for prolonged periods of time. If your corset contains a wooden busk, make sure to remove it before washing. Silk or other similar fancy fashion fabric corsets, as well as corsets with any embellishments, should be dry-cleaned by a knowledgeable cleaner only. To deodorize, all corsets can be spritzed on the inside with a solution of 3 parts water, 1 part vodka (an old theater trick).
Store your corset over a hanger, tucked in a box, or flat in a drawer. Always allow them time to “air out” before storing after an event. With proper care, corsets do not need to be laundered frequently, if at all.