Wearing a Corset

Selecting a Corset – A Crossdresser’s Guide

One of the most feminizing articles of clothing for a crossdresser is a corset. It gives you unbelievable curves, enhances your bustline, and even narrows your waistline after enough wear. This article will help you with the sometimes confusing process of selecting a corset for yourself.

Selecting a Corset Depends Upon Your Goals

There is a variety of corsets available for purchasing. Selecting a corset that is right for you depends mainly on what you want to do.

Are you more interested in a sexy piece of lingerie or something used to shape your waist? That is your first decision. In my opinion, the more flimsy lingerie is fine if you are already happy with your shape. Why not flaunt what you have?

If your shape is more like mine (which is out of shape), then you may want to consider selecting a corset that can help you get the shape you want. Designed to change your shape and take a lot of stress, waist training corsets are ideal for this purpose. In my personal case, I can comfortably cut my waist from 44 inches to 40, using a waist training corset.

Selecting a Corset: Busk
Example of a busk on a waist training corset

The Anatomy of a Corset

There are four main parts of a corset. First is the part where you open and close the corset, the busk. Made of steel pins and tabs with holes, the busk withstands much stress on waist training corsets. For lighter-duty corsets, a series of hooks, similar to those used on the back of a bra, fasten the corset,

The second part of a corset is the lace, which adjusts the tightness of the corset. The lace is usually in the back of the corset. It needs to have a lot of strength in order for the corset to cinch tightly.

The third part is the boning. These are usually steel on waist training corsets and plastic on lighter-duty corsets. The run vertically and are what give the force to manipulate the waist underneath the corset. When one is pulling the lace tighter, what is happening is that the boning draws closer and closer together.

The last part of a corset is the fabric. A variety of fabrics cover corsets, varying from the very lacy to the very functional. The thickness of the fabric can vary as well. For example, a satin fabric typically is thinner, ideal for wearing under other clothes. Thicker fabrics such as brocade can have very fancy patterns and yet be extremely durable. Leather is another favorite for corsets.

Accentuating Your Waist with Corset Lingerie

Corset Hooks

If you already have a narrower waist and want to look pretty, you can’t go wrong with a lighter corset. There are many sources online for selecting a corset like this. For example, Frederick’s of Hollywood has a variety of pretty corsets. I like the looks of this Jacquard corset. It has the hooks on the side, making them less noticeable than if they were on the front.

If you take a very close look, you’ll see that there are about 14 hooks with this corset. Positioned in an easier place than bra hooks, this corset’s hooks will have the same problem with some coming unattached while hooking others. It is a lot of hooks that need to stay put! But once attached, the look is divine.

Also notice that this corset comes with detachable garters. If you like to wear garter belts, also known as suspenders, having this available on the corset itself is a wonderful feature. On the other hand, if you don’t like garters, these are removable.

I know from personal experience that this type of hook can’t take a lot of stress. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you have a good fit with your existing waistline. You may want to go for a fitting in person if you have any lingerie shops in your area. If that isn’t available, check whether the online shop has a return policy. Frederick’s does allow returns within 30 days.

Shaping Your Waist with a Waist Training Corset

If your waist curves out and not in, consider selecting a corset designed for waist training. Despite the lovely appearance, these are quite rugged.

The two main differences you’ll find with a waist training corset is that they have a steel busk and steel boning. The boning is what compresses your waist, giving you that lovely hourglass shape.

Orchard Corset, my favorite online corset shop, has an excellent guide examining all the aspects you should consider when selecting a corset. In my opinion, the two most important are the height of the corset and the amount of curve.

Selecting a Corset Level of CurvinessAmount of Curve

Suppose you are like me and are a little overweight in the belly. This is the part of your body that a corset compresses the most. Imagine a fully compressed corset looking like an hourglass. The top and bottom of the corset extends outwards.

Ideally, the very top and very bottom of the corset will match where your body is at those points. However, if the corset is more curvy than needed, there will be a gap between the top or bottom and your body. This will make any clothes you have over the corset look like there is something pushing it out abruptly.

On the other hand, if the corset isn’t curvy enough, it pushes out any skin above or below the corset, creating the undesirable “muffin top” appearance.

Be like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Not too curvy, not curvy enough, but just right!

Height of the Corset

The other main consideration for selecting a corset is how tall it is. You’ll want to make your choice based upon how long your torso is. Here is the main reason: sitting comfortably.

Imagine that instead of wearing a corset, you are wearing a long steel tube around your waist. How far can that steel tube go down your waist before you can no longer bend your hips to sit? The bottom of the steel tube must rest high enough that when you sit, you can bend your hips and not have it cut into your thighs. It needs to rest completely above that bend in your hips.

Your new corset needs to do the same thing. It can’t go below that bend for you to sit comfortably.

The bend identifies the lowest point of the corset. The highest point is under the breasts. You don’t want the steel tube squashing them.

The lesson here is that your new corset is no longer than the distrance between that bend in your hips and the bottom of your breasts – unless your corset includes a bra for cupping your breasts.

Putting it All Together

If these considerations make your head spin, you aren’t alone. This is why Orchard Corset offers help for deciding which size and style of waist training corset is most likely to make you look great. If their buyer’s guide still leaves you undecided, they do offer a free service where you enter your carefully taken measurements, and they make suggestions.

I wish you great luck on finding the perfect corset for you! Once you perfect your waist, why not add some alluring feminine earrings?

I have also written a guide to help the new crossdresser shop for women’s shoes. Be sure to check it out!

xoxoxo Sami

Did you find this article useful? What questions do you have about selecting a corset?  Leave a comment.

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Posted by Sami

Sami has been a part-time crossdresser for about 5 years. Although she still has a lot to learn herself, she is enjoying teaching new crossdressers tips that will hopefully help them on their adventure.
Besides enjoying her time with her family and working as a web developer, Sami loves to travel, make home improvements, and create jewelry in her spare time.
Read more about Sami by clicking her name.

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