What Everyone Ought to Know About Wearing a Victorian Corset by Jennifer Rosbrugh
"I first experienced wearing a corset eleven years ago. I thought it was the coolest thing ever as I LOVED Victorian clothes. So much wisdom has been gained over the years of making and wearing that “body armor” that I gladly pass on my experience to you to keep you on your feet and moving.
Wearing a Victorian corset is quite different from any other garment you’ve worn. The body is formed into another silhouette with heavy fabric and metal boning – no wonder it feels different!
Although a corset can restrict movements and habits, you can adapt to the corset’s limitations and learn to move quite well. Until you are used to it though, go easy on yourself, spend some time wearing your new corset before the next event, and remember to relax. Just because you are donning a restrictive undergarment doesn’t mean your entire body becomes petrified and stiff.
Lacing & Unlacing – the most important but overlooked side of corset wearing
- First, make sure the laces at the waistline come out and back in on the same side to create the tie loops. This is the best lacing method to get that waist cinched down. Ties that tie at the very top and/or bottom are not effective. Use one long lacing string about 7 to 8 yards long for maximum comfort in getting in and out of the corset.
- To put the corset on, spread the corset halves by opening the laces wide first. Then wrap the corset around your body and fasten the busk. Tighten from the top to the waist then from the bottom up to the waist pulling the slack with the tie loops. Continue this pattern until you’re snug but not tight. WAIT several minutes (like, 5 to 30) then tighten the laces again to where you need them to be to fit your costume.
- Do not over-tighten the first few minutes you are getting into your corset. Give your body a chance to adjust, move organs around, and accommodate the shifting blood flow.
- To remove a corset, untie the knot/bow and pull the laces loose from waist to top and waist to bottom continuing in reverse the same manner as in tightening the corset. Loosen slowly until the blood has settled in the torso area and you can open the busk easily.
- Do not EVER pop open the busk to remove a corset when it is on and tightly laced. Doing so will cause the blood from the head to rush into the torso which can cause severe lightheadedness, possible fainting or other unwanted health issues. ALWAYS loosen the laces in the back first, even if only a little, before removing a corset.
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