We are often asked how to measure for steel-boned corsets. These corsets are designed for waist reduction, which means they are made with steel bones and have all steel busks and grommets. To find your size for this type of corset, you simply need your natural waist measurement. Sizes are labeled in inches to indicate the smallest the corset can be cinched. Any corset sizes that are listed as small, medium, large or as dress sizes are not true waist-cinching corsets and are mostly likely made of plastic boning. Plastic, unlike the steel used in true waist-cinching corsets, does not withstand the test of time. It quickly loses its shape and becomes useless to the wearer as a waist-cinching garment. Many fashion corsets contain plastic boning, which can be removed once the plastic gets bent out of shape, but then any additional support offered by the boning is lost. For waist reduction, steel is the way to go!
Your natural waist measurement can be found by taking a tape measure and measuring around your waist at the smallest point, approximately two to three inches above your belly button. After you have found your natural waist measurement, subtract 4″ to 6″ to find your corset size. For example, a 30″ waist could fit a 24″ or 26″ corset size. Depending on how much your waist is able to be reduced, you can sometimes wear an even smaller size. For beginners, we recommend a reduction of 4″. A properly fitted corset should have approximately a 2″ gap in the back lacing when tightly laced. If your corset closes all the way, your corset is too large and a smaller size may be required.