Certain terms get thrown around a lot when it comes to corsets and this can make shopping for one a bit confusing. We carry a wide range of corsets from $25 – $200, with most falling in the $35 – $55 range. When trying out a new company, we actually disassemble one of their corsets to see what it is really made of so we know our products inside and out.
Here’s a list of things you want to keep in mind when shopping for your corset:
1) Top of the line corsets have spiral steel boning with capped ends throughout the corset. This type is very supportive but flexible due to the spring spiral shape. Imagine a skinny slinky squashed flat and that’s what the boning looks like. These corsets typical start at $50 and have a heavier feel than the plastic or light metal boned corsets. Steel boning will last for years because it goes back to its original shape after you take it off. Cheaper plastic boning will start to hold the shape and eventually get permanently bent. And since the ends of plastic boning are sharp, they will often pop out of their casing over time.
2) All metal boning is not equal. Quality boning is thicker and springs back into shape. Some “metal boned” corsets are just as easy to warp as plastic boned. Again, you can tell a lot about the quality from the weight of the corset. Metal boning and spiral steel boning are not the same.
3) The “hooks” down the front of a corset are called the busk. Most front busks are made from metal but this does not mean it has any steel boning. You will find a lot of cheaper corsets saying they have metal boning when really it is just a metal front busk and plastic boning throughout, or 2 light metal bones in front and plastic on the sides. These are usually priced $25-$40.
4) Cheap plastic boned corsets certainly have their uses and are great for costumes or fashion tops. We keep many of them in stock just for that reason, but we also let people know it is cheaper because is made of cheap materials. It’s important to know what you are buying and what you can expect from it. If you have a figure that needs a little more support, you will be much more comfortable in a steel boned corset. The fit should be snug and smooth, not like it is cutting into you or so tight you can’t breathe. There’s a huge misconception that corsets are uncomfortable and it’s just not true if you get fitted into the correct size and style for your body.
5) The 4 main types are overbust, halfbust, underbust and waist cincher.
Overbust – a full corset that covers bust to hips
Halfbust – a full corset that only covers the bottom half of the bust to hips
Underbust – similar to a waist cincher but extends up far enough that the top ends in a sloped or curved point to make room for the bust
Waist cincher – goes around the waist, usually straight across on top and can be pointed or flat on bottom. Very short length waist cinchers are also knows as “waspies.”