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5 Important Things to Look for in a Quality Corset

Morgana for Puimond

There's a new video up on The Lingerie Addict YouTube Channel and this one's about one of my favorite pieces of lingerie --- the corset. I get more questions about corsets than anything else, which makes sense because there's a ton of conflicting (and inaccurate!) information out there.

In this month's video, I use one of my corsets (an absolutely gorgeous piece from Puimond) to share the five things you want to look for in a quality corset. This video is also heavily based on an article from one of my columnists (and our resident corset expert), Marianne, who wrote "What (You Didn't Know) to Look for in a Corset: 5 Popular Myths Debunked."

In case you don't have time to watch the video right now, here are the five things to consider:

1) Steel Boning
2) A Steel Busk
3) Metal Grommets
4) Natural Fabric Lining
5) A Waist Tape (which can be internal or external)

I hope you enjoy the video and that, if you're new to all this, it helps you find the right corset. If you're looking for corsetieres or corset vendors, definitely take a look at our corset directory. And, of course, if you have any tips or advice of your own, please do share it in the comments.

Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

13 Comments on this post

  1. Puimond says:

    Hi Cora!
    Thank you so much for this great review! I didn’t know you posted this 430 days ago! Being busy making corsets leaves little time to look up and talk about them. ;)
    Hope you’re well!

  2. Ksenia says:

    Unfortunately a lot of high-end designer corsets, “basques”, and the like are plastic-boned. I browsed ASOS, Calvin Klein and such websites. They often mention boning but not in specific terms, meaning cheap warping plastic. They usually have steel busks and grommets, but there’s often no lining involved and the corsets look awful on the models if not covered in pretty lace and thin shiny satin.
    A scam if I ever saw one.

    I actually found two corsets for about $20 each on eBay that met all or most of the criteria (Made in China). Both have steel boning, steel grommets, and steel busks. One has an inner waist-tape with cotton busk lining. The selection on these styles is quite limited, mostly Victorian, all are solid colored.
    I don’t think they used very good thread, but the materials were nice and strong, even the one without a lining had a good strong feel to it, not just thin polyester satin.

    Unfortunately they were too tight and too big, respectively, so I couldn’t wear them. The size charts aren’t very accurate I’m afraid. Thus, I have set out to make an entirely new corset using a combination of both bonings and the lining. Yes, I alter my clothes a lot, but hopefully I can make full use of my new sewing machine and finish what I started.

    • Treacle says:

      Hi Ksenia,

      Thanks for commenting! Many corsets made in China come with their own set of problems, despite the use of the criteria I mentioned here. The cost of materials alone (not to mention labor) will make even a low-end corset cost much more than $20. Take a look at this article to see what I mean: What Everybody Should Know About the Difference Between Fake Corsets and Real Corsets.

      • Ksenia says:

        Thank you for replying, Madame Treacle.
        As a fan of your site, I am honored.

        You’re right. The fabric was not up to par. The “satin” has these odd burnt stains on it, which I don’t think I made. The lining is probably not coutil, but a linen or muslin that has a similar pattern. The corsets were sewn with elastic thread, which I find cheap. The edges weren’t even encased on one, just covered with ribbon!

        The corsets did have good spiral steel boning and white steel busks, but these were encased in this odd fuzzy fabric shown in the fake corsets. The casing also had too much room to give any support. When I put them on, they made me into this odd cylinder or did nothing at all to support me.

        I guess I paid for some good boning, but that is probably it! I have to admit, I’m glad I at least got corsets that had some good qualities, otherwise I would have to throw them away completely.

        What’s funny (and a little embarrassing), is both these corsets came with a g-string, or rather, a polyester triangle with some elastic. I cut the elastic off and have these triangles laying around my scrap pile now. The elastics weren’t even sewn together at the back. They had a loop on one elastic that the other one fit in, to make it “adjustable”.

  3. Thursday says:

    Great coverage of the basics, Treacle. Love that lace jacket on you too:)

    I think that if you have never tried a corset before, it is ok to buy a really inexpensive bustier version to at least get an idea of the look and possible feel of a corset before making an investment. You do have to keep in mind that a quality piece has a very different effect and feel, and will be far more comfortable than anything with plastic boning, but I found it to be a worthwhile trial. I need to get working on photos of my custom piece!

  4. Courtney says:

    Awesome video Treacle! Short, sweet and to the point! It’s truly been a joy watching your blog grow and evolve.

  5. I can honestly say I think this is one of the most well put together informative videos I’ve ever seen! The videography was exceptional and you have a really natural camera presence Treacle :)

    And best of all, I learned the 5 things you need to know when shopping for a corset (while I enjoy reading, I tend to be a visual learner)!

    • Annmarie says:

      I think Kayla summed it up very well. I also think that “the videography was exceptional and you have a really natural camera presence”.

      Looking forward for some more videos in the future!

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