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Corset Styling Tips: How to Show Off Your Cinched Waist

Nothing sculpts the body as quickly and effectively as a well-made corset. Unfortunately, because modern clothes are often cut to a very straight proportion, the effect is often lost just as quickly. If you’ve been waist training and find your corset styling efforts thwarted by the loose waistlines of your clothes, then this is the post for you! Here are several corset accessories I’ve used to great effect to show off my cinched waist. Generally speaking, these will all work best on dresses and long tops. Skirts and other garments that stop at the waistline present further challenges.

Dark Garden "Finishing Belt" | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

Dark Garden “Finishing Belt” | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

Dark Garden’s lead designer, Autumn Adamme, created the Finishing Belt to perfectly cinch the waist on her vintage-cut dresses before embarking on a summer trip to Paris. The Finishing Belt is made of leather and wide strap elastic and closes with a corset busk in the front. It’s available in five sizes (XS-XL) and black, red, or gold leather, retailing at $175. Special orders are also possible for custom leather colors, pending availability.

Karolina Laskowska "Lidia" Harness | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

Karolina Laskowska “Lidia” Harness | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Max Johnson

Fellow columnist Karolina Laskowska is known for her strappy styles and opulent lace selections. I picked up a Lidia Harness from her a couple years ago and very quickly realized that, with a slight adjustment, it pairs perfectly with corsets. Simply lengthen the neck strap to its maximum and tighten up the waist strap, and you’re good to go! Lidia is available in three sizes for £45 (roughly $70 USD).

Jersey dress worn over a corset fit with cinch clips.

Jersey dress worn over a corset fit with cinch clips.

If a minimalist aesthetic or a low budget is more your speed, try cinch clips. I originally found out about cinch clips when Lucy featured them on her YouTube channel. I ordered a $20 six-pack of cinch clips with silver hardware from ebay and found them to be incredibly easy to use. You do have to play with the placement a bit and I wouldn’t recommend them on any particularly delicate fabrics, but for jersey dresses they work wonderfully.

Skinny bow belt with stud closure, from Target via Vinted.

Skinny bow belt with stud closure, from Target via Vinted.

Lastly, for the DIY-oriented, it’s very easy to add additional notches to a belt. I particularly like the belts that have a stud closure rather than a tongue, like the bow belt from Target shown above. (Belts with a tongue often have grommets around the notches, which means more equipment and probably some efforts at matching hardware.) Simply measure how far apart the holes are, mark your next placements with a ballpoint pen, and use a rotary punch to match the hole size. I have a few of these bow belts, all of which were purchased secondhand for a few dollars each.

Pop Antique reversible corset-fit sheath dress | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyx Ryan

Pop Antique reversible corset-fit sheath dress | Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Alyxander Ryan

Soon I think there will be another option: clothing fit specifically to be worn with corsets. I expect more corsetmakers to begin offering a limited selection of garments designed to pair with their main product. As the corsetrix Pop Antique, I’ve been making such items for myself for a while and I’m looking forward to making them available made-to-order.

Which of the above accessories is your favorite? Do you have any other tricks for making your wardrobe work with your corsets?

Marianne Faulkner

Marianne Faulkner is the designer of Pop Antique, a clothing and corsetry line specializing in sustainable materials and comfortable curves. She is based in San Francisco where she earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University, and has been a columnist at The Lingerie Addict since 2011.

4 Comments on this post

  1. Allie says:

    Hi there! Love the black and gold polka dot dress. Where can I find/purchase one? Also, the Finishing Corset from Dark Garden has gone up. It’s now $175. (Sorry, computer seems to have eaten my post and apologies if this is a duplicate)

    • Marianne Marianne says:

      Hi Allie,
      Thank you, the finishing belt price has been updated now!
      The black and gold dress is from my line, Pop Antique. I’m glad you like it! Email me through my website ( if you’d like to order one and we can discuss. (I haven’t finalized the MTO product listing for it yet.) I also have this fabric with champagne pink foil dots.

  2. Juliana says:

    There’s also to option of getting clothes made to your corseted size. makes customized clothes for pretty reasonable prices.

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