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The Ultimate Guide to Corsets

Undecided on which corset is right for you? With our corset guide, understand the history, purpose and wide range of luxury and flattering corsets that Honour has to offer.

The History of Corsets

The corset has always been a strong and structured (under)garment which creates the illusion of an hourglass figure, a desired ideal of the female body. Corsets throughout history have been handmade, using boning to create a strong structure with aims of reshaping the torso.

The corset first became popular in Europe during the sixteenth century, with its popularity peaking during the Victorian period. Throughout its history the corset has been used as an undergarment to manipulate and change the figure of women for many different reasons. It's understood that the main purpose of the corset was to achieve a beauty ideal where the waist becomes thinner to appear more 'feminine', others argue that this beauty trend was in fact a ploy by men to weaken women, as the damaging effect of the tightened corset altered the organs, creating shortness in breath and often made those wearing it faint and become light headed.

Despite these historic theories, the corset has stood the test of time through fashion, becoming not only an undergarment but also a fashion statement when worn on its own or layered on the outer of clothing. The use of the corset found its way into many trends and subcultures. Modern day use of the corset has found it's way into mainstream fashion, performance costume and lingerie, along with its effective use in waist training.

Corset Types

There are two main types, an underbust corset, as the name suggests, it sits under the bust covering the torso and rib cage. The overbust corset which runs from the hips, up and over the bust can be seen as the most popular style in lingerie - however it's a personal preference when choosing which style suits you best! Take a look below at examples of each style - When choosing the right corset for you, it's important to consider which style and material you want to wear as we offer a wide range of options in our corsets. From Latex, PVC, Leather, Satin and Lace corsets - all offer a different texture and effect whilst achieving the desired hourglass figure.

How to Train your Waist

When you first start waist training, like all good things, it’s important to take it slowly. Start by “seasoning” your corset (which basically means letting it start to form to the shape of your body), by wearing it 1 to 2 hours a day at a very small reduction. This allows you, and your corset, to get acquainted. During this time, and throughout your waist training journey, you might want to wear a thin camisole or vest underneath your corset to prevent the chafing which can happen with such close contact.

The aim after seasoning your corset is to lengthen the amount of time your wear it each day, and the end goal should be around 8 – 10 hours. You can wear your corset under clothing and run your daily errands, go to work, or just watch TV. Some people sleep in their corsets but this is not recommended for beginners. You will notice that after some time of wearing your corset every day that it will start to get loose, and this means your natural waist is starting to get smaller. This just means that you need to lace a little tighter and repeat the daily wear process again. When the corset can be fully closed, you may need to purchase a new smaller one if you wish to reduce further (for example if you cannot lace a 24” corset any further, you could go down to a 22” or even a 20” if you think your body can take the pressure.

When you have reached your goal waist measurement, it is important to remember that the effects are only semi permanent. Depending on how your body responds to the corset, you might need to continue to wear your training corset one day once a week, or every other day.

Health and Safety Tips

When wearing a corset for tight lacing or waist training, the key is to be honest with yourself. Have you laced too tight? Are you feeling ill? Have you been keeping hydrated? Whilst wearing a corset will never be the most comfortable thing in the world, you should never be in pain, feel sick, or be short of breath. Even the smallest of waists is not worth breaking a rib for! Whilst the corset may be doing most of the work in terms of reduction, it is important to remember your health whilst training. Eating healthily, keeping hydrated, and exercising your core muscles will mean your smaller waist will be much easier to maintain after you have reached your goal size.