July/August 2002


by Lady Bleu


Okay, I couldn't resist! I was at Vicious Valentine in Chicago, and Joy from LeChateau Exotique was there with a large display of corsets. I've always been awed by them and so wandered over to take a look.

Well, darned if she didn't have one that fit me to a T and I just had to buy it!

After I purchased the corset, and it arrived... I figured I'd best find out what to do with it! ~laughs~ It was obvious I couldn't put it on myself.. so first step was finding someone to help me get into it. Luckily, a dear friend of mine volunteered to help me with my corset training. In the following, you will find information I discovered about wearing and caring for a corset. I hope it helps those of you who want a corset too!

Now once you choose your corset and you've brought it home, what do you do? Well, first of all, you will need to find someone to help you get into it. The longer corsets are more complicated because they're supposed to create an hourglass effect, and for that reason can't really just be laced at the bottom like a shoe. Whichever corset you buy, what you'll find when you open the package is a firmly boned garment in two pieces (the two pieces hook up with each other in the front, creating the busk). Once you've hooked it in front, it must be laced up the back. Your lacer should start lacing from the top as if he or she is lacing a shoe. Then, when he or she comes to the point at which you want your waist to be smallest, he or she should skip an eyelet, reintroducing the laces into the eyelets immediately below the ones that have been skipped, without crossing the laces. Two corresponding loops will be created on each side, right at the waist, to be pulled later. Then the lacer should continue cross-lacing the corset like a shoe. When he or she has pulled the laces through the bottom eyelet, he or she should either tie the laces together at the bottom or knot them so that they can't go back through the eyelets. When this is done, the loops at the waist should be pulled to the desired tightness and tied. Another option to achieve the same effect is to use two laces, one starting from the top and the other starting from the bottom, meeting at the true waist. The main principle to bear in mind is that your corset has to be wider at the bust and hips and narrowest at the waist. It will be tightest at the point at which the laces are actually pulled, so you have to have the laces pulled at the middle. Throughout the lacing process the lacer should keep making sure that the corset is snug at every point. You don't want a situation in which it is very tight at some points but sticks out at others. A corset is only really comfortable and attractive if it is tight (though not torturously so) at every point. When being laced, you don't need to hold onto a bedpost or suck in your breath (unless you want to make a production out of it). Just stand up straight and put your hands on your hips to give yourself balance. Once you've laced up, you're not finished. You should put on a bathrobe, walk around, sit, cook, do whatever you want to do, for about a half an hour (minimum twenty minutes). During this time your corset will adjust to you and become more comfortable (they're amazingly adaptive). After half an hour, your lacer should readjust your laces. You will find that you can comfortably lace tighter at this second lacing.

When that's over, you're done. Unless you've been foolish, or your lacer sadistic, you will be amazed at how comfortable you are. You'll find that corsets, if well-made and properly laced, are restrictive but not painful. They will enforce a very flattering posture and a terrific shape, and as long as you stay within the limits they create, you'll be comfortable and at ease. You won't be able to slouch or play touch football, but you'll be able to do virtually anything a well- dressed woman normally does. As you will find, it feels great, quintessentially feminine. I've almost never put a woman into one for a play, historical reconstruction, or a wedding, who didn't like it, and who wasn't in fact surprised by how much she liked it. When cultural analysts marvel at how women could have done that to themselves for six hundred years, I laugh, because I have a sense that I know (that's a silly question anyway, since I have suffered more from high heels in my life than I've ever suffered from corsets). This is one of the neat things about wearing a corset. It provides a signficant amount of historical insight, especially if you're interested in the history of dress and costume. When you want to take the corset off, simply unhook the front busk.

A few tips:

  1. Don't eat or drink too rapidly when wearing a corset. It is easy to develop a case of hiccups if you do, and hiccups when you've got a corset on are not fun.
  2. Don't sit down too rapidly. Sit down slowly and gracefully, keeping your back straight.
  3. If you're engaging in strenuous physical activity, like dancing, be sure to pace yourself carefully. Your breathing capacity will be less than it normally is, though it will be sufficient for virtually anything. You don't however, want to get too out of breath. If you find this is happening, stop and rest.
  4. Finally: Don't overdo it, especially not the first time. You will not feel very sexy if your ribs hurt. As I know from costuming, every woman has a different corset comfort level. Two inches below a ladies' standard waist measurement is the standard degree of tightness recommended by costumers in college and community theatre productions. This creates a fine effect. If you want to lace tighter than this, as brides often do after they've seen The Age of Innocence, only do it after you've had some experiences with corsets and know that you have what it takes to do it. You'll have to develop the breathing technique, which can only come with practice. Tight-lacing (anything tighter than two inches) is uncomfortable, but the visual effect is amazing, and many women, I think, find it somewhat exciting. Find your own pace and style. Enjoy.


All Corsets: After wearing, air out your corset and use a damp cloth to clean the lining. This will keep it smelling fresh and reduce the need for costly dry cleaning. Whenever possible wear something underneath your corset such as a thin camisole or a t-shirt to help keep the perspiration away from your corset. Any straps can be tucked inside.

Fabric Corsets: Before wearing, treat your corset inside and out with a fabric protector such as Scotch Guard, so that any spills can be wiped off easily. We make your corset with the highest quality steel boning for strength. Any contact with water may cause the steel to rust. We recommend taking your corset to a trusted professional dry cleaner and requesting a hand dry cleaning. Please do not wash your corset.

Caution: Never remove your corset without first loosening the laces in the back. Neglecting to do this can result in a broken busk! (the clasp in the middle) We will guarantee our product for the life of the fabric, but we will not be held responsible for repairing busks or boning broken in this manner. Also we strongly discourage wearing the ends of your corset laces tied around your waist as this causes wear and weakens the fabric.


Daily waist training involves many changes in one's life. Probably one of the most important is diet. Some people supplement thier weight loss regimine with a corset. While a corset can help loose weight by limiting your intake of food at every meal, it does not mean that the wearer can eat anything they want and loose unwanted pounds. Besides, wearing a corset on the sole notion of loosing weight is not the best way to go about waist training. As we stated above, you must enjoy wearing a corset to make progress with waist training. You may notice that many of these diet tips for the tightlacer mirror proper dietary ideas that are used in Wearing a corset does not mean starving yourself or giving up food. True, you cannot eat as much when you are laced into a corset. In most western countries, we tend to eat 2-3 large meals a day. This is just not possible for the tightlacer. It is easier on the body to eat 4-5 smaller meals. It allows the digestive tract to keep a constant flow of material running through. If you were to eat 2 large meals a day, your body would have a large bulky mass to pass through at intervals. This usually results in painful cramps and sometimes heartburn.

When eating your meal, try to avoid cold beverages. The reason for this is that the cold liquid will numb the nerves in your stomach. With the nerves numb, your stomach cannot tell you when you are full. Instead, try to drink 15 to 30 minuets before eating.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. This does not have to be straight water, but beverages that include water.
Avoid carbonated beverages. This includes soda, beer, and Champagne. Carbonated beverages may not be a problem for you when you first start to reduce your waist. As you reduce your waist, there is less room for the carbonated bubble to distribte. This results in pockets of gas in your stomach or intestine. What happens then is either a long stretch of belching, or painful cramps.

Avoid foods that cause heartburn or gas. These foods include, but are not limited to; beans, onions, and cucumbers.
Some foods expand in your stomach when introduced to water. Rice, potatos, and pastas.

Foods such as red meat, take quite a while for your body to digest. This results in a tired, run down fealing. The dedicated tightlacer limits their intake of red meat. Instead eat light foods such as salads, vegetables, breads, fish, and poultry.

Most of all... enjoy your new corset! Revel in how it makes you feel!