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How to Tell the Quality Corsets from the Rest

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There are many different styles, shapes, designs and variations of corsets in the world. Some are authentic steel-boned corsets, while others are imitation versions using latex. Whether it's Halloween or girls night out, corsets have been incorporated in the fashion world for many years. From reversible corsets to gothic corsets to steampunk, corsets have been an iconic staple of female fashion for centuries. Corsets have been accentuating a woman's assets while decreasing the size of her waist simultaneously. Over the years, corsets have taken on new trends, worn by many different type of women in cultures all across the globe.

All though corsets come in dozens of shapes, sizes and styles, there are three exceptionally well known types of corsets that really embody the basics of corset wearing. We have broken down the facts and major descriptions of these three corsets, and have also explained the difference between quality corsets and cheap, imitation corsets.

  1. Overbust Corset: As the name suggests, this type of corset sits over the bust but can come in varying necklines such as straight (above) sweetheart and plunge, with or without straps. This classic corset type is often worn as bridal attire but has many other uses such as waist enhancement and back support.
  2. Underbust Corset: Underbusts offer no coverage of your breasts although they do offer the same function in terms of waist enhancement and back support as overbusts. However they are arguably more versatile, being great lingerie pieces worn with a bra or pasties, or even over outerwear. If you want to get started with waist training you are best starting with an underbust.
  3. The Waspie: Arguably the most versatile of all corsets, a waspie, also known as the waist cincher, is a belt worn around the waist to make the wearer's waist physically smaller, or to create the illusion of being smaller.

How do you know if your corset is decent quality?

  1. Cost. Real corsets tend to cost in excess of £100 (unless you are a very lucky girl and find one in a sample sale!
  2. Modesty panel. A modesty panel is typically an extension of fabric that goes underneath lacing to prevent the flesh from being seen underneath. You won't get one of these with a cheap corset, that's for sure!
  3. Lacing. Quality corsets are usually tied with a sturdy cord – rather than the thin, cheap ribbon often found on fake replicas.
  4. Waist tape. This stops your corset seams from straining when you put pressure on them by tight lacing, effectively reinforcing the strength of your corset. The waist tape also really helps to cinch your waist in.
  5. Boning. Steel corsets contain different types of bone: flat steels for shape and stability on the busk and round the grommet, and spiral steel to give you a curvy but flexible waist cinch. Cheap corsets will have plastic, not steel, which won't hold shape or last nearly as long.

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