Where the corsets are steel-boned the listing will clearly state this, if not the corsets consist of plastic-boning.
The Benefits of Corsets. The Gothic Shop has a beautiful selection of corsets. Corsets are ideal for obtaining the hourglass figure by flattening the tummy, reducing the waist and thereby exaggerating the bust and hips, emphasising a curvy figure. Corsets are great for promoting good posture which in turn accentuates the bosom, thereby enhancing sensuality and feminism.
Many garments sold as "corsets" in recent times are not corsets in the traditional sense as they have little effect on the shape of the body, but they feature the lacing and boning to mimic the historical tailor made corsets. Corsets have been popular components of wedding gowns, burlesque and fetish costume, erotic lingerie or even as an essential clubwear item.
Most corset wearers tighten the corset enough to provide support but to also allow freedom of movement. Ladies are usually able to reduce their waists by 2 to 4 inches using a steel-boned corset, and larger women can sometimes obtain a 6" reduction, this is more difficult for a slender woman.
Men and woman can reduce their natural waist size by wearing a tightly-laced corset for extended periods - this is caused tightlacing and tightlacers usually aim to reduce their waists to 16-17". There is often much emphasis on tightlacing in fetish and BDSM literature.
A "waist cincher" also known as the "waspie" is a shorter corset which covers the waist area from the lower ribs to just above the hips.
Quality of Corsets. Ideally a corset should be custom made by a corset tailor. A quality corset consists of several panels of quality fabric, inner-lining and lining integrated with internal steel boning and a steel busk if required.
Plastic boning is commonly used material for lightweight corsets whereas steel boning is preferred for stronger corsets. Corsets are usually laced at the back from the top down, or from the top down and from the bottom up. Busk corsets have a hooked front opening.
Choosing & Wearing a Corset. Select your corset based on your natural waist size, the narrowest part of your waist. Choose a corset that is 2-4" smaller than your natural waist size, for example a lady with a natural waist measurement of 28" would usually select a corset with a 26" waist, but if she's quite used to wearing corsets she may be able to wear a 24 or 22" corset. A lady of size 18 and more may be able to wear a corset 6" smaller than her natural waist size.
To prevent undue stress on the seams and eyelets a corset must be broken in/moulded to the wearer's body. Initially the corset shouldn't be too tight, and the laces tightened every few hours to allow the corset to mould to the body.
To wear a busk corset (a corset with clasps at the front):