What is a corset, anyway?

A corset is a structured, boned garment which is can temporarily alter the shape of your body, support your posture, or both.

Depending on how a particular corset was designed, it could do one or more of the following things (some of which are diametric opposites of each other!):

  • Reduce your waist, flatten your stomach, and smooth out your silhouette
  • Emphasize your curves and create a pronounced hourglass shape
  • Flatten your chest and straighten your hips to create a straighter profile
  • Support and correct your posture, especially near the lower and mid-back
  • Help relieve some back or shoulder issues caused by slouching or hunching over

Some people also use corsets to help with ligament laxity (such as with EDS) or spinal curvature, or as a support garment for recovering from some kinds of rib injuries, though this should ONLY ever be done with the knowledge and supervision of your physician.

If you’re new to corsets

If you’re new to the world of corsetry and related garments, or even if you’re not, it’s probably worth your while to read through the following.  Felix & Kitty corsets are qualitatively a bit different from conventional ones, so you might find a few surprises even if you’re experienced.

If some of the words you see here are unfamiliar to you, you may want to check out the glossary.  If you don’t find a word there, contact us and tell us about it, so we can add it!

Here are some things to look for in the perfect corset for you (hint: it won’t be the same one as anyone else’s).

If you want to know what makes our corsets different from some of other corsets out there (both properly made ones and the mis-named “corsets” you often find in lingerie shops), head here.

If you want to find out how you can incorporate corset-wearing into your daily life, we’ve come up with some ideas.

Most corsets tend to fall into either the underbust over overbust category, so you might want to know which you want.

If you just got your first corset from us, we have a detailed guide on how to fit your new corset onto your body.

What makes a corset different from…

Regular clothes? In a word, that would be the boning, or the rigid ribs that give a corset its structure.  Without the boning, all the fabric would just scrunch up into the smallest part of your torso, instead of remaining upright and shaping your body.  In many ways, the quality of boning determines the quality of your corset.

That bustier you bought at the lingerie store? The skinny, squishable plastic featherboning in most lingerie bustiers (confusingly called “corsets” by some manufacturers) will kink on you before you know it, meaning it will form sharp bends that will stab straight into your soft bits. Ouch!  A real corset is meant to be worn for an extended period (a whole day, if need be) without any discomfort or physical damage — to you or to itself! If you can just fold the boning in half, it’s not a real corset. All our boning comes with a warranty against kinking or poking out under normal use; if that ever happens, we’ll fix or replace it at no charge.

Chest binders, wraps, or elastic support garments? Binders, fabric bandages, or wide elastic bands are often used by trans men, non-binary people, cross-dressers, and other people trying to de-emphasize their body curves. Unfortunately, these can cause a host of problems ranging from painful (pinching under the arms) to potentially dangerous (bruising, compressed nerves, and reduced blood flow), some of which can even cause long-term health issues. A properly boned corset shell distributes the compression over the entire length of the boning, so you don’t get the acute spot constriction of a binder. Think of it like this: if you have a neck injury, you’d be put in a stiff, self-supporting neck brace; no one would EVER wind and pull tight strips of cloth around your neck, because that would be really dangerous.

What if I need a corset for an unusual <size, shape, curvature, purpose, etc>?

Even off-the-rack Felix & Kitty corsets are made for a very inclusive range of sizes and different body shapes, which aren’t the same thing as sizes.  So if you have a hard-to-fit feature (extra-long or -short torso, AA- or G-cup bust, nonexistent or fabulous hips, or any variation you can think of), we’ve got you covered.

Then there’s the wide world of custom corsets.  To date, we’ve made corsets for people who want to run marathons, create the illusion of breasts and hips, visually remove the existence of same, live in wheelchairs, replace bras, hold prosthetics, brace their backs, lift weights, and show-jump horses.  We’ve made discipline corsets for immobilizing, suspension corsets with attachments for harnesses, and compression therapy corsets for people suffering from anxiety. That’s not even the full list! Basically, if you can imagine it and describe/draw/show us pictures of it, chances are good that we can make it happen.