Measuring For a Corset
At some point during your ordering or online consultation process, you will need to measure yourself. While it can be helpful to have someone to measure you, it’s entirely possible to do it yourself.
We’ll also need some photos of you, because measurements alone won’t tell us about your proportions and your shape. Here’s a basic guide to taking accurate measurements and helpful photos.
p.s. Pretty soon, we’ll be adding photographic and video measuring tutorials. In the meantime, if you get confused, just contact us and we’ll walk you through the process.
How to Take Consultation Photos
- Put on something fitted that shows the shape of your body, like a leotard, fitted jeans or leggings, and a snug T-shirt or tank top. If you normally wear bra, you should do so in the photo as well, but try to avoid padded or minimizing bras that change your shape. Avoid baggy sweats, trousers, or skirts that conceal your outline, as well as anything that actively compresses your figure enough to alter your outline.
- You can take your own photo in a full-length mirror if you don’t have someone to take it for you, but do ensure that the final picture looks like you, not visibly foreshortened or distorted.
- Take a full-length photo that shows you from the front, the side, and the back. Your face doesn’t have to be in it if you don’t want, but we need your shoulders in the shot. Make sure you’re standing with your normal posture, not overly erect or hunched over.
- If you normally wear a bra, put it on. If you don’t, you can measure either directly on your skin or overfitted, thin garments that won’t significantly affect the measurements.
- Find a tape measure. You can get them at most supermarkets, dollar stores or fabric stores, among other places. Grab a pen and some paper, and write down your measurements as you go. If you’re typing in your measurements into a device, do check for typos as you go! Trust us, it happens.
- If you have someone to measure you, great. Otherwise, stand in front of a large mirror so you can see what you’re doing.
- For each circumference measurement, you will wrap the tape measure around your body, and pull it snug (enough so it won’t slide down or move around) but not so tightly that it digs into your skin. Hold the tape measure so it remains level all the way around, parallel to the floor, not tilted up or down, unless otherwise specified.
- Full Bust: Measure around the largest part of your chest. If you have breasts, it’s wherever you stick out the most, and if you don’t, around nipple level will work.
- Rib Cage: Now measure around your body at the level where your chest turns into your abdomen. If you wear bras, this is around where your bra band sits.
- Waist: Measure around your body where your waist indents the most. If your waist doesn’t indent, measure around your belly button level.
- High Hip: Measure around your body about three inches or so down from waist level from the last step. Don’t worry about getting the position of this measurement too exact; we need it more for extra reference than anything.
- Full Hip: Measure around your body about seven inches down from waist level, or wherever your bum is largest. You don’t need to worry about getting the height level for this one too exact either.
- Height: Stand barefoot with your back to a wall or in a doorway. Put a ruler (or a cereal box, or anything with a square edge will do) on top of your head and against the wall (so the ruler/box is square against the wall). Make a mark on the wall where the bottom of the box touches the wall and measure from the floor to that mark.
Please see our Corset Fabric Selection Gallery for our current offerings.
Weight Changes and Corsets
Think you should wait to invest in a corset until you’ve lost some weight? Afraid you might grow or shrink out of your corset?
Fear not! A properly fitted corset can accommodate a shocking amount of weight fluctuation, and can actually be a very useful way of tracking changes to your body. You really don’t need to wait until you’re at a certain weight, or worry that you can’t wear a corset if you gain or lose weight after you get one.
Here’s why: a corset fits your basic bone structure and length proportions, not your soft squishy parts. As you grow or shrink, your size will change, but your underlying skeletal structure never will.
This is why we always recommend that you buy a corset with a gap in the back lacing – 1 to 3 inches if you’re very skinny (because you can’t shrink much more anyway) or very stable in weight, 4 to 6 inches if you’re average. But if you’re seriously planning on losing a lot of weight, you can start with as much gap in the back as you’re comfortable with. Or if you know you’ll be fluctuating or putting on some weight, start with a smaller gap than normal.
As a rule of thumb, allow in inch of gap in the back for every 10-15 pounds you lose or gain. We’ve made corsets with a 12-inch gap that worked fine through a 100-pound weight loss (until it finally closed in the back). This required a larger gap in the back than many people might be comfortable with having.
But 30 or 40 pound’ worth of space is often not a problem, especially if you opt for a modesty panel. A modesty panel goes under your back lacings and covers any skin, which could make a bigger rear lacing gap an option for you.