Corset Sizing Revisited
What our plus size ladies need to know!
Hello OC Blog Readers! We have wonderful customers in all shapes and sizes here at Orchard Corset. Most of my blogs are based on personal experiences-which is great but all of our lovely BBW’s need insights that I just can’t offer. We have a local customer, Stephanie, with a little more fluff than me who was willing to do the leg work (or should I say “lace” work) for this blog. So now I offer you the skinny on corset sizing for plus sized ladies!
Let’s begin with Stephanie’s start: Height 5’6″ with average to shorter torso, Waist 46.5″, Upper Hip 51″, Underbust 43.5″. (Need help with measurements? Check out our plus-size measuring video) So we can see that Stephanie carries most of her weight in her abdomen, but she does have some hip curve. It’s important to note here we used tell our customers to measure the smallest part of their waist, but when you carry your weight in your tummy that doesn’t work! Your natural waist is where you bend naturally-usually an inch or so above your belly button. If she just took these measurements and went to our Silhouette chart, she might think she has to go with a Level 1 corset. But as I have endeavored to explain in our sizing blogs-when you have the goods to work with, the corset shapes you! Stephanie went from no waistline to great curve with just the snap of a front steel busk!
We began with a CS-426, 1920’s black and white with pinstripes. I started with a size 40 and could tell as soon as we had the front busk clasped that it was too big-despite the 5.5 inches we went down from her natural waist. So then I grabbed the 38. We were able to lace that easily, and I decided to have her begin there and break it in. I wanted to know how long it would take before she was fully laced and needed to move down to a 36 (I was sure I could start her in a 36…but saving that for the 411). It was just a matter of days before she had that totally closed and needed the 36!
Now we move over the CS-411 in gun metal gray. I started her in the 38 and it laced up easily and I was curious to see how far we could get a 36. As I began to lace her in the 36, it was obvious that this would work. We were careful not to over-tighten and I had it closed so that the modestly panel almost completely covered her shirt, just a small gap at the top. After her first hour I tightened another half inch and then her blouse was covered by the modesty panel. I sent her on her way with strict corset seasoning directions for a week.
When Stephanie returned to my office a week later, her corset was fitting nicely. She said it was really comfortable and easier to move in than her 426 (which I find to be true also). We did both notice that if she was looking to wear this under an outfit, she might experience some back bulge and hip bulge that the 426 generally covers. One more reason to have more than one corset in your arsenal! I was able to lace her to within one inch of fully closing the corset without discomfort to Stephanie. That’s almost a full 10″ reduction! Bottom line is ladies with more get more instant reduction when corseting. This is exaggerated when you don’t have a big spread between your waist and hips as the corset will redistribute that weight and give you an hourglass shape.
As a follow up, we had another friend of OC come in and help us out with this blog. Kim is 5″11″ and her measurements are 39″ underbust, 43″ waist and 55″ upper hip with a DD cup size. We wanted to find an overbust for her wedding dress. The 511 in a size 32 was a great fit (even in the bust), but rode too high in the back for her dress. Kim already has a 426 (in a 34, which she can still wear, but she has lost some weight and I would have placed her in a 32 now). Despite her height, she has a shorter torso and the 426 really comes way almost between her breasts. I suggested the new ivory in the 411. I started with a 34, as Kim has full hips, but realized we could do the 32. It will be perfect under her wedding dress and gives her some great curves!