Corset 101 Series,  Corsets

Corset 101: I Just Got My New Steel Boned Corset-Now What?

Finally! Your Beautifully Wrapped Orchard Corset  Arrives…

What do I do with it?

Hello OC Blog Readers!Corsets are such a foreign object to many of our new customers-just figuring out our to loosen the laces can overwhelm even the bravest of souls. In our latest Corset 101 video blog I will show you how to unlace and properly try on your corset and figure out if it fits. When you put your corset on for the first time, we instruct you not to over-tighten as this can warp the boning. “Then how will I know if it fits?”

corset101buskcroppedIf you have chosen well, your corset should go on without any pressure at the front busk when you fully loose the laces. When you lace up to a snug but not tight first lacing, you should just reach your modesty panel. For our very small framed guys and gals (size 18-22 corset) you might cover an inch or two of the panel; and our fuller figured fans (size 32+ corset) will have an inch or two (sometimes more) to go before your modestly panel reaches the other side. Remember to season your corset properly before engaging in any real cinching.

Remember, off the rack (OTR) corsetry is not an exact science. We have tried to put many tools in corset101backfitthe hands of our customers to provide the most comprehensive sizing system available in the OTR corset community. It is also important to note that each person will have different tolerances for what is comfortable and what isn’t in the fit of a corset. We do believe that short of a custom made corset-you will find the best fitting, high-quality steel boned corsets at Orchard Corset!

In the interest of brevity, I will have separate Corset 101 video blogs to show what an ill-fitting corset looks….too big or too small and another video blog for selecting the right curve. We always welcome your thoughts and experiences, so please share in the comments below so others can benefit as well.





I have been with Orchard Corset since June of 2012 and what a journey it has been! I've gone from complete newbie to Marketing Director to Chief Operations Officer and I've learned more about corsets, corseting, shapewear, social media and myself than I would have ever thought possible. I have really enjoyed the journey and we at Orchard Corset are dedicated to providing a wealth of information for new and seasoned corseters alike.


  • Candy Scovelle

    Hi, received my CS411 two days ago, and it is BEAUTIFUL! Really fast postage to the UK as well. I have just started seasoning and have worn it twice for two hours, laced snug but not tight (I can fit a hand underneath). After the second wearing I hung it up and realised it looks quite twisted. I am hoping that this is just the corset molding to my shape but is there nay chance I could have damage it? The boning itself doesn’t look bent, it’s just the panels

    • Amy Lewis

      You’re in luck, Michelle! We actually just finished filming a Corset Q & A Episode where we discuss that very subject. I’m not sure when it will go live, but we will post it on the blog when it is ready. It is much easier to show this than to try to explain it, but basically the steel bones of a seasoned corset will follow a nice smooth curve, but if you warp one (or more) of them they will have a bend somewhere in the boning. It isn’t always a tragedy, btw, one of the bones in the back of my 201 is wonky down at the bottom (from me trying to slouch down in my office chair with my corset on), but it doesn’t effect the wear of my corset.

  • Marizela

    What do you know about steel bone corsets after pregnancy? I’ve tried researching but all info I find is for latex cinchers . I want to use one right away after giving birth but would that be safe , I was going to begin waist training before I found out I was pregnant and I really would like to start immediately after . This will be my first child .

  • Martian_Holiday

    Hello, I just ordered the 426 with hip ties, and I’m curious to know whether the standard seasoning directions still apply. Since I have a larger than average hip spring, should I let out the hips in advance or wait till I can lace up all the way?

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Marian,

      The hip tie feature of the corset will allow for more hip room if you need it. Season the corset as you would any other corset-and feel free to adjust the hip ties as you think you need for optimal fit and comfort.

    • Cheri Dudek

      Well Hello That Girl in New York!

      I think you will find the 24 to be the right fit. Unless you are dropping weight quickly-you will find it actually takes quite some time before you are able to completely close your corset that last several inches. You will be ready to size down once you are able to close and wear comfortably for long periods of time. When you are ready for the size 22…you will want to continue to wear the size 24 while seasoning the 22. you will still receive benefits as long as the corset still applies pressure.

  • thatgirlinnewyork


    My measurements are: 31 underbust, 29 waist, 37 high hip and 10.5 torso.

    It was recommended that I try the 411 mesh in a size 24 to kick off my waist training, and I just wore it for the first hour.

    My modesty panel tucks under the opposite side by 1″. Otherwise, there’s no gapping top or bottom of the corset. Do I have the correct size, or should I have gotten a size 22? I will be wearing it daily, all day, once seasoned.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts!

  • Sam

    Hello, I recently purchased a size 20 CS-305 corset, and am working on breaking it in. I have worn it four times for up to two hour incriminates; around 6-7 hours total. Up to now I had experienced no pain, and the corset was continuing to form to my bod nicely. However, when I put it on today for the fifth wearing, I started experiencing upper back pain after wearing it for less than an hour. I removed it and tried putting it back on, as I thought I hadn’t positioned it quite right. However the pain persisted, so I took it off. My back hurt for a while after, but the pain went away after about half an hour. I did not cinch it any tighter than usual. Any ideas?

      • Sam

        At first it was just sore, but then it became a sharp, shooting pain. However, later I went back and looked at a photo I had taken of an earlier wearing and compared it and saw I was wearing a bit too low. I adjusted the corset, and I haven’t had any problems since.

  • Judy clark

    I received my corset last night and I want you to know that I am so impressed with the education you provide on everything I ever thought I needed to know. You made it so easy to understand. It was comfortable even though I know it will take some time getting use to it. I’ve told my friend and she will be ordering as well. I look forward to my journey.

  • Melanie Hernandez

    Hi orchard corset, I want to buy a corset for waist training but I do plan on wearing it over clothing such as shirts, skirts, and dresses as an accessory. So because I would be wearing it over clothing should I buy a size up ?

  • Aurora

    Hi! I recently bought an 18″ corset in order to start waist training, and I had two questions. First, I have a pretty decent singing voice, and I’ve read that prolonged wear of a steel-boned corset can alter the position of the diaphragm. Since singing requires proper use of the diaphragm, will wearing a corset have long term effects on my voice? My other question is about future pregnancies. I have already had one baby and I am planning to have more children in the future. Will wearing the corset and training my waist alter my body in such a way that my body would have a hard time rearranging during pregnancy? Would this rearrangement by the corset cause future pregnancies to be more high risk? I appreciate your time in reading this, and I hope to hear back soon. Thank you!

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Aurora,

      Wow..I am not an MD, so I don’t want to advise as though I am one. It sounds like you very petite, wearing a size 18 corset. I have never heard of waist training having any long term affects on breathing. Tight lacing will result in upper-diaphragmatic (or costal) breathing-but pregnancy does the same thing to your body…just from the inside. As for interfering with future pregnancy…only if you corseted after conception do I see that as an issue (but I strongly suggest consulting with you doctor). Even Catherine Jung’s flesh and ribs expand when she uncorsets (which she purportedly does for only about an hour each day), and she has been a 24/7 waist trainer for many, many years. At the very least, it would probably be wise to stop waist training with any severity when you begin trying for the next baby. Remember woman have corseted regularly and still had babies for centuries.

      • BlessedBee

        I am not a doctor either, but will share my experience:
        I got my first corset after the birth of baby number 5 … and hate going without it. Since I have had 3 more babies (actually number 8 is baking now, so no corset right now.) I got the first fro added back support and never intended to waist train to a serious degree, but I wear my corsets as snuggly as comfortable all day, every day – taking it off for sleep, exercise, and showers. I never found it uncomfortable or restricting, though there was a learning curve as I was now forced to bend to the floor in a different (healthy and safe) manner and to nurse with baby propped higher or sitting more upright. There has been no effect on how I have carried or birthed my kiddos since corseting – Though I think I retain somewhat of a waist for a little bit longer.
        My biggest challenge actually has been overcoming others perceptions. I have a fairly conservative background and when other’s notice how quickly after giving birth I have a waist they want to know my secret (I have always worn the corset under clothing so as not to flaunt it, unless I am at home with my husband.) My answer has become, “It isn’t natural, I use some help.” Often they probe deeper until I tell them I am laced ( I only hesitate because the community I am in tends to view a corset as immodest, though the results of wearing one are actively sought after.) The responses vary from “I want one!” – though no one has yet followed through, to one woman whose eyes got wide, she turned away from me, and has hardly acknowledged me in the 3 years since she found out, though we see each other on a weekly basis. Most people just change the subject.
        I wear my corsets again almost as soon as I give birth – it helps so much with moving correctly so as to not strain any of the vulnerable muscles and reducing the pain from those awful, intense postpartum contractions. I have the full support of my midwife in this because she has seen other women benefit from postpartum binding in other forms.

  • Linda

    Hi there,

    Couldn’t find a better blog post to respond to with this question, but hopefully that’s okay. I’ve read the care information that the best way to take care of your corset when not in use is to put it on a hanger/chair/door by the laces. But I wanted to ask, what if you need to pack your corset in a suitcase? What’s the best way to do it? Laid flat, unhooked? Hooked and as flat as it can go? Rolled up like how we receive it in the mail? Thanks!

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Linda…

      Great question! When I pack mine I do roll it up, very much like how you received it in the mail. Keep the outer fabric rolled or folded on the inside for protection and just make sure it’s situated in such a way that it won’t get warped.

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