Corset Potpourri,  Corsets

Corset Use and How It Affects Sizing

Costumes, Support, Fashion

Do I Need To Size Differently for Different Needs?

Costuming: Tree Nymph

Hello OC Blog Readers! Some of my long time readers might recall a blog I did last year, “Corsets: Not Just For Waist Training” which touches on this very subject. In this blog, however, I wanted to emphasize the approach to sizing for a corset based on what you plan to do with your corset. The answer to the title question is sometimes.

I know, just what you wanted to hear! Much has to do with your size and shape. For example as my regular readers know, I wear a size 22 (measurements are 30″ UB, 27.5″ waist and 37″ UH)in either the 426 or the 411. I wear my corset at work for 5-7 hours most every day, but rarely on the weekends or evenings unless I am wearing out to an event. I do not consider myself a waist trainer and although I can close my corset further than when I started, I attribute that more to a well seasoned corset and increased comfort level with wearing a corset than actual waist reduction.

OC’s CS Manager Jessica

If I were buying my very first corset with full intention of rigorous waist training, I would still not be able to size down to a 20 without first training my 22 to a fully closed position. On the flip side, if I only wanted a corset to wear as part of a cool costume or Renaissance Faire, I would not size up (unless I had a really bulky outfit I was trying to lace over) as I have a couple inches I can expand before I reach the end of my modesty panel.

Now the reason it matters not so much for me is due to my size and shape. I have quite a bit of natural curve and pretty small frame (without too much squish as I am quite the weight lifting gym freak). But, if you have a natural waist of 30″ and are softer through the middle, then you will certainly want to consider your corset use when determining what size to order. This increases with size, as generally with more of you comes more malleability.

45″ natural waist, size 36 corset

Here is an example. Let’s say your measurements are underbust 33, waist 32 upper hip 38. You have enough curve for the 411 and not too much for the 305. If you are looking at a 426-you might find it too large in the hip spring. If waist training is your goal, then choosing a size 24 in the 411 or 305 will likely work for you (depending on your degree of squishiness). If you want a corset just to look extra amazing on occasion (or for a costume), then a size 26 in either of those corsets will be more comfortable, and should still be snug enough to make a difference. You will still want to season your corset as it will fit better and lay flatter. A size 26 would also work well for back support. In this scenario, the size 24 will probably work in the 426 (if you are long enough) for waist training. But in the size 26, it will fully close at the bottom without effort and could create an unsightly bulge over the hip.

Tess Holliday in CS-411 Red Satin

So the more you have to work with, the play there is in determining a size. If you are looking to waist train, we recommend a significant downsize for our fuller figured gals (and guys). This is because you will see results so much faster (usually) and will have your corset fully inside a month if you are dedicated. Most of you don’t want to have to buy another corset so quickly (although daily waist trainers should have more than one corset). But if you are wearing your corset for any other reason…there is no need to size down as dramatically. A snug fitting corset will suffice for less rigorous corset uses. And a note to all of our BBW’s out there-don’t be afraid to size down! We find that most women over about a 45″ waist (depending on the upper hip) can size down 10 inches.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and experiences to help others make the best possible choices when selecting a corset!

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.


  • msexceptiontotherule

    I’m thinking about getting either the 301 or a 411 in leather, but not sure if the size I wear in the cotton, mesh, and satin (24) is what I should get in the leather. Advice?

  • Casey

    Hi Cheri Dudek,
    i am eagerly wanting to begin my waist training but not sure which corset and size is right for me. I carry ALL of my excess weight in the abdominal area with an unusual protruding stomach. No excess fat on sides or back. I eventually want several corsets but clueless which to start with, the 411 or the 426 and what size. I sit at work approx. 8-10 hrs daily and plan to wear my corset 24hrs except in the shower or while at the gym. I will be including diet and exercise with my waist training. UB-38 WAIST 41 UH-38 FULL HIP 41 TORSO 10.5 Can you help please?


  • Karina

    Hi. Cheri Dudek..

    I just bought a corset 426.. I am UB 35.. Waist 37in.. UH..40.. I do have a issues.. I love this corset but I found some space in my UB and also in my UH,, what do you recommend.. Today was my first day using it.. I love how it compress my waist.. I ordered 30in.. But I don’t know if some it is normal some space up and down,,.

  • Victoria M.

    I’m underbust 30″, waist 32″, upper hip 36″, I can nearly close one of your older overbust styles in a size 24″, and I’m planning to buy a 301 since my current one is pretty long (digs into my hips when I sit down). I’m probably not going to lose much of my fluff anytime soon, though I’d like to waist train with the new one (kinda hard to waist train when you can’t sit down easily!). Since I can already nearly close my 24″ corset, should I go for a 22″, or stick with a 24″?

  • Osiris Almanza

    I’ve had my CS 426 in the size 32 for about 3 weeks now of daily usage and I can almost close it all the way 😉 I’m super excited to size down 😉 thx for this great article 😉 I’ll be ordering the 411 next to have variety lol

  • ceejayy

    Im a 42 bust 43 waist 50 inch hip with a long torso i know a cs 426 is the right style for me but im not sure how far i should size down to start my waist training

  • Mother of 3

    I love your site and have ordered both the 426 and the 411 in a 26 but I find them to be a little too dramatic for under clothes, my husband says that the shape is ‘not natural’ and it is obvious that I have on something. my measurements are 31 31 39 so with NO curve to the waist naturally it extremely obvious so I was thinking about getting a 305 in a 28 for the ability to close it all the way and have a more gentle curve. And even if I train down and this one would be too big, I can always wear it while I am on my period or to sleep in, what are your thoughts?

  • Crissy (@daintyfawn)

    I got a 24 in 411 for waist reduction but I have found it to be the most comfortable thing ever considering I usually work sitting down.

    I’ve been told to wear it loosely for a few hours to break it in.. (which is sad when I’m most comfortable wearing it lol). I’ve noticed it’s already starting to form to my body. Would it be okay to tighten it or wear it for longer hours?

    • Cheri Dudek

      you can gradually add time and cinching over the first couple of weeks of wear. At that time your corset should be fully seasoned and you can wear it for as long as you are comfortable doing so.

  • Lisa Ramnath

    I got my CS411 on Monday and started seasoning it. i have noticed that at the sides and the hip its starting to conform my body. However there doesn’t seem to be anything happening in the front with my stomach. Is this normal or will that change as I cinch down later on?

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Lisa,

      As you are more comfortable cinching the corset tighter, you will find that the corset will hug all the way around. Corsets, however are not like shapewear and do not uniformly smooth all the way around. They are designed to create an hourglass shape from the front and back.

  • Lauren

    I’m wondering how half sizes go. I’m W: 41.5 UB: 38.5 and UH: 48. I’m fairly certain I could go with a CS-426 but I’m going into a career with a lot of sitting, so I’d probably go with a CS-411 to start. I carry most of my fluff low so it appears I have great curves until I turn. Any recommendations?

  • Amonique

    I am very eager to purchase a waist training corset, however my unusually “fluffy” belly is making it difficult for me to decide on a size. I am planning on getting both the 426 and 411. I really have no waist line and I don’t have curvature to my hips at all. I actually look pregnant (Figured I would just put it all out there). My under bust is 41. My waist is a 48 at the largest point and a 45 where I think my natural waist is supposed to be. My upper hips are a 47. HELP!! What size should I go with?

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Amonique,

      I think beginning with a size 36 in either the 411 or the 426 will work for you. If you respond well to that, than I think you will find after several months you are able to size down even further!

  • Miranda J. Miller

    I got the 426 in leather for waist training. I worry that I’ve stretched it out since I’ve seasoned it in and began wearing it 10-16 hours a day. Originally I had a gap of 8″ and now it’s 3.5″ I measured the corset and it seems to have stretched two inches in the past three weeks. Is this normal for a leather corset?

    • Cheri Dudek

      The leather is naturally more pliable than the other fabrics (which is why especially in the 426 we recommend sizing down if you are between sizes or have some wiggle room). It will not continue to stretch, but hopefully you will see that gap close (much more slowly, unless you are loosing weight) as you train your waist down.

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