Feminine Corset For A Male Tightlacer

A side back view of the overbust corset

We had a wonderful reaction to this vintage inspired overbust commission recently, though what not many people knew was that this generously curvaceous silhouette was made for a male tightlacer!

The finished pink overbust corset in the Orchid studio, complete with suspenders.
The finished corset in the Orchid studio, complete with suspenders.

This rose quartz coutil corset was created for a long term client, who always selects deliciously dramatic designs and I think this particular one may be my favourite to date. The corset is designed to fit over Priscilla’s padded form, but a sweeping waist reduction is still achieved, creating a silhouette that feels like a classic Victorian illustration of the idealised femme.

A side back view of the overbust corset
The dramatic curves of this sculpted corset are perfectly proportioned.

Priscilla came to me with a bag full of milkshake-pink hand dyed coutil and images of 1950’s corselettes, intrigued by subtle details such as satinised cups on matte backgrounds and stitch detailing, looking to create a hybrid that incorporated the rosy femininity of the Dior era lingerie with the structure and shaping power of a corset.

A close up showing detail of cup cording and continuous boning.
Detail of cup cording and continuous boning.

The corset is made in four layers- a central core of canvas with a fashion layer of spot coutil and herringbone coutil lining, 50 steel bones are fanned through the body, accentuating the contours and curves whilst giving exceptional support.

The ballet slipper peach satin cups are corded to enhance the roundness of the bust and the same satin binds the bust and hipline edges. The corset uses a spoon busk front fastening and has 8 removable suspenders in this beautiful rose pink.

A close up of pink suspenders with gold fittings
Suspenders made in pink elastic with warm gold fittings.

I think a great deal of the charm of this corset lies in the simplicity, letting the drama of the hourglass silhouette take centre stage. This also highlights the construction techniques, with the continuous boning and cording adding texture and catching the light beautifully.
Working with this male tightlacer to create a vision of femininity was a real delight, and the end result was even more beautiful than I could have imagined. I hope we have an excuse to make something similarly romantic and resplendent very soon!

A close up of the corset laced with pink satin ribbon.
The perfect shade of pink satin ribbon to lace the corset.

Male Corset Commissions

Black spot coutil underbust with external waist tape.

The art of corseting the male form

I’m often approached by clients who are surprised that they can buy a male corset, or a feminine corset for a male physique, when in fact around half of our clients are male tightlacers! I felt it was time to share a post showing some of the many possibilities available for helping to support a masculine figure, or transforming your body into softer flowing curves. It’s always a joy to see what a difference a thoughtfully designed male corset can provide to appearance but also to the confidence of the wearer.

Classic Masculine Corsetry

Some of our male corset wearers are looking for back support or figure control and our designs here tend to be much plainer and based on practicalities like keeping the corset discreet under a suit or ensuring that it’s breathable for use in warmer climates. Typically a corset like this would be an underbust style built in a single layer of strong cotton coutil or cotton mesh for hot weather with a zip front fastening for a sleek finish under clothing and light lacing cord to keep bulk at a minimum. These pieces can also be made in multiple layers with continuous boning for those that are looking for a greater level of compression and restriction. A wasp waist is often favoured as the more masculine cut on corsets like these.

Top Styles

  • Corsets For Men Explaining our approach to masculine corsetry
  • 12 Panel Underbust This is our go to style for figures that are not naturally curvy. It comfortable and versatile.
  • Waspie A great option for those who need their corset to cope with an active lifestyle.

Feminising Male Shapewear

These corsets are often similar to the classic masculine corsets in construction as they are intended to create feminine curves under clothing for cross dressers or TV’s, but are often built around prosthetic breasts or hip padding, though it’s also possible for unpadded figures to be given a more noticeable curve. Sometimes our clients like vintage reproduction corsets so that the functional underwear regains a little romance and nostalgia, for instance an overbust corset in delicate peach satin with straps like a 1950’s corselette. At times a compromise between elegant design and practicality is needed but we can always find a way to make the garment feel precious when it is put on. An hourglass cut is usually chosen here to demonstrate a softer, more generous seeming curve.

Top Styles

  • 14 panel underbust This style of corset works well with more dramatically enhanced hip-lines
  • Ribbon Corset A lightweight option for summer wear or medium reduction shapewear.
  • Cupped Overbust Not the most discreet option under clothing but elegant and great at smoothing the transitions between padding.

Feminine Corsets For Men

These are often our “showstoppers” designed to be seen and admired, perhaps as part of an outfit or a costume but always designed to reflect the tastes and personal style of the wearer. They may be showcasing dramatic construction techniques such as flowing fans of continuous boning or corded cups, or perhaps a striking colour or bold brocade fabric will be used. We can also create beautiful effects with delicate lace appliqué or contemporary graphic details in contrast colours. Typically these corsets are overbusts intended to be worn with prosthetic breasts but we have made beautiful waist cinchers and ribbon corsets for this purpose as well.

Top Styles

  • Princess Seamed Overbust A traditional corset style that lends itself well to dramatic embellishment and styling.
  • Cupped Overbust A distinctively feminine design with more definition to a padded bust.
  • Waspie A smaller corset can give you greater freedom for movement but also to demonstrate elaborate fabrics and techniques without overwhelming an outfit.

The beauty of bespoke corsetry is that it allows us to cater to the subtleties of personal taste with ease and flair, so if you have a commission that has been playing on your mind for some time don’t be afraid to ask us about the possibilities available to you!

Corsets For Men

A few words about making corsets for men, for those considering the leap to a bespoke piece.

Understanding the difference between a bespoke male corset and a female off-the-rack corset

The first thing we hear from our male clients when they make contact is usually that out of desperation, they’ve been driven to buying off the rack women’s corsets, or perhaps borrowing from their girlfriends or wives. This is all very well, and a little experimentation with a medium like corsetry can add a lot of value to the first bespoke piece, however, don’t expect them to fit you well. Why not? Well, a few physical differences will account for the four main complaints I hear from men who’ve been trialing women’s off-the-rack corsetry.

“The corset is too narrow in the chest- it pinches my ribs and there’s a huge gap between the laces at the top”

Women do not flare outwards from above the waist to the same extent as men do. The classic male shape is quite triangular, broad at the chest with little waist definition, and narrower hips. Women will tend to slope more gently out towards the bust,  with the allowance in that area of a corset left for a bust to project, rather than a broad ribcage to fan out.

“I can’t sit down in the corset- it’s so long below the waist”

From making men and women’s bespoke corsets for 7 years, I can say with confidence that most men need a corset around 2″ shorter in the lap than a woman of equivalent (or shorter) height. The male genitalia can make any additional length very uncomfortable in a way that would not impact on women, and as such women will usually prefer a pointed or curved base, allowing space for our thighs when we sit down. Almost all my male clients require a straight base to their corsets, as they do not carry weight on their legs in the same way.

“The gap at the back of this corset looks like a “V”, it’s already closed at the hips and it’s not even tight!”

The simple answer to this is child bearing. Women are built to a much broader hip shape than gentlemen, as mentioned in the first point, a man’s natural triangular shape is in starkest contrast at the hips.

“It’s so hard to reduce the waist”

The male physique tends to be much more muscle bound by default. Women tend to be much softer in the torso, allowing for a greater cinch without really feeling it. A 4″ reduction for a gentlemen is probably the equivalent of a 6-7″ reduction for a woman, making extreme male tightlacers like Mr Pearl even more distinctive in their achievements.

How we approach the challenge of making bespoke corsets for men

Naturally, dealing with bespoke corsets automatically deals with most of our problems above. The individuals own shape is used to sculpt the corset pattern, providing correct coverage and support. However a few things must still be considered to lead us to a really outstanding outcome. What are the goals of the wearer? If they want to retain a natural, masculine figure with back support then we must choose a style that will prove comfortable for long periods of wear. If our client is looking to feminise their figure without the use of padding or enhancements, then we will choose a corset style that will maximise the waist definition and balance out the narrower hips with the broad ribcage. Does the wearer carry weight in front of them? (a “beer belly” or paunch) in which case we must choose the right hardware to smooth out their figure and provide a sleek silhouette. We will also tend to use more rigid boning when making corsets for men in order to work with the stronger muscle tone we mentioned above, we’ll also consider the durability of the construction choices we’ve made very carefully.

What can we cater for?

We offer many different styles of corsets for men- for classic masculine pieces we would tend to offer underbust or waistcoat corsets, where the purpose is to sculpt and perfect the figure, smoothing a prominent abdomen, and creating a trim waist. For more essential wear such as back support, simpler and more functional corsets can be designed, offering discretion under daily clothing and a sleek finish. Where a male client is seeking feminine curves, we can work to padded or unpadded figures, providing overbust corsets that cater to bust enhancement, and underbusts designed to provide a feminine form and act as attractive underwear beneath clothing. Some of our male clients looking for a fetish corset have chosen knee length or body corsets, that fully encompass the upper torso and shoulders. We can create various locking devices and themed pieces for a special event… just send us some details of what you desire to create, and let us help you realise your ambitions.