Picking Your Perfect Size: The Heledd Corset

Since our first standard size corset Heledd was released last year, I’ve helped lots of you pick your perfect size! It’s always fun for me, I get to meet you a little before you buy, and advise on what will best suit your plans. But it’s also clear that many people aren’t confident when it comes to sizing, and I’m all about empowering you!

Measurements

The first place that I find people fall down is the measurements! Some people have never measured for a corset before, so I will give the full break-down. But even if you have measured up before, you might find some helpful tips on refining your technique here.

Let’s look at the golden rules of good measurements.

  1. Before you start, find a friend or partner to help you measure up. The way we distort ourselves to hold a tape measure in place on ourselves tenses muscles and can distort readings! If you really can’t get help, try to keep your arms by your sides when taking the reading.
  2. Think about what you’re going to wear. A good fitting underwired bra is really important, even though this is an underbust corset! Avoid anything with thick waistbands, or anything that causes bulges on you. If you intend to wear something underneath your Heledd then you might want to consider measuring with that on.
  3. Try to take measurements in-between meals, when you’re neither bloated nor smaller than your average size.
  4. Last but not least- take honest measurements! No breathing in, and certainly no rounding up or down. Your watchword is accuracy, so be fussy about the results.

We are going to need your measurements at underbust, waist, and hips. But I’m also going to show you how to take some optional measurements that may be helpful!

You will need…

  • Masking tape/ eyeliner/ a piece of ribbon
  • A measuring tape (check its accuracy against a ruler before you begin. Tape measures can stretch over time, and cheap ones are often a bit “off”!)
  • A 6″ or 12″ ruler (optional)
  • A comfortable straight back chair (optional for your waist to lap length)
  • A pen and paper to record your results

Measurements can be taken in cm or inches (though cm is more accurate!) But don’t be afraid to note down the exact measurement instead of rounding up or down.

Let’s Begin!

First, we need to mark the waist point. The natural waist is the lovely “squishy” area between your lowest ribs and your hip bones. It’s the area where your body hinges if you place the side of your hand into it and then bend sideways. Stand up straight, with good posture and make sure you are standing level, not putting your weight on one foot. We want to mark this quite accurately, so take your time here. When you’re happy, take your masking tape, eyeliner or ribbon and mark it. I prefer to use masking tape because it can be quickly repositioned, and it’s less messy than eyeliner!

Take the measurement while “between breaths”. Neither breathing out, or in, with arms by the side, and make sure the tape measure is level.

Next we will mark off the underbust line. This will be easy to define because you will have the underwire of your bra to use as the guide! Set your marks nice and close to the underwire, but sitting just beneath it. Once again, take your measurements while standing straight, in-between breaths, with arms by your side, keeping the tape measure level.

Note: The Heledd is build for longer torsos, if your underbust to waist length is significantly less than 5″/ 12cm this may not be a suitable style for you. Take the measurement while “between breaths” neither breathing out or in, with arms by the side, make sure the tape measure is level.

We’re onto the hips! The particular part of the hips we want to measure is 5″/ 12cm below the waist, so use your waist marking as your starting point, as illustrated.

Once again, standing level, in-between breaths, arms by sides and keeping the tape measure level around the body.

Bonus Round

If you’re concerned about the body lengths of the Heledd against your particular measurements, this is for you!

The first place to check is the underbust to waist length. Using your markings that you set for the first three measurements, take a vertical reading. It is best to do this from the lowest part of the breast, down to the waist as shown. Be sure to look straight ahead when this measurement is taken!

The Heledd measures 5″/ 12cm in this area. However, remember that when you lace your corset the body lengthens a little, especially if your posture needs a little help. Everyone is different, but I’ve found clients with underbust to waist lengths of 4″ often still fit the Heledd comfortably. We accept returns if you have issues, though!

Another place you may want to check is the waist to lap length. This affects your comfort when sitting down, so take your straight backed chair and sit upright. Whilst looking ahead not down, measure vertically down from your waist tape to where the point of a corset could comfortably end. You may have to use your judgement here, but what we want to avoid is the corset digging into your thighs. Using a ruler can help to give you an impression of the rigidity of the corset busk!

Heledd measures 6″/ 15cm in this area.

Last but not least, the waist reduction amount. Heledd is built for a 4″/ 10cm waist reduction, but we’re more interested in what will be comfortable for you. If you’re worried about this and haven’t worn a corset before, simply take your tape measure and cinch down as tightly as you comfortably can. Note the smaller size and use this as a baseline for your waist reduction.

Remember that corsets are significantly more comfortable than the tape measure, but this does help to set expectations!

Picking Your Perfect Size For Heledd

Now that we have your measurements together, we can compare to the sizing chart.

20″22″24″26″28″30″32″
Underbust27″29″31″33″35″37″39″
Natural waist26″28″30″32″34″36″38″
Reduced waist22″24″26″28″30″32″34″
Hips34″36″38″40″42″44″46″

I’m always here to help so if you want to hand over to me at this point you can just send your measurements over, but if you want to try on your own, here are some tips for working out your ideal size.

The chart above shows the ideal set of measurements that each corset size is designed for, which also allows for a 2″ lacing gap. This means that the corset itself will be 2″ (5 cm) smaller than the stated sizes. Lacing gaps allow for desired tension against the body and give us some wiggle room for sizes to fluctuate.

When comparing your measurements to the chart it’s important to remember that not everyone will sit perfectly in a size bracket! The chart is dealing with natural and reduced waist measurements, and as I mentioned, does not include the lacing gap. So we know that we have our 2” lacing gap to play with when comparing sizes!

My gold standard fit is a 2″ parallel lacing gap, meaning that the corset doesn’t have to be tightened or loosened anywhere to sit comfortably. However as long as the lacing gap keep straight sides, like a “V” shape, or inverted “V” and doesn’t bow in or out at the waist, this is a perfectly acceptable fit.

Fit Examples

Here are some examples of figures that don’t fit into the exact size range to give you an idea of how to read the chart.

You measure 35” at the underbust, 33” at the waist and 40” at the hip. You’re between sizes 26” and 28”, but because of the 2” lacing gap we will get our best fit with the 28” size. This gives you a 2” gap at the underbust, tapering down to a 0” gap at the hips, with the lacing gap kept in a V shape, straight but not parallel.

You might also find that the underbust and hips are in totally different size brackets, for instance, you have a 28” underbust, 31” waist and 40” hips. Realistically, it’s unlikely that we can get a comfortable fit for you in this style, but if you still want to try one, go by the waist reduction measurement and see how you feel. If it’s a boudoir item you may not be overly fussy about comfort or fit, but you can get the best happy medium possible!

You’re Ready To Go!

I hope this has helped you find the perfect size Heledd, which is available for purchase now from our online store. The feedback I’ve been getting about how light, supportive and comfortable you’ve been finding them is music to my ears. To that end, I’m delighted to say that I’ll soon be opening pre-orders on an extended size range! Do get in touch if you’d like to register interest in a different size.