Six Simple Ways To Make The Best Of Corsets

Miss Deadly Red shot by Sally Sparrow Photography

Before you have built up a collection of corsets that would make Dita Von Teese shiver with delight, you might find yourself looking for ways to make the most of what you have, or even reinvent them a little as you go along!

Shadowlands underbust corset
Shadowlands underbust corset in scarlet silk and black lace.

Step One- A little TLC.

It might sound obvious, but as most corsets aren’t suitable for washing, it can be easy to forget to do the boring maintenance steps that keep a piece looking new! If you don’t have time to dry clean, remember to air your corset out over a chair after wearing and wipe over the lining with a lightly damp cloth to refresh it. If you need a bit more freshness then here’s the professional’s tip- mix vodka with a splash of water in a spray bottle. Set it to a fine mist and LIGHTLY spritz the lining only. Once it’s dried you’ll find the bacteria has been killed off! Don’t forget to use a lint roller on the outer surface of the corset to spruce it up again!

ribbon corset
Vibrant grosgrain ribbon corset.

Step Two- Choose Wisely.

If you’re only just beginning your career as a corset addict the temptation is to buy something outstandingly lavish in your favourite shade of jewel tone green silk. But I always advise making your first corset the most versatile it can be, even if it seems a little… pedestrian at the time. Something that will serve as discreet underwear, chic outerwear, and team effortlessly with your main wardrobe staples. Don’t forget to choose fabrics that are forgiving and durable, like coutil! Most of our clients go for something in black but if you wear a lot of white shirts you will want something as close to your skin tone as possible to hide a corset underneath! A piece like this will cover enough bases that it will be a while before you “need” another corset, though need is a very subjective concept!

mesh corset
A cotton mesh corset in pale gold. Practical and graceful!

Step Three- Accessorise.

Once you have your capsule wardrobe “3 in 1” corset you may find yourself wanting to give it a different feel for the night. I maintain that you never get bored of the classics but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some variety! Items like harnesses can be layered over the corset to create more texture, line and detail and will instantly alter the feel of a corset. My personal favourite touch is a body chain- delicate jewellery style chains that loop around you to frame your figure in a gorgeous manner. Think Greek goddess with delicious curves!

Sinopa Rin in the Vala corset and Morgan harness
Sinopa Rin in our Vala corset & Morgan harness, shot by Francis Kinsella.

Step Four- Get Crafty.

If you want to create a more permanent effect, particularly if you have older corsets that you can spare from daily use, why not start to embellish? It’s easier than you think to stitch on a lace applique, an area of beading, maybe even get some Swarovski crystals and create a sparkly masterpiece! You might find that upcycling a corset with a movie on in the back ground is exactly what you were missing out on. If you’re willing to have a go at something more ambitious why not try this hack from Lucy’s Corsetry, altering your corset to have lace up hip panels!

Decorating the corset with lace.
Embellishing a mink coutil corset with Chantilly lace.

Step Five- Re-lace.

One of the biggest giveaways that corsets are “well loved” is the state of the lacing! Over time it gets uneven, twisted and broken down by the tension of tightacing. Especially if you have ribbon instead of cotton lacing! We do sell replacement lacing here but if you’re in a hurry, unlace the corset, iron the lacing/ ribbon flat again and re-lace carefully, making sure to get the bunny loops at the waist even! Here’s a helpful video if you’re not sure how to do it. If you’re replacing your lacing, why not opt for a contrast colour to revive the look of your corset?

Lacing corsets
Replacing corset lacing with ribbon can update your look.

Step Six- Storage.

If your special occasion corsets are going back into the cupboard for an extended stay, remember to pack them away with love so they come out looking their best! Make sure you took care of step one’s cleaning and freshening suggestions before you pack away. Our bespoke corsets come in branded boxes that are perfect for stopping the laces tangling up with other items and stacking neatly away from dust and damage. However if you want to see what you’re looking for without opening 10 different boxes then we do sell corset storage bags which are designed to hang up in your wardrobe, made of clear mesh (and can be customised to the colours of your corset for easy identification) so you can see at a glance what pleasures await you! For an extra special touch why not put a little dried lavender or rose petals in a bag along with your corset? They’ll come out smelling like Summer!

storage bags for corsets
A corset bag is an ideal way to neatly keep your collection on display!

Did we miss out your favourite tip? Let us know your essential guide!

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