Tightlacing 101, Part III:
Seasoning a New Corset with Modern June Cleaver

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

As I did the last two times, I would like to preface this ENTIRE post by saying these are my thoughts + opinions + experiences with the tightlacing/corseting process. I am not a medical doctor. I am not advising you to begin tightlacing and I am not telling you that this process can’t hurt you, when done incorrectly, it absolutely can. Tightlacing is a lifestyle, not a hobby and it’s not something you do casually, it is a form of body modification. That being said…


So, you learned a little bit about tightlacing here and we picked your first corset here. I've spoken with a few ladies and they've either ordered or received their first corset. Now that you've got it (or are getting it) we need to get you + your body comfortable with your new corset. Starting with something simple, always wear a corset liner. There are items actually marketed as "corset liners", but I wouldn't recommend buying one. Just throw a tank top/cami on underneath your corset so you don't sweat in/on it and so your body's oils can't damage it. The only way to really clean a corset is to dry clean or hand wash it (which can cause the boning to rust) and then you're out of a corset until they finish at the cleaners or it dries. Also, I try to stick with lighter colored tanks, as my corset is cream and I've had black dye stain another of my corsets.


Step Two: The process of breaking in a new corset is called seasoning. The first time you lace your corset, it’s important you DON’T lace too tightly. Lace your corset so that it's snug, but not cutting off your flow of oxygen. I've talked to a few ladies who are basically cutting off their circulation... ouch! That's definitely not good; it's painful, can be harmful to your body and will give you really bad headaches. Also, trying to force a corset to look a certain way too quickly can damage the seams and boning.  I think a lot of people expect the fitted look immediately and that's not how the process works, this process is an exercise in patience.  After lacing in, tie the laces in the back and tuck the bunny ears into the lacing or into the corset if they annoy you.  I know it's tempting to bring them forward and tie in front, but that can also damage your corset.  I do this for photos occasionally, but don't wear my corset that way.
  • The First Few Days: Lace-in and wear your corset for 30-45 minutes, after that, you can consider tightening it a bit. You should only wear your corset for 1 1/2 to 2 hours during this period.  Repeat this process over the next several (3 - 4) days.
  • What Do I Do During These 2 Hours? However active you'd like your lifestyle to be when you’re fully corseted, it’s a good idea to start practicing those activities while you’re seasoning your corset, especially if this is your first corset. It'll help you get used to performing actions corseted, things are definitely a little different.  For example, try bending over haha.
  • The First 10 - 14 Days: If you are planning on waist training or tightlacing, gradually increase your time in your corset over the first 10-14 days, don't jump in head first and start wearing your new corset for 6-8 hours every day. If you're patient, your corset will mold to your shape through the heat and pressure of your body, and it will be produce better results.  Rushing can result in warping, ripping and corset gaps and no one wants those. 
  • After 14 Days: You should be fully seasoned!  After this point, the amount of time you wear your corset is entirely up to you, whether you decide you're a casual corseteer or an every day tightlacer!   


Some additional advice: I had a really hard time with this concept when I started -  it's important to remember that you ordered your corset 4 -6 inches SMALLER than your natural waist, it's not going to close.  This really bothered me in the beginning and every day after the seasoning process ended, I was checking to see how much closer the eyelets in the back were and how much of the laces were remaining after I laced myself in. Don't do this to yourself. This process is very "in your head." I really had to train my brain because your only "competition" is yourself, no one knows how much progress you've made but you and every little bit is a huge success, you're altering your body!


 Please let me know if you have any questions about anything related to tightlacing! I'm considering doing a Q and A video so if you have questions, even if you'd already asked them and need a visual, ask away!  Even if you cannot, for the life of you, figure out an easy way to get yourself laced-in (I've been there) let me know! I would love feedback so I know if I should incorporate anything additional into my next post.  I want to make these as helpful and informative as possible.

Do you have any other questions about tightlacing? Already started the process or purchased your first corset, how's it going?

28 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I know next to nothing when it comes to this subject so it is an interesting read. I love the look it gives off, but I don't think I have what it takes to keep up with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, at least you KNOW that about yourself, I think a lot of people spend all the money investing in the corset and then completely forget about it haha. And thank you, I'm sort of glad the "series" is coming to a close for a while though, "how to's" aren't exactly my forte haha.

      Delete
  2. I got my first corset on the 16th and did all of that already.. it's crazy how quickly it starts to form! I remember the first few wears it looked so bulky haha.

    Question: Is your bra supposed to be above the corset or underneath?

    I am also having difficulty lacing and getting the middle to match the top & bottom. I don't know if it's because I'm doing it myself? I had my boyfriend do it a few times and he's able to tighten the middle just fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Looking back on it always makes you realize how quickly things went! It sort of feels like a really pretty box the first few days haha.

      I wear my bra underneath, I feel like the wire pokes my armpits if I don't and I think it helps reduce lines!

      Also, I was determined from the VERY beginning to not have any help, and I have never once had someone lace me in (probably to my disadvantage in the beginning haha.) It's hard to describe without showing someone but this video "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buoahNQPHII" helped me a lot. Around 5 mins and 10 secs is where she started getting helpful. haha. But your waist will never REALLY match the top and bottom, because it's smaller, so I think that's pretty normal.

      Delete
  3. Hi June, I have just put you and Amelia Jetson up for the Liebster award!!

    Read all about it in my most recent post!
    www.shermette.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my! How flattering and exciting!!!!

      We just started a post on it and are aiming for Monday or Wednesday! Thank you so much, sweet lady!
      xoxo

      Delete
  4. Great post darling! I don't wear a corset but its wonderful to read on how you do it and learn a little something in the process. This may sound like a really silly question but does the corset dig into your bust?

    Lulu xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I'm glad you find it at least a liiiittle interesting! No questions are silly questions! It actually dips down a little and sort of "cups" them so, it's pretty comfortable. If anything, it pushes them up a little too much haha.

      Delete
  5. Love the blog and the photos, thank you!

    It's amazing what you can do with will power! In a tight corset it's easier if you modify your movements - avoid bending and low chairs. It also modifies your mind set, you are more lady like and avoid doing things which are unladylike. Have you noticed that if a few ladies are together in tight corsets they start to develop the attitude to look down on un corseted people.

    Betty

    ReplyDelete
  6. At first 10-14 how much hours needs to wear a corset? 2-3 or more?

    ReplyDelete
  7. After you break in your corset, you can wear it for however much time you choose, it's totally a personal preference.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm a bit bottom heavy, would a corset make my bust appear bigger?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey hun when you say do everyday stuff what about working out.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It would definitely make your bust appear larger, as it pushes your breasts up, however, I will warn you, accentuating your waist may also make your hips appear larger.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi June,
    I'm a bit confused about the sizing portion of corsetry. I know you said that we should order a corset 4 inches smaller than our actual waist size, but that it won't close that way. If it won't close, how will it end up fitting our waist and getting seasoned? Are we supposed to loosen the laces as much as possible to get the hooks to close even though it may not be laced up all the way? This must seem like a really obvious question, but the only "corset" I own is a cheesy one for cosplay that does absolutely nothing in terms of body modificaton. Other than that, this series of posts has been beyond helpful and has given me so much information about corsets and has answered questions I didn't know I had! :) Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ali,

    You should definitely order your corset up to 4 inches smaller than your natural waist size if you are looking to waist train/tightlace. Corsets for this purpose are absolutely not supposed to close when you purchase them that is the entire goal/purpose of tightlacing, closing your corset, then moving down to the same size or staying at that particular, closed corset size. Seasoning your corset means getting it used to your body shape, with the boning in the corset bending to fit your curves, posture, etc. it has a bit to do with the laces but not really, it's more about the process of your corset molding to your body.

    To put on a corset you fully loosen the laces, button the front busk enclosures then lace yourself into your corset, after wearing it for a while each day, you can occasionally decide to tighten it, or loosen it if you've eaten a meal and are feeling uncomfortable. Then at the end of the day when you take it off, you unlace yourself and unfasten the enclosures.

    Your corset will never be laced up all the way until you've waist-trained down to the size corset you order. Say you have a 26 inch natural waist and buy a 22 inch corset, you will have a 4 inch corset gap you are attempting to close during your waist training process and when you reach your goal size, 22 inches, your corset will close.



    I hope this helps! I'm so glad the posts have helped you so far! : )

    ReplyDelete
  13. Julie Wanda EspyMay 16, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    June, thank you so much for your series of posts on corsetry. I have always wanted to get a corset but was put off by all the information (it can be overwhelming) and the emphasis on tightlacing as a lifestyle - like you HAVE to do this or else. Your posts seem honest and reasonable, and non-threatening to first time and casual corset wearers alike. I would only like to own one as a "casual" corset wearer (maybe once a week) but at least I feel I know where to start!


    Thanks as always for your funny and open approach - I love your blog and I'm glad I found it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, does the corset change your shape when your not wearing
    it ? love these post and your blog so much great information and prettiness thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well thank you so much! I feel like tightlacing (using that specific term) is a lifestyle and I usually lace-in every day, but that doesn't mean there isn't room in the word for the casual corset wear-er! I'm so happy to hear your lovely thoughts and that I gave you a bit of incite. : )

    ReplyDelete
  16. hi, i have a question...do you have someone help you do the tightlacing? it looks like itd be hard to do by yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks so much, and very VERY slowly over a few years you will start seeing very gradual change in your natural shape.

    ReplyDelete
  18. No ma'am, I actually don't know any tightlacers that let other people lace them in. It's quite easy to do yourself once you know how to properly do it. <3

    ReplyDelete
  19. Does the corset make your waist become naturally hourglass without it? Also do you have to wear it all the time to keep the shape? Can larger ladies wear corsets?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Over time. and I mean an EXTENDED period of time, it will permanently reduce your waist shape and moreover, your bone structure. But yes, you do have to wear it to retain shape, I've been tightlacing for almost 3 years and still don't see much of a corseting-related reduction when I'm not tightlaced.


    I don't see why they couldn't, it's not an area I'm very familiar with, but I have plus sized lady friends who corset and love it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm considering buying my first steel boned corset (Orchard 411 so I can wear it to work from home) and I'm confused as to how you manage to go down in corset size over time if the reduction without the corset on isn't all that noticeable?

    ReplyDelete
  22. I bought my first corset, broke it in, but now my laces are super long! I'm not sure how to tie them anymore, any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I bought a cheap one to test out to see how I felt about it before buying a better one.
    I'm looking for some advice.
    It gives me back fat when it's tight. Is this because it's not cut right and doesn't sit high enough in the back, it's too tight before my body is ready, it's a cheap one and a proper one won't do this or is it just a weight thing and the only way to stop it is to loose weight?
    I love the shape it creates on my waist but because everything is pushed up it makes me look ridiculous, I look like a linebacker :(

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great post. Yes, need to learn the secret of tightening myself! Too "indelicate" a process to share with my beloved! x

    ReplyDelete