So my posts in my corseting/tightlacing series are few + far between because I usually end up including so much information in them, that I have a hard time writing them on a continuous basis. This time, I decided to comb my Instagram + past corset posts and "tally up" the most frequently asked questions and answer them either for the first time, or in a little more depth for y'all.
Also, tightlacing/waist training aren't the same thing and the terms aren't meant to be used interchangeably, my journey started with the intention of just wearing my corset and lacing-in for periods of time (tightlacing) and not semi-permanent waist reduction (waist training), also explained on Orchard Corset's blog here; but, my path changed and I'm not going to rename all the prior posts. ; )
I think this confuses a lot of ladies! When you first buy your corset, whether you're waist training or tightlacing, it isn't SUPPOSED to close! Closing your corset is your "goal". For example, my natural waist is about 25 inches and my corset is 22 inches. I sure as hell can't close this thing, but my corseted waist is about 24 inches or so.
When you're putting it on, loosen your laces as much as you need to in order to close your "front busk enclosures" and then start lacing yourself in. If you're wondering how tight, use your best judgement, basically if you're incredibly uncomfortable, you might be laced in a little too tight, but some slight discomfort, mostly due to just not being familiar with wearing a corset, probably means you've laced yourself in correctly. Doing this will definitely allow your corset to mold to your body, because you're laced in pretty tightly, whether or not the corset closes in the back.
I don't think people really think much of it, but when you're seasoning a corset, sometimes your waist will actually be a bit BIGGER because of the bulk of the corset in addition to your natural waist. However, once a corset is fully seasoned and you're getting into your groove with waist training or tightlacing, suddenly, all your clothes are too big.
As you can see above, when I'm wearing my skirt on a no-corset day, I can fit my thumb in the waistband. On a day that I'm corseting, I can basically fit 3+ fingers in my waistband, depending on the piece. I've definitely bought pieces with my corset in mind, and I've bought pieces knowing I won't be able to wear them with a corset. That's sort of a personal preference. Anything backless, with little cut outs, crop top + skirt sets; those are for my off days. Luckily, I've sewn buttons on a lot of my circle skirts so that I can fasten them in two places, one for my corseting days and one for my off days. When I'm shopping, I always have my corset on or my corseted measurements in mind and when I'm wearing dresses, belts are my best friends, I even bought a belt hole puncher to add smaller holes to my belts.
As far as issues when I'm not wearing it, nope! On days I choose not to wear it, I usually wear vintage-styled underwear so I have clean lines under my outfits, so either a waist cincher or longline bras + highwaisted panties are my best friends.
I'll start by saying that on a normal day, these little cami's from Forever 21 are my favorite because 1) they're $2 each and 2) they come in lots of colors. However, I know exactly what you mean about the tube top situation. If I'm just going out for an evening or on a day when it isn't hot, occasionally, I'll skip the corset liner and just wear my corset + a strapless bra, usually a longline one. I only do this on cool days because I don't have to worry AS MUCH about sweating in my corset because the best and only real way to clean your corset is to have it drycleaned. Basically, I avoid doing this at all costs.
I HAVE worn tube tops under my corset but, the elastic band at the top can sometimes be awkward considering your boobs already have a bit of a "lift" from the corset. One of my favorite emergency remedies is just tucking in the straps of a normal cami, not the best solution, but one of the most effective ones. Lucy from Lucy's Corsetry also made a great video about corset liners.
In these photos, I'm rocking my new baby, the CS-426 Short in black cotton which just so happens to be my first cotton corset from Orchard but also my first black corset! I'm still working on seasoning this little lady but trust me when I say that this corset is every bit as "extreme" as described on their site. It provides an incredibly dramatic silhouette, has 24 steel bones and is easily the most structured feeling corset I own - in a good way. For ANY LADIES who have asked about "back fat" or problems with their corset under their arms, this is a great corset to help with either of those issues, I found that it comes up a bit higher than all my other corsets -- which is awesome.
// Orchard Corset's entire website is currently 15% off with promo code BIGSALE2015 for those who have been considering picking a corset up and giving it a try. <3
Whether it be about the corset or the process, ask away!