Corset Training – pick your shape

Most people know there are at least a few different types of corset available, but in reality there are as many different variations as there are different makers; so its important to study the shape and style of a makers previous work before you buy. The most popular types are the hourglass, conical, and waist corset shapes. Others include pipe stem, S bend, Elizabethan and of course the male corset, which can be any of the above altered for the male physique.

When starting to corset train, the S bend and the pipe stem are no-go areas, these styles are for experienced tightlacers only and mould the body into fairly unnatural shapes; altering the torso to a much larger degree than the other styles. The Elizabethan shape belongs more to the realm of the historical re-enactor and the period dresser and is also less commonly used for corset training as the familiar modern day corset shape is based on the Victorian corset.

Your choice of corset style depends entirely on your desired body shape and preferred level of restriction. This will normally lead you to choose either the waist corset or an on the hips or over the hips version of the hourglass or conical shape – or something somewhere in-between these three.

The main question you should ask yourself is ‘do I want to shape my ribs?’ If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘that sounds scary!’ then opt for the hourglass, you can always progress to the conical shape later. The hourglass corset follows the curves of the ribs, moulding the figure while allowing room for them, the conical shape has straight sides that taper down from top to waist like an upside-down cone. This alters the position of the lower ‘floating’ ribs but should not cause discomfort in this area. Aching ribs are a sign of a too tightly laced corset. Remember, corset training is a gradual process not a quick fix, when in doubt – loosen!

The time period for altering rib shape is about 8 months plus, which varies from body to body and can take up to a year and a half to have full effect. During this time the corset needs to be worn at least 12 to 14 hours a day during the day or whenever you are most active. Sleeping in your corset won’t work, you need to eat, drink, walk, talk and play scrabble in it for corset training to take effect. To exercise however, the corset should be removed. A conical rib cage can reduce lung capacity slightly in the same way cardiovascular exercise increases it, but this is unlikely to affect you unless your aiming for an extreme reduction to an inched waist size in the teens. There are no other health issues involved and a conical shape won’t stop you exercising, rock climbing, scuba diving or having children.

As to corset length; whether you go for an on the hips or over the hips corset depends on your tummy flattening requirements. Over the hips gives more support to this area and is preferred for extreme tightlacing as the pressure of the corset is spread over a larger surface area and the abdomen isn’t under strain from lack of support. There is slightly more restriction of movement from a longer corset but it will also improve posture and support the back more. When ordering a pre-made corset in the longer style it is important to check that the length of the front busk (if it is a front opening corset) isn’t so long that it will hurt your pelvic bone when your sit down. The torso is shortest when the body is in a sitting position so to check this length sit down on a hard surface (not a padded sofa etc) with your back straight and using a stick or large ruler measure from your pelvic bone to your breast bone. Allow 2 inches more for an over bust, although the overbust is rarely used for corset training.

Lastly we come to the waist corset, also known as the waist cincher or waspie. This is the ‘corset training light’ corset, it has the benefit of complete freedom of movement and gives the figure the same sexy waist as a normal corset. However the waist corset gives no support or shaping to the stomach or ribs and the limited surface area also means less pressure can be safely and comfortably applied to the body; thus making the waist corset unsuitable for more than light corset training. The waist corset also gives the figure a less streamline silhouette as only the middle 6 to 8 inches are reduced. ©


  • Braz Butte

    Great site and information, thanks for sharing. My Gfriends got me doing her corset ‘research’ while she looks at ones in online shops – ta for making my job easier ;)

    July 3, 2010
  • Ola Beattie

    Conicle shapes the ribs, i think its prettiest. Does anyone else think there shd b a forum here?

    July 29, 2010
  • Im thankful for the blog post. Want more.

    July 30, 2010
  • Carmen Bell

    Hi there,

    Do you ship your kit to Australia? Please let me know, I’d love to buy it. :)


    August 1, 2010
  • Carmen Bell

    Annnnnd I just noticed its an E-book. Observation, handy thing isnt it?

    August 1, 2010
  • Velvet Franciosa

    Hey. Just did some web surfing and discovered this website. Ace stuff :)

    August 7, 2010
  • Cordia Maddux

    I found your site intriguing and I’ve added a Trackback to it on my page :)

    August 17, 2010
  • Lorine Dorer

    So many shapes, decisions decisions! x

    August 19, 2010
  • Shawn Brei

    Thanks! It was a good one.

    August 29, 2010
  • Jasmine

    Incredible, that’s precisely what I was looking for! You just spared me alot of digging around

    September 4, 2010
  • Granville Elhadi

    Hi, I like this .it’s really helpful to me. If you are looking for different I may have tried to assist ;)

    November 11, 2010
  • Nice to see you blogging about this great topic again. Love your underbusts!

    November 16, 2010
  • eric rendon

    One could compare the relation of the ego to the id with that between a rider and his horse. The horse supplies the locomotor energy, and the rider has the privilege of determining the goal and of guiding the movements of his potent mount towards it. But all too often in the relations between the ego and the id we find an image of the less ideal situation in which the rider is required to steer his horse in the direction in which it itself wants to go.

    November 16, 2010
  • admin

    Yes thats fine thanks :)

    November 18, 2010
  • Heina

    My vote on old style corset shaping

    January 6, 2011
  • wendy

    Loving the hour glass n conical corset shapes ;)

    January 8, 2011
  • Francisco Mayerle

    I enjoyed reading this blog, good job on the corset type pictures – pipe stem ‘ouch!’. Gracias!

    January 11, 2011
  • Hailey Laxton

    Awesome blog post, now I know the difference between all the corset types! :) I just bookmarked you, thanks!.

    January 18, 2011
  • Debbie

    Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoyed reading this.

    January 21, 2011
  • Misiaczek

    WATCH OUT! I love your blog but please do more with it :/

    January 22, 2011
  • ashley

    I totally agree, pipe stem is a bit dangerous not for newbies

    February 1, 2011
  • reklama internetowa

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, I like ur stuff on how to make a corset also

    May 9, 2011
  • Gils

    I wd like to start corset training, maybe even make a corset, this is very good advice

    Thank you,

    May 10, 2011
  • Brenda

    I have a question on waist reduction – if I were to go for the waist cincher or the hourglass, do I have to wear it, well, forever? Or will the effect be permanent after a while?

    December 3, 2013
  • A corseted waist is never truly permanent. Some people who wear them for ten years or more then stop, find they return to a natural shape but will normally be smaller waisted than if they had never worn a corset and their body had aged naturally. Some people claim that the shape of the ribs is affected over time, but unfortunately I don’t know from personal experience as i’m quite on and off with my corset training. It seems plausible to me that the lower floating ribs can be shaped over time with a corset, but to keep the tiny waist you have to wear your corset every day.

    December 20, 2013

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