Asymmetric Corsets for Scoliosis

Realistically speaking, no human being is perfectly symmetric. We all have some variance in our frame or how we distribute our tissues, and more often than not, one side of our bodies is stronger (and has more muscle tone) than the other side. This all has an effect on how we are able to cinch down and what silhouette of corsets fit our bodies best, but our bodies are incredibly accommodating and most of us can get away with symmetric corsets.

However, those who have scoliosis or other congenital skeletal conditions, and those who have suffered injuries (for instance, a broken bone from childhood that results in an uneven pelvis or protruding rib) may have such great asymmetry that wearing a cheap OTR corset may look crooked or twist on the body, ruining the corset. More worrying, a symmetric corset can be painful or may cause other issues from not fitting correctly.

The right kind of asymmetric corset can work with the client’s body to make it look more symmetric, and will feel more comfortable. A well-fitted asymmetric corset may relieve back pain from scoliosis or past injury, or possibly even partially correct asymmetry over time. Here are the few corsetieres I know who have created corsets for asymmetric clients in the past:

Contour Corsets asymmetric corrective corset brace for client with scoliosis

Contour Corsets is arguably the most well-known corsetiere for asymmetric corsets. Having an asymmetric figure herself, Fran learned from early on how to draft a corset for various issues like scoliosis, protruding ribs or hips, legs of different lengths, a rotated pelvis and more. Depending on the condition, she can draft a corset to simply fit well over asymmetry and make it look like a symmetric corset, or she can design the corset to apply pressure to certain parts of the body to partially correct the asymmetry. The silver corset above is designed to straighten spinal curvature over time in a patient with severe scoliosis. Fran has a page dedicated to her medical corsets here.

Totally Waisted! Corsets asymmetric overbust

Totally Waisted! Corsets asymmetric overbust

Katrina of Totally Waisted! Corsets is experienced in creating asymmetric corsets for clients with scoliosis or other issues. She takes separate measurements for each quadrant of the client, and requires an in-person mockup fitting to ensure everything fits properly and feels comfortable. She then artfully uses strategically-placed external boning channels to hide the asymmetry and create a beautifully smooth corset.

Electra Designs asymmetric high-backed underbust with posture-correcting shoulder straps

Electra Designs also has much experience creating asymmetric corsets, and she expertly hides the asymmetry in the corset shown above via artistic placement of the decorative black piping. Alexis also uses unique lacing bones in the back of all her corsets, which ensures that her 2-part eyelets never rip out. The lacing bones are not fusion-coated so they flex and hug the natural lumbar curve and don’t force an unnatural or unhealthy posture, and the bones don’t dig into the tailbone or top of the bum. Lastly, this corset has shoulder straps for correcting hunched shoulders.

Sparklewren asymmetric corset modelled by KathTea

Sparklewren asymmetric corset modelled by KathTea

Sparklewren has also experimented with asymmetric corsets, such as this custom underbust made for petite alternative model KathTea Katastrophy. In addition to each half  having different measurements, the deliberate diagonal embellishment draws the eye away from physical asymmetry. KathTea is very public about her scoliosis and subsequent physical asymmetry. You can read more about her adventures in tightlacing with scoliosis here.

Asymmetric overbust corset by Vanyanis. Model: Erika

Asymmetric overbust corset by Vanyanis. Model: Erika

This sleek black sweetheart overbust was made by Lowana of Vanyanis, for her model, friend and client Erika. Erika has visible asymmetry caused by scoliosis, but this black satin coutil overbust was carefully drafted to accommodate the unique curves on each side of the body, to ensure that the center front and the back laces lay perfectly vertical without twisting or torquing. The final result is a comfortable piece for Erika which also looks balanced and symmetric.

 

Morua Designs bridal overbust, starts at £425

Morua Designs bridal overbust, starts at £425

Morua Designs has made asymmetric corsets in the past, like this beautiful bridal ensemble. The bride had one breast larger than the other, but through clever pattern drafting the asymmetry was expertly concealed, made even more impressive that the use of a very symmetric lace motif in the front did not draw attention to any asymmetry in the body. Gerry also travels from the US to the UK, so if you have asymmetry issues, it would be best to contact her for the possibility of an in-person fitting. Overbust corsets start at £425.

 

Scoliosis patient modelling Jill Hoverman’s S-Curve Edwardian overbust corset. Photo © Romantasy.com, 2014.

Jill Hoverman, the youngest member of Romantasy’s corsetiere team, has created this lovely (and reportedly very comfortable) asymmetric overbust for a recent Romantasy client with a 45-degree spinal curve. Note how the busk curves on this client with the sample corset on the left, but the corset sits straight with her custom on the right. Jill’s Edwardian overbust corsets start at $500 in the Custom Elegant Line. Read more about how this corset has alleviated the client’s back pain on Romantasy.com.

Asymmetric Underbust with eyelash lace by Valkyrie Corsets

Asymmetric Underbust with eyelash lace by Valkyrie Corsets

Valkyrie Corsets of Sussex England has recently created this special asymmetric underbust to accommodate KathTea Katastrophy and the curves her scoliosis creates. This particular piece is a lovely soft nude, edged with black eyelash lace which helps to visually keep the hips balanced. Her regular underbust corsets start at just £180 or about $280 USD.

Delicate Facade Corsetry is also said to make asymmetric corsets; one client mentions that the owner of DFC herself has scoliosis and she has over 13 years experience in drafting corsets.

Although I haven’t personally seen a photo of this particular corset, Harman Hay (the owner of Foundations Revealed) has also created an asymmetric corset for a client in the past; she describes that she started with a symmetric toile and adjusted each side separately during the fitting. Some lines were curved off the body where they would normally be straight when worn, and the final piece was said to be beautiful and perfectly fitted.

*Please note that I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company in these guided galleries. This is for informational purposes only, and not meant to replace the advice of a medical practitioner. If you have scoliosis or other health concerns that cause your asymmetry, please talk to your doctor, orthopedic technician or chiropractor before using a corset to correct your posture (or for any other reason).

6 Responses to “Asymmetric Corsets for Scoliosis”

  1. mere March 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi, I have scoliosis and i was wondering can these corsets slim my waist and make me more symmetric?

    • bishonenrancher March 30, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Mere, all the corsets featured here will cinch in the waist – but I believe Contour Corsets is the only one I know of that will make a corrective corset. Most of the corset makers on this page will help to stabilize your curve but wouldn’t feel comfortable about manipulating the spine to correct it.

  2. Kimberly M April 24, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    I too have scoliosis, but I had rods put in my back 10 years ago. I am just now getting into corsets, but am worried about how the rods might mess with wearing a corset. Any thoughts?

    P.S. I don’t plan on tight-lacing, though I do like the structure and support of corsets.

    • bishonenrancher April 29, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      Hi Kimberly, I would first check with your doctor / chiropractor if it would be okay to wear a corset if you’ve had corrective surgery. And if you are allowed, I’d look into getting an asymmetric corset specially fitted, because some asymmetries in your pelvis or ribcage may still exist even after your spine is straightened. These corsets will stabilize and support your skeletal structure instead of trying to change it.

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