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Isabella Corsetry “Josephine” Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Isabella Corsetry Josephine Underbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Dramatic curves, extreme hourglass. This is a longline corset coming over my hips. The center front is 13” high; the shortest part of the corset is 10.5″ hiugh.
Material 3 main layers. The outer fashion fabric is black satin, then there’s a layer of twill as interlining and another layer of black twill as lining.
Construction Made from a 6-panel pattern (so the corset itself is 12 panels total). It looks as though the coutil panels were lock-stitched at the seams, the allowances were pressed open. The layers are joined together by stitching in the ditch between the panels and also by making boning channels. The stitching is perfect on the outside, but the seams are wiggly on the inside. The lining does not float. Bones are sandwiched between the two layers of twill (lining and interlining).
Binding The binding at top and bottom made out of black satin bias tape machine stitched on both sides; it’s small on the outside, then folded under and machine stitched in the ditch, in the seam between the corset and the binding itself, to catch the rest of the binding underneath.
Waist tape 1” wide twill tape between the lining and interlining, invisibly stitched.
Modesty panel There an unboned modesty panel in the back made from two layers of just satin. Slightly over 6” wide.  Easily removable if you want to remove it. No modesty placket on the front.
Busk A heavy duty busk, slightly under 1” wide on each side and 11” long, with 5 pins, it’s EXTREMELY stiff. Keeps the front very straight.
Boning 22 steel bones in this corset not including the busk. On each side there are 9 spirals about 3/8” wide, and they’re mostly double boned at the seams except for at the back between panels 5-6. By the grommets they also use about 3/8” wide flat steels; very sturdy.
Grommets There are 30 2-part size #00 grommets (15 on each side). Black finish to match the rest of the corset, they have a medium lip around and are spaced equidistantly. Functionally they’re very sturdy, no popping or pulling away, whatsoever. On the underside there are no splits – much nicer than the grommets used in Isabella’s Bat cincher.
Laces 1/2” wide black double satin ribbon. They’re very nice, strong, pretty, glide through the grommets nicely and also seem to hold the bow well with little slipping out over time.
Price Currently $175 USD for immediate line. For other fabrics (made-to-order) it’s $250, and for custom fit/fabric it’s $360.
Josephine longline corset by Isabella Corsetry
Josephine longline corset by Isabella Corsetry – product photo in their made-t-measure line (might be a tad curvier than their standard pattern)

Final Thoughts:

This corset continues to be one of my favourite off-the-rack underbust corsets. It’s comfortable and gives a crazy curvy silhouette – to this day, I think I have gotten more compliments when wearing this corset than with any other off-the-rack corset. It’s relatively affordable compared to other major brands out there. The only con I could say is that Isabella is quickly gaining more and more recognition and thus she’s becoming busier, so wait times have been increasing for her corsets! However, I’m happy that she’s overflowing with commissions; I think her work should be credited. I could definitely see myself commissioning another piece from Isabella in the future.

53 thoughts on “Isabella Corsetry “Josephine” Underbust Review

  1. Since I purchased one of these nearly a year ago, I thought I would review. This is my first waist training corset(the only reason I haven’t moved on to a smaller waist size is I haven’t been able to afford it yet). Even though my natural waist was 31.5”, I went for the 26” size as I am fairly “squishy”. For reference I also have a naturally large hip spring and somewhat protuberant belly. The corset is a tad roomy around the ribcage, and I could have used maybe a little more hip spring but all in all a good match for my body shape.

    I broke it in over the course of 2 weeks as Lucy suggests. At first I was very concerned because wearing it for more than 1 hour caused my back to ache. It was uncomfortable to the point where I couldn’t stand to keep it on more than 2 hours. Just when I started to worry I had wasted my $150 on a corset it hurt to wear, it stopped! Quickly it became so comfortable I can easily wear it for 15 hours at a time, sleep in it, etc.

    I won’t describe the constuction details on mine except to say it is just as Lucy describes above. If you’re a gal with a round tummy like me, you will really appreciate a wide busk. It keeps the front nice and flat. When I finally get a custom corset, I’m going to request a wide busk for sure.

    Also, this corset takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. I can’t imagine how many hundreds of hours I’ve worn this thing over the past year, and yet it still looks beautiful, feels good on, and shows no signs of heavy wear. Grommets, seams, binding, busk, all are in good condition. Haven’t even replaced the ribbon lacing. The only thing worth mentioning is that it has stretched out about 1.5” at the waist. This doesn’t bother me unduly; as I understand it most corsets will stretch out some, and I took this into account when choosing what size to order.

    To conclude, this is an excellent choice for a waist training corset if you have the right body shape for it. I feel I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth from it. It has an attractive curvy shape, and impressive durability.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Bridget!

  2. Yeah, I ordered mine last Wednesday and it still says processing. Which is fine, but had I known beforehand that it would take a few weeks to get it shipped out prior to being in the mail system, I might not have spent the extra cash on 3-5 day shipping. I really don’t mind waiting overall for such a beautiful piece, but they should advertise that it takes a little while ship! Lol ;-P

    1. Hi Meredith (and anyone else who’s recently ordered from Isabella),

      Just wondering, did you ever receive your corset? I’m considering ordering a Josephine, but some of these comments have scared me. I don’t mind waiting a while, but if I’m going to spend almost $200 on an item I want to know for sure that it’s going to get here and that I can contact the seller if there’s a problem.

      1. Hi. I bought a Josephine a couple months ago. It did take two weeks to process but shipping was probably 2 days, since I live about 3 hours away (in a different state though). I did receive it though.

        1. I went ahead and ordered the Petite Josephine when it went on sale for $148. It took about 12 business days to get here. I didn’t even know it had shipped because I was never sent a tracking number, so it was just a really nice surprise when it came. It’s a lovely corset and I think it’s going to be an excellent fit for me. Just would have appreciated shipping confirmation and tracking because I’m a bit of a control

  3. No tracking number. … order usps priority a week ago and nothing came. Will never order from this company again. .sorry but I’m soo Pissed. !

    1. I’ve heard that they can take a week or two to ship out the corset. Unfortunately I can’t do anything about it; you should contact Isabella for any issues.

  4. Hi Lucy!
    With the new measurements for Josephine, does that mean this corset is more conical than the Morticia?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Artemis, I haven’t personally tried the new stock of the Josephine corset, but I am willing to say that the Morticia corset had a more conical ribcage when I tried it. :)

  5. Your reviews are so helpful for those of us who are new to the corset world, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!
    I have a question for you… I have heard rumors that Isabella recently changed the Josephine pattern somehow to make it less curvy, have you heard anything about that? I have an 11+ inch difference between my waist and hip measurements so it can be hard to find a RTW corset that fits. Orchard Corset’s CS-426 barely fits my hips if I order the correct size for my waist.
    Thanks again for being generally awesome :)

    1. Hi Stephenie, thanks for your comment. From speaking with several other people who own a more recent Josephine than I have, I understand that the ribcage has gotten smaller especially, but the hips continue to be 1-2 inches larger on the Josephine than it is compared to Orchard Corset’s CS-426.
      I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Orchard Corset will be coming out with a level 4 corset that has an additional 3 inches in the hips compared to the 426, but I’m not sure at all as to when it will be released – it may be a year.

  6. Hi Lucy,
    Thank you so much for all the reviews! I was wondering if you had to pay duty when it was delivered to you. I am currently living in Montreal just like you when when you got it :)

    1. Hi Hanny, this was over 3 years ago so unfortunately I can’t remember! But I do think I did have to pay some kind of tax on it. I find that I pay taxes on most corsets I buy from other countries.

  7. Huh. For some reason part of my response didn’t make it to the reply post. As far as OTR corsets go, Isabella seems to have some of the better prices for such extreme curves. Sorry about the glitch with my reply.

  8. Hi, I had a question about the Josephine corset. I am considering buying one from Isabella Corset ready to wear line. I was also considering buy the Victorian underbust. My biggest worry is my measurements. I want to buy the size 30. My underbust is 37. My waist varies from 35 to 37. My upper hip is between 39 and 40. The owner of Isabella told emailed me saying that the size 30 would work for me, but I know sometimes sales have a big part of recommendations from the seller. My main concern is the hips. Will my hips be big enough for the Josephine? I really want that one, but I would consider buying the Victorian instead if that will work better. I want this for waist training and I have watched your videos on both corsets. Since you actually own both, I would rather seek advice from you on this than the actual seller.

    1. Hi Rebecca, speaking from personal experience, I find that the Victorian underbust is more comfortable for training in as it’s shorter and allows for more mobility, and it’s also easier to sit in for long durations. If your torso is not longer than about 10-11 inches, I wouldn’t even consider the Josephine for you. However, if you are really in love with the silhouette, then a corset with slightly-too-big hips is not the end of the world, and it’s certainly more comfortable/ safer than a corset with too-small hips! There’s a chance that your body would fill out the hips as displaced flesh has to go somewhere. Or, you would be able to wear your jeans and other thicker trousers underneath the corset without it pinching or making your hips go numb (which is the risk of a corset too small in the hips). I hope this helps!

      1. That definitely helps. I have a pretty long torso, that is why I have had so much trouble deciding which corset to go with. As far as OTR corsets go, Isabella seems to have And yes, that helps quite a bit. Thank you.

      2. Oh, I almost forgot one last question. In your sizing guide i noticed that the underbust is like 10 inches larger than the waist. I am pretty squishy so would a 28 work for me in this one. My underbust would definitely fit if that would equal to a 38 in that area, and my hips would still fit with that size as well. Is 28 too big a difference for waist size of around 36?

        1. It’s sort of been determined that my Josephine corset was an anomaly. I have no idea how or why my corset is so extreme in its proportions, but Isabella has said that her Josephine corset usually has a rib-waist difference of about 7 inches and waist-hip difference of around 11 inches, so this is what I tell people.

          1. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I have a disabled child so big purchases have to be carefully though through. :-)

  9. Hi, can you please tell me what the measurements are for your size 20 Josephine corset closed? Around the top(underbust) of the corset and also around the hiplline. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Angelique, all of the measurements for the Josephine corset are already in the Corset Dimensions Directory (Lace Base). Cheers!

  10. Hi Lucy, just dropping by to thank you for your review of the Josephine as I have been actively looking for a more curvy underbust with a bit of space for my ribs – and finally took the plunge and bought the Josephine in 18″ on sale. I see there is some discussion on possible changes to the pattern – I am not sure about this, but fully closed the outside measurements of my corset (measured on myself) are underbust – 28.5″, waist – 19″, iliac crest/hip – 33″, which to me looks and seems still pretty curvy. For reference, my natural measurements are underbust – 27.5-28″, waist – 25″, hip – 32-33″ and I have obvious space at the top even fully closed, so the underbust measurement may be a bit inaccurate.

    1. Sorry, that should be 20″ external measurement fully closed.

      1. Thanks for your follow-up Soph! I’m sure many people will find your information very useful. :)

  11. Hi Lucy,
    I have very small hips compared to my waist and a fairly large ribcage. (28″ underbust, 25″ waist, 33″ hips) Do you think this corset might still work for me despite it being an extreme hourglass shape?

    1. Hi Peggy, if you check out Soph’s comment right after yours, it sounds like the Josephine corset may be the perfect fit for you. :) Cheers

    2. Hey Peggy – it depends on your amount of squish and where you measured your “hip” measurement as to whether it will work for you. My measurements are 27.5″ underbust/25″ waist/33″ around my iliac crest, my “full” hip is 35″. Fit wise, I find the Josephine gives space for the top of my ribcage even fully closed, which really surprised me as previously that has been where corsets were tight. It does put a little pressure on my lower ribs though when fully closed, but nothing like some of the other corsets I’ve had and tried – most seem to be 2″ too small in the ribcage for me, even by the sizing charts.

      If you find that your waist doesn’t like a lot of reduction you will probably find the corset too big for you, as you will not get any reduction of the hips or the underbust fully closed. I have the 18″ Josephine, although the internal measurement of mine is 19″ and the external measurement 20″ fully closed.

  12. Hi Lucy- I’m not sure if you’ll see this reply here, but do you remember how long it took for Isabella to ship out your corset? I ordered an Immediate Line Josephine and was curious about how long the order should stay in “processing”. I’m more used to ebay and other larger sellers who offer a quick turnaround in shipping, so I’m not sure what to expect with a smaller shop. Thank you! =)

    1. Hi Grimm, I’ve noticed that the turnaround time was pretty long for my Isabella corset. I think it took me several weeks to receive my order (usually it takes about 2 weeks to get items from the US, but I remember this taking a bit longer).

    2. Hello Grimm, I also bought the Immediate line Josephine this September and it was shipped almost a month later. But it is worth waiting! :)

  13. Thank you for taking so much time with your reviews! I was about to buy the Morticia and then I saw you mentioned this corset. Since this corset is significantly cheaper and I’ll only be a casual corset wearer, I’m glad that I saw your mention of this one!

    1. It’s my pleasure! I’m glad you found it useful! :)

      1. Curious as to what size you are wearing in the corset and your measurements

        1. Hi Lisaz, the Josephine I’m wearing in this review is the standard size 20″, I’m wearing it with a couple inches gap in the back so it was probably around 22″ or 22.5″ at the time of the filming. The top edge of this corset measures 31″ and the bottom edge of the corset measures around 35-36″ in circumference (not counting the curves going up and down; I tried to measure straight across). My own body measurements can be found on my “About me” page. Cheers!

  14. I absolutely love this corset shape, but after trying on a longline (orchard corset- had to be exchanged) I have found that I have a very short torso. Can you suggest a similar shape/price that isn’t a longline?

    1. Isabella has a few other options that are shorter. I was able to try on a Victorian underbust of hers not too long ago, and it’s made from an identical pattern, just made with the hips cut shorter. It sounds like something like that would be right up your alley. :)

  15. in June i saw the review you gave for this Josephine corset.
    i was really happy because i had saved up with my family to get this corset in the hopes it would help me lose weight and also help a family member of mine.
    i live in Toronto and i heard that you do too, reviewer, which made me feel safer that it would really arrive and i wouldn’t lost more money on something that will

    but i really regret buying this now because i have never received it since i ordered it in July. i ordered it off the rack so a week or so after i paid for both they were sent. they seemed to have shipped using my right address except they forgot to add what floor i live on. i asked them to ship it with USPS because my family got a $80 duty fee for an item in the past not bought from Isabella.

    well we waited and waited . it was priority with tracking…but it never got here. in the end it said address could not be found . without even shipping all the way to Ontario (it got as far as Vancouver’s border crossing i think) so it started to send back to the sender, only it never got there either. i asked Isabella’s customer service to open a claim on it but so far have not heard back from her in about a month. it has been 3 months since i ordered and though i did send many many emails to them about it …i was very panicky because my family have been scammed allot in the past and i didn’t want us to be scammed again
    it seems I’ll never receive the corset i ordered, or a refund as Isabella will only give one if the postal service returns it. i don’t know what to do, i used all the family’s money and my own with permission. now i feel like I’ve giving them another bad experience. one top of that my health problems are worse then before and even if i did save again,. how could i trust that the person i buy from will make sure i either get a corset i paid for or give a refund?

    to anyone buying any corset from Isabella, know that ven if you don’t receive it there is no refund, or any other way to get another corset sent to you to make up for it. your pretty much on your own, which is sad because you can grow customers by trying to think of them as important . even if you lose some money from it, it is always better to make sure that the person who buys your corset will have something in return for the money they gave you (in my case about $360). in some ways they helped, like giving combined shipping and allowing me to change to usps. but
    in the end i still ended up without money or the corsets. so be careful buying from them, or from anyone.

    this is probably my last time buying online. i only wish there were places you could buy good corsets in Toronto Canada. if there were i might still buy an Isabella, only i would buy it from a store in Toronto, but not from there website ever again :(

    1. Hi Mahogohney, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I was also living in an apartment building when I purchased my Josephine corset, but was living in Montreal instead of Toronto at the time. I listed my apartment number and it found me fine, although shipping did take a long time. But despite this, the parcel should have been able to cross the border and get to the city at least, instead of being stopped at the border. Canada Post takes care of parcels from USPS once it crosses the border and would have been smart enough to figure out where you lived. I agree that Isabella Corsetry should have opened an insurance claim for the value on the lost parcel. Did you try to call the customer service at USPS as well as Isabella? I believe that for a Priority parcel you would have been able to file a complaint up to a certain amount of time, although at 3 months past, there’s probably not much that can be done. :(

  16. Would this corset be suitable for everyday wear?

    1. Hi Emily, yes I have known people who wear this corset on a daily basis and it’s held up well so far. :)

  17. I can’t seem to access the site, so I was just wondering if you could tell me if you can get this corset in other colors, not just black. (Specifically red).

    1. Yes, it’s offered in red too! You have to order it from the “Made to Order” section though, as the immediate line only offers black, white and pinstripe at that price. If you want other colours etc, the cost of the corset is $250 plus any possible markup for the quality of fabric used (if you want just red satin it’s no markup, but if you want a fun print it may be $10, silk might be $20 etc).

      1. Thank you! You really helped me out in my book!

  18. Which corset do you think is better if you have tummy pouch. the Isabella Josephine or the WKD Morticia? and is the Morticia alot longer. it looks like the Josephine curves up at the bottom right where I might need coverage. or does it even make that much difference.

    1. I think the Josephine is better for lower pooch. The busk of the Josephine is very stiff and will keep your abdomen flat, whereas the busk on Morticia is flexible and tends to bow outwards which can actually accentuate pooch if you have any.

      1. Thank you, that will help, also wanted to know is the Morticia alot longer than the Josephine in the front. and I spelled pooch wrong in my first email, I should of proof read my email.

        1. They are both the same length in the front, 13 inches high. My version of Morticia is “pointier” on the top and bottom compared to the Josephine but I’m not sure how the newer Morticia styles compare as they changed the busks after I got mine.

  19. Heya :) wow, another gorgeous corset. which one would you recommend though? WKD morticia or this one?

    1. The two have subtle differences… The WKD Morticia has a profile that shows gentle reduction even in the front of the body, and it’s slightly longer through the torso. The waist is also a little more “angular” in the Morticia, its ribcage is smaller and the bones are external.
      In the Josephine corset, the front is very straight, it’s slightly shorter, the waist is smoother (more of an “extreme hourglass” than “wasp”), the ribcage is bigger (which I find more comfortable) and the bones are sandwiched so you may feel the outline of the bones more in Josephine than you do in Morticia. I have no problem recommending either one, but on a personal level I wear my Josephine far more often than my Morticia. I don’t know if I answered your question at all, lol.

      1. Indeed it did :) i prefer an hourglass shape to a wasp shape, will definitely look into getting a josephine at some stage, lol. i have quite a large rib cage, small waist and large hips. the reason i love corsets that have lacing in front (as well as the back) is that it makes it very versatile. i have a corset from Arwen Garmentry with front lacing instead of a busk. if you lace it up evenly up front and close it completely, it has a conical torso (more wasp shaped) and if you lace it up in a V it is hour-glass shaped. very versatile piece. plus the V-front looks great since it has a modesty placket up front :) here it is:

  20. I have this one and I love it, but weirdly mine did not come with a back protector. Not a huge deal, since I wear a liner, but still probably worth mentioning. The shape is to die for, it’s almost put me off other off the rack corsets completely!

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