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The Corset Gap: What does it mean?

Last updated on September 17th, 2021 at 04:59 pm

This entry is a summary of the review video “Shape of your Corset Gap – What does it mean?” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 Shape/ meaning

Brands to avoid for your body type

Brands to consider for your body type

A shape

The A Shape
The A shape

This means that the bottom edge of the corset is too narrow for your hips. This type of gap is common for women who are naturally a pear shape. Do NOT try to force the hips smaller because then you may get an odd bump at the lower edge of the corset, and it can also make your hips go numb.

Avoid any corsets that say “modern slim” silhouette or “gentle curves.” This may include any of the “Level 1” corsets from Orchard Corset, or the underbust corsets from Corsets-UK. For those who have a larger hip spring, look for corsets for vintage figures: The Gemini corset or the “Josephine” by Isabella Corsetry are good choices. They have a hip spring of more than 12-14 inches.

V shape

The V shape
The V shape

This means that the top edge of the corset is too narrow for your ribcage. Your ribcage or shoulders might be on the broad side. While it is possible to train down your ribs, it’s unlikely that you can train it right from the very top edge.  This often occurs in swimmers, those with a barrel chest, or those with a masculine physique.

Corsets that have a relatively narrow ribcage, which include some WKD underbusts. For standard corsets with a larger ribcage, try the Libra corset, or the Dita corset from Glamorous Corset, as well as some corsets labelled “Masculine” from Mystic City Corsets (although you don’t have to be male to wear them).

() shape

The () shape
The () shape

This is when you have gaping at the waist – the bones in the back are either too flexible, or the waist is too small than you’re ready for. This CAN ruin the corset because it’s forcing the bones to twist in their channels. It can even make the bones kink outward or inward into your back, which is quite uncomfortable.

Avoid corset patterns that are curvier than you are ready for. If you have a very “unyielding” figure, you may have to train down before buying extremely curvy corsets like WKD or Isabella.  I’d recommend you start with a larger corset size, or go for a corset that makes more gentle/ natural hourglass or slim silhouette corset.

)( shape

The )( shape
The )( shape

This is when your body is more of an hourglass shape than the corset itself! The corset doesn’t have enough curve in it. BEWARE of this common trick on websites! They will use models who are naturally quite curvy and this will make their corsets curvier. A corset that is modeled with a gap like this in the back will likely look more tubular when it’s laced straight.

Avoid any corsets that say “modern slim” silhouette or “gentle curves.” This may include any of the “Level 1” corsets from Orchard Corset, the underbust corsets from Corsets-UK. Try What Katie Did Vamp corset, the Curvy Girl corset from Azrael’s Accomplice, or several options available from Isabella Corsetry.


Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 2.33.47 AM
The // shape

A diagonal but fairly parallel gap means that the corset fits your ribcage, waist and hips reasonably well but it is twisting on the body. There are several reasons why this may be happening: 1. If the corset is made with twill and all of the panels have the twill running in the same direction. Twill, while strong, has an asymmetric weave so stretches more on one bias than another. To test if your corset has stretched differently on either side, measure the ½ circumference on each side of your corset at ribcage, waist and hips. See if both sides are equal. 2. It may just have been how you put the corset on that day! Always lace in front of a mirror to avoid tying it skewed. If you notice your corset is twisted, take it off immediately and put it on again straight. It is possible for a corset to season into a permanent twisted shape! 3. It may not be the corset, but rather your body that is asymmetric. If you have any of the following then this can make a symmetric corset look asymmetric:

  • scoliosis
  • a previously broken rib
  • one leg longer than the other
  • some other skeletal or muscular asymmetry
In the first situation, I recommend not buying corsets made with twill – or if they are made with twill, make sure the corsetiere is experienced enough to sew it perfectly on grain, and to flip every other panel so that the bias of all panels don’t run in the same direction.Also, as bad as it sounds, avoid “risky investments.” Ensure that your corsetiere is scrutinous about making each half of the corset the same way, and to specification (whether symmetric or asymmetric). In the last situation (physical asymmetry), I strongly suggest finding an experienced corsetiere who can fit you with an asymmetric corset, which will then end up looking symmetric on you!


This is the coveted vertical parallel gap! Some people prefer to have no space in the back, while others like about 2 inches of space so the back edges don’t touch the spine. Either way, your corset fits you well. Congratulations!

 Make sure that your corset is not too big for you; when the corset is closed there shouldn’t be any significant gaping between your ribcage and the top edge of the corset, or your hips and the bottom edge of your corset.  You’re very lucky, my friend! If  You’ve found an off-the-rack corset that fits you nearly as well as a custom corset. If it makes you look good and feel good, then take it and run!

Final Thoughts: Many people have no problem with the shape of their corset gap (after all, the wearer doesn’t have to see it!). If this is you, then continue rocking your corset just the way you like it. However if you, like me, are a little more conscientious about achieving the vertical parallel lines of a well-fit corset, I hope these suggestions can help you choose a better off-the-rack corset for next time – and if all else fails, go custom! If you enjoyed this article, or even if you need clarification, you may also like my “Addendum to Corset Gaps: Troubleshooting More Fitting Issues

33 thoughts on “The Corset Gap: What does it mean?

  1. I’ve gotten two corsets from your brand on amazon and have returned them both because both didn’t fit in a way that was comfortable. The first one was too short for my body and pushed my guts down and made it look like I have a huge gut, then I got a long torso one and the side pieces at the bottom were too wide and stuck out making my pants look funny. Is there anyway I can talk to someone to know which corset will be best for me so I can buy it and be done with it? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kristina, I don’t have a brand on Amazon. Can you please link me to the corsets you had purchased from Amazon? I would hate if anyone were pretending to be me on that platform and scamming customers. You are welcome to view the measuring tutorial and send me your measurements on this page, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with my personal recommendations.

  2. I bought a corset from orchard corset and they fit me so that once completely closed the rib and hip measurements will fit my actual rib and hip measurements (makes sense) and I will get a 5” reduction in my waist. But until I am able to reduce down 5” which will be a while, in order to keep my laces parallel, won’t I have a space in the ribs and hips? This makes it difficult to hide under clothing. Since it doesn’t look great under clothes I’m anxious to close it faster so that it lays smoothly but I dont want to damage the corset or myself. I want to make sure my size is correct. Thank you for your advice!!

    1. Hi Kellie, in the beginning when there is a wider gap in the back of the corset and it’s only being laced lightly, it’s normal for the top and bottom edges of the corset to flare away from your body slightly. Properly fitting corsets are drafted to cinch in primarily the waist, while gently cupping and supporting the ribs and hips instead of cutting in or pinching at the top and bottom. Once your body gets used to the compression and you’re able to lace it tighter in the back, you should notice that the top and bottom edges of the corset come in to meet your ribs and hips and that flaring will dissipate. If you are able to lace it down by 2-3 inches in the beginning, it will already help with the flaring – and wearing it for a few hours around your home in the evenings for the first week or two will help to soften the corset and get you accustomed to wearing the corset (this is the break-in process), so you’re able to comfortably wear it tighter. If you think your current corset is way too much waist reduction to start with, it can probably be exchanged for a less curvy style, and then you can “graduate” to the curvier corset once you’ve closed the less curvy version comfortably.

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