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3rd Day of Corset Seasoning – what to do during corseting?

Today, I’m answering some viewer questions before explaining how I feel after 6-ish hours of breaking in my corset:

Are you supposed to just sit still for two hours and not do anything while you’re breaking in your corset?

No, you don’t have to sit still. You can if you want to, or if you happen to be a pretty sedentary person to begin with. But however active you would like your lifestyle to be when you’re fully corseted, it’s a good idea to start practicing those activities while you’re seasoning your corset, especially if this is your first corset.

When I say “activity” I don’t mean heavy sports, but if you know that you will have to sit down and stand up frequently in your day-to-day life while corseted, then practice doing that while you’re seasoning. If you have to stoop down to pick things off the floor, if you have to do laundry, if you have to perform certain activities for work, then it’s a good idea to get used to those activities while seasoning. Remember that seasoning your corset is not only good for the corset, but it’s a way for you and your corset to become “acquainted” so your movements feel and look more natural while corseted. The corset will also get to “know” your movements, so if it knows that you often lean to one side or stoop and bend in a particular spot, the corset will eventually soften in that spot to accommodate your movements. Whatever I intend to do in my corset when fully laced, I will also do in the corset while seasoning it. The corset will still be receiving some tension as I go through my daily activities, but it will just be less tension compared to when it’s laced fully later on.

However I would advise caution when you’re trying to drive in your corset. When sitting in a car, especially with your corset laced loosely, it may become very easy for the corset to ride up uncomfortably on your ribs and push up your bust (if you have a bust). If you try driving in your corset and you find that you cannot safely and comfortably check your blind spot or perform other important functions, then I would recommend taking off your corset while driving, and then put your corset on again when you get to your destination.

Is there any corset that will last the rest of my life? How long will the very best corset last if I wear it every day?

This antique corset brags a lifespan of one year, which was considered a long time when used daily.
Corset courtesy of the Symington Museum Collections in Leicester, UK.

Some other viewers were slightly surprised when I mentioned that even the best of corsets should be replaced after awhile (if worn on a daily basis, it might have to be replaced every couple of years depending on its construction/quality and how rigorous your regimen is). But the truth of the matter is, you will never find a corset that will last you 50 years if you plan to wear it daily.

A good quality corset may last you perhaps 10,000 hours. If you only wear your corset for a few hours a week (say for weekend cocktail parties) then you may expect your corset to last 20+ years, but if you’re wearing a corset strictly 23/7, then those 10,000 hours may be used up quite quickly; after only about 14 months! Compare this with a cheaper corset that may only last you 1000 hours, or perhaps 6 weeks with rigorous use. What a more expensive corset may provide (in additional to longer wear, but not infinite wear):

  • better fit, allowing the corset to be more comfortable
  • safer training, because the corset is less likely to create pinching or hot spots
  • better quality materials, which often means better support, breathability, and might be more sturdy or more lightweight as you prefer
  • more effective training to POTENTIALLY help you reach your goals faster (please be safe about this, listen to common sense and DON’T rush your body to the point of pain)

Remember also that top quality doesn’t always reflect that a corset is going to last a long time. Some professional ballet dancers may go through their pointe shoes in a week or so (I had mentioned 3 months but perhaps that’s just for casual students).

How I feel in the corset today:

The corset is beginning to gently cup and contour around my ribs today, and somewhat hook underneath my ribcage to prevent it from uncomfortably riding up. Contrary to how it might sound, having a corset hook under the ribs actually makes it MORE comfortable, not less.

When I first donned this corset, I mostly felt the corset applying pressure to the oblique muscles, but today I feel more pressure or tension on my lumbar area – this is probably the next area of the corset that needs to be softened, so the back panels can properly fit the natural lordosis of my lower spine.

You can see the changes to the corset in my video for the 3rd day (starts at 4:18):

6 thoughts on “3rd Day of Corset Seasoning – what to do during corseting?

  1. I’ve not seasoned a corset in over 10yrs, just started on my newest and on day 3. 1 inch reduction. Where I’m more O shaped at the moment, the waist keeps keeps riding up into my ribs. Should I tighten it a bit more? It’s nice and loose around my underbust and hips, but because my waist is so O I don’t want to tighten it too much. Should I just try tightening to a 1.5inch reduction? I don’t want to damage it, since it’s a cheaper one (restyle) VS the ones I used to wear (corsetmaker). Thank you x

    1. Hi Faith, if you are comfortable with more reduction, then absolutely you’re allowed to reduce more – especially to avoid the dreaded “()” shaped lacing gap (which can damage the corset). A 2-inch reduction will not damage most corsets, especially corsets designed and advertised for tightlacing. (If it is damaged under such a low reduction, I would guess there’s a flaw in the construction.) Restyle has some corsets that are better quality than others – their WH and CU corsets can take more stress compared to some of their gentler silhouette corsets.

  2. Hi a friend of mine who corset trained said not to sit so much or it will push the boning out.Is that true or only with cheap corsets?

    1. Hi Victoria, if your corset has a weak busk or bones, then it will eventually bow or push out regardless of whether you sit in it when you’re seasoning it or after you’ve seasoned it. There are ways of strengthening the busk if you want, like adding a stiffened placket underneath the busk. If your work and lifestyle forces you to sit down the majority of the time, then it makes sense to find a corset that will accommodate to your lifestyle, rather than you changing yourself for the corset, if that makes sense.

  3. Hi, I love your site and your videos. I’m seasoning my first corset ever! I wanted to ask, what do you do with your corset at work? When I hang it up in my office, I’m afraid of messing up the contours. I don’t want to state it over a chair in case anyone walks in. Suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Hi Diana, I usually hide my corset under my clothing when I’m outside of the house. If you have a job where you’re sitting or standing (not rigorous hard work) it’s possible to wear the corset under your clothes as long as everything else meets the dress code. See my playlist on Dressing With Corsets for some ideas. :)

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