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How to measure your corsets with precision

Last updated on April 1st, 2021 at 12:26 am

For a detailed look at how I measure various corsets, see my in-depth tutorial below:

This is the third and final part to my OTR fitting mini series. In part 1 I taught you the various ways that an OTR corset company may share their fitting information (if at all), and the takeaway message from part 1 was to urge more OTR companies to display more than just the waist size – proportions are important too! Measurements of the ribcage, hips, and torso length all play a factor in proper fit, as well as the bust circumference if it’s an overbust corset.

While we’re at it, do compare your tape measure against a yardstick or carpenter’s tape, to ensure that it hasn’t stretched and has standard units of distance. (Photo from Pixabay)

In part 2 I showed you some case studies in determining if an OTR corset would at least approximately fit you. The point of this video is to show how to take your own body measurements and compare it with a sizing chart provided by your OTR company of interest – and really explain in detail why this exercise is so important. If you know for a fact that a corset is not going to fit your ribcage or hips properly for a given waist size, don’t waste your time and money! Move on and find a different brand that will fit you better. You will be more comfortable and your training will be better for it.

Here, in part 3, I will show you how exactly I measure my corsets. When I first receive a corset in the mail, I will take 5-8 measurements:

  • Circumference measurements: bust (if overbust), underbust, closed waist, high hip (iliac), and low hip (if longline).
  • Vertical measurements: center front, princess seam from underbust to lap, and sometimes side seam and/or center back.

I now log these measurements in the Corset Dimensions Directory, for everyone’s use. (NOTE: As of 2017, the dimensions directory has been replaced with the even more in-depth Corset Database!) You can compare these measurements with your own measurements and see which corsets may fit best on you!

If the corset gets a lot of use, I may measure it again in a year’s time and see if it has stretched out at all.

Once you get the hang of measuring your corsets, it becomes intuitive: circumferential measurements should be perpendicular to the busk and back edge of the corset, or parallel to the waist-tape. Vertical measurements are always parallel with the busk or the back edge of the corset.  You may choose to measure your corsets several times and take an average, since the location of an iliac crest circumference or true underbust circumference may not be entirely obvious in some corsets.

7 thoughts on “How to measure your corsets with precision

  1. I am so very confused on how to measure for a corset. I really like your site and am reading all i can. for now my under bust is 43, my waist is 40 and my hip is 44.

    1. Hi Christine, your measurements sound like you probably have them right, but I have another measuring tutorial and contact form on this page if you’d like some recommendations.

  2. Hello Lucy. Love your videos and your beautiful hair, face and figure. Plus you seem to be a totally cool person all around. Please help me. I believe I need to order a custom corset because of my measurements, 34 under bust, lower bust 32. Waist 28, can squish to 25, upper hip 36, lower 39. Length 11. I will pay for a consultation. Thank you for your time Lucy.
    ~ Shawnalee

    1. Hello Shawnalee, I’m so sorry that I only saw your comment now. Your measurements would fit the Gemini corset in this section, in size 24″. There are two different ribcage silhouettes (round rib if you do not want to compress your ribs, and conical rib if you want to train your ribs).

  3. Hi Lucy-I just wanted to thank you for your help with sizing my purchase from Timeless Trends. I appreciate your time and for responding so quickly. Have a great day!

    1. It’s my pleasure, Connie!

  4. Thanks for this post. I recently asked a question on an Orchard Corset review of yours; never mind now, I found my answer in your sizing table. The corset I bought doesn’t fit into your table, or the measurements given on their website. Bummer.

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