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6 Different Types of Corset Front Closures

See the video above for an explanation of several different front closures for corsets – or read away below!


The Goddess Longline bra can be partially folded under to accommodate for an even lower back.
Hook and eye closures are usually found on bras and bustiers, not corsets. (This is the Goddess bra, click through for more information.)

You will pretty much never see this in a genuine, off the rack corset (or a couture one, for that matter). If you see a garment marketed as a waist training corset and it contains hooks and eyes, I personally wouldn’t trust it.

If you are making your own corsets, this form of closure is easy to source and fairly inexpensive. I’ve seen it done (recently) in a viewer’s homemade gentle reduction corset, but it was supported by steels on both sides, and still had a lacing system in the back – this allowed the wearer to fasten up the hooks and eyes with zero pressure on them until they were ALL fastened, and then they tightened the corset using the laces in the back. This can take a long time to fasten and unfasten!

One concern is that the little metal hooks can bend, warp and break if they have uneven pressure on them. If one breaks, you have a few others surrounding it that might be able to support it temporarily, but once the garment has uneven tension, more hooks will be at greater risk for also warping and breaking. The entire row of hooks and eyes would be inexpensive to replace as you can purchase them in a tape – but for me personally, I overwhelmingly prefer a busk.



Busks come in a multitude of colors, like these by Narrowed Visions (click through to the Etsy shop)
Busks come in a multitude of colors, like these by Narrowed Visions (click through to the Etsy shop).

This is like your bread and butter closure for corsets. Loops on one side, and knobs (aka pins, aka pegs) on the other side, each side supported by a bone. Busks can come in a multitude of lengths, widths and colors.  My friend Nikki (Narrowed Visions on Etsy) sells several lengths of heavy-duty busks in a rainbow of colors, as you see above!

The bones are strong and help support the abdomen, and the busk can fasten and unfasten in seconds once you get used to it. But when a knob breaks, you either have to replace it with a screw or a rivet, but more likely will need to replace the knob side of the busk with a new one.

I also have a video on how to completely remove an old broken busk and replace it with grommets to make it a front lacing corset.



Electra Designs made this cincher which is laced both in the back and in the front. They can be individually adjusted to your comfort.
Electra Designs made this cincher which is laced both in the back and in the front. They can be individually adjusted to your comfort.

In a previous Fast Foundation article, I discussed why wearing your corset backwards is usually not a good idea because of the way panels are individually drafted to contour over a different part of your back or abdomen.

But a corset that is deliberately front-lacing can be good for people with arm weakness, inflexible shoulders or just aren’t very coordinated when fiddling with laces behind their back.

A corset that has only a front lacing system and back closure will need to be loosened a lot and you’ll need to shimmy into it: either pull it down over your head, or step into it and pull it up from your feet.

I would personally not recommend a high-reduction corset that is closed in the back and laced in the front, as it personally caused some discomfort around my floating ribs after a while and I had to purchase a new waist training corset with back lacing.



Wearing my Contour Corset under my sweater tunic and toddler belt.
My Contour Corset (metal zip closure) is strong enough for a dramatic silhouette, but incredibly smooth under my clothing.

Some of my favorite corsets have zippers, like my Contour Corset. A front zip should have metal teeth, it should be made to military specification, and it should be flanked by steel bones. The stitching around the zipper should fail before the teeth do!

The right zipper can be just as strong as a busk, and can also be zipped up and unzipped in seconds once you’re accustomed to it. Another nice thing about zippers is that they can be more discreet under clothing compared to busks.

However, those bustiers sold in Halloween shops that have a nylon coiled zipper and no supportive stays supporting them, so the fabric wrinkles around the zipper from stress? Expect them to fail if you lace them too tight.

But even if you use the best quality zippers – like with any other garment, if you break the zipper or lose a tooth in the zip, just replace the whole thing.



black cashmere swinghooks long hourglass corset
Hourglass Cashmere Longline corset with Swing Hooks, available through my shop (click through).

Swing hooks are neat, and they’re very very decorative, but very high profile and will not hide well under clothing. I first saw swing hooks used by Lucy of Waisted Creations, many moons ago. She even made a tutorial on Foundations Revealed on how to insert them yourself! After that, it spread like wildfire and you saw corset supply shops selling the swing hooks, and different OTR companies started selling corsets with swing hooks.

If you plan to use swing hooks in your own corset, it’s best to put a swing hook at the waistline where there is the most tension. If you don’t, the fabric in the center front will gape, and even the bones in the center front might bow a bit if they’re not high quality.



Angela Stringer Corsetry mesh and floral longline overbust model Victoria Dagger
Closed front corsets allow for a beautiful unbroken line, but they’re less convenient. Corset: Angela Stringer. Model: Victoria Dagger. Photo: Chris Murray.

Closed front corsets have no opening, but rather are stitched completely closed. Similar to the front-laced corset, it will require you to shimmy into it! This takes some extra time, and if you have anxiety or claustrophobia I might not recommend this style – because it also takes time to get out of it. But this is the smoothest option under clothing if you want to “stealth” your corset under your clothes.

Which corset closure is your favorite? Do you know of any other closures not mentioned here? Leave me a comment below!

11 thoughts on “6 Different Types of Corset Front Closures

  1. Good Morning
    I do have a question . I’m looking to place a black corset over a white long sleeve shirt with a pencils skirt what would be the best kind , but I would like it to clip from the back , I’m unsure if you have seen the movie The Thomas Crown Affair with Rene Russo there is a part of the movie you will see her in a AMAZONING outfit and it has to do with a beautiful striped corset on . I hope you can help me with this
    Have a great day

  2. I am looking for swing hooks but am having a problem finding a retail supplier. Can you recommend any? I live in Johannesburg South Africa

    1. Hi Hazel, I would check out Vena Cava Design, they have swing hooks (and the other necessary parts) on this page.

  3. Hi, thank you so much for this article. I am living in Chile and although I brought a roll of spiral steel boning with me I haven’t managed to find busks or straight steel. I was wondering, is it possible to make the lace front or the zipper corset supported by spiral steel bones? Advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hello Julia! Unfortunately I don’t think that spiral steel bones will be rigid enough for the center front. It needs to be able to resist bending sideways. You can make a closed front corset, or some people have good experiences by using heavy cable ties in the front (with front lacing, busk, or zipper). Best wishes!

  4. I was wondering how much a zip replacement on a front zip corset would be please ?

    Itvis a very heavy heavy steel boned corset with military grade metal zip

    I can send photos by e-mail

    Thank you

    1. Hello Emma, I’m not taking alterations at this time, but you are welcome to look at the corset makers who specialize in corsets with zips here, and contact them to see if they will repair your corset. They will know exactly what goes into doing a proper repair for you, and you might find one that’s local to you (or at least in your country).

  5. I found a vintage top with the front laced. It wasn’t a boned corset and quite loose, but I want to find more like it and cant figure out the name of the style. It doesn’t look like anything thing here. Do you possibly kow the name?

    1. Hi Serena, it sounds like it might be a bustier. :)

  6. First, I want to say thank you for all your videos and reviews! They’ve helped me immensely with learning about starting my corset journey. I have my first corset from orchard corset, a cs-411(which fits just right) and would like to try one from timeless trends after seeing your review. I tried a cs-345 and found it to be a touch too long , especially the way it dipped in the front. Would I be able to wear a timeless trends corset? Are they comparable to the 345s?

    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks for your comment. :) The Timeless Trends hourglass corsets (standard length) is a touch shorter than the CS-345. The CS-345 is 12.5 inches in the center front, with an 11.5-inch busk. The TT corset is 11.5 inches in the center front, with a 10-inch busk. The TT corset is also about 0.5-1 inch shorter along the princess seam (depending on where exactly you take the measurement).

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