What to Look for in the Perfect “Stealthing” Corset (Hiding corsets under clothing)


“Lucy, what’s the best corset that hides perfectly under clothing?”

Unfortunately, there is no corset in existence, past or present, that looks and feels completely like skin and flesh – however there are a few features to look for that can get you as close as possible. Keep in mind that all corsets are rigid though – at present, all corsets must contain strong fabric, bones for maintaining vertical tension, and laces in the back to adjust the measurements. But apart from that, the options are almost endless. Let’s look at what you should look for in a great stealthing corset. (Some links below support Lucy’s Corsetry so she can continue providing awesome info for free.)

COLOR:

Go for “nude” or skintone fabrics. Bright fabrics can draw attention under thin or light colored tops. Ivory, loomstate, peach, beige, tan, brown, etc – whatever you can find that is closest to your natural complexion.

(Some shameless self-promotion here) The skintone range by Timeless Trends is available in my shop – it suits 7 different skin tones: creme, vanilla, butterscotch, latte, caramel, cinnamon and chocolate. Most good OTR shops also have at least one “nude” option, which may range from peach to ivory to tan colored. Other examples include Orchard Corset, Isabella Corsetry, and Morgana Femme Couture.

Click here to see the full skintone collection in my shop ($74 – $99).

 

FABRIC CONTENT & WEAVE:

Satin is smooth and slippery and allows your clothing to glide overtop. But if you do go for satin, be sure that it’s fused to a stronger backing or roll-pinned – because unsupported satin has a tendency to wrinkle from stress, and these wrinkles can be noticeable. One example of a nude satin in OTR corsets is from Isabella Corsetry. You have the option of going with a peach, nude, or ballet pink cotton-backed satin (satin coutil) if you order custom from almost any reputable maker, which is the best of both worlds (strong, hardy, smooth and glides well under clothing).

For the purpose of training or daily wear corsets, when purchasing OTR / RTW, I usually recommend cotton twill or similar as an outer fabric – yes, it catches slightly more than slippery satin, but it generally doesn’t conduct static, it’s more durable and abrasion resistant, and it’s more breathable than synthetic polyester and better for the skin. Morgana Femme Couture uses nude cotton coutil, and Timeless Trends’ creme corset is 100% cotton as well.

Morgana Femme Couture Nude Coutil Waist Training / Tightlacing Corset ($230, Etsy)

BONING CHANNELS:

There are three different types of channels: external, sandwiched, and internal. I’d recommend either sandwiched or internal, as they create the smoothest finish on the outside of the corset.

Internal boning channels have the potential to be the most smooth on the outside but they are the least comfortable in my opinion (one rare exception is my Mimosa corset by Versatile, which has sandwiched bones on the inside and a floating fashion layer).
External channels are sewn to the outside of the corset, often in contrasting colors which is quite pretty – and truthfully, they have the potential to be the most comfortable with training corsets too, because you don’t have to deal with any bumps or pressure points with bones against your body – but external channels are not good for stealthing.
Sandwiched boning channels is what you see in many American OTR corsets like Orchard Corset (the double-boned styles only, like the 411 or 426) or Timeless Trends – they are a good compromise between smoothness, comfort and fashion, and they’re also often seen in training corsets.

Orchard Corset CS-411 in tan cotton ($69, use code CORSETLUCY for 10% off)

 

TOP AND BOTTOM EDGE:

Something that’s cut straight across is best, but gently rounded on top and bottom are pretty good too. Avoid points because they can bow and poke out under clothing, or they could dig into your sternum or pubic bone.

One example of a corset that’s cut fairly straight across the top and bottom edge is the CS-411 from Orchard Corset, the Classic Cincher from Isabella Corsetry, and the Mae and Gina corsets by What Katie Did (these can also be special ordered in a peach, ivory, cream, etc).

What Katie Did Mae Corset in cream raw silk (starts at $230 USD)

FRONT CLOSURE:

Good OTR training corsets are typically going to have a busk in front so you can quickly and easily get into and out of it, but it does cause a line of bumps down the front, especially if you’re wearing a fitted shirt.

Some training corsets come with the option of a closed front. You have to open the back laces a lot and slip the corset over your head (or slip it up from your feet, depending on whether your hips or your shoulders are larger) – so getting into and out of the corset isn’t going to be very quick. Busks are much quicker but more noticeable under clothing. One example of a closed front corset is the Meschantes trainer that I had reviewed a few years back.

If you are able to go custom with a maker that offers a good quality zipper in the front, but you will typically have to go custom for that.

Meschantes Nude Waist Training Corset with closed front ($119, Etsy)

 

BACK CLOSURE:

Unfortunately there’s no such thing as a corset with no laces! However, there are ways to hide your corset laces effectively – see the video below:

What are your requirements for the features in the perfect stealthing corset? What was the best stealthing corset you’ve ever tried? Leave a comment below!

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14 comments on “What to Look for in the Perfect “Stealthing” Corset (Hiding corsets under clothing)

  1. mya wang on said:

    Hi Lucy,
    I was wondering where your exchange forms are because I bought a corset to big only to find out that I’m actually a 28 but i bought a 32 by mistake. I can’t seem to find your exchange forms since the return policy says i have 45 days to exchange. I was hoping you could link me to the exchange forms. Thank you so much!

  2. Daniella Maria on said:

    Are there any corsets that won’t set off the metal detectors for going through an airport? I’m a flight attendant and the idea of getting a pat down before every flight because of my corset drives me crazy since we only have so much time to get to the aircraft before departure and putting on a corset in the bathroom at the plane or airport may not be easily done either. Since I spend more than 12 hours a trip on an airplane I would like to waist train while I work.

    • Hi Daniella, I’d recommend speaking with Manufaktur To.mto or perhaps Laurie Tavan or Redthreaded. From what I understand, these corsetieres are the best known for their work with synthetic whalebone (a stronger, more heat-resistant type of plastic boning) that won’t set off metal detectors.

  3. Kimberly Newman on said:

    Okay, it seems as if my original comment vanished! I have a question that is unrelated to stealthing. I have been corseting for about 7 months and have recently lost a good amount of weight and my shape has changed dramatically. My corsets still fit, and I am able to close several. My issue is that I have the \\ shape in the back, and the opposite, // in the front. I have absolutely no idea how to correct this issue, but it is at it’s worst on my Mystic City Peacock Brocade MCC-64. Is there any way to correct the wonkiness? I have over 30 corsets and have invested too much to just toss them, you know? Thankfully my Retrofolie customs are still perfect!

    • Hi Kimberly, there are a few reasons why your corset might be twisting. If your body is asymmetric (and you did mention that you have one hip higher than the other) this may sometimes cause it, as many different corsets twist on me due to my left hip – but you have other corsets that don’t twist, so my guess is the corset might have been cut slightly off grain. Unfortunately once a corset begins to twist there is not much you can do about it. I have tried to ‘re-season’ corsets to make them straighter, but while I have been able to improve the fit some, it was never perfect.

  4. Kimberly Newman on said:

    I should also mention that I was asymmetrical before I lost weight, with one hip higher and wider than the other. Now that I have lost weight and am working out again, that is all but gone. Which is why I am wondering if I should reseason.

  5. Kimber on said:

    Lucy, I have a question, but totally unrelated to stealthing. I have been corseting for a good 7 months, and have lost a lot of weight. I am able to close my corsets now, but they are skewed badly. The front boning leans to the right on the top, left on the bottom, and the back lacing leans to the left on top, right on the bottom. I have laced and re-laced, adjusted on my body and off, measured the panels until my eyes hurt and I cannot figure out what is wrong! It is like there is way more tension on one side on top, and the other on the bottom. Either way, I have over 30 corsets, some of them custom and not exactly cost effective to toss away. Ideas? Can this be corrected? Do I need to season them again? Help!!

    • Hi Kimber, if nearly all of your corsets are skewing or twisting on the body, you might have some anatomic asymmetry – it’s completely normal for everyone to have a bit of asymmetry, but some have more than others. If only one or a few corsets are twisting on you, then it might be the way the corset was cut or constructed (they might be slightly off grain). I discuss some reasons for a “leaning” corset in this article on corset gaps.

  6. Sarah on said:

    Hi Lucy! I’ve tried to find out if you’ve answered this before, so I apologize if I’ve missed it. I’m currently on day one of seasoning a brand new overbust corset. I’ve seasoned one underbust corset before several years ago, and it’s been so long that I’ve forgotten much of the seasoning process. I’ve found that on my brand new corset, the laces often get stuck in the grommets and it can be very difficult to cinch it into a parellel gap in the back (the bottom laces “stick” more than the top, if that makes sense). My question is, is it normal for the laces to be resistant at first? I know the corset will meld to my body as I season it, but I couldn’t remember anything about the laces. On my properly seasoned corset, they glide through the grommets and give me no trouble whatsoever. Both corsets use basic nylon shoestring laces, if that helps. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Sarah, it depends on the type of laces, and the type of grommets! If your overbust corset has lots of splits in the grommets, unfortunately it will make many / most corset laces prone to catching. If you don’t like the laces in your corset, you can always go to your local fabric store like JoAnn’s and buy a different type of lace / ribbon. 🙂 However, as a general observation, I have noticed that over time as I use a corset more and more, the laces do have a tendency to glide better through the grommets over time for whatever reason.

  7. I like the idea of a closed fronted corset, but then you are stuck with yards of ribbon! I can’t make up my mind whether it’s better to have a busk or yards of extra ribbon.

  8. Suzy on said:

    I didn’t expect that much information on stealthing thank you so so much you’re an absolute gem 💖💖💖

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