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Pirate Fashions “Buxom Bodice” Corset Review

"Buxom Bodice" by Pirate Fashions - price ranges from $139 to $159 USD.

This entry is a summary of the review video “Review: Buxom Bodice Underbust Corset (Pirate Fashions)”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:


Fit, length Center front is 13.5 inches long, princess seam is 11.5 inches (5 inches from the waist up, 6.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 12 inches and the center back is very high at 16.5 inches long.
Rib spring is 4″, lower hip spring is 9″ (but can be expanded to 14″ or more!). Ribs are very conical and brings in the floating ribs – this corset would fit someone with a long torso and pear shape best.
Material Two main layers (poly brocade fashion fabric, cotton twill lining).
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 2,3,4 and 5 all have a little bit of ease over the hip. Panel 2 is cut very long to create the shoulder straps, and panels 4, 5, and 6 are high to create the high back. Layers were flatlined and treated as one; panels were assembled with seam allowances facing inward and topstitched. Internal boning channels were laid down on the lining side and straddle the seams. Single boned on the seams (for sizes 20″ through 32″).
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape made from satin ribbon, exposed on the lining of the corset, secured down at each boning channel. It’s a partial-width waist tape, starting from panel 2 and extending to panel 5.
Binding Commercially-sourced black satin bias tape, machine stitched on both sides. Also includes 6 garter loops (garters sold separately).
Modesty panel 4 modesty panels in this corset (large one at the back, 8.5″ wide, will cover back lacing gap of at least 5 inches), front narrow modesty panel (3” wide), and two small panels to protect hips under the hip ties (widest part 4.5” wide). All of them are finished in the same black brocade fashion fabric and cotton twill lining. (See Final Thoughts for extra details.)
Busk No busk – the front is a lacing panel, 24 grommets. (see Final Thoughts for getting into and out of this corset!)
Boning 18 bones total in this corset, 9 on each side. Mostly single boned on the seams, and mostly flat steel bones (exception being the bones on the side seam that run over the hip). Sizes 34-40 are double boned (they have 24 bones).
Grommets There are 32, two-part size #0 grommets (16 on each side). They have a small/medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in silver. They’ve rolled nicely and they’re not pulling out, but I don’t tightlace in this corset (it’s a gentle reduction on me). A few grommets catch on the laces (the laces get “fuzzy” but they haven’t snapped).
Laces The laces are black round nylon cord. They have no spring or stretch, but they hold bows and knots well enough, and they are definitely long enough (almost too long!).
Price Available in the red, blue, green, brown, silver, and black brocade. All colorways are available in waist sizes 22″ through 38″, while the black brocade is also available in two extra sizes (20″ and 40″). The price is $139 USD for sizes 20-32 but the price goes up another $20 (up to $159 USD) for sizes 34-40, because these larger sizes are fully double boned.


Final Thoughts:

The Buxom Bodice somewhat qualifies as a waistcoat corset, as it has a high back and flexible shoulder straps.

"Buxom Bodice" by Pirate Fashions - price ranges from $139 to $159 USD.
“Buxom Bodice” by Pirate Fashions – price ranges from $139 to $159 USD.

I tend to see plenty of OTR corsets that feature halter straps, but not too many that include a high back and adjustable shoulder straps that can either go straight back or be criss-crossed for varying support. The high back prevents any back squidge (“muffin top”) whatsoever, and the straps pull the shoulders back to correct posture and prevent rounding of the shoulders. If this corset has the right measurements for you, it might even be an okay support garment if you’re looking to avoid postural kyphosis, at a fraction of the price of other corsets with shoulder straps. (Of course, if you have a medical condition and you need a therapeutic brace, please ask your doctor first!)

Because this corset is so long in the waist, I wouldn’t recommend this for someone who is short of stature/ short-waisted and spends the majority of their time sitting down, as the top edge will push up and lift your bust (hence “Buxom Bodice”) and the bottom edge may hit your lap. This corset best suits those with a longer torso – and because this corset is longer from the waist down than it is from the waist up, it would especially suit someone with a high waistline / deep pelvis. It’s very narrow through the ribs while the hips can be freely expanded, so it best suits straight or pear-shaped corseters.

While the chart above mentions that the hip ties can be expanded an additional 5 inches, in reality they can be expanded a bit more than that – however the little modesty panels under the hip lacing area will not stretch across the gap. I quite like the panels under the hip ties especially, as this is a fairly unique feature. (I’ve reviewed plenty of corsets with hip ties but this is the first that features cute panels underneath to protect the hips from the grommets/laces). But these panels can be tucked back or removed with a seam ripper if you dislike them.

The biggest issue I found with this corset is the time it takes to get the corset on and off, particularly because it doesn’t have a front busk (Pirate Fashions explained that they wanted to stay true to the Piratey aesthetic). How I put this corset on:

  1. I first loosen the laces in the back by about 8 inches.
  2. Then I undo the lacing knot at the bottom of the center front, and unthread the laces to about waist length.
  3. Once the front is loosened enough, I can step into the bodice and pull it up over my hips, and slip my arms through the arm holes.
  4. I quickly rethread the front of the corset (I might skip a few grommets for speed) and tighten just enough to test that everything is sitting properly on my body. I needed several try-ons to get the straps to a comfortable snugness. (This is so much easier with another person helping!)
  5. Once the straps are at the right length and the bodice is positioned properly, I’ll rethread the front properly (not skipping grommets), knot it off at the bottom, tighten up the front and pull it closed, and tuck the “bunny ears” up into the top edge of my corset.
  6. Then I lace up the back like a normal corset so it’s comfortably snug.

It’s definitely a process to get into and out of, and does take longer than a busk – but it does get easier after several wears!

Do you have this corset, or another corset from Pirate Fashions? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below! See the Buxom Bodice and other themed clothing on Pirate Fashions here.