Asymmetric Corsets for Scoliosis

Last updated on May 14th, 2021 at 01:12 pm

Realistically speaking, no human being is perfectly symmetrical. We all have some variance in our frame or how we distribute our tissues, and more often than not, one side of our bodies is stronger (and has more muscle tone) than the other side. This all has an effect on how we are able to cinch down and which corset silhouette fits our bodies best. However, our bodies can be incredibly accommodating and most of us can get away with symmetric corsets.

However, those who have scoliosis or other congenital skeletal conditions, and those who have suffered injuries (for instance, a broken bone from childhood that results in an uneven pelvis or protruding rib) may have such asymmetry that wearing an OTR corset may lean, twist or slant on the body. More worryingly, a symmetric corset can be painful to the wearer, or may cause other issues from not fitting correctly.

The right kind of asymmetric corset can work with the client’s body to make it look more symmetric, and will feel more comfortable. A well-fitted asymmetric corset may relieve back pain from scoliosis or previous injury, or possibly even partially correct asymmetry over time. As always, I recommend you talk to your doctor if you plan to use a corset for any reason, including medical / support purposes. Here are the few corsetieres I know who have created corsets for asymmetric clients in the past:

Kitty Lace Embrace Corset
Kitty in her custom peach underbust Corset from Lace Embrace Atelier

Melanie Talkington is the genius and skill behind Lace Embrace Atelier in BC, Canada. She works alongside medical physicians to create beautiful fusions between therapeutic braces and aesthetic corsets – like this asymmetric peach brocade underbust for Kitty, designed to support and conceal her scoliosis, as well as preventing ptosis of her liver (due to Kitty’s connective tissue disorder) and a hidden tearaway panel that gives access to her ostomy bag. You can read more about Kitty on her blog, as well as read my interview with Kitty here.


Comparison of a symmetric pattern and asymmetric pattern on the same wearer with scoliosis

The Boudoir Key is a corsetiere in Ukraine specializing in historical reproduction. Her Instagram page is full of incredibly informative posts on how subtle patterning differences can completely change the fit and silhouette. She has scoliosis and she has a system of mockup fittings to perfectly fit the corset to her body, and she also discusses the visual and comfort differences (as well as historical accuracy) of padding out areas vs making an asymmetric pattern. See her Etsy shop here.


Bespoke asymmetric overbust by Bone & Busk couture (Katharina Mior)

Katharina Mior of Bone & Busk Couture (previously Totally Waisted! Corsets) is experienced in creating asymmetric corsets for clients with scoliosis or other structural variances. She takes separate measurements for each quadrant of the client, and requires an in-person mockup fitting to ensure everything fits properly and feels comfortable. She then artfully uses strategically-placed external boning channels to hide the asymmetry and create a beautifully smooth corset. In my book Solaced, she shares one such commission and walks us through her process.


Electra Designs asymmetric high-backed underbust with posture-correcting shoulder straps

Electra Designs also has much experience creating asymmetric corsets, and she expertly hides the asymmetry in the corset shown above via artistic placement of the decorative black piping. Alexis also uses unique lacing bones in the back of all her corsets, which ensure that the 2-part eyelets never rip out. The lacing bones are not fusion-coated so they flex and hug the natural lumbar curve and don’t force an unnatural or unhealthy posture, and the steels don’t dig into the tailbone or top of the bum, as well as they flex over sensitive parts of the back (where the spine may veer under the steels in some areas). Lastly, this corset has shoulder straps for correcting hunched shoulders.


Asymmetric overbust corset by Vanyanis. Model: Erika
Asymmetric overbust corset by Vanyanis. Model: Erika

This sleek black sweetheart overbust was made by Lowana of Vanyanis for her model, friend. and client Erika. Erika has visible asymmetry due to scoliosis, but this black satin coutil overbust was carefully drafted to accommodate the unique curves on each side of the body, to ensure that the center front and the back laces lay perfectly vertical without twisting or torquing. The final result is a comfortable piece for Erika which also looks balanced and symmetric.


Morua Designs bridal overbust, starts at £425
Morua Designs bridal overbust, starts at £425

Morua Designs has made asymmetric corsets in the past, like this beautiful bridal ensemble. The bride had one breast larger than the other, but through clever pattern drafting the asymmetry was expertly concealed, made even more impressive that the use of a very symmetric lace motif in the front did not draw attention to any asymmetry in the body. Gerry also travels from the US to the UK, so if you have asymmetry issues, it would be best to contact her for the possibility of an in-person fitting. Overbust corsets start at £425.


Asymmetric Underbust with eyelash lace by Valkyrie Corsets
Asymmetric Underbust with eyelash lace by Valkyrie Corsets

Valkyrie Corsets of Sussex England has recently created this special asymmetric underbust to accommodate KathTea Katastrophy and the curves her scoliosis creates. This particular piece is a lovely soft nude, edged with black eyelash lace which helps to visually keep the hips balanced. Her regular underbust corsets start at just £180 or about $280 USD.

Delicate Facade Corsetry is also said to make asymmetric corsets; one client mentions that the owner of DFC herself has scoliosis and she has over 13 years experience in drafting corsets.

~ Honorable Mentions ~

Sparklewren asymmetric corset modelled by KathTea
Sparklewren asymmetric corset modelled by KathTea

Sparklewren has also experimented with asymmetric corsets, such as this custom underbust made for petite alternative model KathTea Katastrophy. In addition to each half  having different measurements, the deliberate diagonal embellishment draws the eye away from physical asymmetry. KathTea is very public about their scoliosis and subsequent physical asymmetry. You can read more about their adventures in tightlacing with scoliosis here. Sparklewren is unfortunately no longer taking commissions, but sporadically releases new small collections which you can view on Instagram here.


Scoliosis patient modelling Jill Hoverman’s S-Curve Edwardian overbust corset. Photo ©, 2014.

Jill Hoverman, the youngest member of Romantasy’s corsetiere team, has created this lovely (and reportedly very comfortable) asymmetric overbust for a recent Romantasy client with a 45-degree spinal curve. Note how the busk curves on this client with the sample corset on the left, but the corset sits straight with her custom on the right. Jill’s Edwardian overbust corsets start at $500 in the Custom Elegant Line. In June 2020, Ann Grogan (the owner of Foundations Revealed) retired after 30 years in the corset industry, and Romantasy met a graceful conclusion.

[no photo]

Although I haven’t personally seen a photo of this particular corset, Harman Hay (the owner of Foundations Revealed) has also created an asymmetric corset for a client in the past; she describes that she started with a symmetric toile and adjusted each side separately during the fitting. Some lines were curved off the body where they would normally be straight when worn, and the final piece was said to be beautiful and perfectly fitted. Cathy Hay no longer takes personal commissions as she is focused on personal projects and growing Foundations Revealed.


*Please note that I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company in these guided galleries. This is for informational purposes only, and not meant to replace the advice of a medical practitioner. If you have scoliosis or other health concerns that cause your asymmetry, please talk to your doctor, orthopedic technician or chiropractor before using a corset to correct your posture (or for any other reason). Affiliate links help keep these galleries online and free to use by everyone.

40 thoughts on “Asymmetric Corsets for Scoliosis

  1. Hi,

    I see a lot of intriguing questions about scoliosis in your article, but I’m wondering if a corset could help with lordosis? I am very sway backed from years of contortion and gymnastics when I was young and my back was forming. So now it’s 62. There’s degeneration in my lower back which is causing my torso to compress my lower spine when I’m standing. I think that if I had help holding my posture more upright, I’m a have less pain and possibly it could slow down the degeneration in my back. Do people wear corsets for this reason? If so, would it be legitimate to try and OTC to initially begin this and see what it does or should I immediately try one that is built for me.

    Thank you so much for your time,

    1. Hi Wendy, my apologies for the late response – yes, I can recall some clients who wear corsets to support their lower back and (sometimes) reduce the progression of swayback. Depending on the severity of lordosis, you may find that OTR corsets will lace on you with a “)(” shaped gap in the back – this is totally normal in your situation because the hollow of your lower back is allowing the corset to collapse inward a bit. You may find it more helpful to curve the steels of a brand-new corset so that it hugs a bit more closely to your curve (not enough to be an exact match, because you don’t want to place too much pressure on your lower back or encourage more lordosis, but just enough for it to be more comfortable). I have instructions on how to do this here:
      Corset Back TOO Straight? Curving Steel Bones for a Healthy, Neutral Posture

  2. […] are corset makers who are able to create stabilizing or corrective asymmetric textile braces for scoliosis patients, but be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons for yourself and discuss with your trusted […]

  3. I have scoliosis and practice tight lacing with a symmetric corset. My waist is getting more assymetric because one side of it puts less resistence then the other. I was figuring if using a contrary assymetric corset would fix this. I’m not trying to fix the curvature of my spine, I know it does’nt work like that, I would just like the corset to put more pressure in the more resistent side of my waist. Does anyone know about someone who did this?

    1. Hi Julia, it’s common in folks with scoliosis to have very tight muscles on one side of their body – very likely the muscles are not complying with the corset because they’re more toned than the other side. Have you spoken with a chiropractor or osteopath about an exercise program specifically designed to tone up the weaker side of the body, in conjunction with stretching and relaxation exercises for the tight and overtoned side? I’m not a doctor but I would rather start with activities that can mitigate your muscle asymmetry as opposed to going the drastic route of making a contrary asymmetric corset (which may possibly end up hurting more than it helps).

    2. I had polio at age 8 and have used a wheelchair for 70 years. I have a scoliosis curving to the right. I was fitted with a HOKE corset t the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute in the 1950s. This corset consisted of heavy duck cloth with straps and buckles with stays sewn in around spine and both sides in front for support. These back braces were very comfortable and served me well until 1994 when the corset makers retired. Since then, I have been unable to find anyone who can duplicate my corset. I have gotten some beautiful seamstress work but never a fitted corset. I have given up

      1. Hello Lois, there are many specialist corset makers who may be able to faithfully recreate your old brace. Melanie of Lace Embrace Atelier has worked with Polio patients in the past and knows what to expect. Dark Garden San Francisco is also an excellent choice. Both makers are able to mail a mockup corset to you, see the fit during a video call with you and make necessary adjustments (if you have someone – friend or family – to help you fit their toile). Alternatively, you are welcome to look at my Corsetiere Map to see if there is any specialist within driving distance who may be able to fit you in person.

  4. Hi I have scoliosis and a pelvic tilt (one hip is higher then the other so i look curvy on one side and straight on the other,) i’ve been looking to find something that can hold my back up in a good posture and something to correct my waists curves. Do you think getting a custom corset could help with minimizing pain or work as a type of brace? i’m very small also, so what would be the smallest size you can do?

    1. Hi Delila, I carry some corsets as small as 16 inches in my shop (best fits someone with a natural waist of 19-20 inches) however the corsets in my shop are ready made, not custom. if you’re looking for something completely bespoke, I would recommend clicking through the pictures in this gallery and contacting the specialist corsetieres for something that fits your unique curves.

  5. Hey I cam across your page whilst looking into braces and supports for slipping ribs. I have very flixible ribs due to a connective tissue condition and am missing two ribs (removed for use in bone graft in my cervical surgery) and was wondering if using a corset (asymmetrical or otherwise) would aid in minimising rib movement as well as lower back pain? Many thanks x

    1. Hi Ylena, yes a corset can help stabilize your torso and ribs, and prevent subluxation. If you’d like a specialist corsetiere who knows how to make a corset for your connective tissue disorder, check out the corsetiere map and choose the closest person to you who is marked in yellow – this means that the corset maker has experience making medical / therapeutic corsets.

  6. Starkers! Also does asymmetrical corsets, and Dianna has a wonderful post on her site regarding her own use of corsetry for scoliosis and back pain. Just thought you’d like to know!

  7. My corset hurts the right side of my back right at the waist and beside the spine, though I do have scoliosis. The corset fits really well everywhere else and there are no asymmetries to be seen. It is possible to correct scoliosis with a corset? Would the pain eventually go away? I’ve heard of people doing this.

    1. Hi Madelaine, there are some reports of people with scoliosis (partially) correcting their curve by using corsets – here is one example! There are other true stories in my book Solaced of people gaining an inch in height after correcting their spinal curves. However, it’s unfortunately not a “one size fits all” situation, because that person’s curve was quite severe to start with, and it took a long time and some trial and error. But what I normally say is that pain is not normal, and if you’re experiencing some pain, I would loosen the corset or take it off until the discomfort resolves. It is really not a race, especially with something so important as your spine. And if you have any doubts or concerns, always talk to your doc, osteopath, or a chiropractor about it.

  8. I have a bad back for scoliosis (S shape, on 50 -60 degrees) because of of my arch in my lower back a lot but mostly in the upper area of my back area.
    I was referred to by a friend that knows Of corset and a sister that also has scoliosis. I have worn back braces from my highschool years but out grew them and it was hard to pay for($3k). What do you recommend?

    1. Hi Jordan, thanks for your comment – most corsets are much less than $3000 and some can even be covered if you have insurance. Each of the corsetieres on this page work independently of one another, so unfortunately some footwork is involved in contacting each of them and asking if they would be willing to work with you. I know that Totally Waisted (now rebranded and called Bone & Busk, I should change that in the article) she is quite experienced in making supportive corsets for clients with scoliosis, and same with Lace Embrace and L’Atelier de LaFleur (although the last one has been more keen on luxury corsets as opposed to supportive wear). Romantasy is also a great source of information as the owner has been in the corset business in some capacity or another for around 30 years.

  9. In my case my right leg is one cm longer than then the other, causing my corset to dig in painfully at my right side above my hip bone. In addition, my right side is much softer than the left side of my waist, which again, causes painful pressure at my right side. I ordered a custom corset from Corsets and More, and Doris told me she’d take all this information in consideraction. I’m curious at the result.

    1. Hi Linda, I’ve been a fan of Doris’s corsets for many years; please do share your results with us if you feel inclined. :)

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