Your typical run-of-the-mill underbust corset does a good job of correcting lumbar posture (making you stand tall from your lower back), but some individuals still find that they slouch from the shoulders, which regular underbusts don’t directly fix. So, which corsets are best to correct your whole posture and help you sit tall?
Some overbust corsets extend high enough on the body that they can help correct posture in the thoracic vertebrae, but what if you don’t like conventional overbusts, or you just want some variety in your corset collection? The answer possibly lies in a high-backed corset with shoulder straps. There are many corsets that come with straps, but the type of straps matter greatly if you’re looking to correct hunched shoulders.
Avoid halter straps if you have a slouching problem.
If you have a habit of slouching, avoid halter straps on your corsets because if the straps are too short or tied too tightly, the material pulling on the back of your neck will exacerbate a forward-head position and possibly encourage your shoulders to follow, making your posture worse. What would work better is a waistcoat-style corset which has a high supportive back extending up between the shoulder blades, and individual shoulder straps that help pull the shoulders back and open up the chest.
Underbust Waistcoat Corsets
Miss Katie, a UK designer, has created this waistcoat underbust corset for £325 (or about $530). This standard-sized taffeta corset is laced nearly up to the neck, and the shoulder straps look to be made of ribbon and can be tied looser or tighter based on your preference.
Ties that Bynde is a Michigan-based corsetiere who just recently debuted this training corset. Custom-fit and made from spot broche coutil, this corset is strong enough to be worn daily. The shoulders straps attach to the corset using ribbon and grommets, which are slightly adjustable.
Royal Black is a highly celebrated corsetiere in Austria, known for her ornate designs which often include laser-cut leather filigree work, customized hardware and a juxtaposition of romance, fantasy and sci-fi. Royal Black’s plain black underbust corsets with straps start at $249 Euros, but I chose to show her “Beads and Buckles” couture option here, in a gorgeous soft peach brocade and trimmed with gold vegan leather. The hip panels are quilted in a hemispherical fashion and dotted with antique gold-finish rivets and beads, which bring out the antique brass-tone swing-hook front closure, shoulder buckles and draped chains below the bust.
Scoundrelle’s Keep of St. Paul, Minnesota specializes in Steampunk style corsets, and their Sabine underbust corset features neat a multi-adjustable shoulder harness. The entire harness attaches to the underbust corset using adjustable belt/buckles, and can be entirely detached from the corset if desired (so you can wear the corset as a simple underbust at times). The four belts in back adjust to the height of your shoulders, while the two straps in front can be tightened to coax the shoulders back, or loosened for your comfort. The laces in back can also be adjusted depending on the breadth of your shoulders. They also make an overbust version called Aubrey and both of these corsets come in your choice of colours.
Totally Waisted! Corsets is a Toronto-based business that creates a variety of couture corsets from traditional Victorian styles to modern corseted wedding gowns. Kate has experience in drafting posture-corrective garments and her corsets are capable of giving impressive waist reductions while looking relatively natural. This gorgeous made-to-measure corset features straps adjustable using ribbon laces, and it includes lace accents, painstakingly tidy contrast stitching and beautiful flossing.
Let’s take a moment to admire the colourful work of Daze of Laur. Laurie’s high-backed underbust corsets feature shoulder straps adjustable with ribbons and can be made with a neutral posture or can be incorporated into a more S-bend style corset. Although she is not currently accepting commissions, do check back periodically as her creations are not to be missed.
The “Buxom Bodice” by Pirate Fashions is the least expensive corset with shoulder straps on this list, starting at $139 USD. The 16.5-inch-high back provides plenty of support and the straps can either be criss-crossed or go straight back, depending on the amount of type of shoulder support you need. However, give yourself extra time to into and out of this corset, because the straps fasten in the back instead of the front, and the lack of front busk can make wriggling into this corset a bit tricky! It’s definitely easier to have a helper in this situation.
Overbust Waistcoat Corsets
The Bad Button Bespoke Corsets has designed a beautiful overbust waistcoat corset that doesn’t have lacing right up to the neck as in the previous mentioned designs, but this corset works by adding structure and support over the upper chest, back, and over the shoulders. The shoulder straps are not really adjustable (and so must be carefully fitted), but for women with heavy busts, the extra support in front can remove strain the shoulders by lifting and supporting the bust from below.
Black Cat Corsets, designed by Rose Sathler of Brazil, offers an impressive line of corporate and couture wear in 7 general permanent collections. This corset vest combines a plunge overbust with shoulder straps to create a beautiful feminine yet professional garment that can blend seamlessly in with business-wear. You can find this in their Royal line, for about $515 USD.
Puimond Progressive Corset Design shows off his incredible skills with this overbust corset with a high collar, plunging neckline, and comfortable shoulder straps. This is just the mockup fitting (unfortunately the final corset could not be found) but the mockup itself is pretty enough to be a final work in itself! In the back, the corset laces all the way up to the neck for full adjustability. Puimond asks that customers come for in-person fittings for best results with these special orders.
Riwaa Nerona from the Czech Republic makes some stunning corset styles, and her Clarissa overbust is no exception! This perfectly smooth damask overbust features lace trim at the bustline, black piping and accent ribbon, a high back, and adjustable shoulder straps. She says that this piece is particularly challenging and requires a minimum of two toile fittings.
Here is the Taifun corset made by Korsett Manufactur TO.mTO. A masculine corset that features a wider ribcage and narrower hips for that “V” silhouette, with laces going all the way up to the neck and shoulder straps cut in a “racerback” fashion.
The House of Canney has an awesome selection of waistcoat and vest-like corsets for both men and women. This Duelist’s Corset is made-to-measure and features a unique offset busk, collar that can be worn up or down, and Anthony’s trademark “keyhole” lacing design (which would be amazing for those who like a little ventilation in back!).
Izabela Pitcher of Prior Attire created this lovely Napoleonic waistcoat corset which laces up in the back and a front zip (not historically accurate, but a request from the client for ease of use). The soutache embellishment and buttons conceal the zip and add reinforcement.
Dark Garden Corsetry offers some incredibly beautiful custom designs, whether it’s a modified simple underbust to integrate shoulder straps, or whether it’s a waistcoat corset (seen above) for full coverage. They have styles for both men and women, to suit every taste, and can be made to be more posture-corrective or more lenient with posture.
Corsets with Criss-Cross Straps
Electra Designs is another favourite corsetiere who displays considerable ingenuity. Alexis explained that the custom-fit corset seen above was for a client with notable physical asymmetry. Masterful positioning of the piping masks scoliosis very well in a piece like this. She uses special flexible lacing bones that maintains a neutral posture and hugs the curve of the lower spine, while the criss-cross shoulder straps help to correct upper-spinal posture and is adjusted using buckles in the front. The same way that “reverse bunny ear” lacing can give more leverage while lacing down, so corsets with criss-cross straps have the leverage to gently squeeze the scapula together more easily, and straighten thoracic spine posture and open the chest.
Sharon McCoy Morgan, one of the corsetieres on Romantasy’s team, created this incredible “Golf Corset” for a client recently. Ann from Romantasy mentions that this corset was an original design by the client, a physician who had injured his back while playing golf: “Our client designed his corset with shoulder posture straps and a high upper back edge to provide maximum back support. He also requested the corset include two side-by-side extra steels at the mid back, bent into approximately a 15″ curve at the waistline.”
Archived: Corset Makers no longer in business:
It’s no secret that Contour Corsets is one of my favourite designers; Fran’s engineering is incredible. In this unique piece, you’re looking at the back of the corset (the laces are underneath the flap, so the back is smooth under clothing) and the wide shoulder straps criss-cross in the back to help pull the shoulders back and correct posture. The straps here are adjustable using grommets and little locks, although other Contour styles utilize simple buckles without locks. Even without shoulder straps, Fran can make a simple underbust corset more or less posture-corrective (using patterning and rigidity of bones/fabric) depending on the client’s preferences.
*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 physician. If you have posture issues or have any health concerns, please talk to your trusted healthcare practitioner before using a corset to correct your posture (or for any other reason). Tiddly links are Etsy affiliate links which help keep this gallery online and free for everyone.