Most corsets today have a single method of size / fitting adjustment – the laces in the back. Depending on your comfort and your personal tastes, you could theoretically wear a corset with a large gap, small gap, no gap at all in the back; or when a corset isn’t a perfect fit, one can sometimes make do with any combination of gap shapes. I prefer to wear corsets with a small (2-inches or less) gap in the back, and sometimes completely closed.
When it comes to most OTR corsets, it’s generally believed that either a particular shape / pattern works for your body type, or it doesn’t – and there’s little middle ground. But with the introduction of more corsets with hip ties, back expanders and other adjustable features, you can get a little more wiggle room and fit a few more body types into a single corset style. Below you’ll see some standard size and custom corsets that may allow you squeeze a little more use out of it!
Corset makers, if you have a corset style that has multiple adjustment points and would like your work featured here, please email me with a photo and brief description of your piece – Safe For Work photos preferred! Thank you!
Timeless Trends offers unique OTR overbust corsets in that they have three points of adjustment – you not only choose your waist size, but for each waist size, there are three different bust sizes available for purchase – so say you know you wear a size 28″ corset, closed waist. If your full bust is 34-35 inches, choose 28S. If your bust is 36-37 inches, choose size 28M. If your bust is 38 inches or more, choose size 28L for your corset. The third adjustment point comes from the expandable hip ties, which are included in every TT overbust (hip ties are also featured in all TT longline underbusts). You can find TT overbust corsets through my own online shop!
Back in 2013, I posted a tutorial to Youtube on how to add adjustable hip ties to your CS-426 corset. Orchard Corset noticed, and decided to incorporate hip ties into their new line! So for those who have a hip spring too dramatic for the regular 426 corsets but otherwise it fits alright, the the 426HT was made with you in mind. This is the least expensive option with hip ties in this gallery at only $85.
Mystic City Corsets circumvents multiple bust sizes and hip springs by offering some overbusts with four lacing systems, like in this MCC30 plunge overbust. The adjustable plunge bust allows for a few different cup sizes (as well as allowing the wearer to control how much cleavage they want by adjusting how close their bosom is pulled together); the two adjustable hip ties allow for a hip spring ranging from 12 to 16 inches, and of course the standard lacing system in the back allows the wearer to control how loose or tight the corset is at the waistline.
Other OTR corset brands also saw the appeal hip ties and started adding them to their regular repertoire of corsets. After the immense popularity of their Lara standard underbust corset, Glamorous Corset created a version with hip ties (the ties being along the side-front panel as opposed to the true side seam). The Lara with hip ties allows for hip springs between 10-15 inches, while still fitting snugly around a narrow-to-moderate ribcage. I loved the look and fit of it so much that I began carrying this style myself! Find the Lara velvet in my shop here.
The Buxom Bodice by Pirate Fashions is another corset with four different lacing systems – one in the back, one in the center front, and two hip ties (one on each side). In fact, it could be considered six lacing systems when you consider that the shoulder straps are adjustable with ribbons and can even be criss-crossed in the back! This technically makes the Buxom Bodice a type of waistcoat corset. You can creatively tie the front and back (for instance, parallel in the back and “V” shaped in the front with a stomacher underneath, to give yourself more room in the ribs/underbust area), and customize the fit around the shoulders and the hips. Whether you want a cinch in the waistline or just support, you can choose on any given day with a style like this. See my review.
The Foxglove underbust by Versatile Corsets is a beautiful longline corset with adjustable/ expandable hip ties, accommodating hip springs from 12 up to 18 or more! Their Candy Garden limited edition line (above) is particularly stunning! It features an expertly pattern-matched center front motif, along with ruffles and silk side panels, for $298. For those that prefer a more simple design, the original Foxglove is $328. See my Foxglove review.
Since these corsets are made to order, one would typically not think about the need for expandable hip ties or other adjustments, as it would already be made to your measurements – but rarely, some customers do request expanders or additional adjustable systems if they know that their weight or size will fluctuate quite a lot – and some corset makers have experimented with possible solutions.
In the 19th century, maternity or nursing corsets with multiple lacing systems were not out of the ordinary – the corsets were designed to expand to accommodate a growing fetus, and contract back down again after childbirth so that the mother would not have to purchase multiple corsets for each stage. Dark Garden revolutionized the maternity corset for one client who requires a chiropractic brace due to weak bones and ligaments. The corset is adjustable in the sides and back, and the underbust portion zips in the front and contours over a convex pregnant tummy. The overbust portion is separate and opens with a short busk, for nursing access. Read more about this corset here, and learn more about Dark Garden from their website.
In 2020, Lowana of Vanyanis (Australia / New Zealand) used her pregnancy as an opportunity to create and test out maternity corsets. She started with the idea of a Victorian maternity corset, but as the project progressed, it became a “modern hybrid” to support (not restrict) her growing belly in exactly the way she needed. It has three lacing systems (one in back, and two on the sides), elastic panels on the side-front (spot coutil at the front and back), a higher-cut front at the bust for more coverage, and a flexible front zipper supported with German synthetic whalebone.
This remarkable corset by Crikey Aphrodite has multiple laced openings specially made for an ileostomate client – one side of the corset has mock contrast gussets, and the other side has overlapping panels to protect the bag and allowed the panel to open right up for access. Inside the corset, the panels against the bag had removable, washable panels for cleanup when there is leakage. Corsetiere Alison says, “[the client] had a huge confidence boost from the corset as it meant the bag wasn’t visible at all, which was a huge thing for her… As numbers of young women undergoing this procedure has massively increased (especially here in Scotland for some reason) being able to do this was incredibly rewarding.” Learn more about Crikey Aphrodite from her website, and read more about iliostomy-friendly corsets here.
Izabela Pitcher of Prior Attire has created this awesome reproduction of an 1884 C.W. Higby patent, a midbust Victorian corset with three lacing systems – one in the back, as usual, and another two diagonal seams on each side. Looking closely at the corset pattern, the panels are also all diagonal, and even curly and swirly! The side ties can be let out to fit different body types, or to accommodate for more rigorous activity – and one can see that the aesthetic value of it translates well into Steampunk. You can read about how Izabela created this corset step-by-step here in her blog (with plenty of photos!).
PureOne Corset works, based in Japan, is highly skilled in making an assortment of interesting corsets, including mesh, fan-laced, and also expandable / reducible corsets such as the one seen above. It features a 5cm-wide stiffened back modesty panel, fully suspended and incorporated into the corset so that there are two separate lacing systems in the back – each lacing system can be finely tweaked to your comfort (like the antique corset shown at the top). When the wearer is ready to size down, provided the ribcage and hip curve can be accommodated, the center back panel can be removed and the corset can be re-laced like a conventional corset with a single back lacing system, thereby providing two corsets for the value of one, designer Yoneyama Junichi says.
Sparklewren was inspired by one old interesting photo where one of her corsets was reflected out of two mirrors of slightly different angles, creating the illusion of “seeing double” and in particular the corset appeared to contain a double busk. Jenni explains that the diagonal-seamed, Edwardian-inspired overbust has no definitive side seam, which means that either the front or the back of the corset could technically be extended without the angle at the sides becoming misaligned with the hips of the body – so discomfort or awkward fit should not be an issue. This busk insert increases the size of the corset by a full inch, and could be removed by the wearer if they happen to train down or lose weight.
What Katie Did recently discontinued their Tempest overbust in their classic overbust line. I owned two Tempest corsets at one point, and loved how the hips could be expanded to comfort, and the bust lacing could be loosened or tightened depending on how much you were comfortable showing. WKD also offered their Sophia and Laurie overbust corsets in large and small bust options, and a few “Extreme” options that nipped in the waist an additional 2 inches. They have since streamlined and simplified their corset selection, so you will unfortunately not find multiple lacing systems on their site now. See my review.
Please note that I have not tried every corset in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every brand featured in these Guided Galleries. This is for informational use only. Please contact the individual corsetieres for more specific information about their adjustable corsets. Affiliate links help this page stay online and keep the galleries free for everyone to use.