What’s an Appropriate Waist Reduction For Me?

Many corset sites recommend choosing a corset 4-6 inches below your natural waist measurement, but sometimes it’s not quite that easy!

The right waist reduction for you depends on several factors, including how compressible you are, what you’ll be using the corset for, and whether you like to wear corsets laced closed or with a gap.

The calculator below is NOT perfect, but is meant to be a starting point can help guide you towards an appropriate waist reduction for your first corset.

If you’re specifically looking to figure out which corset in our shop will fit your measurements, we have a free mini-consultation service – just fill out the contact form on this page and Lucy will personally respond with her recommendations (usually within 36 hours).

Try the calculator and let us know if it worked for you in a comment below!



Did the calculator give you a really weird size? See the suggestions below:

My size seems way too small!

The most common reason for this is because you chose “intend to lose weight” and also “I prefer a lacing gap”. The calculator sizes you down if you’re actively losing weight (so you don’t “shrink out” of your corset too quickly), but also sizes you down if you ask for a gap – meaning it’s now about 4 inches smaller than what you would wear currently.

If you’re losing weight, your smaller corset will give you a gap anyway – so don’t ask for a lacing gap in the back!


My size is the same or bigger than my natural waist!

The most common reason for this is because you’re petite and firm, on a weight-gain trend, and you just want a corset for fun casual wear. Choose a lacing gap in the back which will size you down, or place your weight as steady for the time being.


It gave me an “odd” size corset! Should I size up or down?

There’s an extra question below your corset size that corrects for that! Scroll up and choose your experience level, and it will give you an “even” size corset!

Thanks for trying the sizing calculator! Did it work for you? Leave a comment below!





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63 comments on “What’s an Appropriate Waist Reduction For Me?

  1. Georgia “Cookie” Sauer-Jordan on said:

    I am 73 years old, 5’3 1/2”, 145lbs ; My measurements are:waist 36” under bust 38” iliac crest 40 1/2” and 9 1/2”. I am trying to purchase corset to wear with Civil War re-enactment costume to wear to voluntarily our Stones River Battleground. I got same size recommendations that the calculator gave (32”) but if I lose weight will the corset be too big? I don’t want it too small, either; what do you suggest?

    • Dear Cookie, thank you for your comment! If you will be losing weight, then I would recommend wearing a size 30″ corset with a lacing gap for the time being. It is very common for women to have a lacing gap in the back of their corset so a gap of 2-4 inches will still be period accurate. While all bodies are different, generally speaking the difference of 10 lbs will put someone in a smaller size corset. If you’d like a Victorian Reproduction corset, I recommend the brands RedThreaded, Period Corsets, and Prior Attire. I can suggest others if they are unable to help.

  2. I am looking for a corset that I can wear under dresses and to work I am a server. I do a lot of bending and walking, I weigh 167 pounds my waist is 32 inches hips 37 inches my bust is 11 inches. I wear a 36 DDD so I would prefer the cupped corset. the calculation says I should start off at 27 inches my goal is to reach 24 inches. I absolutely love and want to purchase the black copped Gemini

    • Hi Shanae, if you’re a server then it would be easier to move around (and also far less expensive, I’m talking about 1/4 of the price) to simply wear an underbust corset with one of your current bras, instead of buying a cupped overbust corset which almost always has to be custom fit to your measurements. I have a measuring tutorial and contact form on this page, I would be happy to look over your measurements and recommend a corset length, silhouette and size that would fit you best and especially see if the Gemini corset would fit you!

  3. Valarie on said:

    I am looking for a corset that will look seamless under a sexy dress. I have some baby weight left-over and plan on losing it eventually. Also, in the past when I have tried different supposed waist trainers or corsets, they also push my belly fat up towards my ribs and so it looks like I’m stuffed instead of sexy. Anyone else, has this problem? Any advice would be appreciated. I am 5’1″ and a 38DD bra size, depending on the bra brand. I am currently 148pds and my hips are 29″/32 and with my belly, my ribs and back are a little smaller. MY waist is 36″. Please help.

  4. Gwen Boucher on said:

    I previously wore an orthopedic brace for back damage and Scoliosis. I just want a little reduction and do not want to cause an attack of GERD. 34″ seems manageable.

  5. brandy on said:

    Hi.I just turned 45&want my WAIST BACK-Only smaller.But is it okay(acceptable&physically possible to shrink through corsetry to a natural 24″ waist?)?I am only 5’4″,have usually had a waist size between 26″-27″,a weight of 8 stone(give or take 1/2 stone)&really want to get my weight back to 8 stone!My BMI WAS at 18.5 (all normal,but I’m sure you know,the shorter the lady ,the harder it is to stay slim-especially at this age!!)So my question is- I have a short torso,which has widened,I will rectify it back to normal-simply 20+ years a vegetarian,no eggs or milk-&more exercise that suits me-walking,yoga,stretching ,archery,hoolahoop,minor weight training&cardio- I have a short body!! & I want my waist at 24″ ,eventually. What type of corset will I need(or series of corsets),&how long should I give my waist to adjust?Boning,lacing,strongest fabrics until I can wear my favourite fabric-velvet-for fashion,over the bust&with straps-after I reach my goal waist(24″)& weight (112 or 8 stone).Oh,also,I must mention my extremely unfair bust-even at 26″ waist,33″ hips,I have always been 32″ band,DD-F bra cup size,depending on the bra.& my recent weight gain!it makes clothes so difficult to fit,but after waist training with a proper corset&finally being a hard-worked-for 24″ waist,corset free,I need to know- can I get a comfortable 24″ waist&a made-to-order bust size corset with straps? I know I need a custom corset with straps due to my bust,I Don’t mind-but I want help getting my waist back to 26″,& down a few from that after proper training,to 24 inches.can you help me? The salient points being,what/which 1st;what is the best course of waist reduction for me;how long;what next;& can I be 24″ corset beautiful in a year,with the bust size a custom,strappy corset?Oh,&FYI,I love black&bats,& i have been checking out Dracula clothing’s boned corset for training&the one with straps,too- both with bats&black(& whale boning,I think).Anyway,help? Sorry about my life story,but my recent weight gain&waist size is freaking me out.Thanx for listening- brandy

    • Hi Brandy, if your natural waist is between 26-27 inches, it’s definitely possible and not unreasonable to eventually achieve a natural waist of 24 inches! However you will need a corset that’s probably closer to 20 inches laced closed if you want to train your waist down, because bodies will always “bounce back” at least a little bit after you take off the corset. I talk more about this in my video about (semi)permanent waist reduction.
      You will also need a corset that properly fits your ribs and hips, something curvy enough that will bring in your waist enough, but NOT reduce your bust, upper ribcage or pelvis. It’s always easier to waist train in an underbust corset as opposed to an overbust, and waist trainers / lifestyle corset wearers who prefer overbust corsets are relatively few and far between. If you’d like personalized help, I will be bringing back my consultation service in the near future!

  6. Jennifer C Aby on said:

    It doesn’t seem to work on my larger waist size, presently 50+ inches. Also I’,m and older large framed transgender woman working on waist shaping and figure control.

    Any suggestions for me.

  7. Katie on said:

    Hello! I’m looking to try a corset for both fashion and posture reasons – my posture has always been pretty bad and I’m looking to correct it, and who wouldn’t want to shrink down the belly pooch on occasion! However, there are so many styles. I’m not really interested in waist training as I’m fairly hourglassy already. I’m also pretty short, about 5’2″ with a torso measurement of 9-10inches depending on whether I’m standing or sitting. I’m looking for something to go under clothing right now. Any recommendations for a starter corset?

    • Hi Katie, I would be able to help you more accurately if I know your body measurements (if you’re comfortable sharing). Knowing your proportions in inches or cm will help me ensure that I recommend something that will allow you to move and sit down comfortably in this corset, and give you support while not pinching your ribs or hips. I have a measuring tutorial and contact form on this page (this service is free).

  8. Heather on said:

    Hello Lucy! I really can’t tell you how grateful I am for all of the incredibly helpful content you’ve created. I’m dipping my toes into the world of corsets for the first time so I was trying the calculator to gauge what size I should go for in a corset – I have a natural waist of 30″ and the calculator suggests I go for 24″. I have pretty limited experience with waist training so far, would I be pushing it to start with a corset of that size? oAo Excited and nervous lol

    • Hi Heather, if 24″ sounds like too much of a reduction for you, then you can absolutely start with size 26″ instead if you want! A size 26″ corset would probably eventually lace closed in the back, while a size 24″ could be worn with a slight lacing gap (of course, it depends on the curviness of the corset and how the ribs/ hips fit on you!)

    • Christina on said:

      First off, I want to thank you for your amazing website and videos! I know you must put a ton of time into these and you let us have it all for free which makes it even more amazing! You are the reason I became interested in corsetry in the first place. I had already gotten a recommendation from you but I gained an inch and a half on my waist so I figured I’d try this. Since I’m still so squishy from my pregnancy it gave me the same size you recommended and you know your stuff so I’m not surprised this calculator worked perfectly. You are awesome Lucy, thanks again ❤️

  9. Deborah Rollins on said:

    Hi Lucy! I contacted you via your YouTube video on “Corsetry and Skeletal Deformities” and explained how after an auto accident in which my Thorasic spine suffered compression fractures at T5-7 and I wanted to start wearing a corset but was told by some nurses I worked with that corsets cause more harm than good. You told me that was not true and told me to consult with my dr about wearing a corset. I did that today. He has no problem and said it would benefit me. I also told you because of the location of the fractures how wearing a bra is very uncomfortable.
    You told me if I got my doctors okay you would help me. O…K…HELP. I have (maybe) some experience in wearing a corset, sort of. I have worn a spandex bone in (plastic i’m sure) type of undergarment that goes from my upper back down to my hips. It is underbust and closes with only hooks and eyes in the front.
    If you could please email me with your recommendations I would greatly appreciate it. I have never worn a standard corset like you and consider myself a complete novice. I am faithful follower of your videos and have even used your sizing calculator. I trust you to get me started. I have also watched your complete “Seasoning” series. Books, phone, email, IM, I just need your help in choosing and getting started.
    Thank you 😊

  10. Pamela Lambert on said:

    I think I might have ordered a corset too large for me but I was worried it wouldn’t fit me, I want to believe that the calculations are correct but I wear a 26.

    • Hi Pamela, where did you purchase your corset from and which style did you choose? (I don’t have any record of your name or email address in my past shop orders so I’m guessing you went with a different brand. This is fine, it’s just more difficult to help you.) Finding your most appropriate starting waist reduction is just the first step; did you also remember to check whether the ribs and hips of the corset you purchased were compatible with your own?

  11. Angel Forrest on said:

    I want to try an overbust corset but I don’t know where to start from because I have a quite large bra size (34k in American sizeing) any ideas ?

  12. natasha on said:

    Where did the calculator go?

    • Hi Natasha, it looks like the plugin software updated, and it might not be compatible with something else on my website. I will troubleshoot it and try to get it up and running again.

  13. Karen on said:

    I have both moderate scoliosis and kyphosis (hunchback) and I think had both from adolescence… I was also very heavy most of my life so it went undiscovered until late into adulthood. Now in my early 60’s I finally decided i wanted to do all I can to look more normal and maybe even a little attractive, so lost a lot of weight with more to go.

    I was wondering if corset be might able to help me in a couple of ways…

    Because of the scoliosis (I do not have osteoporosis) the gap between the the top of my pelvis and my ribcage on the side is very small.. I can only get one finger in (though it can go quite deep). I also have very big rib cage and not much in the way of hips, so really no real figure.

    i really want to be able to do significant (but not extreme) waist training to give me more of a figure even when not wearing it, and maybe have the corset help me straighten up a little…

    I spoke to an orthopedist about corsets and waist training, and although they don’t recommend using them (worried about muscle atrophy) he said I could do use one as long as I exercised enough without one. But I don’t know how much he knows about corsetry.

    Given my physical issues (particularly the lack of space between pelvis and rib cage) I don’t know if significant waist training would be possible for me, even if a corset can deal with the back issues..

    Please let me know what you think…

    – Karen

    • Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. There are a few articles that can give you more information about wearing corsets or waist training while having some asymmetries. Here’s a video on bodily asymmetries in general, and here’s a case study of someone with scoliosis, kyphosis and rotated ribcage who was able to correct part of his curve using corsets and exercise. I also have a gallery of corsetieres who specialize in making custom asymmetric corsets, which is the best course of action – but because it is custom, it is quite expensive (unless you can get it covered by insurance). Some people with a moderate curve are able to use an OTR corset, taking advantage of hip ties for instance. A corset with a very rounded ribcage that nips in at the waistline may be able to target that narrow area between your ribcage and your pelvis.

      • Karen on said:

        Hi Lucy,

        Thank you very much for the reply and the links! I really appreciate it.

        I guess the biggest question I have is if waist training is possible for me with the small gap I have between my ribcage and pelvis because of the scoliosis, but its not something you can answer.

        I guess I would need an in-person consult with a custom maker who can handle spine issues to know if waist training could work for me.

        When you say such a custom corset would be expensive, can you give me rough idea of what the cost range could be?

        I am in the middle of my own personal renovation project… I am still losing weight and I am starting physical therapy this week to help with my back issues.

        When those are done I hope to be able to get a corset to help me look good for my “golden years” … better late than never!

        I am so glad i found your website!

        Thank you again,
        – Karen

        • Hi Karen, I do know of people with scoliosis who have been able to train their waists effectively, even with the small gap between their ribcage and pelvis – but because everyone’s curve is a little bit different, it wouldn’t be fair to make a guarantee. Some people achieve a more narrow look to their waist by training the ribcage itself to taper inwards at the bottom, but this requires a lot of dedication!
          The cost varies quite a bit based on which person you’re interested in working with. Some of the corset makers have a simple underbust design that starts around $400 while others are well over $1000. And asymmetric designs usually have an added cost. But compared to the hot bulky back braces (which are often around $3000+), the corsets can work out to be a more lightweight AND more budget-friendly option if you’re not covered under any insurance.

          • Karen on said:

            Thanks Lucy,

            Glad to hear waist training might be possible despite my issues… for me I think it would have to train my ribcage so it will be a slow process.

            The closest “medical” corset maker to me on your map is in Toronto. That is about an 11 hour drive for me (I would want in-person measurements!) … Doable though I guess these days I would need a passport!

            You have given all the information I need to get started… Now i just need to finish losing the weight!

            – Karen

  14. I am a male, and not sure about the right sizing for me. I want to shape my waist line and use it for support for my back as I sit operating a bus.

  15. Jennifer on said:

    Is there such a thing as a corset that is made to help support a heavy bust? I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder that is irritated by bra straps, but I’m a 34G, so regular strapless bras don’t support. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  16. Elizebeth Janell Dahl on said:

    It showed the size I already have, which works for me.
    Thank you

  17. I bought the size 30 on your site and its working great!

  18. Michelle on said:

    I am now 62 years old and have gained 20 or more lbs and it is all in my stomach and back. when I was 40 I had liposuction and the Dr. told me if I gained weight it wouldnt’t come back in my stomach but it did :(. I’m in a size 10 jeans and if I lose weight it will be all in my legs which I don’t need to lose. breast size is 36d which is all fat. I would like to get my waist down for the summer…please help me!!!!

  19. Pepsilora on said:

    Close enough – It recommends a 20 for me though I wear a 22 (off-the-rack).

    I’ve been waist training for several years and could probably go with a 20″ (seven inch reduction)if my rib spring wasn’t quite so large.

  20. Bjarne Aakerman on said:

    I think it works fine it gives me a sice 27

  21. Florence on said:

    This is just awesome. Loved it. Thanks for making it easier :)

  22. Ashanti on said:

    Works perfectly. It matches what I usually wear.

  23. Calculator is right. I normally wear corsets in 18-20′ sizes, and this was my results on different question options :)

  24. Cheryl Cooper on said:

    I have worn cheap off the shelf corsets before. I have back issues and would like a corset/s for both back pain and style. It saif a size 32 , i wonder . I think it would be petfect as long as bust, back and hip spring fits well. Thank you , this worked well i know i have srveral chrap corsets and this is the size it says for me but not overbust otr. Too small 🤨

  25. Dawn-Meri Kinion on said:

    Spot on!

  26. Samantha Thompson on said:

    Works great gave me size 20 which is the same size of the corset I currently have. Good to know the size is perfect.

  27. You are a genius. Ok, we knew that but you are just a goddess too! I am cross posting this to EVERYWHERE!

  28. This works great! Thanks for the work Lucy! I was recommended a 36 if I wanted a gap, or a 38 if I wanted no gap, which is spot on with most of what I have. I do have ones as small as 32, but I can only wear them a short time or with a large gap (like 5 inches yikes), so I’ve shelved them for now. I do still watch the underbust and hip measurements since my pear shape means either lacing with a /\ shape or skipping most OTR/sample sizes.

  29. Love the tool, it came out perfect for my and my corsets!

  30. Mella TwoFeathers on said:

    Gave me a 42 which is spot on for where I am weight and size wise right now!

  31. Tatiana on said:

    22 inch waist to an 18 inch that seems about right, i’d love to find a more dramatic look as my ribs are awfully close to my hip bones, leaving little space for the desired curved look. the corset i currently have is an 18, i havent laced it closed yet, so i’ll keep working on that and hopefully i’ll get my desired results! Thank you Lucy!

  32. Heather Kreisher on said:

    Just playing around with it! It looks like it will be a great tool for beginners. Leave it to Lucy to come up with this.

  33. Awesome! This seems accurate for a recommended waist size. I typically wear a 30 to 34 inch corset. Anything less than 32 inches currently has to be worn with a gap, and it recommended a 32 inch corset.

    That said, I find that the limiting factor for me is finding corsets that will fit my smaller hips and larger rib spring. I didn’t understand how critical the hip spring and rib spring were when I first started with corsets. Hopefully the folks who find you will be better informed than I was! :-P

    • I agree, I have a small rib spring, but massive hip spring. The corset calculator where you can fill in your sizes was immensely helpful for me to find the right fitting corsets and to finally made me understand my shape.

  34. Nicely done. This will definitely be helpful to others :)

  35. Stephanie on said:

    I have a few months experience tightlacing and the calculator worked perfectly for me. I already know I can comfortably cinch to 26 for extended periods of time which was the recommended size in the calculator before I stated I prefer a small gap. The most I can reduce is to 25″ for a few hours at a time so the calculator’s readjusted measurement of 24″ is exactly right for me! Thanks for making this calculator! It will be very helpful for a lot of people.

  36. Andrew Tran on said:

    Works great for beginners!

    I have a natural 31″ waist. The tool recommended a 25″ corset. I currently wear a 23″ corset, but only because I’m an experienced wearer.

  37. Michelle on said:


  38. This is so cool Lucy!!! You’re amazing!!! I have corsetting experience & the calculator worked perfect!!!

  39. Danielle on said:


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