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.

It is strongly recommended that you read through the tutorial here before using the calculator.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2021: If you’re trying to size yourself for the TT, GC or Artemis corsets, use the super precise LucyBots!

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!

85 thoughts on “What’s an Appropriate Waist Reduction For Me?

  1. 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?

    1. 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

    1. 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. 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.

    1. Hi Valerie, if you like I can recommend a corset size and style for you. Feel free to check out the measuring tutorial and fill out the contact form on this page, and I’ll get back to you within a day or so. Also don’t hesitate to mention the other brands and styles of corsets you’ve tried in the past that you may have had fitting issues with, as this information is helpful in refining my recommendations for you!

  4. 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. 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

    1. 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. 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.

    1. Hi Jennifer, what size corset was it recommending for you?
      Feel free to submit your body measurements to me directly using this measuring tutorial and contact form, and I could tell you which size corset might fit you best.

  7. 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?

    1. 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. 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

    1. 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!)

    2. 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 ❤️

      1. Thank you Christina! I’m so glad it worked for you! :)

  9. 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 😊

    1. Hi Deborah, thanks so much for getting back to me. I’m glad that your doctor has given you the green light! If you’d like a personal size recommendation from me, here’s my measuring tutorial and contact form, it’s completely confidential and I usually get back with my suggestions within a day. Talk to you soon!

  10. 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.

    1. 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?

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