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How to Fasten a Tricky or Difficult Corset Busk

Don’t let a difficult, bendy or misaligned busk get you down! There are ways to deal with it.

Depending on the brand, some corsets have trickier busks than others. I have some corsets that clasp up in two seconds, while other ones I’ve struggled for 5-10 minutes to get those last few knobs and loops to match up. Sometimes I would bend the busk this way and that way, or lay down on the floor, or end up doing some kind of strange acrobatics to clasp up the busk… usually by the end of the struggle, I’d be exhausted and sweaty.

If this is you, have no fear! I’ve finally unlocked the secret to fastening virtually any corset busk. ;) Here are the steps:

  1. Loosen the laces as much as possible. There should be no “slack” in the bunny ears at the waistline, and the gap in the back of the corset should be as wide as it will go.
  2. Wrap the corset around yourself. There should be absolutely no struggle, in fact it may be so loose on you that if you let go, it may even slide down over your hips.
  3. Start by clasping the 2nd bracket from the top. If you do up the very top or the very bottom one first, then it can result in the busk acting like a “hinge” which makes you lose control.
  4. After that first clasp (2nd from the top) is done, take the knob side of the busk in your left hand. Fold the fabric back behind the busk bone itself so you can pinch the busk between your thumb and fingers.
  5. You should then be able to use your thumb behind the knob side of the busk to keep it straight and push each knob through the corresponding loop.
  6. Some people notice that the very bottom bracket or clasp is the most difficult to fasten. One lovely viewer has suggested sticking your arm down inside the corset with your left hand, palm facing forward (away from you) so you can grab onto the bottom of the busk and fasten it up.
  7. Once you have finished all the lower knobs and loops, go back up to the top and fasten that one as well. Sometimes when you are fastening the lower ones, you may observe the top ones starting to undo themselves. That’s okay, just fasten them up again at the end.

And you’re done! You can now tighten the laces as much as you find comfortable. This method has never failed for me, even on my most difficult corset busks.

When taking off your corset, once again loosen the laces as far as they will go. I find it easiest to start by undoing the bottom bracket and working my way up to the top. Be careful not to struggle and pull the loop directly away from the knob until the little “rivet head” of the knob can be sure to not catch onto the loop. Too much upward pressure in this direction can result in the knob popping out of the busk bone, even in the highest quality German-made busks!

To see a demonstration on how to clasp and unclasp your busk, see this video:

Happy lacing!