BREAKING-IN YOUR CORSET
When you first get your corset, you'll need to break it in and mold it to your own body. This will require you to wear your corset frequently for short periods of time. We recommend wearing the corset for a maximum of 1-2 hours the first wearing. After wearing the corset for the first hour to hour, re-tighten the laces and continue wearing it for the remainder of that first wearing. This allows for the corset fabrics to stretch evenly and for the overall shape to mold to your specific body. This will prolong the life of the corset, make it more comfortable to wear and ensure that the fabrics, grommets and stays will not be damaged. Repeat this process 2-3 times before wearing your corset for an extended period of time.
Although our authentic corsets are made of the highest quality materials and the most durable construction, failure to break in your corset can, and will, cause damage. It is essential that you break the corset in before beginning waist training, tight lacing or wear it for a special occasion.
WEARING YOUR CORSET
Always unlace your corset before putting it on or taking it off. Failure to do so will put too much strain on the busk, fabric and your hands or nails. Untie the bow and pull at each pair of Xs until the corset is completely loose, then you can easily fasten or unfasten the busk. We recommend that you start fastening the busk at the bottom of the corset (or 2nd from the bottom) and work your way up.
Once the busk is fastened, you can begin to tighten the laces on your corset. Start in the middle where the pull loops are. These loops should be at the narrowest point of your waist. After the loops are pulled tight, begin pulling at each outside X beginning at the top and working your way down, and from the bottom towards the center. You will have to repeat this 2-3 times to fully tighten the laces. Lace your corset so that it fits snugly but comfortably. NEVER OVER TIGHTEN the laces as this may cause damage to the corset, to your body, and will be uncomfortable.
We recommend wearing a corset liner or other light clothing underneath your corset each time you wear it to prevent chafing of the skin and to protect the delicate fabrics of the corset from sweat and body oils. This will also help to lower the frequency of washings. Some corset wearers also recommend placing a thin layer of talc powder on your body prior to putting the corset on.
STORING YOUR CORSET
Air out the corset after each wearing by placing it lining side up and centering the garment on the laces over a chair, door or a plastic hanger evenly. The laces should take the majority of the weight off the garment. A small amount of fabric freshener (such as Febreze) may be used periodically to combat body odors. Be sure to spray only a small mist evenly over the inside lining of the corset only and let it air dry before storing it.
Be sure that your corset is completely dry before storing it. We do not recommend air drying outside as the fabrics are sensitive to sunlight and may fade or become discolored. Once you are sure the corset is dry, fold the corset in half and hang it over a plastic hanger - liner side up - with the laces across the hanger. Distribute the weight of the corset evenly on both sides. If you would like to, you can also place a plastic bag such as a garment bag over the hanger to keep it in pristine condition. You may also hang a fragranced or moisture-absorbing sachet along with it. Never roll or fold your corset and place it in a drawer. This may damage the fabric and cause the boning to warp out of shape.
WASHING YOUR CORSET
NEVER NEVER machine wash your corset. Our authentic corsets are made from premium fabrics and have metal boning. Machine washing will damage the fabrics and cause the boning to rust. We recommend taking your corset to an experienced dry cleaner. Do not use at home dry cleaning kits (such as Dryel) as the heat from the dryer can warp the boning and damage the fabrics. If spot cleaning is necessary, use only the smallest amount of water, very mild detergent and extremely gentle scrubbing. Be sure to completely dry the corset before storing it. As mentioned previously, a fabric refresher such as Febreze may be used to combat odors between dry cleanings.
LACING YOUR CORSET
Most experienced corset wearers will tell you that bi-directional lacing is the proper (and only) way to lace a corset. This style of lacing refers to the back to front and then front to back directions that the laces will travel through the garment. The reason this is the accepted way to lace a corset is simple. With directional lacing (like tennis shoe lacing) the corset cannot be laced completely shut because the laces cross through the center panel and interfere with closing the corset. There are other reasons as well such as the ease of tightening, the look of the X pattern, and (with patience and practice) the wearer is able to lace their own corset. There may be slight variations as to the pattern for the center pull loops, but the following is a basic concept.
BI-DIRECTIONAL LACING INSTRUCTIONS
First, grab a corset, the lace of your choice*, and follow these steps.
1.Starting at the top, pull one side of the lace from BACK to FRONT through the first grommet (hole) on each side. Continue pulling the lace through the holes evenly until you have reached the end of the lace.
2.Take the lace from the right side and feed it through the next grommet down on the left side from FRONT to BACK. Repeat this for the left side. You should now have an X on the outside of the corset.
3.Next, take the lace from the right side and feed it through the next grommet on the left side from BACK to FRONT. Repeat this step for the left side. You should now have an x on the inside of the corset below the first outer X.
4.Continue this pattern of outside X and inside x until you reach the center of your corset (the narrowest point of your waist). This will normally be on after the 3rd set of X's on an overbust or the 2nd set of X's on an underbust corset.
5.After the last pair of X's your laces should be on the outside of the corset. Take the lace from the right side and feed it through the next grommet down on the same (right) side and pull only partway through. (approximately 18 inches of lace). Repeat for the left side. These loops are called pull-loops and will be used to tighten the corset and tie the bow.
6.Take the lace from the right side and feed it through the next grommet down on the left side from BACK to FRONT. Repeat for the left side. This should give you another x on the inside.
7.Repeat the lacing pattern from the top of the corset with the inside x and the outside X. Alternating from FRONT to BACK and BACK to FRONT.
8.Continue this pattern until you reach the bottom of the corset. The laces should now be on the inside of the corset for an overbust (outside for an underbust). Tie a bow or a knot with the ends of the laces. Pull this knot/bow tightly so that it will not come undone when tightening the laces. This bow/knot should be on the inside of the corset along the lacing guard (outside for an underbust).
9.Go back up to the pull laces and take out any slack by pulling on the individual outer X's. Tie a large bow with the pull loops in the middle for a traditional feminine look or tuck the laces underneath the X pattern for a more tailored look.
10.Never wrap the extra laces around your waist and tie a small bow as this may damage the fabrics and will bend or misshape the boning.
*Feel free to experiment with laces. Try a pair of our double-sided satin ribbon laces avialable in many beautiful colors.