What Are the Different Types of Corsets?

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What Are the Different Types of Corsets?

Corsets have been used for centuries to enhance a woman's figure. Although corsets are no longer standard undergarments, they have not entirely been relegated to the past. Many women choose to wear corsets because they can improve her shape and can create a sexy look. Corsets come in a variety of shapes, including the hourglass shape, conical shape, and others. The buyer needs to take her body shape into account when choosing a corset. There are a number of different types of corsets the buyer can choose from and they are used to create a variety of looks.

Shapes of Corsets

Corsets are designed to enhance a woman's shape. They come in a number of different shapes and styles. Some styles a woman can select from include a waist cincher, the conical shape, hourglass shape, as well as other shapes. The shape of the corset affects what parts of the wearer's body it will enhance. Certain corset shapes are easier for a woman to wear because they are not as constrictive and do not change the shape of the wearer's torso.

Hourglass Shape

A corset in an hourglass shape fits around the wearer's ribs and creates a somewhat curvy shape. This is a good choice for women who do not want reshape their bodies in extreme ways. A woman who is just starting to wear a corset may want to start with this style.

Conical Shape

A conical shaped corset is one that has straight sides that taper down from the top to the waist. It can be thought of an upside down cone shape. This shape of corset can be harder to wear since it does shape the lower floating ribs. A woman new to wearing corsets should probably not start out wearing a conical corset. If the wearer's ribs start aching, the corset is laced up too tightly. It generally takes the wearer about eight months to shape her ribs, and for some wearers this adaptation can take as long as a year and a half.

Waist Cincher

The waist cincher is also known as a waist corset or "waspie." This style of corset may not be what one typically thinks of when it comes to corsets because it is a small corset that only goes around a woman's stomach. A waist cincher is really only good for light corset training because it gives support to the stomach and does not provide shaping for the ribs. Women who are unsure about how to use corsets may want to try this kind of corset first because a waist cincher gives the wearer a slender stomach, but is not as constricting as other types of corsets.

Other Shapes of Corsets

Some other styles of corsets include the Elizabethan corset, the S-bend, and pipe stem. The Elizabethan corset looks like something from the Middle Ages and has straps. This type of corset is commonly used for historical reenactments and rarely for corset training. Women who are new to using corsets should probably avoid S-bend and pipe stem corsets because they can force the body into very unnatural and extreme shapes.

Corsets for Different Body Types

When shopping for a corset, every woman should consider what style will look best on her body. Women come in many different shapes, including tall, petite, curvy, and slim.

Body Type


Average Build

A woman with an average build with curves should be able to wear almost any type of corset. A corset with a sweetheart neckline will accent the wearer's bust. Look for corsets that accent that hourglass figure.

Tall and Slim

A woman who is 5 feet 6 inches or taller with a slim build will need to create the illusion of a fuller bust. The buyer should consider one with a beaded trim at the chest or one that cinches in at the waist to create an hourglass effect.

Short and Petite

If the woman is 5 feet 3 inches or shorter, she should try out a shorter corset. Wearing a dress in a color that matches the corset and with a short hem will make the wearer look taller.

Short and Full-Figured

For a full-figured woman on the short side, she should look for a corset that cinches in the waist and accentuates her curves. A dress in a slimming fabric is a good option over the corset.

Tall and Full-Figured

If a woman is 5 feet 6 inches or taller and has a full figure, she should opt for a longer corset. A dress with a slit that shows off her long legs is also a good option.


A woman with an athletic build should leave her shoulders uncovered to make them look smaller.


An apple-shaped woman will want to look for corsets that will make her stomach look smaller. Obviously, this is what corsets are meant to do, but the effect can be enhanced by adding accessories to the top and bottom of the corset, or by choosing a slimming color.


If a woman is heavier on the bottom half, she should consider a corset with trim and other accessories and details on the top half to draw attention away from the bottom half. Another option is using brighter colors on the top of the corset.

It is important to get a corset that gives a woman an hourglass figure and accentuates her attributes.

Choosing the Right Corset

The buyer has a number of other factors to consider when shopping for a corset, including color and material.


Corsets come in a range of colors. Some of the most common are passion-evoking colors such as red and black. The color a woman chooses should depend on the mood she is trying to evoke as well as the clothing the corset will be worn with. White is another common color, as it is pure and feminine. A woman should not ignore other colors, including pink, or royal blue. In addition to plain-colored corsets, there are also some available in a variety of patterns.


It is important to think about what kind of material the corset should be made of. Corsets that are being used for lingerie often have decorative elements in satin, silk, or another lush fabric. Spandex is often used because it is comfortable for the wearer. Other options for materials include leather and vinyl.

Corsets for Different Purposes

Today, corsets are worn for a variety of purposes, including as lingerie and under clothing. There are even some shirts that have incorporated elements of a corset like the laces.


Corsets are commonly worn as lingerie. This type of corset comes in a variety of styles and may be attached to garters. Lingerie corsets may be much more revealing than ones designed to be worn under clothing. Corsets that are designed to be worn as lingerie often have details like lace, silk, or beads.

Corsets and Clothing

Corsets can also be worn with clothing, especially if the wearer is trying to create a slim and elegant silhouette. Corsets as clothing are worn quite a bit by those looking to achieve a Gothic look. There are a variety of different shirts that are either corsets or incorporate corset elements in them. A woman can achieve different looks with a corset top by choosing different fabrics and cuts.


If a woman wants to fit into a tight and elegant evening dress, she may want to wear a corset underneath. In addition to wearing corsets under clothing, some dresses have a bodice that is designed like a corset. This can create a very elegant look. It can also help a woman get into the proper shape if the dress is particularly form-fitting.


Some women may be surprised to learn that a corset can actually be worn under a suit. In this case, the corset can act as a method to shape the wearer's body and appear more feminine. The wearer needs to make sure that the corset is not too apparent, as this could undermine the professional look she is trying to convey.

How to Wear a Corset Safely

Any woman considering purchasing a corset should know how to wear one safely. Lacing a corset too tightly can cause health problems. Decreasing a woman's waist size using a corset is a gradual process. During corset training, the corset should be tightened about two inches at a time. The corset can be snug, but it should never cause the wearer discomfort. If a woman is having problems breathing, she should immediately take the corset off. It can take a while for a new corset to be broken in, so when wearing it for the first time a woman should not tighten it too much. Some signs that a corset is too tight are numbness or tingling in one's legs, back pain, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain. The wearer of a corset will also have drier skin that may itch. Scratching will only damage the corset, so the woman should use lotion to moisturize and soothe her skin.

Finding A Corset on eBay

In order to find a corset on eBay, the user should first go to Fashion portal and then select the Women's Clothing category, and then the Intimates and Sleep category. One of the subcategories available is Corsets and Bustiers. The listings for corsets can be further narrowed down by whether the corsets lace up, zip, or use hook and eye closures. If there are too many listings for you to sort through, you can use some of the options eBay offers to sort through the listings by brand, color, size, or material. This is also helpful if you have a preference for a particular kind of corset.


Corsets are making a comeback in some circles because of the dramatic effect they can have on a woman's body shape. There are different corset shapes available, but all are designed to create an hourglass shape. A woman should also consider what corset will best suit her body shape. For instance, if a woman has a larger bottom or top half, she can look for a corset that has beads or other details to accentuate some parts and de-emphasize other parts. When choosing a corset, a woman will also have to consider the color and material. Although corsets are often worn as lingerie, they can also be worn under clothing or incorporated into dresses and styles of shirts.

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