Hi! Welcome to the Corset Database, sister site of Lucy’s Corsetry.
If you’d like to know how to measure yourself for an off-the-rack (standard size) corset, here’s a general tutorial made by yours truly. (Note: I say Timeless Trends here, because I sell them in my shop – but this method of measuring is fairly standard for all OTR corsets!)
And if you want to know why taking your measurements is so important, check out this video below:
Next, let’s use the calculator below to figure out your preferred corset size, and the rib spring and hip spring you’ll need!
Write down your rib and hip springs, and apply them to the filters to the right (because I have no idea how to automate this step).
What corset size do I need?
When you choose your corset size, pay close attention to the answer given in “waist reduction in inches”.
Aim for 3-4 inches reduction if…
- You would like a relatively mild reduction
- You’re using the corset only for posture support or smoothing under clothing
- You are small (natural waist of 25 or smaller) and/or muscular and not very compressible
- You have no interest in tight lacing or waist training
Aim for 5-6 inches reduction if…
- You would like a moderate reduction
- You are aiming for a noticeable or dramatic silhouette
- You are interested in tight lacing or waist training
- You are fairly squishy or compressible
- You can comfortably close a corset that is 4 inches smaller than your natural waist
Aim for 7-8 inches reduction (IF AND ONLY IF)…
- You already have experience with wearing corsets, tight lacing, or waist training
- You can comfortably close a corset that is 6 inches smaller than your natural waist
- You have a natural waist of around 34″ or more, and you have quite a lot of subcutaneous fat (the jiggly moveable fat under the skin) on your tummy.
- You are specifically aiming for a very dramatic, unnatural-looking silhouette
- You are actively losing a significant amount of weight (note: your ribcage and hips may shrink too – and at unpredictable rates – so choose your corset carefully, and perhaps hold off on buying a corset if your body is changing very quickly)
If you know you can reduce your waist more than 8 inches, then you’re already experienced enough to know which corset size you’re looking for. 😉
This calculator is a bit imperfect because you’ll need to measure to the closest inch. Here are my tips for troubleshooting:
If your ribcage or hips land on a half-inch or more, round UP.
e.g. Your hips are 37.5 inches, so choose 38.
e.g. Your underbust measures 32.5 inches, so choose 33.
- When you wear a corset, the flesh doesn’t disappear! There will always be a little bit of displacement, and your corseted rib/ hip measurement may be slightly larger than its natural measurement. By rounding UP, you will create a little extra space to prevent spillover (“muffin top”) or uncomfortable pinching.
- Also, most people measure their hips bare or over a very thin top (as you should!) but in reality, you may sometimes want to wear pants or a skirt under your corset, and the waistband of these clothes will take up extra space. By rounding UP, you will prevent bunching of the waistband under your corset.
If your natural waist lands on a half inch, round up or down to the nearest whole number.
e.g. Did you suck in, or pull your tape super tight around your waist while measuring? Round up, ya cheater!
e.g. Did you just eat dinner, or are you feeling particularly bloaty today? Round down.
What if your measurements land on a quarter inch, or other smaller measurement?
You are measuring too precisely for an off-the-rack corset! OTR corsets tend to be made to specifications of +/- half an inch, and many things can affect your body measurements to the quarter inch, including time of day, water retention, menstrual cycle, etc. Measuring a couple of times and taking your average to the nearest inch will be fine for OTR, and half inch for custom fit.
I want to wear a corset with a lacing gap in the back. Will this affect my size?
It won’t affect your search, but it will affect the size you want. All of the corsets in this calculator lists the measurements when laced closed.
Let’s say you want a 26-inch (internal) corseted waist, but you want your corset to lace with a 2-inch gap down the back. Go ahead and still choose size 26 in the calculator. It will tell you the rib spring and hip spring you need. If you happen to find a corset that fits your needed rib spring and hip spring perfectly, go to that shop and purchase one size down (size 24). The rib spring of the size 24″ will be 2 inches smaller than your natural ribs. The waist will be 2 inches smaller than your desired waist. The hips will be 2 inches smaller than your natural hip. Thus, your corset should theoretically fit you nicely with a parallel 2-inch gap down the back!
I’m looking for a custom fit corset, and I heard you need more measurements than just these.
That’s true! Custom-fit (made-to-measure) corsets need 14-22 measurements, or even more if you need a special corset like a long corset gown or medical asymmetric corset. This calculator will generally not help you find a custom corset. Feel free to use the other filters in this database and ignore the measurement filters (springs and length) if you’re looking for custom.