To corset or not to corset

Do I need corsetry? What is corsetry? What is involved, and is it worth requesting one from my wedding dress designer?
Corset by Melbourne Designer, Mussared

To corset, or not to corset?

Do you need corsetry? What is corsetry?

First things first…  Is your gown strapless? If the answer is yes, then corsetry is a must.

If you are having straps then you have a multitude of options… Corsetry included, a separate corset, a built in bra or just the gown.

Why, you might ask?

A strapless gown is actually held up by the waist. The waist needs to be quite firm, securing the gown to the body and then the boning (rods of metal or plastic) extends up and down to hold the top of the gown up, the bra in place and the tummy held in.

If the gown has straps (even shoestring or hidden straps) a corset is not essential as these straps will hold the bra and the gown up.

So, what is a corset?

A corset is a tight fitting layer from the chest to the hips, with the purpose to shape or mould the figure.  Humans have been playing with the figure since the dawn of time.  And, we are past the stupidity of pulling the figure in so tightly that we faint (I hope so anyway).

A well made corset has a firm inflexible waist to secure the garment.  There are then channels which contain boning up and down to hold and mould the figure.  Boning was traditionally made from whale bone.  Most designers use plastic boning.  This comes as either a solid piece or in rib like strips (known as rigiline).  However, we use spiral steel boning.  Although this weighs more, we find it is flexible when bending over and dancing and all the other wonderful things we want to do on our wedding day, and yet holds its shape brilliantly upright.

We also insert an underwire bra into our corsets.  I have a conscientious objection to boning that sits over the bust.  A bust should be soft.  Boobs are soft!  We find an underwire bra allows for a smooth and soft bust, whilst the underwire connects to the spiral steel boning keeping everything where we want it to be.

Are there any downsides?

Certainly are…

  • Some find a corset feels restrictive (this is very unlikely if it is genuine made to measure)
  • If a gown is a very slinky style, it is very hard to hide the end of the corset boning, so some may give a shadow or a line around the hip area
  • It is an additional layer, so if the wedding is on a hot day, and you suffer from heat stress, maybe straps are a must

We offer the following corsetry options:

  1. strapless gown with built in corset
  2. straps only (no corset)
  3. straps with built in corset
  4. straps with separate corset (which can be worn again, and again, and again).

Our corsets are made of pure silk queen satin (why settle for anything less).  And our separate corsets have silk jersey knit panels (this avoids shoestring type of lacing).

I hope that helps. x


Oh, and a little tip… if you are making your own corset, we suggest you do not use a zipper.  Corsets are under constant pressure and this is just not ideal for any zipper!

This beautiful photography is by Lemonade Lane, stories of sweet, sweet life.