The Nitty Gritty Details of a Corset Fit
First Things First, if you haven't read Silhouettes 101 and Which Overcup Size is Right For Me? You may want to read those first and maybe even Corset Vocab, to provide a baseline before getting into the deeper details of the silhouettes.
You can think of this as an Advanced Level Blog on corset fit, if that helps give an idea of where we're going.
The Hourglass is our most popular silhouette. This silhouette creates a dramatically cinched waist for the wearer, causing the desired, intense, dramatic hourglass shape. No matter your body shape, we probably have a fit for you in the Hourglass as we offer it in a Regular as well as a Longline and a Short and there are different reasons for each.
The Short Hourglass, also known as a Waspie, is extremely versatile. Made with shorter people in mind, this corset is ideal for a smaller torso. If the Regular Hourglass is too long for you it might dig into the tops of your thighs, hips or even the bottom of your beasts, especially when sitting down; this is a sign that a Short might be the right fit for you. For instance, I am just shy of 5 feet tall and while my torso is not particularly long or short, and while I can wear the Regular Hourglass, a Short is much more comfortable for me.
I mentioned how versatile the Short is as well and there are other details to consider while finding the truly perfect fit. On a taller person, or someone with a longer torso, the Short will fit , but the look you will get is closer to a waist cincher or large belt than an “authentic” corset. This is a perfectly valid “look”, the dramatic hourglass curves are still there, and the added comfort might be a plus.
Another thing to be considered is your rib cage. A colleague of mine is an average height woman. Looking at her, one would easily think an Hourglass Regular is the fit for her. However! She has widely spaced ribs and a long rib cage causing the regular to hit in an uncomfortable area. All body types are different! For this reason, she prefers a Short.
One thing to be cautious of when looking at a Short is what we in the “biz” cause Squish Factor. This is exactly what it sounds like. Some people have more squish on their bones, and some are more firm – this is not necessarily the same as fat versus skinny but may be related. On a Short, people with high squish factor might find that the corset pushes this squish down, forming what some in the biz call a “mamma pouch”. Most find this undesirable. If this might be an issue then going with a regular or even a long might extend the corset over this pouch, keeping it contained.
If you have a longer torso, the Longline might be right for you. This corset offers hip ties for a custom fit as well as a decorative touch. I have also heard of people with long torsos being described as “looking tall, but only when sitting down”. If you find the fit of a Regular to be a bit too short for you, or if your squish is still pushed to the bottom and shows, these might be reasons to wear a Longline, even if you wouldn't typically consider your torso longer than average. However, be sure to double check for comfort, especially while sitting down as the length may cause the corset to dig uncomfortably into the thighs (this may be somewhat relieved by loosening the hip ties).
Finally, in the Hourglass family, we have the Novice. The novice is the typical Regular length hourglass but it is only two layers of fabric, not three, making it lighter, more breathable, and slightly more flexible. Hands down, it is more comfortable. I like to think of the Novice as the t-shirt of hourglass corsets, others call it “pre-seasoned”. The Novice is special because you can put it on out of the box and wear it comfortably, like slightly stretchy jeans. The Novice is ideal for getting a dramatic waist reduction while being comfortable enough for longer term wear or wear in a warmer climate (i.e. Texas Renaissance Festival).
Timeless Trends also still offers our original silhouette, The Slim. The Slim silhouette comes in a regular length underbust, a regular length overbust, and a long underbust. The slim offers the triple layer, authentic corset construction and durability of the hourglass without the intense, dramatic shape of significant waist reduction. The slim gives a slightly more realistic looking figure and is sturdy enough to keep everything in the place you want it while keeping your organs right where they want to be. Even as a shorter person that typically prefers the Short in an hourglass, I love the slim line I get while also feeling comfortable and unrestricted (especially in the diaphragm area).
Because it is less restricting in certain parts, I think the Slim is perfect for all-day wear. And therefor is also my number one suggestion for those looking for back support or all-day stealthing.
Our Overbust is currently only available in a slim (yes, we are still developing an Overbust Hourglass!). Personally, I love this corset, but I am also partial to the underbust Slim. A big bonus to this silhouette for me is that you need no bra, the corset holds your breasts up from underneath, also a great relief for your back and shoulders that do a lot of the heavy lifting in a typical bra. However, many people are surprised at how much chest area is bare so keep that in mind when coordinating your outfit. For a more detailed write-up on this fit see Which Overbust Size is Right for Me?.
Finally, our newest additions to the Timeless Trends Family: The Libra and The Gemini. For now, these only come in one standard length and both give a dramatic waist reduction but are made for particular body types. The Gemini is made only for people with a large difference in the measurement of their hips and the measurement of their waist, at least 10 inches. On the opposite spectrum, the Libra is made for those with similar measurements in their ribs, waist and/or hips. Many consider this the perfect corset for a male build or a narrow-hipped or athletically built person. Both the Gemini and Libra offer waist cinching, back support and a sturdy build with the traditional three layers.
Ultimately, corset fit comes down to more than just your body and desired look. Everyone should consider how long they'll be wearing their corset on average, what kind of venue they'll be in (indoor, outdoor, hot or cold), and what they need from it (back support, waist training, comfort). Just like with high heels, some women can stand in them all day and be fine while others prefer comfort and might give up early, even on an expensive heel that might be considered comfortable to a seasoned wearer – consider how long you'll be in your corset and your own comfort level. Of course, it is also possible to let out the tightness in the lacing as the day goes on if necessary.
Finally, if you're still unsure, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on social media and we will schedule a phone appointment for you with one of our expert fitters! Even better, if you happen to be in the Central Texas Area or plan to be there soon, make an appointment for an in-person custom fitting on our Facebook Page!