Driving while wearing corsets can be an interesting, and potentially nerve wracking, experience compared to driving normally. A slightly more relatable example of the differences a garment can make in driving comfort and overall experience would be a comparison between driving in high heels vs. flat soled shoes. Much like heels, driving in corsets is possible, and can even be comfortable for some people, but certainly isn't for everyone. If in doubt, remember that putting your corset on once you've reached your destination is always an option! For those who would like to try driving while wearing their corset, most will find that there is a learning curve to it and making some adjustments before heading out on the open road can make a world of difference. Below you'll find some tips and tricks accumulated from my, Sarah's (Timeless Trends Administrator/resident corset expert), personal experience driving in corsets.
Choice of corset:
Is your corset brand new or well-seasoned? Can you sit down comfortably in it? As corsets often soften and grow more comfortable during the seasoning process, wearing a seasoned corset that you're able to sit comfortably in while driving is a much better idea than wearing one you're still breaking in. Additionally, if you own several corsets, you may find that one or another is more comfortable or gives you a higher level of mobility. Since you want to minimize distractions while driving in order to be as safe as possible, choosing the corset that fits you most comfortably is the way to go.
The corset in the images in this blog post is a brand new, unseasoned Lilac Embroidery Long Corset (TUL-363), which we chose because it coordinated well with my outfit of the day. If you're shopping for a new corset while reading this and the long cut underbust corsets are too long for you to sit down comfortably in (our sizing page has more information on this), we recommend trying either a regular underbust corset or a waist cincher corset, both of which are now available in some colorways/fashion fabrics with more coming soon in our curviest pattern yet: the Hourglass Silhouette!
Entering and exiting the vehicle:
For getting into the car, I've found it's easiest to sit down on the car seat facing out the open door, and then swing the legs inside before closing the door. If you regularly drive a vehicle that requires stepping up in order to get in you may need to adjust this method to suit your situation. You simply reverse this process for exiting. Open the door, swing the legs out, and then stand up. As an added bonus, in addition to looking quite graceful, getting in and out of cars this way seems to be less stressful on the knees (personal experience speaking), so if someone has weak knees or old injuries this is also a good way to minimize the chances of damaging them.
The images below (from left to right) show this "sit then swing" method of entering a car. I find having a hand on the steering wheel while swinging my legs into the car makes it a little easier.
Most people notice a difference in posture the moment they lace up in a corset. Depending on your uncorseted posture and the difference between that and your corseted posture you may find the mirrors and seat of your car need to be adjusted in order to comfortably and safely drive while wearing a corset (more on adjustments can be read further down). Your exact posture and the adjustments that need to be made will vary based on individual factors, so if the following isn't precisely what you experience, don't worry! Personally I've found that I tend to slump through the shoulders when not corseted and sit with a very straight back and with the full length of my back pressed more firmly against the seat of the car when wearing a corset. This change in posture can lead to numerous tweaks needing to be made prior to driving off.
The images below show the difference in driving posture both in (right hand photo) and out (left hand photo) of a corset. The posture difference is fairly subtle in pictures, but you can see that my shoulders sit higher on the headrest while I'm wearing a corset and also how much straighter my arms have to be in order to reach the steering wheel.
Range of Motion:
You're sitting down, so what does your corseted range of motion matter? Think about how you normally turn to check for oncoming traffic or blind spots while driving. Go a step further and actually do this while seated in your parked car. If you normally turn from the shoulders or mid-back down, you'll likely find that checking the space around your car is more difficult while wearing your corset. Turning your head from the neck only may be more comfortable while wearing your corset; however, if you aren't confident that you're able to fully check the area around your car while laced into your corset, you should NOT attempt to drive while wearing it.
The images below show the difference in range of motion created by a corset, mostly visible in the angle of my face. In both pictures I am turning as far to my right as is comfortable. While the corset can't be seen in the picture, the right hand photo is the one in which I'm wearing the corset.
The change in posture from wearing a corset can make it feel like the space needed to reach the steering wheel has changed. If, like me, you tend to slump through the shoulders when not corseted, you may find that you need to stretch your arms further to reach the steering wheel while wearing a corset. If you're able to comfortably reach and use the steering wheel, you may not need to make any adjustments to your seat; however, if reaching the wheel is difficult or impossible adjusting the seat's distance from the wheel is crucial to being able to drive safely.
*Note: Adjusting the seat may not be an option for people with long legs who need the maximum amount of leg space their vehicles can provide. Once again, this is the boat I'm in, thankfully my long arms compensate for this. Seat adjustment may also not be an option for people who need to maintain a certain distance from the steering column for safety in the event of a collision and airbag deployment.
** Note: While it isn't something I've personally experienced, if you find your head hits the ceiling of your car when you try to drive while wearing your corset, adjusting the seat may help with this, but results will no doubt vary based on the specific vehicle you drive.
Steering wheel column adjustment:
While this isn't something I have personally tried, one of our readers noted that adjusting the steering wheel is also an option, particularly for people of a bit shorter stature (in order to comfortably see over the wheel) and those who need to maintain a certain distance from the steering wheel for saftey in the event of a collision and airbag deployment. Making adjustments to the steering wheel column may work as an alternative to adjusting the driver's seat position.
Mirror adjustment is pretty intuitive. If you find yourself sitting comfortably in the car and the view in the mirrors is different than you normally prefer or you can't check blind spots in them, adjust those things! Because of the change in posture, I find I have to adjust my mirrors almost every time I drive when corseted (assuming the previous time I drove I wasn't wearing a corset).
If you find that the even with the adjustments and tips above something is still distracting you, limiting your visibility, or impairing your driving in any way, please be safe and don't attempt to drive while corseted.
Have any of you tried driving while wearing your corset? Have any additional tips and tricks you think we've missed? Let us know in the comments!
Since these tips and tricks are based on personal experience, full disclosure: I am 6'2" flat footed (I often pair corsets with heels, including when driving. Driving in heels is really another matter, so if you're at all uncomfortable doing so, please be safe and wear flats instead. Just like corsets, putting your heels on once you've arrived at your destination is always an option.) and drive a Honda Civic. The corset in the photographs is a brand new, unseasoned Lilac Embroidery Long Corset (TUL-363). My trips driving while corseted are usually commuting to and from Timeless Trends headquarters which generally takes around 20 minutes, although I have driven for up to 1.5 hours in one stretch while wearing a corset. Personal height, vehicle make, model, and size, as well as the length of the drive and the fit of the corset worn are all likely to affect individual experiences with driving while corseted.
Blog post edited on 10/15/2015 to include additional information as suggested by a reader. You can read Jenn's comment below for some additional tips and tricks she's found useful.