How to lace, wear & style a corset belt/ waspie?


What is a corset belt?

A corset belt is a a wide belt that is designed to resemble an underbust waspie corset. As such, it often features a snap closure on the one side (such as the busk a waspie would have) and it has lacing on the other side, which can be tightened to cinch in the waist, in much the same way a corset would.

What is the difference between a waspie & a corset belt?

Very often the terms ‘waspie’, ‘corset belt’ and ‘waist cincher’ are used interchangeably, as they have a lot in common and they overlap in meaning.

A waspie usually refers to a garment that is boned; it is an actual underbust corset that is quite short in length, and focuses its cinching efforts on the waist only (as opposed to a full corset, which would be longer and also shape the tummy area & hips, and sometimes the bust too)

A corset belt also only cinches the waist but it usually lacks boning, and relies on being made from a stiff, strong material to provide the resistance needed to shape the body.

However corsets, waspies and corset belts alike rely on the mechanisms of lacing to function: Once pulled, the lacing makes them smaller around the waist and reduces the waist circumference significantly. In the absence of lacing, however, one may only speak of a belt, no matter how wide or tight; it is the lacing aspect that gives a belt the attribute of being like a corset.

A ‘plain’ waist-cincher on the other hand, is more like shapewear: It usually lacks the lacing and stiffness of both corset belts and waspies, and relies instead on being made from strong elastic in order to compress the waist and contour the body. The compression that can be achieved in this way is usually much less than a lace-up piece would produce.

This is because the lace-up mechanism can concentrate a lot more force specifically in the waist area.

Another notable difference is that the corset belt can be a little more comfortable to wear as it isn’t as restrictive as a fully boned corset; it’s kind of a ‘quick n dirty’ way to cinch the waist and shape the body. It is also more versatile and fits more outfits, as it retains its visual identity as a belt.

How to wear a corset belt?

This is the easy part; corset belts will usually (hopefully!) feature a fastening that opens up, so that they can be worn without the lacing being undone every time. Ours does!

So just open it up and position it around your waist! But before you start to pull at the lacing:

  • make sure that the belt is positioned exactly where your natural waist is; you want the narrowest part of the belt to lie on top of the narrowest part of your torso. This is also the part that is softest and most compressible, so that you may tighten the corset belt more if you wish.

  • Make sure all the clothing that you are wearing underneath the belt is smoothed out and positioned where you want it. Once the corset belt is tightened, it will become much more difficult to reposition and rearrange.

Then once you are ready

  • breath out
  • brace yourself and
  • SLOWLY pull at the middle loops of the lacing. It is very important to lace in slow, so as to give your body a chance to adjust to the new conditions. Give those organs a bit of time to find their new place and so on.

It cannot be stressed enough that you must never tighten your lacing suddenly or too much at once. If you are lacing up someone else, ALWAYS give them a warning before you are about to start pulling.

  • If you are wanting to lace your belt a lot, or all the way in, the trick is to do it gradually. Lace up to where you feel comfortable, tie the laces and wait for 10 minutes or so. Then you can go back and lace it in some more, and then repeat the process until you have reached your desired point. Tightening a corset belt in stages like that will make the whole process a lot easier and will also ensure you avoid any pain or injury.

Ta-da! You now have a smokin’ hot figure of the hourglass kind.

How to style a corset belt?

Ah-ha. The million dollar question.

Obviously the ultimate advice in all matters of style is to do what damn well pleases you, and you only.

Besides that, there’s definitely a couple of things that can be said about corset belt outfits.

The main aspect to consider is that corset belts, as they do not compress the tummy like a full-on corset would, can cause it to protrude a bit -depending of course on the physique of the wearer.

Now, this may be something that you very much like and want to accentuate; a flat tummy is thankfully far past being the be-all and end-all of desirable traits.

If on the other hand, you prefer to diminish this effect, there’s a couple stylistic tricks you can use:

  • wearing shapewear or latex underneath the corset belt. The heavy elastic that classic shapewear is made out of, as well as thicker grade latex (0.5 and up) will compress and visually contain the contours of the body. In fact, both those solutions have their roots in historical silhouettes: Latex girdles first appeared in the 1920s as a means of compressing all curves of the body in order to achieve the boyish silhouette then in vogue. On the other hand from the 1930s through to the 1960s, wherever an hourglass figure was desired, it was common practice to combine shapewear with corsets and/or corset belts on top. This advice is certainly well tried and tested, and will most definitely serve well.

  • Alternatively, you may combine your corset belt with a garment which has added fullness around the tummy. This may seem counter-intuitive; why would you add more volume exactly where you would like to be less voluminous? And yet, a well-tailored pair of trousers with front pleats, or a skirt/dress with gathering or rouching at the front will compliment a corset belt beautifully as it will hang loose over your tummy and equally distribute the extra volume around your figure. Alternatively you can try a long and loose blouse, which you can gather tight around your waist with the corset belt, and let it hang amply over your tummy and hips.

Ultimately, the goal of all stylistic interventions should be to enamour one with themselves, to center and empower them. As a body sculpting garment, a corset belt has great transforming potential and can be used to do just that, but always within the realm of what you want for yourself and not what society wants of you. All bodies are beautiful, and a corset belt is only an accentuation and not a foundation of that beauty.

Our corset belt is made with all of that in mind, and it is one of our proudest creations! It goes with LITERALLY everything and has the capacity to elevate any outfit to new heights. And so we believe that it has a place in anyone’s wardrobe! That is why we make it affordable, and customised to your measurements with each order.

Go an and try it!

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