Saturday, January 26, 2008

How to Choose a Corset

There are so many different corsets and corset-style tops around today, It can be difficult to differentiate and tell which are good value for money. This how-to should help you to know what to look for in a corset and hopefully stop you from getting ripped off.


  • Decide that you want a real corset, not just a bodice, you will need to look at the boning. All good quality modern corsets are made with steel boning of some kind, which serves the purpose of holding the fabric taut and stopping it from going into folds at your waist and bunching at the back where it laces up. The boning in tops and bodices is usually just thin plastic, so don't make the mistake of imagining you will be able to wear a normal boned top as a corset. To test if the boning is good enough, bend it quite sharply and it should spring back. If it kinks, it's a sure sign that it will dig in to your waist and be very uncomfortable.
  • It doesn't matter if the boning around the corset is slightly more flexible, as long as the bones at the front and back are fairly rigid.
  • Realize that an important feature to look for is the fabric. Even if you won't be "tight lacing", you still need a strong fabric like coutil, drill, heavyweight canvas etc. Corsets usually have a fashion fabric and a lining, so you might not be able to see the strong layer but you will be able to feel that it is quite tough. Take it in both hands and yank the fabric - It should feel very sturdy with no give whatsoever. If the fabric is thin enough to scrunch in your hand, it won't be sturdy enough. Incidentally, if the shop assistant thinks you're damaging it - it probably won't be strong enough!
  • Know that asteel busk is the usual fastening for the front of a corset, and with a very few exceptions it's really the only type of fastener which is strong enough. Normal wire hooks & eyes will not last long, and likewise zips are best avoided. A busk looks like a piece of fairly solid steel boning with loops and studs (a bit like hooks & eyes) attached. If a corset doesn't have a busk, it will need to have some other kind of solid boning down the front.
  • Know that laces down the back of the corset are usually flat cotton ones, like shoelaces.
  • Some types of ribbon can be used, but they have to be really strong. Eyelets should be very well attached, otherwise they might pop off. Check that they have washers on the back, rather than just gripping into the fabric. There should also be solid boning either side of the eyelets to distribute the tension.
  • Realize that style and fit of a corset can be the biggest issue especially if you are an unusual shape. Corsets are always sized by waist measurement, not dress size. The number on the label will be something like "22" "24" "26" etc, which is the actual measurement in inches of the waistline of the corset. You will need one about 4 inches smaller than your own waist, so you can lace in a bit and have a gap in the laces. Corsets are designed to give a curvy figure to an average-shaped person, so if you are already quite curvy, you might need to get a "tight lacing" corset which has bigger hips, or even better yet, get one made-to-measure.


  • When buying a corset online, ask what the bust and hip measurements are, so you know if it will suit your figure.
  • Buy the best you can afford, even if you have no intention of waist training.
  • If you are an unusual shape, or if you want to start serious waist training, you will probably need to get a corset made-to-measure
  • Look at how curvy a corset is. You will need one which is curvier than you already are.


  • Corsets are expensive. However, you're not paying for some designer label to line their pockets, you're paying for the actual hours that are put into making it - it's a lot like haute couture fashion.
  • The most oft-repeated advice with corsets is that you get what you pay for! Most corsets are at least £100, so if it's only 20 quid it won't last 10 minutes.
  • Don't buy a (so called) corset from a high street chain store, they're only designed to last for about 3 christmas parties.

Friday, January 25, 2008

How to Choose the Right Swimsuit

As summer approaches, the annual search for the perfect swimsuit has already begun for most women. While this search may often seem equally depressing and futile, it is possible to find the perfect swimsuit for your body shape, armed with the right information.


  • Throw out all of your old, ill-fitting swimsuits and start fresh with a renewed vision of your body.

  • Look in the mirror and honestly decide what particular body shape you have. There is no shape that you should be ashamed of, and knowing your particular body shape will greatly facilitate your swimsuit search.

  • Hit the stores with your shape in mind and look for the following types of swimsuits:

  • a) Short torso: If your body is short in proportion to your legs, you will want a swimsuit that gives the impression of litheness. Try a bikini with a halter-top to emphasize the bust and shoulders. Pair this top with bikini bottoms that sit low on the hips.

  • b) Long torso: To give the impression of long legs, try a one-piece swimsuit or bikini with high-cut legs. High-cut legs shorten the torso and lengthen the legs.

  • c) Pear shape: A pear shape has often been the plague of women, but it no longer needs to be so. To flatter a pear shape, try pairing an eye-catching bikini or tankini top with subdued bottoms in a dark color. This type of swimsuit will draw attention toward your more appealing characteristics.

  • d) Large bust: Thankfully for women of all bust sizes, swimsuit designers are now offering one-piece swimsuits and bikini tops with bra-style support. For a large bust, look for a straight across cut at the top of your swimsuit with wide set straps to minimize your bust. Also, be sure to try a bikini top with a hidden underwire for extra support.

  • e) Small bust: To add curves and subtle cleavage to a small bust, look for a bikini top with triangle-shaped cups and a tie-front. These features will add shape and the appearance of size to your small bust.

  • f) Plus size: In general, you will want to look for swimsuits in darker colors in a plus size, as these colors will have an overall minimizing effect. However, you do not have to rely solely upon black swimsuits. Deep reds and blues will have the same effect and are a bit more appropriate for summer fun. To accentuate curves, look for a fitted swimsuit with a defined waist and a high percentage of Lycra/spandex. A high-cut leg will also slim your legs and hips.

  • Check the swimsuits out. After you have chosen a few swimsuits to try on, try to view them in as natural light as possible. Dressing room lights are often harsh and very unflattering.

  • Buy what fits well. Overall, you should choose the swimsuit that you feel most comfortable to display around your family and friends. One of the best-kept secrets of sexiness is feeling comfortable within your own skin.


  • A lot of swimsuit stores offer helpful information for finding the right swimsuit fit for your body. Be sure to visit a few sites listed in external links

  • Always be honest with yourself about your swimsuit fit. If your skin is bulging anywhere, you may need to try a larger size. Bathing suit sizes tend to be very different, and more traditional than most clothing. According to traditional sizing, a girl who is 5'7" and 110 is a size 8.

  • Swimsuits tend to enlarge a bit when wet, so make sure that your swimsuit is not already too large when you buy it. You definitely don't want to lose it when you dive into a pool!