SUMMARY: Please carefully follow the guidelines
below, then view illustrative images below in order to
accomplish the best measuring results possible.
You may send discrete images while wearing lingerie or
bathing suit and with a ribbon tied around your
tape measure held around
or up to your torso with readable numbers. We do not
accept any other type of photo, because it will be
unhelpful to improve your corset fit. Measurements may be in inches or centimeters, and for
accuracy should normally be taken by someone else,
three times, and averaged. The average should be reported as
your final measurement. While accuracy is important to achieve the best fit,
please do not be overly-concerned
about measuring since we are
happy to advise you via email, telephone
(415.587.3863), or Skype. You may rely on over 27 years in
business to guide you to the proper measurements and
PERIMETER SHAPES DESIRED:
View your choices of top and bottom perimeter shapes
. Let us know your choice for
each one so that we can verify that measurements you
submit will actually result in the perimeter shapes
you envision. If you do not indicate anything to the
contrary, standard perimeter shapes typically will be
the following; some corset styles dictate or influence
the shape of the perimeter:
--underbust styles: gentle top edge rise and rounded bottom.
--overbust styles: Valentine-shaped bodice top and
MUSLIN RECOMMENDED FOR ALL UNDERBUST STYLES FOR
WAISTS 40" AND ABOVE:
Clients with waistlines 45" and over are advised to
order an interim muslin fitting an underbust style (from $65 to
$90 additional; a muslin is included with
basic overbust style pricing.
HOW TO MEASURE:
1. Start by tying a ribbon or string around your
waistline (usually the narrowest part of your torso,
but sometimes that can vary;
correct and incorrect waistline positions pictured
left). Note that full figures may push the ribbon above
your proper waistline. You may then place it in the middle of
your lowest rib and upper pelvic bone (iliac crest).
Keep the ribbon and
the tape measure horizontal to the floor in the front and
back of your torso. In measuring the rib cage in the back for women,
this means the tape measure will go to the middle or
over the top of your bra strap. If you wish a high back
corset (about 7 to 9" from the waist to top), place tape
measure slightly above your bra strap in back.
2. Measure as close to the skin as possible. For
overbust styles wear a bra and measure over it,
in order to insure proper cleavage and lift in the
muslin corset we prepare in advance of your final
3. Measure three times and take an average for the
4. Measure waistline snugly (so that tape does not
slip around the skin), measure all others evenly.
Do not let the tape measure actually indent your skin;
let it "sit" gently on the skin.
Many clients new to corsetry with natural waistlines
up to 30", start with a four-inch waistline reduction.
Those with waistlines 30" to 40" start with a five-inch
reduction, while those with waistlines over 40" may
order a six or more-inch reduction.
What that means is
that when you eventually lace the corset closed in back,
your under-corset measurements will be the amount of
reduction you order.
However, what you order also depends on the plasticity
of your torso (how "squishy" you are, and the muscle tone). It also
depends upon your body size
and shape, comfort with restriction, past
experience with corseting and tight-lacing, goals of
corseting, and style or figure silhouette of the corset
Please suggest what you desire and tell us
your corset-wearing experience and goals. We will then
advise you on this matter.
HOW TO ACHIEVE THE PROPER RIB CAGE FIT:
Toothpaste (amusingly AKA "back boobies" or "muffin top;" view images of
this problem of uncontained flesh on the page below) over
the top or below the bottom edges of your corset
can be caused in several ways:
1. When the horizontal rib cage measurement is too
2. When the tape measure drops below the bra strap in back,
3. For genetic males, when they are muscular and
firm in the back (genetic females have less musculature
in back). Therefore, please tell us if you have a broad back and
are a genetic male. We will accommodate the pattern
4. When a very stiff corset is ordered (such as one
with 1/2"-wide boning, or any corset by Sharon); be
sure to measure a bit higher up your back for this "ice
cream cone"- or V-torso-silhouetted corset.
MEASUREMENTS REQUIRED FOR VARIOUS CORSET STYLES:
Many clients leave it up
to us to determine the appropriate underarm and back
measurements, but you may report those if you have a
precise number in mind.
For underbust styles: HORIZONTAL: Numbers 7-12.
VERTICAL: Numbers 1, 4-9.
For overbust corset styles: HORIZONTAL: Numbers
1-12. VERTICAL: Numbers 1-9.
FOR CORSETS - HORIZONTAL MEASUREMENTS:
1. Around high bust just under armpits.
2. Around natural chest.
(Women and transgender
MTF client please wear a non-padded bra, unless you
desire to pad your corset bodice cup, then wear
3. Nipple to nipple.
(Women and MTF clients please
wear a non-padded bra, unless you desire to pad your
corset bodice cup, then wear equivalent padding).
4. Bra size and cup size.
5. Around from underarm across bra/bosom to
6. Around from underarm across back to underarm
(Do not let tape measure drop in back; hold parallel to
the top of your bra strap in back).
7. Around just under the lower bust.
(This is your
rib cage, just under your bra underwire.
Do not let tape measure drop in back; hold parallel to
the top of your of your bra strap in back).
8. Around snug waistline.
("Snug" waist measurement
means: stand with good posture but don't "suck in"
your tummy. Place tape closely against your natural
waistline where you wear your skirt or pants waistband.
Generally measure one inch above belly button for a
feminine waistline, one inch below for masculine
waistline. If you are not able to move the tape measure
around your body but it "sticks" to your skin, then
this is the proper "snug" measurement).
9. Desired waist measurement.
(When the corset
closes in back after a period of seasoning,
how tightly do you want it to measure over the corset?)
10. Around pelvic bone 3" below waist
of pelvic bone aka iliac crest, see image below on
11. Around 5" down from waist.
12. Around widest derriere or "fanny".
measure over padding if you intend to wear your corset
over that; measure without padding if you intend to wear
your corset next to your natural body and pull hip pads
over the corset. Note that you cannot do both as the
bottom perimeter will vary quite a bit one measurement
from the other and then tend to be too tight or too
loose if you change your mind about padding).
FOR CORSETS - VERTICAL MEASUREMENTS:
1. Side front, waist to just under the lower bust.
(Look down over your nipple. This is the "sidefront"
of your body where you will take this measurement.
View image below on this page to locate the position.
Women and MTF clients should measure up from your waist
to your bra underwire or slightly lower. Men should
measure up to the beginning of their chest swell. Be
careful not to measure too high or your corset may tend
to rise up and push into your bosom. However, if you
measure too low then your rib cage may tend to protrude
over the top of your corset).
2. Side front, waist to center of nipple.
a bra to take this measurement).
3. Side front, center of nipple to top of corset.
4. Center front, waist to top of corset.
underbust styles, the standard is 1" taller than
measurement no. 1 above. However, you may request more
than 1" which will result in a pointed center front;
or less than 1" which will result in a flatter slope in
the center top of your corset. For overbust styles the
standard is about 7 or 8").
5. Center front, waist to bottom of corset or
(For corsets, this should be from your waist
low enough to cover your tummy flesh but not so low
as to press into your "privates." Rather than use a tape
measure it is best to use a ruler to take this
particular measurement, because a ruler will push
flesh inward toward your torso just like the corset
will do. Take this measurement several times while
sitting down and several times while standing up.
Those measurements will likely be different, so report
the average. For example, a person 5'6" to 5'9" tall
will likely report about 4.5" for a man and about 5.5"
for a woman. If you are taller, this distance may stay
the same or get longer, and if you are shorter, the
reverse. Photos of your torso will help us determine if
you have properly averaged this measurement).
6. Underarm, waist to top of corset.
styles, this is typically to the middle of your bra
strap underarm; for overbust styles this is typically
to the top of your bra strap underarm. You may leave
this measurement up to us).
7. Underarm, waist to bottom of corset.
Victorian corsets from the 1880's are typically
higher-hipped than the longline Edwardian corsets.
Thus, Victorian corsets are typically 3 to 5" for this
measurement, while Edwardian corsets from the 1900's
are typically 6 to 9" for this measurement. Within each
range, you may choose what you prefer. You may also
leave this measurement up to us).
8. Back center, waist to top of corset or garment.
(Standard is bra height. However, you may request a
higher back which may result in a modest upcharge,
or a low-backed corset but it must be at least 4" for
this measurement to permit suitable waist reduction.
You may leave this measurement up to us).
9. Back center, waist to bottom of corset or
(You may leave this measurement
up to us).
The below vertical measurements are helpful to us,
but are not shown on the above graphic:
(Side front, place the tape measure
around your neck. Measure from center of nipple to
center of other nipple, then divide that by two and
report that measurement.)
- Waist height.
(Place tape measure around your
neck. Measure from your side front waistline, over
the bust apex around your neck and other the other bust
apex to your waistline. then divide that by two and
report that measurement.)
- Side front, waist to just above your leg bend.
(Take this while standing and sitting to ensure the
corset stops just shy of your leg bend, otherwise you
may not be able to sit.)
FOR ALL CORSETS INCLUDE:
2. Approximate weight.
3. Are you particularly pliable and elastic at the
4. Are you particularly toned at the waistline?
5. What experience do you have with wearing
6. How many hours can you wear a corset
comfortably, and at what over-corset measurement?
7. Basic perimeter shape - top underbust: (1) flat, (2) slightly rounded, (3) slightly pointed, (4) very pointed, (5) double scalloped or dipped.
8. Basic perimeter shape - bottom underbust or
overbust: (1) round, (2) slightly rounded, (3)
slightly pointed, (4) very pointed, (5) raised center
front, (6) triple scalloped.
9. Basic perimeter shape - top overbust:
(1) Valentine, (2) deep plunge, (3) soft Valentine,
(4) slight side lift, (5) flat, (6) scooped.
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