1. Start by tying a ribbon or string around your
waistline (usually the narrowest part of your torso,
but sometimes that can vary; see photo to right of the
correct and incorrect waistline). Keep the ribbon and
the tape measure horizontal to the floor in front and
back. In measuring the rib cage in the back for women,
this means the tape measure will go over the top or
slightly higher than, the back of your bra strap.
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.
WHAT CORSET WAIST REDUCTION TO ORDER:
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.
The amount of
reduction you should order depends upon your body size
and shape, comfort with restriction, muscle tone, past
experience with corseting and tight-lacing, goals of
corseting, and style or figure silhouette of the corset
you order. Please suggest what you desire and tell us
your corset-wearing experience and goals. We will then
advise you on the matter.
HOW TO ACHIEVE THE PROPER RIB CAGE FIT:
Toothpaste (amusingly aka "back boobies") over
the top or 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 top of 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), and
4. When a very stiff corset is ordered (such as one
with 1/2"-wide boning, or any corset by Sharon).
Therefore, please tell us if you have a broad back and
are a genetic male. We will accommodate the pattern
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 (for location
of pelvic bone aka iliac crest, see image below on
11. Around 5" down from waist.
12. Around widest derriere or "fanny" (MTFs, please
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).
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 (Wear
a bra to take this measurement).
3. Side front, center of nipple to top of corset.
4. Center front, waist to top of corset (for
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
garment (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 (For underbust
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 (Note that
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
garment. You may leave this measurement up to us).
The below vertical measurements are helpful to us,
but are not shown on the above graphic:
10. Bust height: 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
FOR POSTURE COLLAR ("NECK") CORSETS AND CHOKERS:
1. Horizontal - around neck at mid point
2. Horizontal - around lower head above the lips.
3. Vertical center front - from hollow at base of
neck up to bottom of chin.
4. Vertical center back - from top cervical bone
to base of hairline.
5. Vertical side - from where neck joins shoulder
to edge of lower jaw bone.
6. Diagonal - from hollow at base of neck to base
7. Vertical - desired length from hollow at base of
neck to top of collar.
OTHER GARMENTS - GLOVES, CHEMISES, PANTALOONS, CORVEST, BODICES, SKIRTS:
1. Across shoulders from seam to seam.
2. Around wrist.
3. Around upper thigh.
4. Around knee.
5. Around 1" below knee.
6. Around calf.
7. Around both ankle standing feet together.
8. Horizontal from shoulder seam behind neck to
other shoulder seam.
9. Vertical front measurement from just under chin
to lowest point of collar.
10. Vertical from waist to knee.
11. Vertical from waist to floor in stocking feet.
12. Vertical from nipple to top of shoulder.
13. Vertical from neck to floor.
14. Vertical from shoulder to wrist.
15. Dress or jacket size.
Quantity in Basket: none
Code: Measurement Instructions
Shipping Weight: 0.00 pounds