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MEASUREMENT INSTRUCTIONS
[Updated 3/23/15]
GENERAL INFORMATION

Please read and carefully follow the guidelines below, then view images at the bottom of this page to accomplish the best results possible. Please do not be overly-concerned about measuring, since we are happy to advise you via email, telephone (415.587.3863) , or Skype!

Measurements may be in inches or centimeters, and should normally be taken by someone else. This is because bit is difficult to maintain accuracy when measuring yourself.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURACY:

Accuracy in measurements results in a well-fitting, comfortable corset. Please measure carefully, re-measure a month after ordering and then update us on any changes noted while your final corset or garment to be constructed.

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. A muslin is included with all our overbust style pricing. REPORT PERIMETER SHAPES DESIRED:

View perimeter shapes available for the top and bottom of your corset. 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 we provide for the top and bottom of basic corset styles are set forth on the above page link.

MEASUREMENTS REQUIRED FOR VARIOUS 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 2, 4-5, 7-12. VERTICAL: Numbers 1, 4-9.

For overbust corset styles: HORIZONTAL: Numbers 1-12. VERTICAL: Numbers 1-9. SENDING CONFIDENTIAL PHOTOS:

Photos of your measuring process while wearing tightly-fitting clothing or lingerie (do not send photos of a bare torso) will assist us to ensure that you are measuring correctly. 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; 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 corset.

3. Measure three times and take an average for the best results.

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 about 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 small,
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 slightly.

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 equivalent padding).
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 underarm.
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 this page).
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:

1. Height.
2. Approximate weight.
3. Are you particularly pliable and elastic at the waistline?
4. Are you particularly toned at the waistline?
5. What experience do you have with wearing corsets?
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 (Adam's Apple).
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 of earlobe.
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.


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