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What’s the Difference Between a Corset and a Bustier?

corset bustier

Hi Friends,

I wrote this pre pandemic and I’ve been holding off sending it out. Just a quick reminder, our Express Window is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1pm-4pm for sales or curbside pick up. AND we are offering free shipping within Canada. DON’T FORGET we’re also having a 50% off sale on our imported items. And now, let’s jump into one of our most frequently asked questions.

What exactly is a corset?

Traditionally, a corset is a tight fitting undergarment that is designed to cinch the waist. They typically have boning throughout the garment and lace up in the front or back. They have been used for fashion and medical purposes and have been worn by both men and women. Under bust corsets or waist cinchers are worn below your bust. Over bust corsets cover your bust. They can be worn in place of a bra or over your bra depending what you’re comfortable with. 

What is a Bustier?

A Bustier is a tight fitting undergarment that is designed to boost the bust. Unlike a corset, bustiers do not lace up. They may or may not have boning. Whereas corsets can be worn as a top or as an undergarment, bustiers are traditionally worn as undergarments and are more comparable to shape wear. They are worn in place of a bra.

What is Boning?

Boning is used to give the corset or bustier shape on your body. The more boning and the closer it is together, the more shape you will get. In Victorian times whale boning (made out of the baleen) was the standard but today steel, and plastic are generally used. Plastic boned corsets are the less expensive and typically what you would find at big box stores. Plastic boned corsets are great for costumes and causal wear however the boning can be prone to kinking. Steel boning is great for people who are really serious about corsetry. They are typically more expensive but give amazing shape. If you are not used to wearing a corset, you may find that steel boned corsets will take some getting used to.

Which one is better?

It’s hard to say which is better as they are used for different purposes. Bustiers are great for under tight fitting tops,wedding gowns, or anytime you want to smooth out your waist while accentuating your boobs. Corsets are great for going out, cosplay/ costuming, drag or anytime you need a really snatched waist. It really comes down to asking, which one is better for specific circumstances.

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Devon Dale
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