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FAQ: Are these real corsets?

are these real corsets

FAQ: Are these real corsets?

This is a question we get fairly regularly and I’m never totally sure how to answer it. The answer is yes but there seems to be a little bit of an exclusionary attitude when it comes to corsets so I thought I would break down what a corset is and let you make up your own mind.

What exactly is a corset

Traditionally, a corset is a tight fitting undergarment that is designed to cinch the waist and typically had boning and lacing. They have been used for fashion and medical purposes and have been worn by both and men and women. Underbust corsets or waist cinchers are worn below your bra. Overbust corsets can be worn in place of a bra or over your bra depending what you’re comfortable with. Today, corsets are worn as an undergarment or shapewear, or corsets can be worn as a top.

are these real corsets


Boning is used to give the corset shape on your body. The more boning and the closer it is together, then the more cinche you will get. People generally think of whale boning when they think of corsets but today steel, flexible steel and plastic are generally used. Plastic boned corsets are the least expensive and typically what you would find at big box stores like Forever 21 or La Senza. Plastic boned corsets are great for costumes and causal wear however the boning is prone to kinking. Flexible steel boning is a nice middle of the road option. Corsets with flexible steel boning will give you a great shape but still let you move comfortably and they’re not terrible to wear for hours on end. Really heavy duty steel boning is great for people who are really serious about corsetry. They give amazing shape and they generally take a little bit of practice to wear for a long period of time.

Bonus: How to Tie Your Own Corset

What we do

Handmade Venus & Mars corsets fall somewhere between the flexible steel boning and the heavy steel. They give great shape due the heavy steel boning on the sides but the front and back have flexible steel boning so you can still move and bend and breathe comfortably. They are available online and in store. In our brick and mortar, we also carry imported flexible steel boned corsets as well as plastic boned corsets. We liked to carry a variety of options at different price points so that corsets can be accessible to everyone.

Corsets are fun to wear and they can make you feel sexy or powerful or whatever you’d like. They are great as shapewear or on their own. Corsets are a great tool for cosplay or costumes and they look excellent as part of a steampunk outfit. Like anything, I feel like when you start to take corsets too seriously or narrow the definition to a point where it excludes people it stops being fun. What do you think? Am I totally wrong? Let us know in the comments. Better yet, come down to the store and try a couple on. Then you can decide for yourself whether or not our corsets are real.

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