A corset is a garment worn to hold and shape the torso. This can either be for fashionable reasons and desired aesthetics or for medical reasons. The saying that ‘you get what you pay for’ is true of the corset and to get a perfect and unique fit, a custom made corset will cost you more. Some people prefer the investment in return for a long lasting corset with a great shape, while others prefer a handful of different corsets, shapes, materials and colours which cost less.
Why wear a corset?
There a number of reasons why people wear a corset and in many cases, this can help decide whether to opt for a cheaper corset or a customized one.
In more recent times, the fashion world has adopted the ‘corset’ and bent its meaning and purpose to some extent. Many clothing, called a corset, only actually mimics the traditional corset but does not have the effect of acting as one. For example, some tops and dresses include the lacing or boning that a corset has, but the fit does not shape the wearer’s body. As such, a cheaper corset from a generic high street shop or from an Ebay shop would fit the purpose fine.
However, if you’d like to wear a corset for its traditional purposes, a genuine corset is made by a corsetmaker and fitted to the individuals’ body.
The most common and well-known use of corsets is to slim the body and make it conform to a fashionable silhouette. Usually, for women, this is to bring in the waist and exaggerate the bust and hips, giving the hourglass look. For those who are naturally slim, it can give a curvier shape and for those more overweight, it can give the illusion of a smaller waist.
Another reason to wear the corset is for spinal problems such as scoliosis or internal injury. They are often worn during recovery to aid the bones and muscles to recover in shape and with good posture or for a longer period of time to protect the torso from spinal conditions that can not necessarily be improved. The corset can improve posture, back pain and breathing. The general consensus is that a custom made corset is better for medical reasons, as it is fitted for the wearer’s exact body shape and measurements.
Corsets are also sometimes worn as a sexual fetish or certain themes such as gothic wear or fancy dress. In this instance, usually a cheaper version of a corset will work just as well as a custom made version.
Usually cheaper corsets are suitable for fashionable reasons, but sometimes lack the exact shape or fit needed. A one size fits all, is not necessarily the best option for creating the perfect silhouette or strengthening the spinal muscles. In these cases, having an individually measured corset works best and avoids gaping areas in the corset shape.