It’s recommended to have help lacing you in to your corset, especially the first few times, but it's not necessary. For some help, loop the laces around a doorknob and lean forward to take up the slack. Start by grasping the top of the lacing and take it in just a little bit, working your way down to the centre. Then do this from the bottom to the centre, and repeat this several times as needed, then tie in a bow to secure the laces.
In “how to lace a corset”, we show a way to do the lacing. Never wrap the laces around the corset, it will cause unnecessary stress on the waist and friction can damage the outer leather. While you are lacing keep constant watch of your corset's position on your body. Use the boning as guides to centre the corset. As you lace up you feel where the waist is, do not do this too fast and take your time adjusting the corset and your clothes under the corset.
It can be difficult at first to know exactly how high or low to position the corset. You should feel it press down slightly on your hips when laced in, but not uncomfortably so. It is easier to tell if it's too high because it will constrict your chest and possibly give you a backache. If you do what is comfortable and give yourself plenty of time to play around with it you will find the proper fit. Be very mindful of this when breaking it in: if you break it in off-centre, it will stay that for good.
Remember that we draft your pattern so the corset will have a 2,5 cm or 1 inch gap with the lacing when it's closed. This is only once your corset is fully broken in however. At first the gap will be wider than that and it will close as the corset breaks in. Don't try to cinch it closed at first, just make sure that it's even. If the gap is larger on one end it will add extra stress that will cause damage in the long run.
Don't expect to wear your corset out right away. It’s better to let it break in and conform to your body. Wear it around the house the first few times until you're comfortable wearing it for at least 4 hours at a time.
Giving yourself plenty of preparation time before you wear it out will ensure your comfort in the long run. Before you do anything you should have already eaten a modest meal and gone to the bathroom. We would suggest doing this at least an hour before, but you will know your body best. After a few times out you'll be able to time everything more efficiently.
You won't be able to bend your back while wearing your corset, so dress appropriately and in the easiest order; stockings and shoes first. Lace yourself in enough to get a snug fit with some restriction, but don't go all the way. Wear it like this for 30 minutes so your body can adjust and the corset can warm up and mold to your body. At this point you can finish lacing in.
If you eat while wearing your corset drink lots of fluids (relatively, you only have so much room in your stomach) with your meal, take small bites and chew your food thoroughly. Avoid starches, carbohydrates and carbonated beverages as all can give you very uncomfortable stomach cramps. Going out to the pub for a couple of pints is not the time you'll want to be wearing a corset!
Unless you are waist-training (wearing 23/7) you probably won't sleep in your corset. Regardless, if you do sleep in it, don't wear it as tight as you normally would. Or, if you have an older and larger corset wear that one (this is likely because you have trained your waist small enough to need a smaller corset).
Though it may be tempting, don't tighten your corset too much for the first few times you wear it. It needs time to mold to your body and take the strain of waist reduction evenly. If you tighten it too much at first you might warp it. Once this happens it will never fit you properly. The first time you wear it you should have no more than 2,5 cm or 1inch of reduction.
Wear it for 2-4 hours or as long as comfortable. Do this for the first 3 or 4 times u wear it. Excessive force applied too quickly is the most common cause of damaged corsets, so keep this in mind when you go for new levels of reduction.
We don't recommended you to clean your corset every time you wear it, it's not necessary. Just hang it up and let it air out each time you wore it. Never put your corset in the wash - there is exposed steel which will rust over time. For tips on how to clean leather, see our leather care article. Protect your corset when in storage, you can hang it up on a hanger or lay it flat in a drawer.
If you take care of your corset it will last for many years to come. Don't feel as if you have limit how often you wear it though. In fact, the more you wear it the more comfortable it will feel and the normal wear over time will add character to its look.
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