Violet Vixen provides showgirls, burlesque dancers, fashionistas, steampunkers, goth lovers, and aspiring starlets with flavor rich corsets just for fun or for daily wear.

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The Violet Vixen Blog

My first violet vixen corset

My First Corset

Astute_Steampunk_Mastermind_CorsetI started working for the Violet Vixen helping them manage their Facebook page about 6 months ago (Hi ladies! Kiss U!).

Of course one of the first things they have you do is – pick out a corset!

I learned so much from my first corset that I wanted to share my experience and give you hints along the way to make your journey easy too!

I was excited, but I never wore a corset before! No one in the office was going to help me, they wanted to see if I could figure it out just like our customers do so I could really learn my stuff. I am about 5’10 and 145-150lbs with either a 28″B or a 24″C cup size with measurements of 38″ 29″ 38.”

The “Astute Steampunk Mastermind” in brown brocade really caught my eye because I thought it would be easy to wear with jeans and I am a big fan of “Steampunk.”

Since my waist was a 29″1/2″ I figured I should round up to 30″ which is a size 26. Had I rounded down to a 28-29 I would have been a size 24 (which I would later learn is my true size).  Our I should have tried a corset sizing consultation, but they wouldn’t let me Tongue Out

corset measuring tapeHINT #1: ACCURATELY MEASURE YOURSELF! I rounded up to a larger size thinking that I could just “cinch” it in further. While that is true, I did not need the extra material especially in the bust. I ended up having to cinch this corset up so much that the two back halves almost overlapped – so in my case I should have rounded DOWN and opened the corset up more rather than trying to overly tighten a corset that was too big for me. Luckily our Authentic corsets have over 8 yards of lacing to play with and 4 inches of modesty panel – fabric that spans the gap between the back halves of a corset.

The day had finally arrived, my first corset was finally here! I had waited almost two weeks to get it and I had drooled over the internet pictures.

I opened up the package and was first struck by how sturdy it was! I knew it contained “steel boning,” but I guess I did not realize that steel is actually heavy! The brocade was thick and it had an iridescence to the texture that I loved, especially in different shades of light; another thing I had not expected from a “brown corset”.

I immediately stripped down to just my jeans and tried to put it on.

I impatiently loosened the laces about an inch and tried in vain to get the front zipper to come together. It didn’t fit!

Well, it did not seem to fit. I impatiently loosened the lacing again – but not out all the way. It was still a huge struggle and I could not get the front zipper even one inch apart! I was frustrated, I really wanted this thing on!

I took a moment and realized I would just have to be patient and pull the lacing out all the way – to get the corset as wide as possible! So I sat down on my bed and fully released all of the strong cord lacing and pulled the two brocade halves apart. This seemed to do the trick and I was able to easily zip up the front.

Astute_Steampunk_Mastermind_Corset_BackHINT #2: RELEASE ALL THE LACING ON THE CORSET TO MAKE IT EASY TO GET INTO THE FIRST TIME. Once you know your corset and body better you will be more aware of how much you need to loosen the corset to make it easiest for you to get it on and off.

Now, I was finally in my corset. I grabbed the back two laces and in one fell swoop pulled in opposite directions immediately cinching up the middle back of the corset. I liked the results, my waist was definitely reduced! It surprised me how comfortable I felt – like I was in a big strong supportive hug and that I was also bulletproof!

I gave another breath out and tried to pull again – and again, I seemed to get skinnier, but when I looked in the mirror the top and bottom parts of the back of my corset still looked loose.

There was one another problem, the top of the corset in the front seemed to flair out around my breasts and into my armpits, making me look like I was wearing a funnel!

Even though I know more experienced girls can get into a corset themselves, I quickly recruited my boyfriend to help (figuring I would pick up the solo corset lace-up skills along the way later). With my boyfriends patient fingers he tightened up the top and bottom of the corset by pulling the loose lacing through to the waist. We did a few more rounds of pulling the waist in really tight. I was definitely feeling the squeeze now!

I quickly paraded around the house and went to show my neighbors. I was so CUTE!

However, it was really really tight! After only 30-40 min, I felt like I had to take it off. But instead, my boyfriend loosened up the laces, and I immediately felt better.

HINT #3: DON’T OVER-TIGHTEN IT AT FIRST. First timers (like me) are really enthusiastic, but you need to work up to tight-lacing with corsets. Its actually best to only give a medium pull to your waist and then start pulling the top and bottom laces tighter working towards the middle. Use a mirror and glance over your shoulder to work the top and bottom laces. After a few tries you will be able to do it just by feel. Finish your sizing by pulling your waist tight but don’t over do it! 

I put the jacket on and tightened the buckles around my neck and looked in the mirror – was that CLEAVAGE I saw? For the first time, I had really round, definable cleavage! I just loved how the jacket made me feel not so exposed and seemed to cinch up the twins and give them their own little diamond shaped window to my new cleavage!

We decided to walk down to a local restaurant with some friends and have a night out in my new corset. While we were walking to the restaurant I started to feel a little gassy and felt a little bit of heartburn.

While I was seated I found that my breathing was difficult but only when I was hunching or rounding my back and slouching over. I found that if I just stood up straight and “breathed through my tits” as I was told, I felt perfectly supported and comfortable. It was only hard to breath when I was slouching – there is NO slouching in a steel boned corset!

At the restaurant I did not feel hungry at all but instead focused on water. However when the sushi arrived – I ate it in my normal fast fashion and gulped it down. BIG MISTAKE!

I felt totally full, almost to the point of extreme discomfort! I went to the bathroom and burped a bunch of times – I was totally surprised! I would later learn that while wearing a corset you need to be much more aware of how and what you eat!

HINT #4: SIT UP STRAIGHT & WATCH WHAT YOU EAT. Because your stomach and internal organs are suddenly compressed you may experience heartburn and stomach gas. This can be minimized and eliminated by simply slowing down – not gulping and chewing your food into little bites. You will also find that you don’t need that much food and are not as hungry – which is possibly one of the reasons people loose weight while waist-training. Corsets can be used successfully much like gastric banding to help you control your eating and it’s so much less invasive than surgery. When you sit up straight you will be most comfortable.  

Everywhere we went I seemed to catch more guy’s eyes. I should not have been surprised, even though I was in a brown corset, matching half-jacket and jeans. It’s not like I was wearing pink satin with bows – right? Apparently all those articles about how men are programed to notice and be attracted to that hourglass figure are totally true!

We ended the night and walked home. As soon as I got home I wanted to take the corset off and relax. However – it was on really tight! Even though I had a zipper front, I found that I could not unzip it. I quickly realized that I did not want to just unzip it because now my soft belly skin (now full of sushi) had started to mold itself against the zipper!

Patience again little Vixen! With the help of my boyfriend (I can do it myself now!) we loosened the corset almost all the way, I took a big breath out and then while pulling the corset away from my skin, unzipped it off. Maybe that’s why they always say to “wear a liner.”

HINT #5: WEAR A LINER. To make waist-training and tight-lacing more comfortable we recommend that you wear a liner. In my case I now wear a thin camisole top with the spaghetti straps tucked into the corset. This protects my skin from grommets, laces or zippers and makes the corset more comfortable overall. A liner can also be a thin T-shirt with the arms cut off. A liner also protects the corset from body oils and perspiration which will improve the lifespan of your corset. Corsets should only be dry cleaned by a professional you trust. 

These days I can get my corset on and off with little to no help. I start at the top and work my way to the middle of my laces instead of trying to pull the laces through the waist which over-tightens the corset.

Black_Grey_Chains_CorsetI’ve also now tried the “Costume Corsets” with the acrylic boning. I was surprised how flexible they were compared to a steel boned corset.  I could almost totally round my back and move side to side but it’s true that I had NO waist cinching, so that more defined hourglass figure was lost. I can see how in the summer time the “Costume Corsets” might be more attractive.  If I was dancing a burlesque show I might prefer to start with the “Costume Corsets” so I could dance around until I got to be a professional “Authentic Corset” wearer. Once you are used to it you can shimmy and shake and do high kicks no problem – I’ve seen girls do it! But if I was just dancing for a hobby, I might want to start out with the flexible (but snap-able!) acrylic boning. (The down side to acrylic or plastic boning is that it can snap and break if under too much stress and the flexibility really doesn’t do much to shape your figure or control your silhouette!)

Hope that helps you on your first corset journey!

See you on Instagram or Pinterest!

Social Media Manager


Comments: 13

  • Alustrial Lynn October 28, 2013 1:56 am

    I agree totally! This is all very helpful and true. I still have my boyfriend lace me but I can also hook up the front and take my corset on and off myself just with the hooks but it tends to get hard to hook up sometimes if the lace becomes loosened from wearing and does need to be re done on occasions because laces and material do stretch out over time.

    As with my fairly recent purchase of 2 under bust corsets. They aren’t my 1st, but are the 1st I have gotten in a very long time. I am a larger size today than I was when I had a waist trainer last. I am 5’8 a size 16-18 in jeans and have struggled w/ weight all my life so I also have a fat and flabby mixture in my belly/torso area, I’m a size 36 with V.V. in an under bust corset so, along with these tips, you shared I’d like to add my some of my findings when I started wearing authentic corsets again: for larger women, I found on me that fat will shift down to the lower gut area, because there is nowhere else for it to go! I was not thrilled about this, but this can be helped some w/ a girdle of your choice as your liner, or under your liner works too, but I’d not recommend doing that right away but instead break in the corset a while 1st and get used to it, and wear skirts that don’t cling to that area, or a control top pantyhose will help some, or even some jeans will hold it back some too.

    It becomes less of an issue with time and diet as I lost about 10lbs. so far and it’s not as noticeable today as it was in the 1st days, but I still dislike the fact as I can’t really do any exercises to lose it, but don’t let that gut bulge upset/discourage you, I have even had days I struggled w/ my corset to get it on and get so mad I feel like maybe I should give up wearing it, (but I am stubborn and will fight till I win,lol!) Just relax, breathe, and make sure you give yourself enough time to add this to your wardrobe when wearing it out because it takes time to get into,some days take longer than others and it’s not going to just go on in 5 min every time and your are good to go! Also in the warmer weather a girdle can be torture and warm in which you don’t want to overheat or cook yourself but in the winter when it’s cold it’s all the better to keep you warm. I live in the Northeast of the US, so warmer states/climates you gotta know what you can handle w/ clothing and layers, these corsets are thick/heavy and the material doesn’t breathe so you will sweat in them.

    Another big reason I came back to professional corsets was my posture and back pain with weight gain over the years is horribly out of control, my spine is not straight, it’s tilted and i have a deep inward curve above the butt,and been struggling w/ Dr.’s and them claiming I’m fine, and it’s no big deal! However, fact is I am comfortable leaning to the left and reclined when I sit, and I am a hazard to myself losing my balance often, and something like putting a shirt over my head can cause me pain in my upper/middle of my back and around lower shoulder blade, usually the right side, but sometimes the left too, and it will cripple me for 3 days feeling like I was hit by a truck or pro boxer full force and usually will be in pain as long as 3 weeks! So I try to wear my corsets as often as possible to help me get my posture,weight and back pain under control and it is/has really helped a ton! I stand up straighter w/out the corset on now naturally, I can pull in my stomach/belly muscles w/ little to no effort and hold it for longer every day like I used to when I was younger/thinner, but it used to be difficult to attempt this before when it should be a normal function for anyone that walks, exercises, and is alive! lol!

    I feel so much better since, and I am so happy to have found The Violet Vixen! They been awesome and helpful since day 1 and i know I drove the consultation lady nuts w/ questions for days and weeks! lol! and probably drove Violet a little crazy too, as I also do still owe pictures in my corsets as promised,I plan to share some soon, but I need my boyfriend to have time and to actually get GOOD pics! lol! Getting back in corsets was the best decision I could make for myself! Corsets are very helpful and beautiful, sexy, esteem boosters! So to anyone reading, if you are limited like me in any way, or a heavier woman, a corset doesn’t just have to be just for looking and feeling beautiful in it,(and yes I do also!) it can help you with getting back into good habits(like stop slouching as much) and out of feeling depressed about weight and or chronic pains too! Love!

  • Amber May 18, 2014 9:44 pm

    I really found this helpful. I went online to find a corset suitable for my size and at the time I was a bigger, bustier woman that had just had a baby and lost her first 30 lbs. I figured Corset training of some kind would help me lose the rest. Well, definitely bought the wrong one. Me, having no clue, bought a Costume Corset. So I have definitely found some useful info here and how to measure and all. Saving this page to my computer so when I come back to on payday, I know what to order. No, because I am bustier (currently a 40F) I can only imagine the cleavage this thing will give is gonna be huge. Would u suggest buying one with the jacket to maybe help downplay the cleavage a little or is it not even an option for that size of chest?

  • Sayward May 19, 2014 11:00 am

    Thank you for such an informative post!

  • Elizabeth June 14, 2014 8:31 pm

    Just a little note from someone who has been making steel boned corsets since 1995 (shakespearean shows and renaissance faires)…I use a X lacing which helps to only tighten the lace you are on, and allows a very tight and or custom fit. I used to go to lumberyards and take the metal strapping the lumber was tied with. Then cut it to custom fit, ground with a metal grinder on the ends. I loved making corsets for other folks… Now I am a performing musician, I need someone to make a corset for me!

  • Cathy October 7, 2014 4:23 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing all of your experiences of being a fluffier women !!! I am too , and you answered alot of my Q’s and concerns !!!! I wish I could find more info from people our size !!! Again Thank You 🙂

  • Joani January 9, 2015 6:30 pm

    This post is great. Informative and helpful.
    I just got my first corset today (squee!) which was great timing, I needed something fun to happen today. Anyway, I am quite pleased with it so far. Initially, I was a little worried, I did not think I could handle wearing it for more than 20 minutes or so. Now, I’m at about an hour and a half and feeling much more comfortable in. I probably could have got the top laced a little tighter but it’s maybe good I did not try too hard just yet. I got it on all by myself and it was not too difficult.
    I am 5’6″, about 105 – 110 with measurements around 33″-27″ – 34″ and I went with a size 22 underbust waist trainer. The modesty panel is currently at its full extent, but I have it on over my clothes — leggings and a long, medium weight sweater.. (I love reviews/comments where people actually share weight/height/measurements, it’s helpful.)
    Also, my posture can be really bad if I’m not thinking about it, and I can tell this will definitely be helpful for that.
    I think that sums up my first impressions of My First Corset!

  • Patricia January 17, 2015 8:20 pm

    I have been interested in getting a corset for awhile. I loved the tips for newbies but have a question. I am single with no one to help me with measuring or lacing. What is someone in my position to do? I am also not sure the corsets would fit. I wear a 36H bra and not sure on a waist size. I wear about a size 18 in jeans. I am currently out of work, but planning to get one when funds are available and don’t know if I could afford a custom one. HELP!!!

  • Michelle Rysiew January 19, 2015 2:56 am

    How much would a custom steel boned corset approx. cost for someone with 36H measurement?

  • sunshine February 7, 2015 8:18 pm

    Thank you all for your true stories ..i have not bought one yet but i will now …i had hernia surgery and have to wear a brace around my stomach and corsets look much better lol i cant wait

  • Emily West February 21, 2015 1:19 pm

    I have always wanted a true corset. I made the mistake of buying a costume corset on eBay. I really want to try one for my blog but at the moment I do not have enough money. I will have to come back when I drop some weight and have my money saved up.

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