Everything You Have Ever Wondered About Corsets

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Part 1

We've gotten tons of great questions from you about wearing a corset. In this 2 part blog series, we'll touch on everything you've ever wondered about corsets! Let's get started.

When wearing a corset should there be space between the area where it ties?

This question is super common. To be clear, what we are talking about is: after the corset is already on your body, fastened, and tied up. Should the fabric on each side of the cords be touching? The answer: No. Typically the back will be open between the panels about 3 inches, but sometimes as much as 5 inches. Our polka dot friend below gives an idea on what to expect once your corset is against your body fully laced. 

If you have a corset that leaves a gap between the panels when it is tied, this does not indicate you ordered an incorrect size. This is how it should be fitting. There are other indicators of incorrect size and we will talk about choosing sizes in Part 2.

Should you prefer the back not be open, then look for a corset that has a modesty panel.

What is a modesty panel?

A modest panel is a fabric square in the back of the corset located underneath the area where the laces are tied up. Without a modesty panel, there will be a gap and a portion of the skin on your back may show.

Most fashion corsets, meaning corsets not intended strictly for waist training, will not have a modesty panel. Notice I said most, but not all.

We carry a few dozen fashion corsets that do have a modesty panel. Simply do a search and include the words, “modesty panel” to find the ones that do. This beautiful brown over bust below is an example of a waist training corset with modesty panel. 


Waist training corsets will usually come with modesty panels. The reason being, waist training corsets are tight laced and the panel protects the skin from being irritated by the cords rubbing against the body over a long period of time.

Heavy cord laces are used in waist training corsets vs the ribbon laces on a fashion corset. Ribbon laces are soft and again, not being tied as tightly so they should not cause any problems against bare skin. This adorable floral, pink corset is a fashion corset with a modesty panel. 


Am I supposed to wear a bra with a corset?

To best answer this question, we will discuss a few different types of corsets.

Overbust Corsets

An overbust corset is a corset that goes over the bust area. It could also be called a corset top. Styles include sleeveless, halter and strapped. A proper fitting overbust corset will offer bust support. You do not need to wear a bra with an overbust corset; the snug fit around the bust area will hold everything in place.

That being said, most overbust corsets do not offer individual cup support. If that is the look or support you are going for, try a bustier. Bustiers do have individual cups, most with underwire support, and offer a more pronounced lift.

Corset Dresses

Corset dresses will look and feel absolutely fine bra free. There will be some level of support but if you are looking for major cleavage, and you're on the more petite side, then you will most likely need to add a strapless bra. Another option, of course, is a stick on silicone material bra, commonly known as the “chicken cutlets” to add a little oomph to your bust.

Underbust Corsets

An underbust corset does exactly what it sounds like; it goes under your bust and is typically worn with a top of some kind, such as a peasant top, a tank top or a fuller sleeved blouse. The standard is, if you would normally wear a bra with the top you select, then continue to do so. The underbust corset does not provide support, so if you need it, pick a bra type that works, but keep it comfortable.


If you're looking for bust support or cleavage, here's some advice about which bra type to choose and how to wear it.

Try to choose a soft underwire free bra. Reason being, most underwires will come down further than where the underbust corset meets. If this happens you will have to decide if you want to wear the bra over the edge of the underbust or keep it underneath.

Keeping it underneath has the potential to get very uncomfortable, very quickly but it looks better. Another downside to tucking the bra into the under bust is producing a “double lift” effect that will not look natural, especially when seated.

If you can wear a bra without the underwire, you will be more comfortable in the long run.

For a waist training underbust worn under the clothes, consider using a sports bra if you have been blessed with that full figure everyone vies for and you are looking for serious support.

One more possibility is wearing a camisole with a built-in bra. This option works best for ladies with smaller busts. It also provides a liner between the skin and the underbust.

One last note about bras with corsets. If you are going to wear a bra with any of your corset pieces, there is a possibility that the size you normally wear might not fit the same way. You may have to size down the circumference and /or size up the cup size. 

Part 2 of the series will review how to tie your corset by yourself, what “seasoning” is, how to tell if your corset is the wrong size and more. Be sure to come and check it out to get the rest of your questions answered.

In the meantime, if there is anything we can answer for you, we are always happy to help. You can contact us support@atomicjaneclothing.com

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  1. Jessica@AtomicJane December 02, 2015

    Hi Cegs- Part 2 can be viewed here:


  2. cegs November 29, 2015

    great information how soon will part 2 be out ? great info I=on the underbust as that is what I would need to wear I look forward to reading abut how to lace them my self.

  3. Jessica@AtomicJane November 06, 2015

    Wow! Thank you so much ladies for the great feedback.

    Jenny- I feel you. But I’m here to tell you, trust me, you can wear one now. My corsets make me feel sexy and (cough-cough) thinner.

    Leisel-Our store carries up to a 6×. Take a peek around the store. Maybe we have one similar to your old favorite?

    Valerie- I hope I gave you some inspiration! Thanks for reading.

    Lakisha-Right? So many different types. Keeps it fun.

  4. jennyb October 05, 2015

    That’s really interesting. I had one when I was lots thinner but no way I could put one on now. They’re gorgeous though.

  5. Leisel October 04, 2015

    Great information. I used to have a corset top and it was one of my favorite pieces. I wish I could fit into one again.

  6. valerie October 04, 2015

    Very informative post, I have never worn a corset..!Thanks for sharing!

  7. Lakisha October 04, 2015

    I didn’t realize their was so many versions to corsets.