What is a corset?


What is a corset?


Noun; Corset: plural noun: corsets

1. A woman’s tightly fitting undergarment extending from below the chest to the hips, worn to shape the figure.
2. Synonyms : girdle, panty girdle, foundation garment, foundation support, corselette, roll-on, waspie, truss.

Wearing a corset is something you probably never considered before shopping for your wedding dress. Even then it probably never crossed your mind that some dresses would have them already fitted. As far back as the 1950s and 60s, most women wouldn’t be seen dead without, if not a true corset, a waist cincher or girdle. We are so much more relaxed now about the structure of our underwear but sometimes a corset is the only answer.
So what are they and do we need them?
A lingerie purist would say it’s only a proper corset if it’s an item of lingerie, front fastening with a busk (a type of metal eyelet), laced up at the back and incorporating steel bones or even whale bones for support, a waist tape to stabilise and reduce the waist and generally constructed from a sturdy but breathable fabric. Sounds complicated, well it used to be.




You probably already know that a corset will reduce your waist. It will also emphasise your bust and hips in the process, that’s probably the main reason you want one, but from a dressmaker’s perspective, a corset is also vital to distribute the weight and pressure of a heavy dress. So without it, you’d either end up with bruises on your hips from the weight of your skirt or with your dress slipping southwards.
Do you need one? If your wedding dress needs an internal corset; then don’t worry it will have one! All the top designers will always ensure their gowns are constructed correctly
A corset will help support a small to medium bust but often they’re not enough to support a heavy bust and they are not really designed to replace bras. We always say a bra holds you up and a corset holds you in; together they are amazing. Ask your stylist if you need a bra with your chosen dress and chat about the internal construction of your dress too.
Corsets also help give you a smooth, svelte appearance under your dress. They give you confidence in the knowledge that your figure is supported too.
Nowadays with fashion trends in dresses moving more towards soft and unstructured you may not find you need a corset. You may also find that some seam free shapewear will do a great job too.

So don’t be shy, we are happy to talk knickers, bras and corsets to ensure that your underwear is perfect for your big day. click to book a styling appointment and talk to us about your lingerie worries too.

We are also happy to recommend some amazing companies like Ender Legard who have an incredible collection of backless, strapless and front less bridal lingerie.


Become an Ellie Sanderson VIP BRIDE

Your email is very precious to us and we’ll only email you when we’ve got news we think you’d love to hear. You can read our privacy policy here.



Tell us about your wedding and we'll hand-select designers and dresses to help you find your perfect match.

× Talk to Ellie & the girls