When it comes to how to put on a corset with hooks by yourself, it might look pretty simple. As long as the back is laced, you just open the busks, wrap the garment around yourself, and pop the pins in the loops in front. Easy peasy! Right?
If you’ve ever tried this, you know it’s about as easy as opening a stuck lid on a jam jar. The amount of pressure produced by a tightened corset makes it all but impossible to hook or unhook on your own. However, it’s not a completely futile task. While a rubber jar opener won’t help you much here, you can learn how to put on a corset with hooks by yourself. Here are a few tips and tricks to get the job done.
How to start?
If there’s one universal to getting a corset on and off easily, it’s this: loosen the laces. Consider how hard it would be to put your high-top Converse on and take them off with the laces tied tight. Maybe not impossible, but certainly impractical. The same basic principle applies here.
While it can be tempting to keep the laces tightened to your desired level of compression and then simply pop the pins in and out of loops for corset wear, this is not only difficult to accomplish (especially when it comes to getting into your corset), but you’re likely to end up harming your garment and/or yourself in the process.
There’s just no getting around the fact that you’ll have to loosen the laces to make the space needed to catch or release the busks. In an emergency, you could try to undo busks without loosening laces, but it would be far more expedient to cut the laces.
How to put on a corset by yourself?
There’s some contention over the best process for hooking and unhooking busks, and with a bit of trial and error, you’ll find what works well for you. Some say the best option is to hook the middle pin first and then work your way up or down the busks.
This might work fine if you’re wearing an underbust corset, especially one with minimal spring. However, if you have to lock and load your bosom into an overbust model, you’re sure to find that starting at the top is a much better option, as working your way up from the smallest part of your torso is not only difficult, but it could result in spillage at the top that you’d rather avoid.
In truth, it’s easiest to start by hooking the second pin from the top and then working your way down. Pinching the pin side of the busk between your thumb and first two fingers is ideal, as it allows the best leverage to accurately position the pin inside the corresponding loop while you hold the loop side steady. Once you’ve reached the bottom, return to the top to hook the last pin before tightening the laces.
Different corsets have different needs
You may naturally wonder how much to loosen the laces, and it could depend on several factors, including the corset style, the spring, the fabric, and more. While an unforgiving leather corset or a longline, an overbust model might require fully expanding the laces, a flexible mesh or shorter, an underbust corset may only need minor loosening. You’ll simply have to experiment to find the ideal positioning to put on and take off each garment.
Getting started with corset training
There are a few things to know when you get a steel-boned corset before you start wearing it.
Try on and season your corset.
Corsets are a little bit tricky to try on. The steel busks should be in front; step in carefully. You may need help or a mirror to guide you as you tighten the laces. Pull the Xs the way you would with shoelaces, only you’re going to tie them off in the middle of the bodice.
The first time you wear your corset, don’t tighten the laces all the way. Tie them off when it is snug but not cinching your waist. The bodice should sit comfortably between your ribs and hips. For the corset to mold to your body, you’ll need to season it. Wear it for an hour or two a day for at least a week before pulling the laces tight. It should fit like a glove, with no gaps.
Wear every day for the best results.
Once your corset is seasoned, start wearing it a little more each day, until it’s on for at least eight hours. In a few weeks, you should be comfortable with all-day wear. Keep track of your progress with photos and waist measurements and prepare to be amazed!