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Cinch yourself in : Our guide to alternative corsets.

It's an instantly iconic look, the corset has been helping to create that classic hourglass look for centuries. That unmistakable look has become as much of an integral part of alternative fashion as our trusty stick of kohl eyeliner. Whether it's a voluptous curvy burlesque look, or a whimsical Victorian gothic outfit, we certainly do adore our corsets – but just where do you start when your looking for that perfect alternative corset.

Gothic fashion corset uk

It's not a simple case of picking up just any corset, to start you need to know exactly what it is that your looking for. The world of corsetry has so many stunning styles and types to choose from; whether you prefer something a little more for show and comfort, or something to help reduce your waist. There's all sorts and styles of corsets that it can take some time to find the right course for you, but once you know what your looking for you'll be able to find the perfect corset in no time.

Fashion corsets.

If you prefer something for style and comfort then it's most likely that you'd prefer to pick up a fashion corset. These are designed more for show than waist training, and often can be worn with minimal fuss - making for a quick and easy, but still incredibly stylish look.

Gothic fashion corset uk

Fashion corsets are made using a lightweight plastic boning that's flexible, this allows for comfort when worn and a significantly lower price tag than it's fully boned counterpart. You can pick these corsets up with ease at many alternative clothing shops.

These often come in the classic overbust and underbust styles, some feature the classic busk style fastening, but more often than not they tend to have a hook and eye, or even a zip style fastening. Making for ease of wear, they can easily be slipped on over your favourite dress or top for an instantly classic look.

Companies like Burleska offer a selection of Fashion corsets alongside their fully boned styles. Phaze also offer a range of fashion corsets amongst their ranges, from glossy pvc to shaped corset style tops.

Steel boned corset uk

Fully boned corsets.

These are far more sturdier when compared to fashion corsets, allowing for a more shaped hourglass style look in a wide variety of over and underbust styles. You'll also notice that these are sized in inches rather than standard dress sizes. With a boned corset you'll want to measure your waist to determine your corset size and decrease it by a couple of inches, (i.e 26" if you measure 28") to get the perfect fit.

These can take more time and effort to wear in comparison to fashion corsets, but the effect is much more noticeable, even if it can take time to lace that corset up! Fully boned corsets are made with sturdy steel boning running around the corset in lengths to support your shape and help create that classic corset look.

Fastening with a classic busk fitting at the front, alongside lacing at the back to help create the perfect fit with your corset. Often made in a luxurious selection of fabrics to create a truly stunning look, ranging from brocades to satins and velvets.

Whatever look your going for with your fully boned corset you'll find a stunning selection to choose from at The London Corset company, with a great range in store. If it's more of a classic look that your after you'll find some elegant styles to shop from at What Katie Did for a timeless look.

Waist training corset uk

Waist training.

If it's a truly iconic hourglass look that your after then you'll want to invest in a waist training corset. Designed with three layers of fabric, steel bones and waist tape to help reduce your waist band.

Unlike fashion and steel boned corsets these are specifically designed to help create that hourglass figure, but it does take time and patience to shape your waist, it's not an instant effect and it does need to done safely. For handy tips and advice on waist training read this helpful post from What Katie Did.

Companies like Vollers offer a range of corsets designed with waist training in mind, alongside Valkyrie Corsets who offer a range of stunning designs.

For the perfect fit you can also opt for a Made to measure corset, with a great selection to be found through our directory site, where you'll be bound to find the perfect corset.

Images from top left to right: Burleska | Phaze | The London Corset Company | What Katie Did