Styles of Lacing Corsets

Hands tying corset

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Whether you're cinching yourself into a classic Victorian or buckle version, a corset can give you that sought-after hourglass shape. Train your midsection into svelte form over time or simply shave inches off your figure for a night. Either way, this seductive contraption has been a ladies' secret for decades. Strapping one onto your waist for the first time might appear confusing with all the loops, buckles and laces. Yet, have no fear. We ladies have learned a few tips and tricks over the years.

Straight European

"Straight European lacing," also known as "straight bar" or "shoe lacing," is a style where the back of the corset is laced into straight horizontal lines and the underside is criss-crossed. This style may have been preferred because the laces were easy to cut if a lady fainted in public.

Begin by making a knot with two strings. Use this tied string to make a straight line going into the top grommets on the outside. Next, use the right side of the string and bring it up under the second grommet. Thread it directly across and under the grommet on the other side. Do the same for the third grommet with the left side of the string. Continue this alteration until you get to the bottom of the corset. When finished lacing, simply tie a knot or bow and you're done.

Bunny Ears

With a name as cute as "bunny ears," it's ironic to find that this style of lacing is considered the most functional. With X's above and below the center with bunny ears coming out from the center, most of the cinching is focused on the waist.

Begin by threading laces under at the top grommets and then lacing over to make an X. Thread under the next two grommets to make another X. Now, you should have a pattern of over and under that you'll continue down to the narrowest part of the corset. Here you'll thread each side over leaving several inches in the shape of bunny ears. Continue crossing under and over to the end of the corset. Tie the two ends into a knot and even out the laces so that any extra length is only in the bunny ears. Deciding on how tight you'd like the corset to be, tie the bunny ears into either a loose or constricted bow.

Inverted Bunny Ears

Modify the bunny ears to lace your corsets tighter using the inverted technique.

Thread the laces through the grommets in the same manner you would for the regular bunny ears style.

It's at the narrowest section that there's a difference. When looping the right lace under the grommet on the opposite side, skip the grommet directly underneath. Do the same with the left string. Continue as you would the normal bunny ears lacing technique.

This slight modification creates X's at the waist giving you more control in tightening this area.

Double Spiral

"Spiral lacing" has been used since medieval times. The use of two strings is a modern modification that allows women to wear a corset even though it doesn't quite fit.

Start with an over X at the top grommet. Then, take the right lace and thread the corset in a spiral by skipping over one grommet and lacing into the next on the opposite side. Continue this pattern until you reach the bottom of the corset. Follow the same pattern using the left lace.

After the lacing is finished tie the end into a square knot or bow at the bottom.