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Get the skinny: Corset buying tips

Ashtyn Evans is a professional blogger who lives with her family in Michigan. In addition to being a part of the SheKnows community, Ashtyn helps to co-run a popular media, news and opinions blog: Literary Illusions. Ashtyn is a resident...

The skinny on corsets

When it comes to lingerie and sexy clothing, corsets rank pretty high on the scale in terms of sex appeal. The problems many women (and men) face is understanding how to purchase a real corset, differentiating between the various corsets and their prices, and learning how to pick out one that will fit just the way it should.

Now add in the fact that more and more people are buying corsets on the Internet, and you can see where it becomes even more difficult.The good news is that with a few tips, you will be picking out the perfect corset -- one that's meant to thin you down and make you look hot, no matter how cold it is outside. Hayden Panettiere in a corset

Real corsets have steel boning

Confusingly, there are bodices, which look somewhat like corsets -- and then there are true corsets. Bodices will be much cheaper in both price and quality, and they will not have any boning of any kind in them. The boning in corsets is necessary to keep that taut design that stops the corset from folding with your body. If you're looking at a corset in a shop, you should be able to bend it to test the boning. If it does not snap back, there may be a problem. In fact, if the boning isn't done the right way and you notice it kinking instead of snapping back, that's a sign that it will press and dig into your flesh, which could become quite uncomfortable.

Make sure the fabric is high quality

There are fashion corsets, and then there are real, traditional corsets. A silk corset that has no strong fabric underneath it is called a fashion corset. It's more like a bodice in the fact that you want the corset look without the expense. True corsets need to have strong fabric, such as heavyweight canvas, which supports the structure. This is not necessarily the outer layer that people see. Actually, there is usually a fashion layer that has fabric more pleasing to the eye. You should be able to yank on a corset's fabric without anyone worrying that you're going to rip it apart.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy in a corsetLace-up corsets need strong laces

Fashion magazines often paint pictures of corsets with ribbons running down a woman's back with everything looking and fitting beautifully. While it might look lovely, these won't last unless the ribbon is somehow incredibly strong. Most lace-up corsets use something similar to shoe strings because these get the job done nicely, and they won't give too much or break too easily.

Sizes are different

When you are buying a corset, you need to make sure that you realize the sizes are not standard dress sizes. Corsets are sized by waist sizes and measurements, so the size number will be centered on the actual size of your waist in inches.Generally you will want to choose a corset that is a little bit smaller than your waist in order to attain that curvy, hourglass figure. If possible, it is always best to get one custom-made specifically for your body, though if you find one that is around your size it should work well also.

Don't cheap out

Most importantly, remember that with corsets you get what you pay for, so be prepared to get the type of corset you are willing to buy. If you are not willing to spend over one hundred dollars, chances are you are not going to get anything of a decent quality. You will be better off saving up your money for a good corset, rather than buying just anything you can afford. You might feel it is expensive, but a high-quality corset will last for years.

A variety of styles, colors, materials

Here are a few online shops where you can start browsing to get an idea for what you do and don't like:

Sleek, stylish and sexy

Corsets are the epitome of sexy style. Many of them can be coupled with more traditional attire and worn in public, though this is no longer traditional the way it once was.

Today, most corsets would have to be modified to be worn in pubic unless you were wearing them to a BDSM party or to go clubbing. For example, in the case of an under the bust corset, you would obviously need to wear a shirt under this to make accommodations for the exposure of flesh. (Of course, corsets like this are often best left to those special parties or at home with that special someone.)It's no wonder that stars like Rihanna, Chloe Sevigny, Hayden Panettiere, Nicole Kidman, Kate Moss and Sarah Michelle Gellar have all adopted this sexy fashion statement at some point or another. Now that you have discovered how to find a real corset, maybe it's time to slip into something sexy and show off all you're worth.

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