By Kayleigh Herbertson
When looking for affordable corsets, it’s hard to gauge exactly what you’re going to get.
Many young women want to get into what has become an incredibly popular fashion but are uncertain about how much of an investment they should make on a single item of clothing.
Corsets are important in fashion, particularly in the alternative and gothic scene, and they are popular with young women (and men) for a whole variety of reasons.
Girls of all shapes and sizes look amazing in corsets and they can be worn with a variety of other clothing items, as well as being an exciting choice to a number of events and occasions, making them impressively versatile.
The issue with affordable corsets is the corners that are cut in order to offer this distinctive clothing choice to a mass market.
Whilst many will tell you that steel boning is what you really need in a corset to get adequate support and constraint, you need to pay a premium for this and most high street stores will stock plastic equivalents.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however if you’re looking for comfortable support and a noticeable effect on your waist then many brands find it difficult to offer this – particularly for women who are, shall we say, well-endowed.
Hell Bunny and Living Dead Souls are both sold by many alternative companies and offer a range of overbust, underbust, waistcoat corsets (where the corset extends up over the shoulders and has thick straps) and waist cinchers. These can range from £20 to £50 and come in smaller sizes (usually from sizes 6 – 14).
This range allows young girls, who want to experiment with their style, purchase an attractive corset style top. The corset back is often for show rather than adjustment, especially when you realise that they’re using ribbon to hold it together.
The lack of structure to the corset can mean that tightening the garment doesn’t result in an even curve but rather just tightens everything together as one.
In my experience, corsets from these providers are affordable and fun to wear but don’t offer much in the way of support or (for lack of a better phrase) oomph.
What is surprising is that you can sometimes find more effective corset brands, such as Burleska for a very similar price (around £30 to £60).
These offer a far greater shape. Of course, if you want a truly distinctive corset, there are companies out there that offer quality styles.
American brand Heavy Red is one of the quintessential gothic corset makers, offering a range of sizes in truly dark and fascinating designs. Taking the ideal of a unique corset even further is UK brand Gore Couture, which makes made-to-measure corsets with a range of unique designs that have gained them a lot of notoriety in the fashion industry.
Quality comes at a price though, with corsets rarely straying lower than £100. For truly individual corsets, online boutiques are offering made-to-measure designs to really allow for a distinctive outfit.
A corset company that requests your measurements will always result in a better fitting corset and you can tell that a strong and resilient cord holding it together has been created to give a far better effect.
I don’t feel that affordable corsets are a bad thing and they can be a great addition to many outfits.
Perhaps there’s elitism in desiring better than high street quality but you should never assume that the high street has the best to offer when it comes to alternative clothing.
With the online world now booming with made-to-measure outfitters, there are many highly thought of corset makers that will make you the perfect fitting garment that you’ll be able to wear day in and day out.