Here at OC, we can’t tell you how many times we get emails or phone calls that ask the question, "My steel-boned corset is fully closed—so why do I measure a few inches more?"
The short answer is: your corset has thickness. In all of our corsets (except for the mesh fabric styles) there are three layers of fabric around the flat and spiral steel bones.
If you take a piece of ribbon that is 24 inches long and can wrap that around your waist completely, it will measure 24 inches, as it is a very thin piece of ribbon. Your steel boned corset, however, is crafted using several layers of high quality material and from 16-24 steel bones (in our double boned models).
Each of these layers and steel bones adds size and thickness, so when you run a tape measure around the outside of your closed corset it will measure 2-3 inches more than the size of the corset.
We commonly see a difference between inner and outer corset circumference in fuller figure or plus size corsets because there’s more fabric being used as you go up in size. The difference may decrease as you size down, but generally in plus size corsets it’s not uncommon to see that when you measure the outside circumference of your corset, that the difference between the size and the actual measurement is greater.
This question also comes up with our more petite ladies, who want to go from their natural 25 or 26 inch waist down to, say, a 22 or 23 inch. Even if they are able to completely close a size 22 corset, their net loss with the corset on will be small to none at all. The good news is that your overall shape will certainly be much curvier (which is what a corset is designed to do). Plus, your natural waistline will diminish over time if waist reduction from waist training is your desired goal (with patience and diligence in your waist training efforts).
The good news is that your overall shape will certainly be much curvier (which is what a corset is designed to do). Plus, your natural waistline will diminish over time if waist reduction from waist training is your desired goal (with patience and diligence in your waist training efforts).
If you still aren’t sure, measure one side (on the inside) at the smallest point and double it. For example, if you have a size 24 corset, the smallest part of one side should measure about 12 inches (there can be a variation of about a quarter inch either way).
Check out our seasoning page to learn how to get your corset fit you like a glove—no matter what size!