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How to put on a Corset

First, after having hooked the busk in front, even out the laces in back and remove all slack. If you are by yourself, hook the lacing loops over a doorknob, and walk away slowly and stop when the laces are even left and right and just taut. Then gradually starting from the top, reach behind you and pull at the lace crosses one a at a time, down to the waist, then the same from the bottom up to the waist, all while gently leaning or slowly stepping forward to maintain constant tension on the laces. Make sure you have three to six feet of "stepping" space, depending on how tight you are lacing. Don't just walk and stress the corset at the waist, it will quickly wear things out.

Repeat the "lace and pause" every five to ten minutes, during each pause wriggle around in the corset to settle it, and pull out the wrinkles from the undershirt or undergarment that is under the corset, lift your arms above your head and rotate and stretch your upper body inside the corset. Next, pull the central laces at the waist so that the two rows of lacing eyelets are parallel. Repeat, this three, four or more times, until the desired shape is achieved. Hang on to the laces when it's getting tight as they may slip back! Finally the laces are knotted, usually a double knot, such that the laces will not loosen by themselves. The excess laces are then tucked out of the way under the bottom of the corset. Preferably they are not tightened by wrapping them around the waist and tied in front as the tension in the laces causes excessive wear to the waist region of the corset.

For tighter lacing it is recommended to reduce in stages: take in just 2..3" inches initially, then repeat the process every half hour or so, until your comfort limit is reached. In most cases the intended reduction is 3..6" which can usually be achieved in two or three re-lacings. Firm muscular bodies make tightlacing more challenging because there is less fat to push around, and because of the greater muscle tone, it will take longer to "relax" in the corset. When deciding on wearing your corset very tight, or as tight as possible, you will need to relax breathing. Meaning when it starts to feel tight and constricted, breathing will become restricted as well and a pause is needed to get used to this. Walk around and attend to other things to let your body adapt and return to autonomous breathing. You don't want to be gasping for air! Within a short while your breathing will relax and you can continue the tightening process.

To open the corset, always loosen the laces first, do not unhook the claps from the studs while the corset is under tension, since you are not likely to be able to loosen the waist area clasps! Once the top or bottom two busk clasps are open, all the tension will concentrate at the waist and it may bent or break off the waist stud. If you lace very loosely, you might get away with it, but a properly laced corset will be under so much tension that even opening the first clasp will take quite some effort and it will cause the busk to begin to rotate and bend. Then, once you take it off, with the laces loosened by 4" or so, you may find that it will be difficult to put it back on like that, if you have been tight lacing. You'll have to open it six to eight inches to get back into it without straining the busk too much.