I Laced Myself Into A Victorian-Style Corset For 3 Days Straight And This Is What It Felt Like

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

Getting dressed has become a lot easier for women over the past seven or so decades. Why? Because corsets, girdles, and other similarly complex undergarments finally went out of fashion after hundreds of years.

The University of Virginia explains that the history of corsets as we know them today started around 500 years ago.

There were brief stints when corsets, and the hourglass shape they create, fell out of fashion. For instance, women abandoned corsets after the French Revolution because they symbolized the aristocracy.

However, it seems that the restrictive undergarments always found their way back to women’s torsos.

Like most women, I think that painful and ridiculous undergarments should stay in the past. However, I am also insatiably curious about what it was like to live in a time when lacing up your corset was part of a morning routine.

To find out for myself, I decided to try wearing a Victorian-style corset for three days. Here’s how it went.

Picking A Corset

<u>Picking A Corset</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

When it came to selecting a corset, I knew that I wanted something authentic and vintage-inspired.

I got in touch with the folks at Corset Story, who were extremely helpful. They asked for my natural waist size, 28 inches, and sent me a number of options.

The particular model I wanted was only available in a size eight, or a 30-inch waist, so they sent me two options. One was a size six for a 28-inch waist, and the more frilly one was a size eight for a 30-inch waist.

I decided to give each corset a try.

Trying On My Corset

<u>Trying On My Corset</u>
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

Trying on the corset for the first time was a pretty interesting experience. I learned that I would have to give myself a little more time in the morning for the following days.

The Experiment
Day 1

<u>The Experiment</u><br>Day 1
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

I made an attempt to try the smaller size corset on first, but was completely unable to put it on by myself.

Unfortunately, my roommates had already left for work. In a panic, I slid on the bigger, ruffled one.

When I say slid, I mean more like shimmied very uncomfortably into it. This one fit at least, and I felt like I was ready to go.

It was gapping a little bit, but I didn’t think much of it given the fact that I was running late and had no prior corset knowledge.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

Picking an outfit was difficult. Not so surprisingly, my wardrobe is not exactly corset friendly — especially not when the corset is so detailed. Remember, this is the ruffly, slightly larger garment.

It was hard to bend over to put my shoes on, and really do anything other than stand up straight.

To put it frankly, I felt like I was wearing a poorly fitted bulletproof vest all day. On the bright side, it was cool out and it kept me warm.

A friend said, “Your boobs look high and weird.” It was true, they did. I knew that the next day I would have to try to squeeze myself into the smaller and less-detailed version.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

Needless to say, I was thrilled to take my corset off at the end of the day. I can’t imagine how women must have felt way back when.

Day 2

Day 2
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

I successfully got on my corset! This one, which was technically “my size,” fit a lot more nicely and really sucked me in.

It was also less detailed (no ruffles or frills), so it went on under my clothes more smoothly.

Again, it didn’t look exactly like it should have with my outfit, but at least it fit.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

I did have one problem. Tying a pretty bow in the back would make sitting in an office chair all day uncomfortable. I already had enough knots in my back as it was.

Instead, I decided to take matters into my own hands and snip the ends of the laces off. I’m sure this is some kind of corset cardinal sin, but I couldn’t think of any better way to take care of the problem.

Day 3

Day 3
Kate Taylor for LittleThings

I decided to really lace this baby up and see if I could achieve the alleged two-inch waist reduction.

The verdict was a definite yes. Was it comfortable? A definite no.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

The whole day reminded me of one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.

In the first Pirates of the Caribbean, one of the bad guys says something along the lines of, “I’m going to teach you the meaning of pain.”

To which Keira Knightley’s character responds: “Like pain? Try wearing a corset.”

After a few hours with my corset cinched all the way shut, I was starting to really sympathize.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

Finally at about 4 p.m., I messaged my lovely editor Becca to ask, or rather, to warn her that the corset was coming off.

My ribs had begun to succumb to an aching feeling and Wednesdays were hard enough as it was. I could at least let myself breathe.

Kate Taylor for LittleThings

One of the problems with the corset is how long it was. I usually wear fairly high-waisted clothing, and the corset went farther toward my hips. I realize this might be on purpose, but it didn’t quite fit my body.

You see, the seam rested right on my pooch, which made sitting rather difficult and uncomfortable. Also, no one likes having their belly pooch pinched.


Kate Taylor for LittleThings

Did I learn to love my corset? I thought about ending this article with a dramatic photo of me throwing out the corset, but it’s too nice not to keep.

While I have to admit that I did not physically enjoy wearing the corset, it is a beautiful piece of clothing.

Did it work? The corset really did work. It’s pretty amazing how much it cinched me in.

Would I recommend it to a friend? I would definitely recommend it for a party or special occasion. Three days straight at work? Probably not.

Will I ever wear it again? I will keep it for Halloween, or as a reminder of the brave women before me who didn’t have the option to stop wearing their corsets after three days.

Still, I have never before been so grateful for ordinary undergarments, made with plenty of stretch.

Would you ever wear a corset? Don’t forget to SHARE this experiment with friends and family on Facebook!