How to Lace a Corset: Step by Step Instructions

Woman with Blue Dress on the Beach

When you think about corsets, you may believe that they belong to retro fashion. However, you may be surprised to discover that corsets haven’t gone out of style. Apart from being a fashion accessory used in waist training that can make your figure look sexy, corsets also offer benefits such as support and posture correction.

To lace your corset you'll first need to unlace it and put it on, untie the bows and pull the X's until loose, fasten the busking and start tightening the laces, tighten the pull loops and start pulling each X and work to the bottom.

Woman with Blue Dress on the Beach

Corsets can be quite tricky to wear but by learning how to lace a corset correctly and tightening it properly, you can be quite comfortable in a corset. When you begin wearing a corset, learning how to break in your corset and lacing it up can be rather overwhelming. In this article, we will discuss how to lace a corset as a brand new owner of one.

Instructions for Lacing a Corset

Here are the steps of how to lace a corset.

  1. 1
    When the corset is shipped to you, usually it is fully laced and to put it on, you need to unlace it.
  2. 2
    You need to untie the bows and pull all the pairs of X’s until you completely loosen the corset and then the busk must be fastened or unfastened.
  3. 3
    It is a good idea to start fastening the busking at the bottom and work your way to the top.
  4. 4
    After you have fastened the busk, begin tightening the laces on the corset.
  5. 5
    Begin at the center at the pull loops that are usually positioned at the narrowest part of your waist.
  6. 6
    When the pull loops are pulled sufficiently tight, start pulling each X at the top and work your way to the bottom and then from down, move upwards towards the middle.
  7. 7
    You need to repeat the process 2-3 times until the laces are fully tightened.
Lace and Beads

The corset must be laced in such a way that it fits snugly, yet it should be comfortable. However, you must take care not to overtighten the laces because this can be very uncomfortable, harm your body and also damage the corset.

It may be a good idea to wear a corset liner or light clothing under your corset every time you wear it to prevent your skin from chaffing. This also helps to protect the corset from being damaged by the dead skin cells, sweat, and oil.

Not using the corset directly on your skin will also help to reduce the frequency of you having to wash the garment. Additionally, it may help to apply some baby powder on your body before you wear the corset so that it remains in place.

Other Corset Lacing Styles

There are other different styles of how to lace a corset and we will be discussing some of them below.

Straight European

When the corset’s back is laced into horizontal straight lines and the lacing on the underside is crisscrossed, then this is known as straight European lacing, shoe lacing or straight bar lacing. This may have been a preferred style in the past because it was easy to cut the laces if a lady wearing a corset fainted in public.

In this style, you start by making a knot with two laces and then make a straight line by threading the tied laces into the top grommets on the corset’s outside. Using the right side of the lace, bring it under the second grommet. Thread the lace across and under the hole on the opposite side of the corset.

Do the same thing for the third grommet using the left-hand lace and continue the process until you reach the bottom of the corset. When you have finished the lacing, tie a bow or a knot.

Girl Watching the Sunrise

Bunny Ears

This is considered as the most functional kind of corset lacing. There are ‘X’s which come above the center of the corset and below it and there are bunny ears that come out of the center and most of the cinching are at the waist.

The laces are first threaded at the top grommet holes and then they are laced over in the form of an ‘X’. Then thread the lace under the next two grommet holes to form another ‘X’. Then you follow the pattern of over the corset and under until you reach the narrowest portion or center of the corset.

Here, each side is threaded over leaving inches of the lace in bunny ear shapes. Then, continue crossing the laces over and under, until you reach the end of the corset. Tie both ends of the lace into a knot and make sure that the length of the laces is uniform so that the extra length is in the bunny ears. Tie the bunny ears into a tight or a loose bow depending on how tight you want the corset to be.

Inverted Bunny Ears

If you want your corset to be tighter, then modify the bunny ears by making use of the inverted technique. Thread the laces as described above for the bunny ears style. The difference is at the center of the corset. When you are threading the right lace under the hole on the opposite side, skip the hole that is directly below and do the same thing with the left lace.

Continue with the bunny ears lacing style. This modification gives greater control of tightening the corset’s waist by creating ‘X’s.

Double Spiral

This style of lacing has been in use since the medieval period. Begin by forming an ‘X’ at the topmost grommet and then taking the right lace, then thread the corset in a spiral by skipping one hole and threading the lace into the next grommet on the opposite side. Continue this till you reach the bottom and then do the same thing with the left lace.

Once you finish lacing, tie the end into a bow or square knot at the bottom of the corset.

Wedding Dress


There is just no doubt that the appeal of a corset to slim your waist and give you natural curves is extremely tempting and something that you don’t want to miss out trying. And, if you were always challenged by how to lace a corset, we are sure that with our guide now you are all set to try your hand at corset lacing.