Corset Glossary

Talk the talk so you can walk the walk

Apex: The fullest part of the bust, often (but not always) located at the tip of the nipple

Binding: material or fabric covering the top and bottom edges of the corset. Used to prevent fabric from fraying and securing the boning while preserving the garment structure.

Bones / boning: the skeletal system of a corset; long, narrow pieces of steel (historically whalebone or giant reeds) that create the structure and rigidity of a corset and reduce fabric stress. Modern high-end corsets always use steel while cheaper corsets and bustiers frequently use plastic bones, which will quickly warp and bend out of shape.

Bone casing / channeling / tape: tunnels of fabric that enclose the bones. These can be hidden on the inside of the garment between the corset layers or applied externally for a decorative look.

“Bunny ears”: The loops at the waist level, used to tie the corset closed.  These loops are often called “bunny ears” which provide leverage and create an extra cross-over, both assisting in tightening the laces.

Busk / busque: the front closure of a corset and made from steel (wood, ivory or bone was used until the mid-nineteenth century). Made up of two separate pieces that fasten together, one side has hooks and the other has knobs, which allows the parts to form a closure. The busk makes dressing and undressing much quicker and easier. High quality busks are fairly rigid and do not bend substantially, providing strong support at the front of the body and between the breasts.

Bustier: A bustier is not a corset! Bustiers are longline bras that often mimic the styling of a corset.  Bustiers typically have stretch panels and plastic boning so they do not offer the support or compression like a corset.

Conical: a conically shaped corset tapers in a smooth straight line from the bust/underbust to the waist.

Cord: a thin rope made of several strands braided, twisted, or woven together.

Corset / Stays: A rigid, boned garment that covers all or a portion of the torso and often tightened by lacing. Worn mainly to shape and support the body and compress the waist.

Coutil: A fine yet sturdy compactly woven fabric used in quality corsets providing structure and preventing stretch – Coutil is available in herringbone, spot broché, and brocade patterns

Facing / fashion fabric: The outer fabric of a corset chosen purely for their aesthetics

Flossing: A decorative hand embroidery technique used over the tops and/or bottom ends of the corset bone casing. Beginning in the Victorian era, the purpose of flossing was to reinforce any place where the bones may poke through to extend the life of the garment.  It later developed into a decorative art.

Garter tabs: small loops of fabric at the bottom edge of the corset which allow detachable garter straps to be hooked into place.

Gimp: A narrow ornamental fabric or braid of silk, wool, or cotton, often stiffened with metallic wire or coarse cord running through it and used as trimming.

Gore: A triangular piece of material inserted in a garment to give it greater width or a desired shape

Grommets: Metal rings that fasten together to create the holes or eyelet with which to lace up the back of a corset.

Hourglass: named after the timepiece, the hourglass is characterized by a rounded ribcage and hips with a small well-defined waist.

Lacing: Strong cord or ribbon used to lace up a corset.  Both can be suitable for waist training and can be easily interchanged.

Lining: The layer closest to the skin. In some corsets the “strength layer” is the lining, for others the “lining” would be an additional layer that protects the strength layer from your body’s oils and sweat.

Longline: Corsets and waist cinchers that are extended in length.

Mock up (or toile): An early version of a finished garment made from cheaper materials and used to test the fit before committing to the final pattern. Information gathered from the mock up is used to make necessary adjustments or corrections to the pattern to achieve the perfect fit and design in the final garment.

Modesty placket / panel: A piece of fabric that sits between the garment and the skin. It provides protection from chafing and covers exposed skin.

Overbust corset: A corset that extends over the upper hips and torso, covering the breasts.

Panel: Each piece of fabric, cut to a specific shape to create fit. Most corsets commonly have six panels on each side of the body.

Pipestem: characterized by a cup shaped ribcage and a vertically extended 1-2” waist.

Strength layer: The layer of a corset that provides strength and stability. We typically use coutil however sometimes horsehair or other materials are used.

Tightlacing: A practice that gradually reduces the waistline of the wearer over time also referred to as “waist training”.

Underbusk placket / panel: Fabric at the front of a corset that sits between the busk and the skin. It covers exposed skin as well as protecting the wearer from being accidentally pinched in between the two halves of the busk.

Underbust corset: A corset that only covers the upper hips and middle torso, providing no breast coverage.

Waist cincher / Waspie: A short corset (smaller than an underbust) that only covers the middle of the stomach area.

Waist tape / waist stay: A sturdy “tape” (non-decorative ribbon) that reinforces the waist to minimize stretching.

Waist Training: A practice that gradually reduces the waistline of the wearer over time also referred to as “tightlacing”.


Frequently asked questions

be•spoke adj: (of clothes) Making or selling custom-made clothing.

A bespoke tailor.

Bespoke tailoring involves the creation of a unique pattern for each client, differentiating it from made-to-measure, which simply adjusts a standard preexisting pattern.

Bespoke standards particularly stress:

1) hand work on all garments
2) the individual cut of a paper pattern
3) personal service such as qualified advice
4) a large selection of fabrics
5) keeping of all records for future orders
6) involvement in approved training that ensure standards are adhered to

There are many differences between bespoke and made to order. The differences that matter most to us are fit and customization.

Though superior to ready to wear, made-to-measure corsets always involve some form of standardization in the patterning and manufacturing processes, therefore, do not fit as precisely as bespoke. While customizations may be available there are also restrictions in any made-to-measure garment.

There is nothing like the fit of a bespoke corset. Each pattern is made to order.
With no pre-made pattern, every nuance of your body shape and lifestyle are considered and customized just for you.

Every detail of a bespoke corset is customized to your specifications, there are no limits to fabric, trim and embellishment options.

We believe ordering a custom corset should be just as fun as wearing one.

Dependant upon your service level and your unique needs, we will custom tailor a process that works for you.

We’ll start by asking a few questions about your tastes and preferences so we get to know you better. Once we know what you like, we’ll help you choose from our wide range of fabrics and styling details.

If you need a little extra fashion guidance, you’ve come to the right place. We pride ourselves on our expert and honest style advice. We’ll happily give you our opinion on everything from the silhouette that works best for your body type to patterns and colors that are most flattering on you.

Once you’ve designed your new corset, we’ll take a whole lot of measurements or your completed measurement chart (filled in by your tailor) to ensure a precise fit.

Based on these measurements we will construct a mock-up and arrange the first fitting (either in person or remotely). During this fitting, the mock-up will be pinned in place or marked to indicate any adjustments needed. You may also have your measurements taken again, at this time. In remote corsetry, the marked up mock-up is then sent back to us. With these adjustments and notes we can either proceed with a second fitting as needed or cut the actual fabric for your dream corset.

Now just sit back and relax. Your corset will be ready in approximately 6 weeks.
For more details, see How It Works, or Remote Corsetry for an overview of the process.

We request a 50% deposit at the time the order is placed. The remaining balance is payable prior to delivery.
We accept cash, check, and most major credit cards.

Absolutely. We stand behind each and every corset we make with a complete satisfaction guarantee. Because our garments are specially made for each customer, we cannot offer refunds. However, if you don’t love the fit of your corset, we will continue to work with you until it is right.

We cannot be held responsible for a precise fit in the event that your weight has fluctuated dramatically since your measurements were taken. Consider putting off getting measured until after any intense dieting or exercise you plan to perform.

  • After wearing your corset, take a slightly damp cloth to the lining and wipe it down. Let the corset air out and dry completely before rolling and storing. Be careful not to get the cloth too wet as certain fabrics may cause water spotting or water marks. All of our corsets are constructed with spiral steel metal boning that can rust if exposed to too much water.
  • You may spot clean your corset with mild soap and cold water. Harsh chemicals or cleaners are not recommended as fabrics may react differently and cause staining to become worse.
  • Dry cleaning is not recommended. If you have a stain that cannot be removed with gentle home care or you want to get your garment professionally cleaned, we recommend finding a preservationist. Before choosing a preservationist, do some detective work and make sure you choose a reputable service.
  • Natural oils, perfumes and deodorants will begin to breakdown fabric over time if not cleaned properly after each use. Having multiple corsets is ideal for proper care, allowing you to alternate between cleaning each night. This distributes wear and extends the life of your garments.

For more details, see Corset Care.

We shop, design and style on a client-to-client basis. The client designs or is advised on everything from the face fabric to the lining to the trims. We don’t stockpile fabrics and trims to choose from. We shop for materials in the NYC fashion district based on the individual needs and style of each client.

Privacy Policy

Sexy corsets, private policies

We respect your privacy, at Champagne Corsets & Designs we have a few fundamental principles:

  • We don’t ask you for personal information unless we truly need it.
  • We don’t share your personal information with anyone except to comply with the law or protect our rights.
  • We don’t store personal information unless required for the on-going operation of one of our services.
  • Images or personal information of any kind that you share with us or send to us isn’t shared or made publicly visible without your express permission.

Below is our privacy policy which incorporates these goals: (Note, we “stole” the basis for this privacy policy from, but it’s okay, they said we could under the Creative Commons Sharealike license, which means you can steal it too and repurpose it for your own use).

If you have questions about your personal data please contact us at [email protected].

Champagne Corsets & Designs operates this website and it is our policy to respect your privacy regarding any information we may collect either through this website or elsewhere.

Website Visitors

Like most website operators, Champagne Corsets collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. Champagne Corsets’ purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how our visitors use our website.

Champagne Corsets also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for logged in users and for users leaving comments. Champagne Corsets only discloses logged in user and commenter IP addresses under the same circumstances that it uses and discloses personally-identifying information as described below.

Gathering of Personally-Identifying Information

Certain visitors to choose to interact with Champagne Corsets in ways that require Champagne Corsets to gather personally-identifying information. The amount and type of information that Champagne Corsets gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, we ask visitors who subscribe to our newsletter to provide a name and email address. Those who engage in transactions with Champagne Corsets – by purchasing bespoke services, for example – are asked to provide additional information, including as necessary the personal and financial information required to process those transactions, including physical measurements. In each case, Champagne Corsets collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of the interaction with Champagne Corsets. Champagne Corsets does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below. And visitors can always refuse to supply personally-identifying information, with the caveat that it may hinder certain aspects of service. Champagne Corsets maintains a record of personally-identifying information, client specifications and measurement data solely for the purpose of being able to provide further services in the future.

Aggregated Statistics

Champagne Corsets may collect statistics about the behavior of website visitors. For instance, Champagne Corsets may monitor the most popular blogs or use spam screened by third-party services to help identify spam. Champagne Corsets may display this information publicly or provide it to others. However, Champagne Corsets does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below.

Protection of Certain Personally-Identifying Information

Champagne Corsets discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only to those of its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations that (i) need to know that information in order to process it on Champagne Corsets’s behalf or to provide services available at or another location, and (ii) that have agreed not to disclose it to others. Some of those employees, contractors and affiliated organizations may be located outside of your home country; by using, you consent to the transfer of such information to them. Champagne Corsets will not rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to anyone. Other than to its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations, as described above, Champagne Corsets discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only in response to a subpoena, court order or other governmental request, or when Champagne Corsets believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Champagne Corsets, third parties or the public at large. If you are a subscriber to a service and have supplied your email address, Champagne Corsets may occasionally send you an email to tell you about new features, solicit your feedback, or just keep you up to date with what’s going on with Champagne Corsets. If you send us a request (for example via a support email or comment field), we reserve the right to publish it in order to help us clarify or respond to your request or to help us support other users. Champagne Corsets takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect against the unauthorized access, use, alteration or destruction of potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information.


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Business Transfers

If Champagne Corsets, or substantially all of its assets, were acquired, or in the event that Champagne Corsets goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of Champagne Corsets may continue to use your personal information as set forth in this policy.


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Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, Champagne Corsets may change its Privacy Policy from time to time, and in Champagne Corsets’ sole discretion. Champagne Corsets encourages visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to its Privacy Policy. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such change.

Last updated: September 10, 2016