These are some of the basic terms and phrases you will hear in the world of corsetry.
- Busk - This is the term used to refer to the front fastening of a corset, most often a metal panel sewn into the garment that fastens with hook-and-eye type fastenings. The front bust can also be a very strong zipper. Corsets can be made without front busks, but getting in and out of them can be laborious.
- Chemise - This used to mean a women's blouse, but in modern terms, it refers to a light slip worn under the corset to offer more comfort and protection for the skin, versus corseting right over the bare torso.
- Corseting - The term given to the practice of wearing a corset. Also called tight-lacing or waist-training.
- Garters - Some corsets come with permanent or detachable garters for holding up thigh-high stockings. This eliminates the need for a separate garment to perform that function. Found more often on period corsets from pre-20th century.
- Lace Protector - A panel of boned material that is slipped down the back of a corset, in between the wearers back and the laces. This can cover gaps in corsets that don't lace all the way closed, and offers comfort by preventing the laces from digging into the wearer's back.
- Laces - These are the fastenings that run up the back of a corset. Suddenly releasing a corset when the laces have not been untied has been known to snap corset bones, so you should always loosen laces generously before undoing the busk on the front of the corset to avoid damaging
the garment when you take it off.
- Over-bust - This term is used to describe corsets that come up over the breasts, providing coverage as well as support. Over-bust corsets are a complete upper body garment.
- Puller loops - This is the name given to the part of the corset laces that are pulled to tighten down the garment.
- Stays - This is the term given to the rigid parts often steel or in the Victorian Erra Whale Bone, guaranteeing a smooth fitting garment.