Corsets should be purchased 3-5" smaller than the natural waist size (i.e. a 24" waist will fit into a size 19,20 or 21 corset according to the other measurements).
Untie and loosen the laces before fastening up or unfastening the front closure (busk). The laces always go in the back. Keep the puller loops at the waistline.
A parallel gap of 2" or less when the corset is fully tightened is acceptable. An A-shaped gap indicates a corset that is too small in the hips. A V-shaped gap is too small in the ribs or bust. A gap that is too wide will lead to discomfort and unsightly garment distortion. A corset requiring a longer lace than the one supplied is probably too small!
A properly fitting corset will compress the waist but should not be so tight as to restrict breathing or dig into the hips. These garments are graded proportionately. Persons attempting to tightlace will need a custom made corset for an appropriate fit (i.e. smaller waist, consistent rib, abdomen and hip measurement).