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For men: what size is she?
The most important factor for women is comfort. If you're thinking of giving a gift of lingerie to your special woman then remember that it is very important that you buy her lingerie that stands a good chance of fitting well enough to be worn for a few hours at a time!
Top Tip! If you don't mind her knowing you're thinking about buying her something from Joanna's Wardrobe then one idea is to join us as a member and get her to fill in her sizes on our sizing page. Then whenever you login and browse the site her sizes will be highlighted for you on the products you look at.
If you don't want to alert her to the prospect of a lingerie gift, the easiest way to discover what size she is without her knowing is to rifle through her lingerie drawer and find the things she wears the most. Alternatively you could ask her sister, her mum, her daughter or her best friend.
You'll find detailed sizing advice on all our products, but if in any doubt, please ask.
International size conversion
The table below converts standard UK dress sizes to standard US and European dress sizes and gives a guide to how those sizes relate to the letter codes used on some of our garments.
Please refer to sizing guides on individual products since different manufacturers sizings may differ slightly. If you're in any doubt, Contact us and the staff at Joanna's Wardrobe will be more than happy to assist.
Getting It Right - Bra Sizing
Ladies - some estimates suggest that more than 70% of women regularly wear the wrong bra size!
To check whether you're wearing the right bra size:
If your breasts spill over the top of the cups then your cup size is too small. Your breasts should be totally encased in them, so you probably need a bigger cup size.
If your breasts bulge out from beneath the cups/under band then your band size is too big, which is forcing your breasts out of the bottom of the cup. Try a smaller band size. Remember that if you reduce your band size you may have to go up a cup size to compensate, for example if a 36D fits well in the cup but is too big on the band, try a 34DD.
If your breasts fall out below your bra if you raise your hands above your head then your band size is too big, which is making it loose. Try a smaller band size. Again, remember that if you reduce your band size you may have to go up a cup size to compensate, for example if a 36D fits well in the cup but is too big on the band, try a 34DD.
If the wires stand away at the front of the cups or dig in under the arms your cup size is too small. Try a cup size larger, ensuring the wires lie flat against your body and they fully encase your breasts. You may need to go down a band size too.
If the band sometimes ride up at the back your band size is too big. This is one of the most common mistakes - the band should fit snugly around your body. It will only move if it is too big. If your bra rides up at the back, you should try a smaller band size. Again, remember that if you reduce your band size you may have to go up a cup size to compensate, for example if a 36D fits well in the cup but is too big on the band, try a 34DD.
If the straps dig into your shoulders and give you red marks then again your band size is too big. The main support from any bra should come from the band NOT the straps. Often women overtighten the straps to compensate for the band size being too big. Ideally the buckles on the straps should be adjusted to about 2 inches from the band. Try a smaller band size. Again, remember that if you reduce your band size you may have to go up a cup size to compensate, for example if a 36D fits well in the cup but is too big on the band, try a 34DD.
If the top halves of the cups sometimes wrinkle this is usually a sign that the cups are too big, so try a smaller cup size.
You can also use our Sizing Calculator to help you too. It shows you how to measure yourself, and then translates your measurements into standard bra and UK dress sizes. If you're in any doubt, Contact us and the staff at Joanna's Wardrobe will be more than happy to assist.
Getting It Right - Corset sizing, lacing and wearing in
Corsets are sized by a "corset waist size". To determine your corset waist size, measure around your natural waistline, quite firmly preferably in inches as our corsets are sized in inches. Take your waist measurement and deduct 3-4 inches to give you your corset size. If you would like us to help you with corset sizing or you would like any of our corsets made to your own specific measurements please contact us and we will be pleased to assist you.
First time wearers of corsets may find that getting one on is an experience in itself! Trust us, it gets easier!
All our corsets will be delivered already laced. However, if your corset isn't laced for some reason, the first thing that needs to be done is the corset will need to be loosely laced. Make a big "U" shape out of the lace and, starting at the top of the corset, thread each end of the lace through the metal eyelets in a criss-cross pattern until you reach the centre of the corset, then pull the lace on each side through creating two large loops, enough lace should be left in order to continue lacing to the bottom of the corset and tied off in a knot.
Putting on your corset
Start with the laces loosened off as much as possible and the fastenings at the front of the corset undone. Wrap the corset around your body with the laces at the back and position the front fasteners. Start at the top of the corset, and fasten all the metal clips to the bottom.
TIP! If at all possible get a friend to help at this point
This is the point where it all gets a bit tricky! Get your helper to gently pull on the laces until such point that the corset is loosely in place and the excess lace is drawn towards the centre two loops, remember the effect you are ultimately aiming to achieve is a to cinch the waist so therefore the corset lacing will be wider apart at the top and bottom compared to the waist.
TIP! Keep easing the modesty panel in place as it will ruck up as the lacing gets tighter
In order to get the desired effect, rearrange your breasts either by manipulating by hand or try raising your hands above your head to achieve that voluptuous effect. Continue tightening the corset lacing until you achieve that hourglass figure, then tie the laces in a bow in the centre of the corset.
Wearing in your Corset
Because of the way corsets are made, they are intended to mould to fit you before they are expected to work hard to give you that gorgeous cinched waist effect whilst keeping you comfortable. For the first few times of wearing your corset don't pull the lacing too tight, walk around in the corset for about ½ an hour to let your body get used to wearing it, then take it off allowing the corset to cool down and give your body a rest. Repeat this process a few times but each time tighten the corset a bit more - you will be surprised at how much more comfortable it will feel after a few wearings.
Tip! Remember to put your stockings and shoes on before getting into your corset as the ability to bend is restricted!
Just remember in these modern days a corset isn't supposed to cut off your blood supply, they only need to be done up to a reasonable tightness, unlike in the Victorian and Edwardian times when ladies would "train" their waist in a corset. Many a Victorian Tale involves swooning ladies, now you know why! The modern-day corset should feel comfortable and give you the feeling of being held and supported, but it shouldn't be unbearably tight. A corset will reduce your waist size and sculpt your body to appear slimmer, and your overall appearance will be curvier.