The difference between a basque and a corset - Smart Photography

The difference between a basque and a corset

I get asked this a lot so today I'm talking about the difference between a corset and a basque and which one might work best for you in your boudoir session and why.

Today I want to talk about basques and corsets and specifically the differences between the two, as it's something we get asked about a lot here.

I'm gonna talk about the pros and cons of each and the styles that will work best for a boudoir portrait session.


So basques and corsets can be a really great option because they cover up the stomach area, which is the bit that most of us are concerned about. The biggest difference, as you look at them, is that a basque will tend to have cups in a way that a corset really wont. So the thing to bare in mind is that a basque will tend to give support in a way that a corset isn't going to. The cups of a basque will help to keep your chest in place when you lie down. Now if you have a chest that never moves whatever position you're in, that's not gonna matter to you. But if when you lie down your chest starts to drift to the side then a basque is gonna help to keep everything in place, whereas a corset is gonna be mainly there for standing shots or sitting shots because it's not gonna be doing anything for you when you lie down.


Basques are also much more likely to have straps than corsets, there are some corsets styles around now that have straps but on the whole basques are much more likely to have straps than corsets are.


The other major difference is that corsets have boning in them and they also have lacing at the back which a basque doesn't do. So a basque will hug your natural shape whereas a corset can cinch in your waist and if you love that kind of accentuated hour-glass figure then a corset is gonna help to create that in away that a basque won't.

There are big differences in the boning that corsets have. So, if something is described as a fashion corset it most likely has plastic boning, and that's not gonna be as strong as steel boning. So it probably wont reshape you as much as a steel boned corset will. It may be more comfortable to wear but you have to be more careful because with plastic boning, if you have a stomach that you're trying to keep flat, with plastic boning it can start to ping out, it can start to get bent out of shape in a way that is not really gonna happen with steel boned corset. A proper steel boned corset, you're not gonna be able to bend it out of shape and it's gonna be doing more reshaping for you in the first place.

A proper corset will also, at the back, have a modesty panel on the inside, so no matter how loosely you lace that corset, it's never gonna be lacing directly across your skin.


If you like corsets, then I would absolutely recommend that you go for something with a sweet-heart neckline, a straight across neckline is much more likely to make you look like you've created a shelf. A sweet-heart neckline is gonna give you a really nice shape across your chest. If you have a large chest, that you want to emphasise then a corset is gonna do that job amazingly well for you. If you have a large chest and you really don't want to be showing it off all that much, then go for a basque because it's not going to be cinching in and pushing you up and doing all of that. And you'll also find that often basques will have more padding in the cups so if you've got a smaller chest you're much more likely to get a good fit from a basque than you are from a corset.


With basques the thing to be careful of is the panels at the side, they can be quite sheer or they can be more opaque. If you're like me and when you sit down, you've got fat rolls, then a sheer panel is really not going to be flattering. You want to look for something as opaque as possible because it's just gonna cover up more of what's going on at the side. 

Matching knickers

Also, with basques you mostly get to get matching knickers, which is a huge bonus. You don't tend to get that with a corset so with a corset, doesn't matter if it's a plain black one, you're not gonna have any problems, but if you've gone for a colour that you've then got to match the knickers to, it can be quite tricky.

Either can work really really well, it is a case of trying on and personal reference and if you can't decide, bring one of each, then you've got everything covered. Thank you.

Much love, 



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