How to Buy a Hook and Eye Corset

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How to Buy a Hook and Eye Corset

Corsets date back to the 16th century and have continued to go in and out of fashion since then. They are used by women who want a cinched waist or to flaunt their curves as corsets help to mould the midsection into the desired shape. When worn properly, hook and eye corsets have the ability to transform the appearance of the wearer’s bust, waist, stomach, and hips. They can also offer the wearer increased support for the back. Hook and eye corsets can be found in overbust and underbust styles. Overbust corsets enhance a woman’s cleavage. They are designed to be worn as lingerie or formal wear in some settings. Underbust corsets are better suited for large breasted women who use them for waist training underneath other clothing. Hook and eye corsets come in various fabrics, colours, and styles. Many women prefer satin for its luxurious feel, while leather offers more support and a higher level of comfort.

Before buying a hook and eye corset at retailers such as Agent Provocateur, it is helpful to consider the various types of boning, be familiar with proper hook and eye corset sizing, and learn how to put on the garment properly.

Features of Hook and Eye Corsets

Hook and eye corsets are composed of two side panels that are held together by lacing and a hook and eye closure. Each corset is likely to contain multiple hook and eye closures, helping to distribute pressure along the garment. Most of these closures are small and discreet. The closures are often made of metal and consist of two parts: the hook and the eye loop. The hook is slipped through the eye loop as a means of holding the garment together. The positioning of each hook and eye is important. Incorrect placement may result in wrinkling or folding of the garment. The hook of the closure is very shallow and should not cause any discomfort to the wearer. In order for the hook and eye closure to stay securely fastened, the corset must fit snugly against the wearer’s body. If the garment is too loose, the hook may become unfastened from the eye, since it is no longer held in place by pressure. To protect the wearer’s modesty, some corsets may feature an extra flap of fabric that rests between the skin and the hook and eye closure.

Types of Boning for Hook and Eye Corsets

Hook and eye corsets are commonly made from fabric with boning. The boning consists of solid, stiff strips that are sewn into small fabric sleeve slots on the corset, helping the garment to keep its shape. The boning is responsible for shaping and supporting a woman’s midsection. Traditionally, boning was derived from animals, plants, and metal sources. However, more modern boning may use synthetic materials.

Animal Boning for Hook and Eye Corsets

The earliest corset boning was made of whalebone, which is how boning acquired its name. Boning was also made of baleen, a set of small comb-like teeth located in the upper jaws of most whales. The sturdy, yet flexible, characteristics of whalebone and baleen made the boning ideal for corsets. Ivory was also used for corset boning as was featherbone, which entailed binding the quills of feathers into strips.

Plant Boning for Hook and Eye Corsets

Early forms of plant boning were made from thick cords of cotton. However, cotton provided minimal support and shaping. Wood strips were also used, but limited the corset’s flexibility. The most successful plant boning came from coraline. Coraline was made from plant fibres of the Mexican Ixtle plant. This boning was sturdy, yet flexible.

Metal Boning for Hook and Eye Corsets

Steel boning is the most popular type of metal boning. Steel strips prove durable, but provide limited flexibility. At the end of the 19th century, spiral steel boning was invented. Spiral boning is made from small steel springs, which are then flattened into boning strips. This material provides both strength and flexibility and is a modern variation on earlier boning techniques.

Synthetic Boning for Hook and Eye Corsets

While steel boning still remains popular, more modern forms include a blend of synthetic materials. White steel boning includes the used of nylon coated steel springs, providing the corset with an inflexible structure which is fluid resistant. Plastic boning is also used for lightweight support. Although not as flexible as spiral steel, plastic boning is machine washable. Other types of synthetic boning include rigilene and fusion coated boning. Rigilene boning is less sturdy than other types and often used for lightweight support. This boning has soft edges and small holes throughout the boning piece, allowing it to be sewn directly to the fabric of the corset. Fusion coated boning is coated carbon steel. This boning is known for being extremely durable and rigid.

How to Put on a Hook and Eye Corset

If the corset has lacing on one side and a hook and eye closure on the other side, then the wearer must also loosen the laces so that the corset can slip over the head or be pulled up over the hips. It is more beneficial not to undo the laces entirely. Before putting on the corset, the wearer should first connect the hook and eye closures by placing each hook into its opposite eye. Wearer’s can successfully accomplish this by working from top to bottom or bottom to top. The corset should be positioned around the wearer’s midsection so that the laces are in the back and the hook and eye closures are in the front. This is the way most corsets are designed to be worn. Alternatively, wearer’s may opt to have the hook and eye closures run down the centre of the back, leaving the lacing to show at the front.

After the corset is in place, wearer’s should tighten the laces. This is easier accomplished with a helping hand in order to result in a tighter fitting corset. The tighter the laces are, the smaller the wearer’s waist appears. Tightness should be left to the wearer’s discretion, but the corset should never be so tight that it causes improper breathing or fainting.

Sizing Hook and Eye Corsets

Some hook and eye corsets are sized according to bra size, while others are sized according to a woman’s waist measurement. When taking waist measurements, women should measure around the narrowest part of the waist. An appropriate sized hook and eye corset measures four inches smaller than a woman’s recorded waist size in order to ensure a snug fit and properly perform its intended function of cinching the waist. Plus size woman have the scope to reduce the waist by up to six inches rather than four if their waist measures more than 34 inches.

Hook and eye corsets vary in length. The corset should be long enough to cover the torso, but short enough so as not to prevent the woman from sitting comfortably. The corset should not dig into the thighs or bust when sitting. To find the right length, for an underbust corset, women should measure from under the bust to the hips. For an overbust corset, women should measure from the centre of their nipple to the hips.

How to Buy a Hook and Eye Corset on eBay

Once you understand the features and sizing for a hook and eye corset, shopping for one on eBay is easy. The selection of hook and eye corsets available on eBay is larger than many lingerie shops or department stores may offer. Corsets may not be worn frequently, so it may be possible to buy a pre-owned hook and eye corset that is in excellent condition at a fraction of the retail price.

To navigate to eBay’s assortment of hook and eye corsets, enter "hook and eye corset" into the keyword search on the homepage. Once you have been presented with a list of results, you can narrow down the options by searching by category. eBay has filters in place to help buyers to view the results based on price, condition, or other features. Alternatively, buyers can use eBay’s advanced search feature. This is a great tool for those who want to restrict their search, for example, by looking at products sold by Top-rated sellers.


Whether buying a hook and eye corset to wear as lingerie or to wear under clothing, eBay’s selection offers a wide range to suit every need. Buyers should consider a few key components of the hook and eye corset in order to understand how to search for the item. First, consider the features of hook and eye corsets, then the type of boning used in the garment’s construction. Both the sizing and the length of the hook and eye corset can have an affect on how well the garment flatters the figure and the level of comfort that the corset offers. High quality corsets are generally sized according to a woman’s waist measurement, although bra size may also be used. Finally, women should understand how to put on the hook and eye corset properly. With so many hook and eye corsets to choose from, eBay can help any woman to achieve the perfect body shape.

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