Some prom dresses, cocktail dresses, costumes and wedding gowns feature corset backs. This dress design ranges from daringly bare to demure, depending on the cut. The corset lacing bares skin or a modesty panel--a fabric insert that covers the skin between the laces. Lace or netting works as a modesty panel for those who want a close-to-bare look with a little coverage. To pull off the classic, sexy look of the corset back dress, learn the method to lace up the dress.
Select a cord for lacing the corset back dress if the dress doesn't have one with it. Replace the existing cord if it's flimsy or uncomfortable. A washable satin cord called rat tail comes in many colors, and has a smooth finish. It's strong, yet narrow enough to fit in most lacing eyes. Buy a cord at least 3 feet longer than the length of the lace back.
Hold the two ends of the lacing and find the middle of the lacing by straightening the doubled cord. If you're lacing the dress by yourself, put the clip on the middle of the cord. Place the dress front side down on a clean surface such as a table or bed. A corset back dress has eyes---like buttonholes---loops or hooks to hold the lacing. If you have an assistant, put the dress on first and the assistant can put the lacing in. Start at the top of the dress and insert one end of the cord in the top hole or hook on your right. Push the cord from the outside of the dress into the inside and pull the cord through.
Insert the other end of the cord in the top left lacing hardware of the dress. Position the clip in the middle to keep the lacing even.
Cross the first end of the cord over to the left side and inset it through the eye.
Cross the second end of the cord over to the right side and insert it through the eye.
Repeat this process, one eye or hook at a time to the bottom of the lace back. Check that the clip is in the middle. Adjust the lacing so both ends of the cords are the same length.
Add a bead to each end of the lacing and tie a knot below the bead at the end of the cord. This keeps the cord from escaping through the lacing hardware. This feature will help if you need to dress or undress by yourself.
Step into the dress and pull it up gently to put it on. Have the assistant pull the cords evenly to adjust the tension of the lacing. Let the assistant know when it feels secure. The dress should hold you firmly, yet not feel too tight. There's a reason corseted women use to faint. You need to be able to breathe.
Ask your assistant to tie a bow, and then a second bow. This will hold the lacing securely and look attractive. Check that you can sit down comfortably, and have your assistant loosen the lacing if needed.