There is nothing sexier than an hourglass figure - whether a size 10 or a size 22, and if you haven't got one naturally it can be achieved by wearing a well fitting corset or basque. Shorter waist length styles or long fitting over the hips, with or without suspenders, boned or not, corsets are no longer made so rigidly that you are likely to faint, but are sexy, beautiful, stylish and most of all - comfortable to wear.

Shapewear such as girdles or corselettes, achieve a similar effect but doesn't have the 'wow' factor of a full vintage style boned corset, which can be considered 'a great fasion accessory with benefits'. By slimming down the waist, the hips and bust are 'exaggerated' and stepping out wearing a corset or basque can give ladies with a less than perfect figure a massive confidence boost.

Corsets were originally designed to re-shape and shrink the waist. By wearing one constantly and laced tightly the size of the waist could be reduced significantly over time. This waist training by tight lacing is still undertaken today. They are also excellent for keeping a good posture and were worn by officers in the army until the end of the last century for this purpose.

The modern day corsets, corselettes (slips with suspenders), waspies and basques are made from beautiful fabrics, satin, net or lace in a variety of colours and styles and can be worn for fancy dress, figure shaping, or for the bedroom. They will cover from the bust to the waist or with longer styles, down to the hips and are fastened with laces or hooks & eyes, and generally contain vertical boning. Depending on the style, both basques and corsets may or may not have bra cups, straps or suspenders but whichever type you choose, these sexy pieces of lingerie will flatter almost any shape. Girdles will also slim the waist and hips and look fantastically sexy with suspenders and a good pair of seamed stockings.

Worn by all shapes and sizes to improve on what you have naturally and enhance your femininity a corset, basque, waspie or even a simple corselette should be part of every woman's underwear collection.