The Renaissance Fair bodice is a sexy, fun piece of costuming that accentuates curves and enhances the bustline easily. However, only good lacing will ensure comfortable wear, along with maximized cleavage.
Thread one end of the shoelace through the bottom two holes of the bodice. Pull the bottom of the bodice as closed as possible.
Work the lacing up through the rest of the holes until there are only two rows (one cross-over) left. Cross the laces as if lacing up a shoe. Tighten along the way by reaching into the empty space and pulling the lace where it criss-crosses. A well-fitted bodice should close completely, without any chemise fabric peeking out.
Lace up the last two holes, passing and overlapping the lacing through twice. In other words, double-lace the holes. This action supports the bust better than single-lacing, and also keeps the bodice tight. Once again, tighten the strings along the whole front.
Reach into the top of the bodice and lift the bust up, in and over the neckline. Alternatively, bend at the waist and let the bust fall forward. Tighten the top lacing and tie it off.
Adjust the chemise from the bottom and back to get rid of excess fabric. The cloth should be positioned in such as way as to act as support for the bustline. Arrange the chemise so that it cups the bust like a bra.
Another alternative to shoelaces is to use narrow nylon cord from the craft store. This is available is a plethora of colors to match any outfit, and the length can be custom cut. Replace lacing after about 7-10 uses to avoid wear-out and breakage.
Don't use satin ribbon or synthetic leather lacing to tie a bodice. While it may look pretty, these items stretch under the intense pressure of the bodice and won't offer proper support. Never lace the bodice so tightly that breathing is adversely affected. If there is shortness of breath, loosen or cut the laces immediately.