I wrote these two articles in conjunction with two presentations for panels I gave at Clockwork Alchemy 2013. They are both written with the beginner in mind.
With the variety of corsets available, sorting out what to buy can be quite baffling. This article provides a basic overview of corset purchasing, including the pros and cons of different price points and features, ready-to-wear vs. custom, why steel boning is good, tips for finding the best possible fit, budget, and more.
Some brief tips and a lot of links to resources for learning how to make your own corsets.