Although tight lacing has been around for years, you may have only just heard about the term ‘waist training’. It’s a term that has been banded around a lot recently, with the rise of waist cinchers being made popular by celebrities like the Kardashians.
But what is waist training really?
If we are to describe waist training in basic terms, it refers to the process of using a corset in order to modify the shape of your waist. The results are generally regarded as semi-permanent, meaning that you can actually alter your silhouette – for a time – by using a high-quality corset.
But there is a distinction that has to be brought up when we mention waist training and corsets. Traditionally, waist training refers to the use of steel boned corsets which are tightened over time in order to physically alter the appearance of one's silhouette. Elastic waist trainers like the ones used by the Kardashians cannot be tightened over time, so it is questionable whether they can be used to achieve the same results as tight lacing with a corset.
Even burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese told the Huffington Post that those stretchy waist trainers that Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe use for waist training 'don't work' (although anecdotal evidence appears to dispute this, what with the rise in popularity of elasticated waist trainers).
Regardless of what route you take personally, we have to stress that any results you achieve through waist training will only be temporary. Waist training cannot be used to obtain permanent results, nor can it be used to lose weight (only diet and exercise can achieve this, sorry). And, since we have big love for the humble corset here at RebelsMarket, we're going to be talking about waist training with a corset for the purposes of this article.
How Waist Training with a Corset Works:
1. Corsets used for waist training have special boning, referred to as ‘stays.' These are pieces of rigid material such as steel or whalebone, which give the corset its shape and rigidity.
2 . When the laces at the back of the corset are pulled tight, this draws the waist in, compressing the body around the midriff – and holding shape due to the support of the stays.
3. The corset applies gentle pressure to the ribcage, manipulating the lower ribs (known as ‘floating ribs’) and drawing them inward. The floating ribs are small, delicate ribs which are not attached directly to the ribcage. This means that, over time, they can be gently shaped by the corset to reduce the size of your waist
This all sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually is. Wearing a corset properly, safely, and slowly over a period of time can reduce the size of the waist, but the effects are gradual, and they are not permanent.
There are several myths and misconceptions about corsets and tight lacing, including the idea that wearing a corset can break ribs or deform your internal organs. There is no evidence to suggest that this claim is true. It is more likely that the myth itself stems from the concept of waist training as a method of semi-permanent body modification.
How to Start Waist Training
Now that you know what waist training is (or more importantly, what it is not), you may be thinking about giving it a try.
But before you do, there are some important points to consider regarding waist training:
1. Waist training is totally safe, but you should not attempt it if you are under the age of 18.
2. The effects of waist training are not permanent. While you may attain a smaller waist over time, once you stop waist training your body will return to its natural shape
3. You should also be aware that waist training will not help you to lose weight (contrary to what a lot of internet propaganda tells you). It can only help to alter the appearance of your silhouette.
4. Before you consider waist training, speak to your doctor. It’s always best to seek a professional opinion, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Ok, so now that you’ve considered the points above, it’s time to talk more about how to start waist training. If you’re committed to giving it a go, the first thing you need to do is buy a suitable corset.
Now, we have already made a distinction between corsets and cinchers (or the confusingly named ‘waist trainers’). In this article, remember that we are talking about waist training with a corset, with the view to obtaining a longer-lasting hourglass figure.
Select a Corset for Waist Training
Ready to start waist training? Great. But when you select a corset or to start waist training with, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
1. Your corset must have stays. That is, it must be lined with flexible steel or another rigid structure in order to provide support
2. Your corset must fit well. It must be tight, but not too tight (as you want to be able to lace it tighter and tighter over time)
3. Your corset must be comfortable enough for you to breathe in and move freely. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it should not stop you from performing day-to-day tasks
Once you have selected an appropriate corset, it’s time to start waist training. On the first day, wear your corset for a couple of hours to get the feeling of it and to start breaking the garment in.
The first time you lace up your corset, it’s crucial that you don’t lace it too tightly. It should sit snugly, but not be overly restrictive. A good way to test the tightness of your corset is by seeing if you can slide a couple of fingers down the front when it is laced up. If you can’t, then it is too tight. If you try to force the corset too quickly, it can start to warp the boning of the corset.
Tighten Your Corset Gradually Over Time
Once you have broken the corset in, aim to wear it a couple of hours a day for the first few days and no more. The key to effective waist training is to take it slowly. Only tighten your corset in incremental amounts, and never tighten the corset to the point where it feels painful.
In the second week of your training, start to increase the amount of time spent in your corset by about an hour and a half every day, up to about eight hours. And finally, don’t go overboard with your waist training. Make sure you take days off – as it is never recommended to wear a corset indefinitely.
When Should I Stop Waist Training?
If you’ve started waist training and you are happy with the results, you can simply stop – but be aware that any alteration to your waistline or silhouette is semi-permanent. When you stop wearing your corset, your body will gradually return to its natural state.
But when to stop is completely up to you. If you are happy with the results of your waistline, there’s no need to keep tightening your corset. In other words, it’s important to know when to stop. So, once you’ve trained your waist, you can keep wearing your corset at the same tightness, or simply stop altogether.
How Often Should A Waist Trainer Be Worn?
How often to wear a waist trainer is completely up to you – but it isn't recommended that you wear it for more than eight hours a day.
You can opt to wear a corset beneath your clothes as a staple item of clothing for a couple of hours a day, even if you aren’t waist training. A corset is a great figure enhancer, so you don’t need to wear it with the aim of altering your silhouette at all.
The most important thing is to listen to your body. If you're comfortable with the pace of your waist training, then great! Keep at it.
But, if you're experiencing any negative side-effects from waist training (such as pain, discomfort or shortness of breath) then you should stop, and re-evaluate whether you are doing it correctly. Remember, waist training is a very slow process that cannot be rushed. But if you're patient with it, and you use a good quality corset with flexible steel stays, you're bound to see fantastic results over time!
And on a final note - we'll add in a little disclaimer. While we've already mentioned that you should not attempt waist training if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it's also a good idea to speak with your doctor before you attempt waist training. RebelsMarket are here to provide you with fashion advice - but we're not doctors! So always speak with your physician first, particularly if you have any concerns.
Dolly Castro - PWpop
So there we have it! Your comprehensive guide to waist training - along with recommended steps on how to start waist training for beginners.
Have you had some success with waist training? Or maybe you have an insider tip about waist training that you'd like to share with us?
Please tell us about it in the comments section below.
Main cover courtesy of ThisFitsMe.com