Corseting and waist training – the practice of wearing a high-compression garment such as a corset or latex waist cincher daily – has surged in popularity over the past decade. In addition to providing instant slimming under clothing, corsets are also used by many as part of a long-term journey to slimming down and achieving an hourglass figure. At the same time, there is a lot of information about wearing corsets and waist trainers that can be overwhelming or even misleading at times.
At Hourglass Angel, we promote the use of waist-training garments responsibly and with realistic expectations. Corsets, in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise, can play a role in achieving your goals.
But a corset alone is not a magic bullet to lose weight and doesn't lead to a permanent change simply by wearing one. Here's what you need to know about how corseting works, what to expect, and other common questions.
What is a Corset or Waist Trainer?
Corsets are garments that you wear around your midsection to instantly slim your waist, flatten your tummy and lift the bust.
Modern corsets come in a few different forms. One of the most popular is a waist cincher, also called a waist trainer. Typically, a waist cincher provides slimming with latex panels that are held in place with closures at the front of the garment, such as hook-and-eyes, zippers, or Velcro. Latex cinchers can come in a wrap-around style as well as a vest with shoulder straps.
A classic steel-boned corset is designed a little differently. Instead of providing compression with latex, it uses steel boning and tight laces to produce a tight, figure-slimming effect.
You can wear a corset as shapewear when you want to create an hourglass figure. You can also follow a daily waist training practice—also known as corseting—with the intent to achieve long-term results as part of a larger slim-down plan that includes healthy eating and exercise.
How Does Daily Waist Training Work?
Waist training is most effective as one piece in a healthy lifestyle. It works in several ways.
Initially, waist training simply slims your waistline whenever you put on a corset—you can see the results instantly. While you're wearing a corset, it stimulates heat in the core, which in turn leads to more perspiration.
When you wear a waist trainer daily, it works in a combination of ways, including supporting your posture, boosting your confidence, helping you stay motivated, and helping you have better portion control with your food. All of these factors work together and can be effective for someone desiring to slim their waistline.
For the best results, it’s ideal to wear your waist trainer every day for at least eight hours, in combination with a consistent fitness routine.
Can a Corset Permanently Shrink Your Waist?
Wearing a corset does not lead to a permanent change in your waist—only surgery can do that! However, a daily waist training practice can help you achieve the shape you want in the short term, and give you the tools you need to work towards sustainable long-term change.
When you put on a waist training corset, you'll notice an immediate slimming and smoothing of your midsection. Depending on the garment's compression level, you may achieve a waistline that is 1–3 inches smaller, or even more with a maximum-strength corset.
If you practice waist training consistently and wear your corset from 8–12 hours a day, along with other lifestyle changes, you may start experiencing sustained waist slimming.
Related: Effects of Tight Lacing on the Body
What Will Happen If You Wear a Corset Every Day?
Wearing a corset every day has several benefits that can help you achieve your waist-slimming goals including workout enhancement, self-confidence, motivation, and ongoing momentum. Over time, these benefits can contribute to sustainable long-term change in waist size.
- Workout enhancement: We highly recommend incorporating a workout waist trainer into your daily fitness routine. When you work out, the waist trainer provides firm compression around your core, generating heat and perspiration. Your workouts will feel more intense and help you achieve a better burn.
- Self-confidence: Wearing a corset can help you feel more confident in your body, your looks, and your personal style. You'll notice that you feel more comfortable wearing clothes that you might have previously avoided and doing things—like going to a crowded gym—you might have otherwise avoided.
- Motivation: There's a snowball effect of wearing a corset; since it can help you change your mindset, you'll be more motivated to take on other lifestyle changes. Rather than comparing yourself to others, you can visualize yourself just a few inches slimmer. Day after day, you can stick with other changes you make to your diet and fitness routine.
- Ongoing momentum: Once you're engaged in a routine that includes wearing a corset, regular fitness, and eating a healthy diet, you'll be more likely to continue. Just putting on your corset every day, which is easy, can constantly remind you to follow through with your workouts and eat smaller portions.
Related: What Can a Corset Do to Your Body?
Myths About Corsets
The claim that corsets permanently alter your waist is just one of several myths that are circulating about wearing the garment. Here are a couple more:
Do corsets move your organs? No. Since they are high-compression garments, corsets do put pressure on your soft tissues—in fact, that's why they're so effective.
Your internal organs may be pushed, but they won't move anywhere they shouldn't be. The body is accustomed to adapting to pressure, whether your stomach is full or you're carrying a baby.
Do corsets move your ribs? No. Your ribs are not soft tissues, so they do not shift unless they are growing or healing from a break. This is why only fully grown adults should wear corsets, who are not pregnant or injured.
Remember, corseting should not involve pain of any kind. Yes, wearing a high-strength corset can take some time to get accustomed to. But if you're ever in pain or something doesn't feel right, that's an indicator that your corset doesn't fit properly. Remove it and purchase a different size.
How to Wear a Corset Safely and Effectively
If you wear a corset that fits properly, you shouldn’t experience any pain or discomfort. You might be surprised by just how tight a high-compression garment can feel if you’re not accustomed to it, but it’s a feeling you’ll adjust to.
But it shouldn’t be so tight that you feel short of breath or feel any pain. If that’s the case, take it off immediately! It won’t work correctly if it doesn’t fit.
Be sure to measure your waist size accurately and order your corset according to its unique sizing chart. If you're in between sizes, try the larger size. Remember, corsets can be tightened to an ideal fit, but you will not get the ideal results if a garment is too small.
When you start to wear a new steel-boned corset, it's important to properly season the garment before you wear it at its maximum compression level. For about two weeks, wear your corset snugly but not tight for an hour or two a day, so that it will break in and mold itself to your shape. Once it's seasoned, you should be able to fully tighten the laces in a way that is effective and comfortable.
Don't wear a corset for more than twelve hours a day. Give your body (as well as the corset) a break. We also highly recommend that you include core-strengthening exercises as an essential piece of your waist training regimen.
Overall, waist training is a safe and effective way to improve your health and physical appearance. Just be sure to listen to your body and use common sense.
What Results Can I Expect from Waist Training?
If you're ready to start waist training, it's natural to wonder what kind of results to expect and how long they'll take.
The truth is, there is no simple answer. How dedicated you are to waist training, what your goals are, how dramatically you change your lifestyle, your natural body type, and genetics can all affect the results you get from wearing a corset daily.
Many people find that after several weeks of committed wear in combination with a healthy lifestyle, they start seeing noticeable changes in their bodies. And don’t forget – in the meantime, you'll still experience the instant results that you get simply by putting a corset on.
To really see your own results, be sure to take your own before-and-after photos and measurements. You are on your own journey, and documenting your progress can be very empowering!
Related: Waist Training Before and After
How to Get Started with a Waist Training Practice
When starting out with waist training, you should begin with just an hour or two a day and increase the amount of time gradually. After a few weeks of regular corseting, you should be comfortable wearing it for eight hours or more. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to waist training! If you ever feel uncomfortable, take a break in the middle of the day and get back to it.
To stay motivated, track your progress by measuring your waist and taking photos at least once a month. This will help you see your results and stay on track.
Wearing a corset is a great way to enhance your figure and improve your confidence. To get the most out of your waist training practice, keep in mind that pairing your practice with a healthy lifestyle is essential for long-term waist slimming success.