If you waist train, do you think that the corset permanently changes your shape? Like if I started waist training now, do you think I would change the shape I am even after removing the corset? Do you ever wear other support garments, and if you do, how do they compare with corsets?
ABB: Yes. It can absolutely change the shape of a girls body. Several things contribute to this, ﬁrst and most common is fat displacement. Over time, tightlacing pushes fat deposits to other areas of the body. Most of this fat movement is not permanent and will have to be maintained to keep the inches off. In the beginning, if you’re dedicated, the amount of time wearing a corset will be basically equal to how long the effects lasts. In other words, if you waist train seriously for a year, and stop wearing it, your body will most likely return to it’s original shape gradually over the following year. After years of tight-lacing (continuous or on and off), some of this fat displacement will be permanent. The longer you waist train (years not hours), the longer the inches stay off. Keep in mind it takes at least 6 months before the body will really start to permanently move fat to different fat cells.
Second, is the repositioning of the ﬂoating ribs. This is harder to achieve than moving fat but the results are usually permanent. Your lower rib placement makes a huge difference on how well waist training works (especially if you have a small torso). The younger you start, the more permanent the body change. That doesn’t mean it won’t help anyone, of any age, take at least a few inches off their waist.
Best advice I can give on long term or permanent waistline changes –
…how much time (both years and hours) you spend waist training, matters more than how tight it is. Go slow and listen to your body.
I would tell any woman that wants a smaller waist or a ﬂatter stomach to wear some type of waist controller. Anything. If worn tight enough and regularly, it can work to displace a little fat. It also teaches a girl to stand up straight, and suck it in, which along with building abdominal muscles and improving posture, just simply makes her look better. Using store bought, inexpensive waist controllers is the perfect first step to tightlacing. It’s more comfortable, easier to get on and off and starts to prepare your body and mind for the waist training process.
TTC: “Go slow and listen to your body.” Good advice for any sort of change! After getting crushed at Mardi Gras, my abs were sore, hard, and kind of distended for weeks. Using a waist cincher really helped pull them back in and relieve a lot of pressure from movement. They are STILL sore, and I’m hoping that a little bit of waist training (and more squats and kettlebell swings) will put those muscles back to right.
ABB: Exactly! We live in a society of quick conveniences but anyone who has ever produced real change in their life, knows it’s a slow arduous process.
I’ve read a lot of stories about women fighting scoliosis and other back problems with tight-lacing. Waist training/corsetry has always been viewed through a political lens (always). Most information we’ve been fed about tight-lacing from the past is fraudulent feminist propaganda, because of this, and the continued spreading of these myths, it’s almost impossible to know if there are any real health benefits from tight-lacing.
I’m kind of built like a 2×4: long and slender with no waistline, hips or bust; I always have been built that way, and I’m pretty solid. Do you think that a corset would give me a waistline?
ABB: You are not built like a 2×4. I would give a lot to have your long slender legs.
Short answer, yes, if you’re committed and do it right, it will take inches off your waist.
How many inches is the real question?
Wearing a corset, 8 to 12 hours a day for a year, can take 4 to 6 inches off a normal (not obese or rail thin) woman’s waist. But a lot of things influences how many inches will come off: Body type, hours spent wearing it, the fit, how often, how tight, and unfortunately to some extent, age.
**These are my experiences and observations – waist training is very popular with burlesque dancers**
TTC: LOL, I didn’t mean anything bad by the 2×4 comment, but even when I was super skinny (5’9” and 115lbs) graduating high school, I never had a single curve (I’ll try to find a picture in a bikini) and didn’t even have boobs until I was about 35. I have noticed, since I went Paleo/Primal in 2008, that my body has changed shape on its own without any help from me using waist cinchers. I had funky little skinny-fat fat deposits in weird places; they all went away, and I developed breasts and a tiny amount of hips. I think that I could further benefit from a tiny bit of waist training, but I think that extreme tight-lacing might not be a good idea given my *cough* advanced age :)
Do you wear corsets under or over your clothes? Do you wear them for decoration, support, or both? How noticeable are corsets when wearing them under clothes for support? Are there different types of fabrics that show them more?
ABB: I’ve worn over, under and only. I like peek-a-boos for under my clothes. These usually have waist cinchers but are structured and embellished at the bust(to peek out). Wearing these, I essentially out myself for wearing a corset and create a sexy “what does she have on under that?” excitement. If burlesque taught me anything, it’s that men like to be visually teased, but leaving some things to the imagination is usually more powerful.
My closet is full of different styles of corsets for different types of occasions. Most of what I own are not true corsets, but the shape is flattering on me. I do have two nice “going out” corsets. These are not appropriate for most events, I only get a chance to wear them a few times a year. My lingerie corsets– I probably have 50 or more of these (lol). I can’t resist buying them. I keep one nice tight lacing corset, just in case. :)
There are specific types of corsets to be worn under your clothes. These are great body shapers, tighter than fashion or outer corsets. I think satin is the most comfortable and the least noticeable. Usually, depending on well it fits, you won’t see it through the clothing. Mostly, a corset gives itself away with extreme body shapes, or fat bulging over or under the corset. I also notice the awkward stiff movements it can cause in a novice wearer, but most probably wouldn’t. They can be really flattering with the right tight waisted dress, or if the girl wearing it has the body for it. Many underclothes corsets have garters, which I personally love, it’s my primary reason for wearing one.
What is your favorite thing about wearing corsets?
ABB: A corset forces me to move more deliberately; adds more sensuality to my movements. Walking, bending, taking a seat, eating, even just standing, are all done with a corset inspired feminine grace. Mostly, the process of putting one on, and just wearing it, is in itself, a boost to my femininity. The absolute best part for me…
I feel and look sexier.
Is there anything left that we should discuss that I haven’t asked?
ABB: The only things we didn’t discuss(i think), that we should, is breathing and other health concerns.
It can be difficult to breathe from the lower lobe or the diaphragm when laced in a corset. Some women can’t get passed the feeling of not being able to catch their breath. This just takes practice. It can be done. If an opera soprano can learn to sing while tight-laced, surely we can learn to breathe just doing normal daily things.
In order to see any organ movement from tightlacing a woman must lose at least 30% of her waist measurement. I have no personal experience with that, but I have talked to a few girls that do, it can be painful and have unpredictable consequences. If someone is going to take waist training this far, she needs a support community and/or a doctor that understands and supports tightlacing(they do exist).
As for other health concerns, almost every single purposed health risk has been debunked, but do your research before you start lacing. Most important, listen to your body.
I recommend reading this book The Corset: A Cultural History by Valerie Steele
even though it’s written by a fashion historian, it answers a lot of questions about health risks and the truth behind past politics of the corset.
Thank you Arya Blue for answering my questions! I’m completely fascinated by the whole concept and hope to get a real corset in the near future. I did get a cheap one off of Amazon, and it is a lot stronger that I thought it would be. I replaced the wimpy, short ribbon for a five foot grosgrain ribbon and it works pretty well. The corset is way too short though – I’m pretty long.