What is waist training or "tightlacing"?
Waist training or "tightlacing" is the act of wearing a corset with the goal of temporary or permanent modifications to the figure and/or posture. This is usually done to achieve a slimmer or cinched waist. When practiced correctly the results can be permanent. However, this process can turn dangerous very quickly when practiced incorrectly or done too quickly.
Choosing the right corset
When choosing a corset for waist training there are quite a few things to consider.
Choosing the correct size.
The first thing you need to do is determine your natural waist size then decide on your goal size.
To find your waist size measure around the thinnest part of your stomach, looking in the mirror you should be able to see where that is. Make sure to keep the measuring tape level around the back, keep your stomach relaxed and measure snugly around your waist. Once you have this measurement you can begin thinking about your goal size.
To start with it is recommended to a buy a corset that is no smaller than 5 inches smaller than your natural waist size.
Buying a "real" corset.
There are so many "fake" corsets out there. To waist train you need a corset with steel boning, many of the imitations have plastic boning, which will not be able to give you the support you need. The "corsets" with plastic boning are simply not strong enough to cinch your waist, and will likely buckle under the pressure with one use. You can feel the difference, real corsets are much heavier and feel much sturdier than the fake ones. Real corsets will mold to your body to give you the shape you desire.
Shape and style.
A steel-boned, underbust corset will likely be your best bet for waist training, as it will be the most versatile/comfortable option. Regular corsets typically have 12 steel bones, whereas a waist training corset will likely have around 16 to 24 spiral steel bones throughout. There are more choices still! You will certainly want a fabric that is not stretchy, like silk, and if you're buying a real corset then this should not be an issue. There are a few different styles. An underbust corset typically comes from under the breasts to a little past the hipbones. There are also "cincher" styles that are much shorter, therefore a bit more comfortable as it allows for freer movement. Cincher's can pull the waist in just as much but do not constrict movements as much.
Real, quality corsets typically run from around $150 to $250. It's an investment, yes, but if you consider that you will be wearing this around 12 hours a day you will want one that is of good quality. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to corsets, and you will be able to tell the difference between a cheap corset and one that you pay a little more for.
Some reputable sellers...
Seasoning your corset
Seasoning your new corset or breaking it in is a very important step and should not be rushed or skipped. Failing to properly season your corset can result not only in injury to yourself but can also ruin your corset. Seasoning gives your corset a a chance to mold to your body, and gives the seams a chance to loosen up.
Before beginning to season your corset you should know the proper way to put it on. Make sure you get any bending over done before you put the corset on, as it will be difficult after you are laced in, and also bending could break the corset. It is also advised to wear some sort of camisole or fabric between the corset and your skin, as this will be more comfortable and will keep body oils or moisturizer off the actual corset and keep it clean longer. Before attempting to put your new corset on make sure you fully loosen the laces in the back, it should come fully laced depending on where you buy it from. Wrap the corset around yourself and try to begin fastening the front busk, try to start from the middle of the busk, as this will put the least amount of stress on the corset. After the front is fastened you can begin tightening the laces in the back. You may have to tug and pull the corset a bit to make sure it's sitting properly on you body, the laces in the back should be lined up with your spine and kept equal distance apart from each other to prevent warping the corset by tightening it unevenly. You should not fully tighten your corset the first time you put it on, instead only tighten it until it is snug against your body. There should be no pinching or discomfort. There may be gaps between your corset and your body the first time you wear it, these will go away as your corset molds to you over the seasoning process. It is okay to tighten the corset a little more after 30 minutes or so. The first time you wear your corset, you should aim for about an hour and a half to two hours then take it off. Take it off the same way you put it on, first loosen the laces in the back completely then unsnap the busk. Gradually increase the time you wear the corset over the next 10 to 12 days until you are up to wearing the corset 7 to 8 hours a day. This will likely ensure that the corset is properly molded to your body and prevent a lot of damage to your corset.
After your corset has been properly seasoned you can begin your waist training journey!
First thing about waist training that you need to know is that it is a long process, you will not see results overnight, and depending on how dedicated you are, it can take years to see permanent results.
It may take you a while to be able to fully close your corset, don't go to fast. Listen to your body. Only lace the corset as tight as you feel comfortable with, it's better to tighten it a little and be comfortable and be able to wear it longer than to tighten it too much and only be able to wear it for a short period of time because it is painful.
The decision is up to you as to how long you wear your corset a day. For any kind of result you will need to wear your corset at least 8 to 12 hours a day, there are even some that wear their corset for 23 hours a day, only removing it to bathe.
If you do choose to sleep in your corset it is advised to loosen it a few inches as your body expands a bit when it rests. You can eat with your corset on, but again, it's best to loosen it a bit to prevent cramping and stress on your body and corset.
Obviously you will see results quicker if diet changes are made along with wearing your corset. If you are wearing it to eat then you will likely eat smaller portions anyway since you will feel full quicker.
Waist training is a long but rewarding journey, that can produce beautiful results, you will get out of it what you put into it. Good luck!
What waist training does to your body
When done correctly wearing of the corset gradually moves the organs in the body down in a safe way while also bringing the bottom or "floating" rips in and closer together resulting in a smaller waist.
A corset can give you better posture over time by supporting the back and forcing it into a straighter position, this being said regular exercise to strengthen your lower back muscles will be beneficial.
Civicfong from Las Vegas Nevada on June 04, 2018:
Do waist cincher really work? What is the best waist trainer 2018 : https://shop4fun.online/top-5-best-waist-trainer-r...
Helena Frieling from United States on September 23, 2017:
You really have pointed the best pointed that needed to be considered when going to buy a waist trainer. It will also be a good idea if we also take advantages and disadvantages of wearing a waist trainer before buying. I found this website helpful because it provides a great knowledge on waist training. http://choosewaisttrainer.com/
Marisol Martinez on October 02, 2016:
Great article! I have to try a steel boned corset someday! They are def so much better looking than the waist cincher I wear. I have been waist training with a latex waist cincher for 2 years along with eating clean and exercising and have went down from a size XL to a S! I can only imagine the results I would get if I decided to reshape my waist with a corset now that I lost so much belly fat! I have a 27 inch waist right now and I started waist training at 32 inches! A quality waist cinchers is def a must have if you're trying to sweat off belly fat. Check out https://soenticing.com/ if you're interested in a quality latex waist cincher that can help sweat off belly fat as you wear it!
MrsJoeyB on June 25, 2016:
I know this isn't the preferred first option but for me, this worked great. During the day I wore my cincher/trainer a few hours here and there during the day. Don't know if yall are having the same hot as Hades weather we are then you get why I did this. Im really starting to love my lil body changer. Believe it or not but my pain management specialist recommended I try and keep going. I wish you all the good luck ive been having!
Nade on April 08, 2015:
I've got two steel boned corsets on waisttrainer1.com, one classic black and other is blue) started my waist training, quite happy with them
Talya on October 29, 2014:
Get corsets and waist trainers here!
Jessica (author) from Tennessee on October 29, 2014:
Glad it was helpful to you! :)
sarahsequins on October 28, 2014:
This hub is extremely helpful. I have been hearing about this corset waist training thing a lot as of lately but no one ever really has gone in depth about the topic and this hub is just perfect for that. Now I have a better understanding of what exactly this does to the body! Thank you so much for the valuable information!
Valentina on August 29, 2014:
I can add Glamour Boutique to your list of reputable corset sources. I think they specialize in waist-shaping for transgender people, and a simple black satin under bust corset I got on sale from them has really done wonders for my boyish figure. It was my starter corset but it's still the highest quality one I ever bought, and it goes great with an endless variety of Halloween costumes.
Terry on August 21, 2014:
Thanks for this post! Waist training is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I started training in a Large size and now I am wearing an XS waist trainer! I get so many complements and I love the one I purchased at http://www.curvedbythecartel.com they are very accurate in sizing you and ship pretty quickly!
Lingerielover on August 20, 2014:
Interesting article. For those who can or do not want to wear a corset I can recommend a girdle. A good fitted girdle shows a lot of the benefits of a corset but in a less rigid way. And it is easy to wear for women as well as for men. My favourite is a high waisted girdle. Either a high waisted panty girdle or an obg. I have been wearing a girdle almost daily for more than 15 years and I like the support and how it improved my posture.
Johng393 on August 18, 2014:
whoah this blog is wonderful i like reading your articles. aeddafgfadee
Baka on August 16, 2014:
Hey some of you people in the comment section don't know how to write full sentences like Gypsy Queen but anywho I wore a girdle one and what toms said about those was right. They only support and hole you but they don't necessarily pull your stomach in. I would like to try a corset some time.
x-clusive on August 15, 2014:
Thx Sylvia & Jessica, wow great(helpful informations)...
Sylvia on August 07, 2014:
Chicastic.com has a great selection of corsets! They are well versed in helping people find the right size for their body and will talk you through any questions you may have! 1.800.568.6975
Anath on July 24, 2014:
A real corset can be a pleasure to wear if fitted correctly
GYPSY Queen on June 20, 2014:
I think going to take time.to work I like the red one look sexy