You can easily use the ‘rabbit ears’ method of lacing your corset training corset to make getting into your corset unassisted supper easy. It involves lacing the corset in the traditional criss crossed method until you get to the waist line, then leaving two big loops of lace (the loops represent the rabbit ears) then continuing to the bottom where you tie them off and cut off the excess. You need to leave the loops long enough to completely loosen the corset to the point where you can put it on/take it off easily. You then pull the loops to tighten the corset and tie them in a bow. The knot at the bottom of the corset never gets untied, unless you want to change or replace the laces. Here’s a diagram of the lacing for rabbit ears, if you have a waist tape on your corset training corset make the loops at this point.
You can then easily loop the rabbit ears over a door handle if you need an extra hand while tight lacing. You then just walk away from the door, using your body weight to tighten the corset. I posted some photos of my friend using the door handle method back in 2011 – check out the post of her first corset training corset lacing here
Here’s one of the photos to illustrate how easy it is to loop the ‘rabbit ears’ over a pair of door handles.
I’m asked a lot how long you need to tight lace to start physically reducing your waist line and how fast you can start squeezing the inches away.
Corset Training isn’t supposed to be a quick fix (although it does instantly slim your figure when you don a corset) it’s meant to be a way of life. Thats not to say you can only waist train if you plan to eat, sleep and work in your corset. It does mean that you have to enjoy wearing a corset for long periods and it does mean you need to reduce your waist slowly and sensibly.
That said we can go into the hows and how longs in more detail:-
When you start off make sure you get a well fitting corset and brake it in by wearing it for a few hours a day for a week or so ideally. You then need to build up the hours slowly, it needs to be gradual enough for your body to almost ‘not notice’ the change. You’ll feel very restricted and uncomfortable if you go straight for an 8 hour stint. But move up an hour a week from 2 to 8hrs and you’ll almost forget your wearing it.
Last night I helped a friend into her first corset training corset and showed her the over the door handles method for tightening her corset alone. This is a great method for beginners because it’s like having a second pair of hands holding the laces taught while you pull at the crossed laces up and down the corset to get an even tightness top and bottom. Here are a couple of photos we took.
So we’ve discussed getting your body used to a corset gradually by building up the hours you spend in it day by day. But really this is only part of the process. The other two areas of body management you need to pay attention to while corset training are diet and exercise.
Yes every other magazine, advert and doctor goes on about the importance of diet and exercise but your about to become (or are already) a tight-lacer. These areas are too important to let slide.
Diet does not automatically mean under eating, it does mean eating sensibly. Wearing a tight corset also means eating differently. You can’t eat a big meal in a corset it’ll make you feel ill! You’ll be eating smaller meals more often and never eat until your uncomfortably full. In certain parts of the world – the med I believe – it’s customary to eat until your 90% full. This is a good rule to follow. I don’t need to remind you its important to eat your greens etc but you must make sure you eat enough roughage as squeezing your insides will make processing food that much slower for your intestines. Yes not very glamourous but you’ll thank me later.
Exercise is the other big corner stone of the happy tight-lacer. A mixture of cardio and core strengthening exercises are recommended to combat the undesirable effects of corset training. I go for a jog in the mornings and do the boat position when I get back before my morning shower. But fit it in where it suits you. A keep fit class, swimming or a home fitness DVD three times a week all work well to get your heart beating fast and you breathing heavily. The point of which is to expand your lung capacity as well as keeping you fit. Wearing a corset will alter the shape of your bottom ribs so you’ll benefit from expanding the intake of the top part of your lungs. If you don’t think you’ll stick to an exercise regime then going to a class or exercising with a friend will help stop you ducking out, even programming reminders into your phone so it tells you to ‘get your butt outta bed and onto that treadmill now’ can work.
Core muscle exercises are also important (core means the big inner tummy muscles) as wearing a corset takes the strain off them – great for back pain but it weakens the muscles. There are some great tummy exercise videos out there but try to steer clear of crunches they can do a lot of damage especially if you’ve had children. I like the boat, it’s quick and simple and I get to lay on the floor
To do the boat position you lay on the floor arms by your sides, pull in and tighten your tummy muscles and holding them in you lift your head shoulders and feet off the ground a few inches and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat a few times. Work up to 30seconds 3-5 times. Easy and quick.
“My work is not about being fashionable. I do not follow fashion at all. I’m interested in an ideal, a kind of expression of elegance, which really has nothing to do with fashion.”
The infamous Mr Pearl has an 18-inch corseted waist and wears his corset 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except to bath. But his work as a ‘Corsetier’ or maker of corsets is what really skyrocketed him to fame and glory.
Mr Pearl is arguably the most amazing Corsetier in existence, his works of art can take several months each to construct. He has made corsets for designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, John Galliano, Chloe, Alexander McQueen, Antonio Berardi and Christian Lacroix. And for famous ladies like Kylie Minogue, Dita Von Tease and Jerry Hall.
“It was Mr Pearl who laced Posh Spice into her wasp-waisted Vera Wang wedding dress, created Mugler’s more extreme and infamous metal biker corsets, and more recently tied Sophie Dahl into the ballet-shoe pink corset dress of Gaultier’s spring/summer 2001 collection.”
The Independent, 24th Nov 2001, Forrest, Emma E
The infamous Mr Pearl is the alter ego of Mark Pullin, he started tightlacing at age 30, after seeing a photograph of Fakir Musafar:
Fakir Musafar’s artistic self-portraiture - ‘nineteen inches’ 1959 and ‘perfect gentleman’ also 1959
Mark Pullin was born in South Africa, he was the eldest son of an English toolmaker, Neil, and a half-English, half-Dutch mother, Yvette. He has a brother , Grant, a motorcycle mechanic. His parents split up when he was three, when he moved in with his grandparents Hetty and Ruben Searle.
“My grandmother wore corsets so I became fascinated by them,” he said. “They were always salmon-pink. She used to let me lace her up. It took a long time as there were lots of eyelets and laces, but it was a great treat.”
Mail on Sunday, 03 April 2005, Collcutt, Deborah
Pressure to conform led to a 2 year marriage to a South African actress, after which he moved to London, creating his alter-ego Mr Pearl and setting up shop as a corsetier in 1994. He moved to Paris in 2002 where he now works in the romantic setting behind Notre Dame Cathedral, designing unique pieces for couture houses. He refuses to use any form of modern technology, and their are few photos of him or his work – outside of catwalk and fashion shoots that is.
An exquisit example of Mr Pearl’s hand sewn sequined Corsets:
Mr Pearl’s Metal ‘Biker’ Corsets for Thierry Mugler, later worn by Beyonce:
The Sophie Dahl Gaultier dress spring/summer 2010 made by Mr Pearl:
And Finally, Dita Von Tease in one of her personal Mr Pearl corsets, (and I think we all agree she’s a lucky lucky girl):
“Corsetry is the deepest, most intimate, most enhancing possibility physically and I’m fascinated by this. Corsetry presents endless, almost unobtainable, possibilities, it could always be tighter, more beautiful, longer in the front. The limit is physical – outward appearances are endless.” Mr Pe
Dita in Gaultier’s a/w 2010 catwalk