So what you need to know before corset training and what you can expect after?
Now I know I say this a lot but you really can’t rush or force your body into corset training. There really is no point to jumping straight into a corset, forcing your waist down by a 5inch reduction and saying “there! I’m a tightlacer!” Because you’ve then got to keep that corset on 8 – 12+ hrs a day for the next 6months to make the reduction permanent, or as permanent as a corseted waist gets. (Everyone’s waist expands a certain amount when they take off their corset, even after years of corset training.) You’d be lucky to last a day with such a violent reduction before giving up on account of the discomfort and or pain. I’m being over dramatic but my point is this – if your planning to corset train you need to be in it for the long run, not the short sprint! Waist training is a way of life, it affects your eating habits, sleeping habits, your movement etc etc. It IS rewarding but only for those who enjoy the process as much as they enjoy the end result. You shouldn’t tighten your corset to the point where it feels uncomfortable, your corset should support and ‘hug’ your body rather than crushing you. If it hurts your doing it wrong.
We continue this little chat with more detailed info on corset training before and after here…
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.
Just a quick Happy Birthday to the late Bettie Page!
The voluptuous Queen of Pin-up would have been 88 years young today. Expect a special on her with lots of gorgeous photos at some point in the future!
Corset training, also known as waist training, figure training and the more familiar tightlacing, is a method of body modification. The waist (primarily) and the torso are sculpted using external pressure produced by a tightly laced corset. The waist and surrounding area are very gradually reduced over a period of months as the body slowly conforms to the shape of the corset. The wearer should feel comfortable at all times and any discomfort is a sign that the corset is too tight. As a general rule it should feel like a tight hug but not a breathless squeeze. It is very important to gradually progress with reduction as sudden extreme reductions can cause great discomfort, fainting, indigestion, muscle spasms and cramps (I speak from experience!) and breathlessness. Let me dispel the myth that corset training involves suffering on any level, wearing a corset should feel comfortable, unrestrictive and downright sexy! It’s common to forget you’re wearing one (unless you pass a mirror and get a glimpse of those accentuated curves of yours!).
Now as to time scale, reduction can be affected by fat mass and abdominal muscle strength as both lengthen the process, but in general an inch a month is the norm up to around six inches, after which each extra inch can take a whole year to achieve. The corset also needs to be worn for at least 12 hours a day, with most dedicated tightlacers practising a 23/7 rule – only taking the corset off to bathe and only loosening it to sleep, but its up to you to decide how far to take it, if your not enjoying it ease up. I’ve covered correct methods of lacing etc in other posts.
It’s also a common assumption (or just wishful thinking) that corset training for a few months can permanently reduce your waist size. Unfortunately it can’t, although it can be used as a dieting tool (which I’ll go into further in later posts) and worn for a number of years will keep you thinner than you naturally would have been had you never worn a corset. However even dedicated tightlacers with years of waist training under their belt (bad pun) report that after only an hour unlaced their waists have expanded to a degree. This is because the soft tissues have only been displaced and not eradicated. Corset training does however have a semi permanent effect on the shape of your rib cage, which sounds scarier than it is, promise! The ribs are very flexible and will take on the conical shape of the corset over time. They will slowly return to normal shape if corset training is ceased completely, but it is easy to maintain rib shape with reduced corset wear. As for health issues, no medical evidence has been found to prove that even the extreme corset training of the Victorian era had negative health effects for those that practised it – and I’ve looked good and hard for it. The internal organs are moved around to a large degree but still function perfectly, in fact they are put under greater strain during pregnancy and this may be why the female body suffers no ill effects from corset training. I’ll go into the physical effects in detail in a later post.
Other topics I’ll be covering are: making corsets, corset dresses, burlesque corsets and Cathie Jung and other famous tightlacers. ©
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There are various methods for lacing a corset but for corset training purposes a criss-cross method from top to bottom with the edition of rabbit ears (sometimes called bunny ears), is most functional and makes tightlacing without assistance much easier.
The criss-cross lacing pattern is very similar to lacing a shoe with one important difference – The lace does NOT go in through the top of the hole on one side, then across and down one to again go in through the top of the hole on the other side and so on always entering the lacing holes from above to be brought across from underneath.
Instead, when the lace goes in from above the hole and is brought across and down one to the next hole, it then goes in from UNDERNEATH, and vice versa – a lace entering a hole from underneath will enter its next hole from above. The other side should be laced in mirror image to create a column of crosses alternating one on top of the fabric, one underneath, one on top, one underneath. Tightening the corset is thus made a lot easier as a finger can be hooked round the centre of a cross sitting above the fabric and pulled to narrow the gap.
Rabbit ears are large loops of lace left on both sides of the lacing at the level of the waist tape (or the thinnest part of the waist if your corset has no waist tape). The lace comes up through the hole just above the waist tape and down through the hole just below the waist tape but ON THE SAME SIDE. An excess of at least a foot is left, after which lacing continues as normal, this loop forms one of your rabbit ears. The process is mirrored on the other side to create the second rabbit ear. Ensure the lacing is loose enough to put the corset on easily and tie the laces together at the bottom.
Once the corset is on you can tighten it by pulling at the crosses from top to middle and bottom to middle, pulling the rabbit ear loops to take up the excess lace, the rabbit ears are then tied together in a knot or bow to secure. ©