So You’re Thinking About Starting To Corset Train? What You Need To Know
When considering starting a corset training routine (also known as waist training or tight-lacing), there are a lot of things to factor into your decision. Like why are you doing it? Can you properly commit to it for long enough to see results? Is it practical given your lifestyle? Are your expectations realistic? These are just a few things you should take into consideration. For example, if you have a physically demanding job, then wearing a corset 8+ hours a day (which will limit your movement and potentially cause shortness of breath) may not be a good idea. The best way to help you ask the right questions and come to the right conclusions is to explain exactly what corset training involves.
How Long Will It Be On?
Reducing your waist dramatically over time will involve wearing your corset for long periods of time. Serious tight-lacers often wear theirs 23 hours a day, sleeping in them with their laces loosened or sleeping in an older, larger waisted corset they have sized down from. I’d suggest that 8 hours a day is around the minimum you could spend in a corset daily to see a progressive reduction of any kind but please don’t quote me on this, I just know you’ll want some sort of time frame and from the large number of conversations I’ve had and information I’ve read on the subject this seems to be an agreed(ish) minimum. If however your reason for corset training is to lose weight then obviously it’s a case of making sure you’re wearing it when you eat – so just during the day from breakfast to a while after dinner. A lot of people do use a corset to slim as it has a similar effect to a gastric band but without the operation! Other people wear a corset for back support or to help correct asymmetric rib shaping. Again I’m no doctor nor expert, but I know from talking to people that these are genuine reasons. I strongly urge you to have a chat with your doctor about either of these last two before you lace up; it’s silly not to.
Living In A Corset
Wearing a corset for most of your waking day is a big commitment and many people don’t realise what a change it makes. Corset training affects most aspects of your life from remembering ‘boots before corset’ in the mornings (yes putting your shoes on if you’re not the slip-ons type is a must before your corset), to rethinking the way you eat. Wearing a corset means no large meals. Corset wearers often break mealtimes down into five mini meals a day. There’s nothing to say you can’t take your corset off for an evening to scoff pizza with your friends but do consider whether that’ll be the norm rather than the exception before you go investing in an expensive corset. You’ll also need to consider the effect it’ll have on your body. No not the tiny waist, the negative effects. A corset gives great lumbar support, perfect for back pain as I mentioned earlier, but it also means your core muscles aren’t doing nearly as much to hold you up. Exercise should become part of your routine alongside corset training if it’s not already! I go into detail on diet and exercise in this article – Diet and Exercise While Corset Training.
What Type Of Corset
The type of corset suitable for corset training is a coutil (thick cotton) lined corset with steel bones running either side of the eyelets at the back and steels throughout. There are some other boning materials that have come into play in recent years, but if it’s your first corset I’d stick to steel and avoid the flimsy plastic stuff like the plague. If you’re not convinced, check out my article Why Steel Boned Corsets Rather Than Plastic? Some people swear by using three layers, but I suggest that as long as it’s coutil lined, it’s good enough. On a side note, I’ve owned Victorian corsets made of single thin layers of cotton. I don’t recommend corset training with something so fine but it has left me a little more flexible in my thoughts on what can be corset trained in.
An underbust is much more suitable than an overbust as it’s less restrictive and can be worn over vest tops, under T-shirts etc. It’s easier to ‘stealth’ in too, which is a term you’ll come across amongst tight-lacers meaning to hide the fact that you’re wearing your corset or for it not to be apparent that you’re wearing it under your clothes.
Coverage is also important; the shorter the corset the more pressure on your waist and the less support to your stomach. Don’t get something that comes up high at the sides and expect as much support as you’d get from an over the hips corset.
Advice On Wearing
It’s advisable to wear something under your corset as it can’t be washed in the normal sense of the word. A corset liner is a tube of stretchy cotton that you put on under your corset. A tight vest top does the job nicely too. When you get it mucky, you should spot clean your corset by hand and dry clean it only when it is absolutely needed. This isn’t something most tight-lacers do and again it’s a last resort. You’ll want to find a dry cleaner that takes steel boned corsets of course. For this reason and because it avoids putting your corset under constant pressure, it is best to have at least two corsets and alternate them from day to day. Leaving a corset to air for a day keeps it smelling sweet, as does wearing a corset liner. More advice on looking after your corset can be found in my article Corset Care.
A Word Of Advice When Starting And Where To Go Next
When starting to corset train you must start slowly, don’t jump into a 10 hour stint as your body won’t be ready for it. Start on day 1 with 2-3 hours in your corset and don’t do it up tighter than is comfortable. You can slowly increase this as you get used to your corset. More detailed information on this process can be found in my article A Practical Introduction To Corset Training which is where you should start your training journey. There’s also the Corset Training Interviews With Before and After Images article for some real life corset wearers and their experiences.