We are so hard on ourselves! There has always been so much pressure for both women and men to look a certain way. It’s a heavy burden to carry, not being happy with yourself when expectations are endless, making it feel impossible to be confident. The best advice I can give from my own experience is to accept that I’ll never be exactly what the world expects me to be. I embrace the things about my body that I can’t change and set goals for myself for things that I can change. One thing that I want to change and have been able to change about my body is reducing my waistline, and I have been successful in doing this by waist training with a Lace Embrace corset.
No matter a client’s body type, whether they’re slim, petite, curvaceous or barrel-bodied, they all tend to share the same sentiment about their waistlines. They all want waist definition or waist exaggeration. Modern silhouettes like Christina Hendricks, Kim Kardashian, and Dita Von Teese are often brought up to me as “goal figures”. Old Hollywood starlets like Betty Brosmer, Jayne Mansfield, and Marilyn Monroe also come to mind when thinking of classic hourglass figures. With consistent waist training, an “impossible waist” isn’t that impossible. The key is to find the right corset and to wear it often!
Materials, bone placement, and length are essential when picking out a corset to use for waist training. Lace Embrace uses the highest quality steel boning imported from France from a mill that has been making corset bones since 1890. Flat steel boning gives superior support and rigidity over spiral steel or plastic boning. Spiral steel and plastic boning are alright for more light, costume pieces, but they do not give the same support or transformed silhouette as flat steel boning. Because their corsets are patterned off of antique corsets for a true fit, they tend to be much more comfortable for everyday wear. Everyone wore corsets back then, and there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when the patterns they were using were intended for comfort and extended wear. The cotton linings are comfortable against the skin and help support light-weight fabrics such as satins and silks and make them ideal for corset-lacing. Lace Embrace also makes a 100% cotton coutil corset in their Edwardian and Cincher corsets, which are perfect for everyday wear because they are breathable and can hide comfortably under most clothing. The material has very little stretch so that the corset maintains its shape with extensive wear. These coutil corsets are also often purchased as alternatives to medical braces to alleviate back pain, conceal and lift hernias, and help disguise excess skin from major weight loss. A proper corset also gives amazing, perfect posture, which boosts confidence and remedies posture for clients with Scoliosis or other conditions that have them hunched or slouching.
For effective, long-term waist reduction, the goal is to be able to comfortably wear the corset snugly laced for longer periods of time. The longer you wear your corset, the quicker you will see results. I was wearing mine at work for about 8 hours a day 4 days a week. I took my measurements and made a small log of my progress. I was also changing my diet, cutting out my carbs but not changing much else about what I was eating. I made sure I was eating throughout the day, and that I had a nice, filling breakfast before I put my corset on. Because the corset is constricting your stomach with wear, it reduces the amount of food you can eat before you feel full. It is still important to eat before you put your corset on, and I would never suggest starving yourself because that is unhealthy. I made sure to have light snacks like hemp hearts, carrot sticks with hummus, fresh fruit and lots of water handy during the day. By the end of the workday, I would remove my corset and then head home for dinner.
Within two weeks, I lost a total of two inches around my waist. I was so happy with the results and continued for a few weeks after that. Sadly, I stumbled with my diet and my waist training routine faltered shortly after. However, that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to continue with my routine as I felt much healthier, more confident and had way more energy by the end of the day. I would start to forget I was wearing my Cincher corset after the first few days, as it had molded comfortably to my body with many years of wear. No slouching behind the counter, standing perfectly straight when communicating with clients, and feeling more daring and confident because of this boost to my posture did wonders for my mood. Being larger busted, I found it also helped alleviate a lot of stress on my shoulders and back and remedied my periodic lower back pain.
Another factor in why a high-quality corset is the only article of clothing on the market that helps reshape your body is simply its construction. The ability to adjust how tight a corset is by lacing the back is essential to your body’s transformation. Boning and non-stretch fabrics ideal for corset-making stay rigid while adjusting the corset lacing, enforcing that shape. The flexibility of materials is the last thing you want in a garment if you are trying to change the mold of your figure. I see a lot of clients who come in after buying one of those awful rubber “waist trainer” belts that they bought online (We’ve all seen those Facebook ads). These belts give compression at best, but do not have the vital construction even remotely comparable to a corset that would reshape your body. When the material stretches that much, it doesn’t really matter if it’s smaller than your figure. They also don’t have the necessary materials or even a lacing panel in the back so that you can adjust the compression of it. Sure, it’ll pull you in just like a pair of Spanks, but it certainly will not semi-permanently change your body, which is exactly what they advertise. If you are serious about something that really does give you results, it’s time to trade in that “As Seen On Tv” belt and upgrade to a good starter corset. In the long run, it is best to invest in the right thing for more money than to keep buying inexpensive items that never work for you and leave you frustrated.
Lace Embrace’s Classic Cincher, Edwardian and Eynede corsets have excellent tummy control and are cut to be hidden seamlessly under most clothing. These styles were asked for so often that they ended up starting a production line in Vancouver for these specific styles, creating a size run from 20″ up to 36″ to cover most waist measurements. The Edwardian cuts under the bust and has the most tummy control, with its busk an inch longer at the bottom to help pull in and flatten the tummy. It also has elongated hip panels that look great on those with fuller hips and booty. The Cincher cuts under the bust and is a good length on most frames, but cuts up the hip, making it ideal for those who are narrower in the hip or shorter waisted. Lastly, the Eynede corset is for long and curvy bodies, with a lot of capacity in the breast cups for larger sizes. It is cut completely flat at the bottom, giving amazing tummy coverage but allowing it to be versatile as an under and over the clothes corset. All of these corsets are available in-store and online and can be modified or accented in many ways. They are also available custom made and their patterns can be modified to fit YOUR body. You could even have a pattern cut to have the bustline of an Eynede with the hip line of an Edwardian. Not to mention these are just 3 styles out of a huge collection of patterns in Melanie Talkington’s collection. All of Lace Embrace’s corsets are designed and made here in Vancouver, Canada, so you’ll also be supporting a Canadian designer with decades of corset-making under her belt.
A celebrity who does corset train is Dolly Parton (Melanie asked her in person and she can confirm that she does still wear her corsets!) Another longtime waist trainer is Cathy Jung, who is still the Guinness Book of World Record holder for the world’s smallest naturally acquired waist! Runner-up is model Kelly Lee Dekay who has greatly modified her body with extensive waist training. All of these women have their own Lace Embrace corsets in their collection! Just like them, we can be a part of your corsetted journey.
Be in control of how far you want to go. Start slow and don’t lace so tight your first time. While wearing a corset, you should feel a pleasant “hugging” sensation with light pressure. Always stay within your comfort zone and gradually work towards your goals. If you are going too tight to the point where you’re feeling discomfort or pain, this will leave you lacking the motivation to keep at it. Feel free to visit me at the shop in Mount Pleasant if you need another lesson in lacing and I’ll be happy to assist you! Lacing takes practice and I know you’ll get the hang of it.
The balance to a healthy mind and body is to accept the things we know we can’t change and to be inspired to make changes in our life for the things that we can. Consider a corset as a stepping stone to a happier, more confident self. Contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions about waist training, ordering a corset, or booking a fitting at the shop. We can get back into corset-lacing together!