There’s no doubt that corsets have recently had a ‘comeback’ in the media, with stars like Kim Kardashian at the forefront showcasing a trendy waist trainer as she goes about her daily errands.
First myth debunked: Kim doesn’t actually run ‘daily errands’.
Now before we get started, let’s clear up what we are discussing. “Waist shapers” like the ones you see above (and all over Instagram) are a bit misleading.
The term “waist training” comes from waist training with corsets where the corset has the ability to be laced tighter and tighter over time, thereby “training” the waist to accommodate smaller and smaller sizes. The term “training” implies that you will see changing results over time.
The spandex tube-socks on steroids shown above do not really lace up, do not increase compression over time, and are not usually made with steel boning. Thus, they are really not “training” your waist but instead are allowing for a quick squeeze and shaping. So it is more appropriate to call them “waist shapers.”
Today, we are specifically talking about myths around wearing steel boned corsets, but we will be writing an in-depth article about “Waist Training with Steel Boned Corsets” later this month, so stay tuned.
But let’s stay focused and started talking about some myths surrounding corsets.
1. Corsets Are Uncomfortable.
You ever try to fit into your old jeans from college and discover to your dismay that maybe they just don’t fit the same way anymore? You know, you catch yourself undoing your button after every meal, just so you can breathe? Yet, we don’t tout that wearing jeans are uncomfortable! I’m sure you can also count the number of shoes you have purchased that are just a 1/2 a size too small, and has started deforming your foot – but you know that is a function of poor sizing, not a condemnation of all shoes. We all know that with properly sized jeans and shoes can be incredibly comfortable. And yes, you guessed it, it’s the same with corsets!
While there are times when a woman’s corset might feel uncomfortable—especially if it’s been laced too tight—the truth is, a well-fitted corset is generally no more painful than a modern underwire bra. That’s why we strongly advise all of our customers to sign up for one of our complimentary corset consultations!
Mila, that includes you too, honey!
A corset is designed to fit its wearer like a glove. In order to be comfortable, it’s important that the corset fit, not just around the bust, waist, and hips, but in length as well. It’s hard for newbies to understand what goes into selecting a proper corset, and so it’s no wonder this myth in particular has gained some notoriety.
Pro tip, get the right size corset for your body. We offer complimentary corset consultations just for this reason! 🙂
2. Corsets will deform your body and internal organs.
How about we not do that… ok?
Corsets do shape your body, but when worn properly and not to an extreme, it’s an hourglass figure you’ll discover, not your liver in your chest. Any kind of restrictive garment when worn for long periods of time, will have an effect on your body. Now, I know we’ve all seen scary x-rays of people who have taken tight-lacing way way way too far but those are extreme cases. Extreme people do extreme things. Vixens are here for fun and fashion so if your corset feels too tight, loosen the laces until you feel comfortable! You can always tighten them again later, you have 100% control.
This is especially important when you are first breaking in your corset (like a pair of shoes). You may start tight, then loosen, then tighten depending on your day, your activities or your mood in general. The more you wear your corset, like any good pair of broken in jeans, the more comfortable it will get.
The tighter the laces the more extreme the curves, but you should do this at your own pace and comfort level. Need a couple of photos, lace that sucker up! Going to walk around the festival, loosen it to your needs. At no point should you be tight-lacing day and night to the point you are causing yourself medical damage. People with those scary x-rays have tight-laced corsets day and night for years, this is not something you are going to do to yourself accidentally.
With non-extreme corset wear, it’s a simple redistribution of fatty tissues, and is essentially harmless. Here is a screen grab of a side by side comparison of a woman wearing a tightly laced corset in a modern MRI machine. We’d show you the video but it’s all in German but it goes to show how the fat is what is really compressed.
3. Corsets are hard to breathe in.
Once again, it all goes back to proper fitting and making sure that you’re wearing the right corset for you. Seasoned corset wearers, like Tonya Kay, are able to do moderate (to strenuous) physical activity in their corsets just fine. The trick to breathing and corsets is that unlike yoga outfits, you have to stand up straight. We like to joke that there is NO SLOUCHING in a steel boned corset. You have great posture in a corset because you have to lean back a little to allow your ribs and lungs to have more room to expand. If you lean forward or slouch, you cut off that space to your lungs, making you feel uncomfortable, so sit up straight and “breath through your tits” (as the saying goes). Now obviously, you’re not going to wear a corset while trying to run a marathon and we don’t recommend it, but for the kinds of normal everyday activities that you may find yourself engaging in on the weekend, your corset and your lungs will be just fine.
4. You can’t bend over in a corset
Ok — this is only a little true in that it’s slightly more difficult to bend at the waist in your corset. That being said, modern doctors recommend that you don’t bend from the waist when picking things up from the ground, but rather kneel with your back straight. Thus, corsets can actually help keep great posture and encourage you to bend the way you should be bending.
5. You can’t have sex in a corset.
You can. Trust me, you totally can.
Here’s a fun little fact to experiment with: Isobel Carr, an expert in the field of Corsets, particularly those from the Victorian period says “Any kind of corset (even the Regency ones) will slightly restrict breathing and move the “bellows” action from the chest to the belly (think, deep abdominal breathing). Even slight breathing restriction will cause mild auto-erotic asphyxiation, which heightens the sexual response. The tighter the corset, the more intense it is. Any Victorian heroine game enough to try this, is going to be in for a revelation.”
Translation: Corset + Sex = Could be a fun time!
*Note: Of course we’re not telling you to go asphyxiate yourself. Please exercise caution and care!*
6. Corsets shed fat.
Oh Man, this is a corset myth I wish was true! Here’s the real scoop: when it comes to waist training, the goal is very different than that of traditional diet and exercise. It’s not about losing weight or becoming thin, but rather, it’s more about creating those kick ass curves and hourglass shape we love so much. Waist trainers essentially shift excess fat around to places that are far more aesthetically pleasing, but yeah, it’s still gotta go somewhere, folks!
What waist training does do is encourage smaller meals, which can be a wonderful and useful supplement to healthy diet and exercise (Which is actually where weight-loss is likely to happen).
Smaller portion sizes can certainly assist in your overall fitness goals. Think of it as non-surgical gastric banding. You are compressing your stomach, which reduces appetite and you don’t feel as hungry. This makes it easier to watch what you eat but remember, the two are not mutually exclusive! It’s strongly recommended that an exercise regimen also be added to one’s routine to keep up core strength while waist training.
Sorry; diet and exercise are still the key to healthy weight-loss. Corsets can just help you manage the food part of that in an alternate fashion compared to surgery or appetite suppression pills (but corsets give you kick-ass fashion, instant curves and a mega confidence boost).
There you have it! Go forth Vixens, and slay corset myth spreaders with some knowledge next time you get a chance.
New to corsets? Check out this post about wearing one for the first time!