Corsets and Waist Reduction
By wearing a tightly-laced corset for extended periods–a practice known as tightlacing–men and women can learn to tolerate extreme waist constriction and reduce their natural waist size. Tightlacers usually aim for 40 to 43 centimetres (16 to 17 inch) waists. The Guinness Book of World Records records two instances of women reducing to 15 inch waists: Ethel Granger and Cathie Jung. Other women, such as Polaire, also claim to have achieved such reductions.
These are extreme cases. Corsets were and are usually designed for support, with freedom of body movement an important consideration in their design. Present day corset-wearers usually tighten the corset just enough to reduce waists to dimensions that range from 18 to 24 inches.
Corsets and Corset Comfort
Moderate corset lacing is not incompatible with vigorous activity. In fact, during the late nineteenth century, when corset wearing was common, there were sport corsets specifically designed to wear while bicycling, playing tennis, or horseback riding, as well as for maternity wear.
Several people now believe that all corsets are uncomfortable and that wearing them restricts womens’ lives, citing Victorian literature devoted to sensible or hygienic dress. However, these writings were most apt to protest against the misuse of corsets for tightlacing; they were less vehement against corsets per se. Several reformers recommended “Emancipation bodices”, which were essentially tightly-fitted vests, like full-torso corsets without boning.
Most modern day corset-wearers will testify that corsets can be comfortable, once one is accustomed to wearing them. A well fitted corset should be very comfortable. Women active in the Society for Creative Anachronism and historical re-enactment groups commonly wear corsets as part of period costume, without complaint.
Corsets have been worn by women for thousands of years. In fact the oldest corset dates back to ancient Minoans from around 2000 BC. When most people think of corsets they think of the heavy bulky garments from the middle ages of Europe. Traditional corsets were not only heavy, restrictive and very uncomfortable to wear. As fabric technology has improved corsets are now not only more comfortable but are being worn as outwear.
Most women don’t own or have never worn a corset. However if you’re looking for a fashion garment that accentuates your curves and bust line, a corset can be your best friend, so lets take a closer look at what a corset is. A corset is garment that covers your lower torso from bust line to waist. The sides have curved shaped ribbing that gives your body the classic hourglass shape. These ribs are mostly made a thin lightweight metal or hard plastic. While these ribs do push your body into certain shapes, they aren’t “trainer” corsets which pose health hazards to your internal organs.
To wear a corset first loosen the strings which are located on the back of the garment. There is mostly a zipper in the front of the corset, unzip it and wrap the garment around your torso. Align it so the strings are in the back and close the zipper. Now grab the strings and gently but firmly pull to tighten. Pull the strings until the corset is snug and firm. Do not pull the strings so tight that you cannot move or breathe comfortably. The first thing that you’ll notice is your bust line is now enhanced and you will probably be showing more cleavage than you are used to. While this is normal it does take some getting used to. Several women with a large bust find a corset is more comfortable to wear, as it gives them more support than a standard bra.
Most corsets fall into the category of intimate apparel. They come in a wide variety of fabrics such as satin, silk, or lace and an array of colors like green – corsets have great variety. You can find something that allows you to be as modest or daring as you desire. If your corset comes with a garter belt and stockings be sure to put on the stockings before the corset, it’s just easier. Corsets are also moving out of the bedroom and being worn as outwear. There corsets are very similar to traditional corsets but available in decorative and luxurious fabrics. They may not be appropriate for a Monday morning office staff meeting but are great for an informal party or night at a club. If you’ve never worn a corset and would like to try one start with an outwear corset first, they are commonly easier and more comfortable to wear.