Would you like to have a 16 inch waist? When my fiancé told me about a mutual friend of ours that had been corset training and had gotten down to 16 inches I wanted to try it, too!. I do not even want a 16 inch waist. I’d be happy with maybe 20 inches. Which should be easy, tight? Little did I know, corset training is no joke. It’s not comfortable and not very much fun. But then, I’ve always felt that sometimes, looking good involves a little pain. But how much pain?
Maybe it’s best to begin with a little history on corsets: They’ve been around since the 1500’s. Women of the French Court wore them as undergarments, to support their breasts rather than a bra. They were made with iron and velvet. By the 1600’s Europeans were wearing them, and the iron was replaced by wood and whalebone, a slightly more comfortable option. Iron corsets were typically fastened at the front. For more serious shaping abilities, it became the norm for someone else to help a lady into one and cinch it up for dear life by lacing it.
By the 1800’s the corset went through a little transition where it was used mainly for breast support, with an added bonus of slimming the torso. The empire waist look was in at that time, so no one really cared all that much went all below the boob area.
However, with the invention of the bra around 1900, corsets soon began being used mainly for taking in waists. Oddly, it was around this time that the victorian corset took over and people went crazy lacing their waists. This is when tightlacing began. We’re talking hardcore women, throwing themselves into corsets, and lacing it up as tightly as possible. Doing so, incidentally, could cause some kind of moderate damage and numbing to internal organs – especially the liver.
Luckily the liver is a magical thing which can regenerate itself fairly quickly, especially when it comes to binge drinking and with corset wearing. Here is a link with everything you want to know about tightlacing, and some things that you probably do not.
Tightlacing was the key to successful (yet really painfully uncomfortable) results with waist training. According to articles dating back to the late 1800’s Girls as young as eight years old would start “training”. They would never remove their “stays”, as they called them, unless had to bathe.
If you judge from the picture, that is true commitment at an awfully young age. Thank God Empire waists came back in style, and women could literally take a deep breath and not feel confined in a steel cage around their bodies.