Wednesday, October 10, 2018

WAIST CINCHER 101: VS Corset, Waist Training, and More

Waist cinchers, or waist trainers, are all over Instagram these days. So, what's the big deal? Are waist trainers really worth the hype? What are the benefits? How do waist trainers stack up versus corsets? There are so many questions surrounding waist cinchers, so I thought I'd try a waist cincher and give YOU all the details!
* Product and/or service provided for review without cost. As always, all opinions are my own. Please view my full disclosure.

What is a waist cincher?

Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. A waist cincher is designed to "cinch" the waist, pulling it in slightly and flattening the midsection. A well-made waist cincher can also provide back and hip support, can aide in weight loss, and can help during postpartum recovery — with approval from your physician, of course.

What are the benefits of a waist cincher?

A waist cincher can take one to two inches off of the waist and create a slimmer look when when under your clothing, as it flattens the tummy and smooths out any bulges. Because they're made of nylon, latex, or spandex (and sometimes a combination), they are flexible which allows free movement. The flexibility of waist cinchers make it possible to wear them during exercise — and because they are not breathable, this will increase the amount that you sweat.

Most women are flocking to pick up waist cinchers for their waist training benefits. But do waist cinchers work for waist training? How do waist trainers compare to corsets for waist training?

Waist Cincher VS Corset

Is a waist cincher a corset? In short, no. The only similarities are that both a waist trainer and a corset are designed to bring the waist in — but a corset can take off far more inches than a cincher. There is a trade off, however. While corsets are better for waist training thanks to durability, steel bones, and the ability to tightlace, they are also heavy, bulky, and inflexible. It's not easy to wear a corset for more than five hours per day.

In the above picture, note the flexibility of the waist trainer. You can easily bend at the waist in a waist trainer, whereas you are more restricted when wearing a corset. Also, note the clasps on the corset versus the hook closure on the waist trainer. Finally, note the "hourglass" shape created with the corset, versus a less significant result with the waist trainer.
Waist cinchers, on the other hand are lightweight, flexible, and can be worn to bed with little discomfort. They can take up to two inches off of the midsection, flatten the tummy, and be worn during workouts.

Because waist cinchers are also known as waist trainers, many choose these garments for waist training. It should be noted, however, that while waist cinchers do provide waist training benefits, the real winner is a quality corset. As mentioned earlier, waist cinchers can shave one to two inches off of the waist whereas a corset can take off up to six inches. Not to mention, you can tighten a corset, but you cannot tighten a waist cincher. That means that with a corset, you can tightlace the corset as your waist begins to slim down, but with a waist trainer, you'll have to purchase a smaller size as you lose inches.

Interested in learning more? Orchard Corset has some excellent information about waist trainers vs corsets and all the details on waist training.

Are waist cinchers worth the hype?

I decided to put that question to the test. I picked up the Vedette 348 waist cincher from Orchard Corset — a strapless latex underbust waist cincher. It retails for $54 and comes in French Blue and Lilac. I chose French Blue for my waist trainer.

My first impression was that this waist trainer was far less intimidating than my CS-345 corset (check out the DIY pirate costume that I created with this corset). It was flexible, stretchy, and I loved the black trim — it gave the waist cincher a fun, flirty style.

This particular waist trainer is designed to fit under the bust and above the hips. It has latex throughout and six flexible bones, neatly sewn in.

With enough wear, is designed to conform to your curves, making your abdomen slim and flat. It also gives the bust a lift, as you'll see in my photographs.

Unlike the corset with strong, bulky metal clasps, this waist cincher features hook and eye closures. There are two rows, designed for customized comfort.

I only needed to use the first row to close the waist trainer, but I hope to one day move on to the second row as I begin to lose inches in my waist.

As I examined this waist trainer, I took note of the beautiful workmanship. The seams are strong and tight, and there are no loose threads or any issues with trim or the hook and eye closure. It was clearly made with a great deal of care.

I wanted this waist cincher mainly for tummy slimming effects, but the back and hip support is an added bonus. I have issues with my sacroiliac joint, so I need all of the back and hip support that I can get!

Waist Trainer Review

How did the waist trainer feel? How did it hold up?

Well, first of all, I love the way that it looks on my body. The waist-slimming effect wasn't as substantial as it is in a corset, but the subtle slimming effect is exactly what I was going for — I intended to wear it under my clothes and didn't want the dramatic effect that a corset creates.

I put the waist cincher to the test by wearing it under my clothes — under some of my "slinky" tops that tend to cling to my problem areas. I wanted to see if this waist cincher was strong enough to allow me to wear those tops without weird bulges.

I took a photograph of myself wearing each top without the waist trainer and then with the waist trainer to compare the difference. Here's what happened.

First up was my favorite cowl-neck top. I wore this top to my sister's bridal shower in 2015. I was a bit slimmer back then. Today, my love handles tend to stick out and my stomach protrudes from the front of the top. It's very noticeable, thanks to the thin, drape-y material.

But when I put the waist trainer on under the top, everything was more streamlined.

You can tell in the above photograph that the waist has been pulled in. There is more fabric to go around, which means less clinging to my love handles and stomach. There is also a noticeable difference in the bust. They sit higher and look more "well-rounded."

Here's a side-by-side for comparison!

My next top was a Nine Daily top that I picked up about two years ago. This is one of my absolute favorite fall tops, but it tends to grab on to my love handles. I typically wear it with a jacket because of this — but I wanted to see if the waist cincher could help me out.

And it did! The effect of the waist trainer on the look and feel of this top was quite dramatic. It really gave me a more smooth, curvy look and made me feel more confident. I absolutely LOVE the look of this top with the waist cincher underneath.

In the first photograph, it's obvious how "clingy" the top is. It's showing off all of my "lovely lady lumps." In the second photo, the waist has been pulled in, the tummy flattened, and the bust lifted, which is a much better look. I'm honestly excited to start wearing this top again!

And again, a side-by-side for comparison...

Finally, I wore an off-the-shoulder red top. I purchased this top back in 2016 for Independence Day. I actually wore it with a girdle back then but the girdle kept rolling down, ugh! I haven't worn it since — until now! This was going to be the ultimate test because this top is ridiculously clingy and always made me feel really unattractive and "lumpy" without something underneath.

It's very clear that the above top is not flattering on my frame, whatsoever. There are serious bulges, the bust look low and flat, and I have quite the muffin top. As mentioned earlier, I typically wear a girdle under this but I've always had issues with the girdle rolling down — which is very embarrassing and terribly inconvenient!

So, I put on the waist trainer to see the difference...

And it's pretty dramatic! The waist cincher almost completely smoothed my muffin top, has pulled in the waist, and significantly changed the appearance of my bust. Not to mention, I've had no problems, whatsoever, with the waist trainer rolling down or making any weird bulges like I have with girdles and other shapewear.

Here's a side-by-side showing without the waist trainer and with the waist trainer.

Needless to say, a waist trainer can make a dramatic difference in how you look when worn under your clothes. It's comfortable, flexible, and sexy. I love that you can use it for waist training purposes (you can even use a waist trainer in conjunction with a corset — wear the corset daily and sleep in the waist trainer at night) for faster results.

Overall, I love this waist trainer and I'm super excited to wear it with some of my favorite tops that I haven't worn in awhile. Because it slims me, it makes some of my most revealing tops look smooth and beautiful on my body.

If you love this waist trainer as much as I do, head on over to Orchard Corset to check it out. It's the Vedette 348 waist cincher and it retails for $54.

Do you own a waist trainer? Do you have any tips you'd like to recommend? Let me know by leaving a comment!


  1. I have a few corsets from Orchard Corset, which I love; but sometimes lacing in is difficult. I do the best I can using a mirror to assist me, but because I'm turning to look behind me in the mirror my left shoulder causes me pain. The waist cincher is just easier to use since the hook and eyes are in the front. Idk...maybe if I practice more lacing in my corsets it'll become more like 2nd nature and I won't need to turn and look in the mirror causing me pain. ��������

    1. I know exactly what you mean! I had so much trouble lacing myself into my corset — I had to have my husband help out. I actually think I pulled a muscle in my neck one night while trying to lace myself up. I browsed Orchard Corset's blog for tips (I needed all the help I could get, lol) and I found the door knob method which is a LIFESAVER! You basically just wrap one of the loops around the door knob and then the other loop in your hand and start pulling the loop in your hand and walking away from the door to tighten the other loop. They explain it a lot better on the blog than I just did, so I'll just link it, lol.

  2. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. read more


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