Waist Training vs. Tight Lacing – What are they and how do they differ?

What is waist training? What’s the difference between waist training and tight lacing? Do you have to waist train or tight lace to wear corsets? These are questions that many corsetieres, collectors, and enthusiasts have answered before, and often the answer changes based on the individual’s opinion.

Our definition of waist training:
Waist training is the process of wearing a corset regularly over a long period of time in order to achieve a specific end goal, and falls under the category of semi-permanent body modification although results from waist training vary. If this definition seems a little vague, that’s because people’s goals with waist training, how long it takes them to see results, and how long the results last are often very different!

Common waist training goals:
Arguably the most common goal for people embarking on a waist training journey is to gradually reduce one’s natural, uncorseted waist measurement, often to a specific size or by a specific amount. Often people with goals along these lines will wind up sizing down or progressing to a corset with a curvier shape in order to continue cinching their waist without putting undue pressure on their hips and mid to upper ribs. A bit less common, but still within the realm of waist training goals, is to create the wearer’s ideal silhouette while corseted, often by fitting into a smaller, curvier, or more specialized shape of corset. This may involve closing a corset of a particular size, or moving from one shape/silhouette of corset to another more challenging one (the pipe stem waist corset is an excellent example of this!).

Waist training timeline:
So, how long will it take you start seeing results or to achieve your goals with waist training? Unfortunately there isn’t an easy answer to this as there are a lot of factors involved. Waist training is not a quick and easy process. It takes time and dedication, often many hours of daily or near-daily wear for months or years to see results. The more extreme the goal, the longer it’s likely to take to achieve it. Frankly, if someone gives you a hard, definite answer to this question, they’re misleading you. There is no way to know for certain how long it will take to achieve results from waist training or how long those results will last without continued corseting.

Waist training’s semi-permanence:
For people with waist training goals of reducing their natural, uncorseted waist measurement a common question is: “Will I have to keep wearing corsets once I’ve achieved my goal? Are the results from waist training permanent?” The short answer is yes and no. Corsets function by applying pressure to the body, so once that pressure is removed your body will often “spring back” to its original size and shape. The human body can be remarkably resilient, which is one reason why seeing results from waist training can take a long time. Most people find that once they’ve achieved their waist training goals they still need to wear a corset occasionally in order to maintain their results. This “maintenance corseting” as it’s sometimes referred to, often involves wearing a corset for a shorter duration than when actively waist training. However, odds are if you’ve been wearing a corset regularly to waist train you probably enjoy the look and feel of wearing corsets and may want to continue wearing your corset just as frequently, and for as long a time, as you did before reaching your goal!

Our definition of tight lacing:
Tight lacing is exactly what it sounds like. It entails lacing into a corset to a degree that feels particularly tight or “challenging” to the wearer. How tightly you lace your corset is a matter of personal preference and comfort and will vary from person to person. There is no magic number of inches you have to lace down, or size of corset you have to wear to consider yourself a tight lacer!

All our corsets are made to a standard that we believe will hold up to both tight lacing and waist training; it’s the reason we offer a Lifetime Guarantee. However, just because you can use corsets for waist training or tight lacing doesn’t mean they have to be used exclusively for those purposes! One of the wonderful things about corsets is how they can instantly transform your figure by creating curves where there were none before, or emphasizing the curves that are already there. Whether you’re looking to create a period correct silhouette in a vintage dress, look or feel fabulous for a special occasion, or wear for more deeply personal or medical reasons such as for back support or therapeutic benefits, corsets are versatile, beautiful garments with a wonderfully rich history and thanks to the many talented independent corsetieres and OTR companies corsets can be more widely enjoyed than ever no matter your budget, goals, or aesthetic preferences.

So can you be both a waist trainer and tight lacer? Of course! You can identify as one, both, or neither. Choose whichever termin

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