Corset 101 Series,  Corsets,  Waist Training

Corset 101: Waist Training Tips Using Off-the-Rack Corsets

Waist Training is a Journey:

Patience and Diligence Required

Double Steel Boned Corset CS-426Hello OC Blog Readers! Waist training using steel boned corsets has really taken off and is working it’s way quickly into the mainstream. While it is fantastic that so many people have discovered corsets and the many benefits associated with corsetry (back support, anxiety relief, and an hourglass shape-if that’s what you want), we have many newcomers without the knowledge needed to use their corset properly. This blog does not hit on all of the do’s and don’t’s of corseting, but I will talk about what it takes to get (at least in part) to achieve the hourglass so many women desire using OTR (off the rack) corsets as opposed to custom fit corsets.

If you are born with great curves and already have measurements like; underbust 33, waist 29, upper hip 39; then you will have no trouble finding a nice curvy corset that will fit well right out of the box and accentuate those beautiful curves. But what if your measurements are more like 30, 34, 38? For many women, especially after childbirth, the bulk of their weight is carried right at the waistline…giving the appearance of no waist. This provides a challenge when purchasing off-the-rack corsets that are not custom fit to each figure. But there is hope….

CS-305 in Burgundy Wine

If you have patience and determination, there is a good chance we can help. One approach would be to start with a gentle curve corset like the CS-305. This corset is single-boned and therefore less rigid and is an excellent introductory corset to waist training. Your goal with this corset would be to not cinch up the top and bottom edge (as this would be easy when your weight is carried in your midsection), but to work on training your waist to cinch down so that eventually you have a more parallel lace that feels evenly snug from top to bottom.

Double Steel Boned Underbust Corset-CS-411 Gray
Natural Measurements:Ā Ā Ā  UB 43″, W 46.5″, UH 51″

If you wish to jump right to the 411 or the 426 (to learn more about how these corsets differ, read this blog), a similar (perhaps more challenging) approach is recommended. If you have a smaller, leaner frame and are lacking in curve it is likely this will be too much corset to start with. However, a woman with more fluff (a higher squish-photo to the right) will be able to work with these curvier corsets as the corset will push and redistribute her weight to the outer edges of the corset while she works on training down her waist. This is especially true with the 426 as it has an exaggerated hip spring. The 411 has the same curve, but is shorter and doesn’t have the same hip pocket (a curvier double-boned 305). The key again is to not bowed boning in corsetbow the lacing bones (see photo to the left-moderate example) because the top and/or bottom edge of the corset tightens so much easier than the waist. Training your waist takes time and effort.

I get asked all the time, “How long before I see results?”. There is no one answer to that question. Every body will react differently to waist training. Many people incorporate diet and exercise into their program, which will speed up your progress. Some will wear their corsets 12-15 hours a day (after several weeks of seasoning), while others are only comfortable with 6-8 hours. Waist training is done over time….weeks, months and even years depending on your goals and level of commitment.

We welcome experiences and insights that might help other readers. Please share in the comment section below!

I have been with Orchard Corset since June of 2012 and what a journey it has been! I've gone from complete newbie to Marketing Director to Chief Operations Officer and I've learned more about corsets, corseting, shapewear, social media and myself than I would have ever thought possible. I have really enjoyed the journey and we at Orchard Corset are dedicated to providing a wealth of information for new and seasoned corseters alike.


  • Rachel

    Good morning!
    I’m buying my first corset from you today and I just wanted to run my measurements and goals by you to make sure I’m buying the right size.
    UB: 39.5 Waist: 35 UH: 49
    My underbust to upperhip is 14 inches long standing and 11.75 sitting.
    I’m trying to be accurate with measurements but bear in mind, I’m not a professional, lol.

    I’m buying a corset for waist training and I’m pretty serious about it. I already have curves but I’d love to enhance them and I want to create more dramatic curves. I’m actively loosing weight right now as well, and I like the added benefit of posture support.

    I’m thinking of buying the 426 longline, size 28 in black satin. Do you think this will be too small?

    In your plus size section you said plus size ladies can size down 7-11 inches, but plus size was also defined as a 38 inch waist.
    I would generally consider myself plus-size, but my waist is only 35 inches.
    I do consider myself squishy.
    Can I wear a 28 at my current size?

    Thank you so much for all of your help and advice!

  • Alexis

    Good evening, I’m new to this as many people on her are. I was hoping you could helps figure out which corset would be best for me.
    My waist is 26in
    Under bust is 29 1/2 in
    My upper hip is 32in
    I am really excited to start my waist training and can’t wait to hear from you. Thank you south for your help!!

  • Ace Q

    Hiya! I’m new to corseting/waist training and for the past few months I’ve been taking an interest to it, so I finally took the leap and purchased a corset (cs 201 mesh in size 18 – ub: 27, w: 25, uh: 30). Now, I’ve been seasoning it for about three days using the 2-2-2 method (2 inches, 2 hours, for 2 weeks). So far, I like it, it’s snug but not (overly) uncomfortable, and the way it holds me up is very.. dignifying. Anyway, so after the third day seasoning, I’ve noticed some wear and after reading this article, I’m not sure if I actually bowed the back opening, or if I’m just paranoid and it’s just the cloth being pulled taut by tension around the waist. I try to be really careful and cinch no more than two inches from my actual waistline and that the back opening is perfectly parallel to each other, so this has got me too worried to even try to season it a fourth time.

  • Michele Risso

    I had purchased a size 38 longline satin corset, cant find a style number when I was 20 pounds heavier. I loved the look but wasn’t really buying it for the purpose of waist training. Now that I’ve lost some weight I wonder if I can still utilize it for waist training? Also can you recommend another cotton corset I can use for waist training, whether or not this corset I previously own can’t be used for waist training? My current measurements are 46 bust (at the fullest point) 40 for the underbust, 41 waist and 40 hips. Thank you in advance !

  • Victoria

    Hello I’m Victoria I’m new to waist training I was wondering what you think is best here my measurement 40 48 52 13 and I’m 5’3 thank for your help

  • Alyssa Zaczek

    Hi there! I’m new to waist training and want to make sure I get a corset that fits properly. I’m a 34DD with approx. 31-32 in hips, and the last time I tried a (cheap, poorly made) corset it didn’t work with my wide hips! What model would you suggest and in what size? I am looking at the CS-345 because it seems very versatile but obviously I need some help!

  • zane

    Hi! I want to start waist training as I have a very boyish figure ,though I don’t want to lose any weight. My exercise regiment is aimed at bulking up my legs and bum. Which corset should I get to reduce my UB and waist and accentuate my hips (or lack there of !)

    UB: 27 3/4 ”
    Waist: 27
    Hips: 33 1/4.

    I’m 5’3″ and 110 lbs with a goal weight of 115 alongside an UB and waist reduction of 3-4 inches. Which is the best corset for me ? I want to start out with a few hours on evenings then move on to 8/day at work. Help!

  • Ola32

    I’d love to lose my postpartum tummy. I am currently on UB-36, waist-38″, hip – 43 and torso-10″. I am 5′ 3″ tall. what are your recommendations?

    • Amy Lewis

      Hi Ola, it depends on how far out post-partum you are. We suggest that you start with a latex waist cincher until you are closer to your pre-pregnancy weight. Otherwise you will be out of your corset and needing to size down shortly after you’ve seasoned it! Based on your waist measurement I’d suggest a XL in our Vedette cinchers.

  • Leslie

    Hi, I have a 45 underbust, 47 waist, and 58 upper hip. I am 5’1″ and measure 12 inches from my underbust to my hip at the bend mark. Would the 426 work for me? I have the 411 and find it a bit short in the front and the back sits on top of my back hips.

    • Amy Lewis

      Hi Leslie, if the 411 is sitting on the top of your hips in the back, I think the 426 would be very uncomfortable for you as it is longer and would really dig in to the top of your hips there.

  • sonia marron

    Hello! I’m currently saving to buy my first corset. I’m thinking about doing some light waist training, I just want to reduce about 4 inches, since I’m already on the curvy side, I just want to enhace my fetures.
    I’m 33 under bust, 31 1/2 – 32 (depends on the time of the day and day of the month) and 39 1/2 on the upper hip and my torso is about 10 inches long. I was thinking about the mesh CS-411 or the mesh CS 201, which would be better and what is the difference?

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Sonia,

      Both of those would work well for you! The 411 has more boning and will feel “stiffer” and is longer on the sides and back. I would suggest a size 24 in the 201 and probably a 26 in the 411.

  • Paige Brown

    Help! I am about to order my first ever corset with the intent of beginning waist training but I am not sure which one is right for me. I really love the look of the CS-345 but I want to make sure it will fit my body correctly before I order it. My measurements are approximately:

    Underbust: 32″
    Waist: 31″
    Upper Hip: 36″

    I am a 20 year old female who is in pretty good shape so I think I am more firm than “squishy”. I also am 5’9″ and have a longer torso. What would you suggest? Does the CS-345 work for me? If so, what size? If not, what would you recommend?

  • shanellmgray

    Hi! I am new to waist training and ordered my first corset from your site last week! After some research, I ordered the 411 in a size 24. However, after reading this article, perhaps the 305 would be a better fit for me. Do you advise that I order the 305 instead?…. or maybe start with the 305 and graduate to the 411? Or shall I keep the 411? Any advice / assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated!

    hip: 35
    waist: 28
    underbust: 35

  • ola

    Hi! I just purchased a corset nd it doesnt close 2 d modesty panel nd it bends exactly lyk d picture above. Does it mean its too small

  • Kayleigh Kelly

    I’m not sure what corset to get as I have a boyish figure and would like to get more of a shape
    My measurements are
    Waist: 30 1/2
    Under bust: 31
    Upper hip: 32
    Thank you

  • Liz

    Just a yay moment to share. It might not be much to some but it’s a buzz for me… When I received my 301I could not get it shut to the modesty panel, there was a couple of inches gap after lacing. I contemplated returning, but decided against it as I was in NZ and I thought with a bit of time and waist training I would get there… My modesty panel at the back now laces down to just past the edge of my corset.

  • Jan

    Hello. Im inquiring about the reduction ratio and possible fit of a long line 426 on my thick, curvy body. I’m in love with the black leather 426 underbust style.

    I’m only 5’3, but have had no trouble with the daily wearing my current longline underbust from timeless trends (13″ busk, size 34). In fact, I kinda wish it was longer, expecially below the waist (to better conceal my pendulous bely flap).

    My measurements:
    37″ underbust, 38″ natural waist, 47″ hips.

    I’m looking fo dramatic reduction in the waist (6+ inches) and I’m thinking that its time to move on to a size 32 as my current 34 is almost laced closed… Also, the cut of my 34 dosent look as curvy as your 426…

    I Hope the 426 will give me a good waist reduction, ride low enough on my belly and be curvy enough for my wide hips?

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Jan,

      With those measurements I think I would drop you to a size 30 in the 426. You may find you get a little bit of an A shape to your laces as you have an ample hip spring (we are working on the longline level 4 corset we hope to have in production before the end of the year).

  • cat

    Hi im not sure which corset to get.I have a boyish figure and want to get a more hourglass figure. My measurements are.
    UB: 29″
    UH:32″ 1/2
    Torso length: 10″

  • Perscilla

    Hi my name is Perscilla I’m looking to waist train my measurements are 34, 27, 37 1/2 my goal is to get the hour glass shape as I do have curves just not there lol. I’m 5’2 115lbs which would you recommend for me? I don’t want to lose my hip curve just shape my hourglass curvature šŸ™‚

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Perscilla,

      What I need are your underbust (not your full bust) and upper hip (not your full hip). I can say with confidence that you will probably need a size 22-just need those other measurements to help select which style.

  • CandyCakes

    I’m considering the cs-426. Here are my measurements. Which corsets and size do you think will work for me?
    Upper Hip:41″
    Lower hip:43″
    Torso length:13″

  • stephanie

    Hi Cheri,
    I am new to waist training and need help finding a corset right for me. My measurments are:
    Under bust: 41
    Waist: 40
    Upper hip: 44
    Height: 5’3
    Weight: 195

  • Tiffany

    I notice you said to not bow the lacing bones if trying to waist train. How do you suggest tying the laces after I have tightened my corset to my waist? Should i wrap them around the front and tie?

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Tiffany,

      The lace bowing if too extreme (and done before the corset is seasoned) can permanently warp your boning. Of course sometimes this is unavoidable in an off-the-rack corset if there isn’t one available that closely mirrors your shape. You can tuck your laces up into your corset or order shorter laces from out site if they are way too long.

  • Adrienne

    Iā€™m curious what type of corset I would need and where to look for one that is my size. I would like to try and correct diastasis recti from have kids. Also my back curves in to much (lordosis) so I would like to try and straighten that out if possible. I would like an hour glass shape! My measurements are:

    height ā€“ 5ā€™6
    weight ā€“ 175lbs
    full bust ā€“ 37in
    underbust -34in
    waist -33in
    top of hip -38in
    full hip ā€“ 43in

    Thank you!

  • Lydia

    I just purchased cs-426 satin corset size 18.
    My Height: 5 3″
    Weight: 125 lbs
    UnderBust: 25″
    Waist: 23″
    Under hip: 34″
    Longline Torso: 8″

    I feel my corset is too long for me to wear with my jeans is that a problem or should I wear it over my jeans?

    • Cheri Dudek

      I would guess that the 426 is too long for you torso (can you sit comfortably in it?) Unfortunately modern clothing and corsets don’t always mix well. Skirts, dress and leggings definitely work better than jeans. You can wear your corset over your jeans, just be careful that you aren’t rubbing the back boning channels against the jeans as it can wear through. Perhaps a shorter corset to wear while in jeans to add to your corset wardrobe-like the CS-301.

  • Victoria

    Hi Cheri:

    I need help sizing for a corset. I mainly want to train to a smaller waist and help my posture. My rib cage also stick out a lot and is a bit wide.

    Height 5’1
    Weight 109lbs
    Bust 34
    Waist 26.5
    Hips 35

    Thank you


  • Kaysey

    I’m curious what type of corset I would need and where to look for one that is my size. I’m really wanting to control that lower belly baby pudge as well as support my stomach muscles and define my waist. I’d love to reduce several inches as well, my measurements are as follows…

    height – 5’10
    weight – 260lbs
    full bust – 50in
    underbust -43in
    waist -42in
    top of hip -47in
    full hip – 48.5in

    Thank you!

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Kaysey,

      I am not sure a corset will help with lower belly bulge (look into some of our compression shapewear for that). As for waist training/reduction, I think a size 34 in the CS-426 will work for you (it looks like you have the length for that style).

  • Vanessa

    Hi Cheri,

    I’m stuck between sizes and hoping you can help out. I recently lost about 40 lbs and am aiming for my last 15 so I don’t want the corsette to fit to big and not do anything.

    I’m 5’2

    Weight – 157
    Waist – 31
    Bust – 34
    Hips – 38-40

    Thank you šŸ™‚

  • demi

    Hi cheri, im new at this, i want to know what type of corset should i get for waist training. I want to get a curvier look, plus to help with that lower pooch as well.
    Im 5’1
    125 lbs
    UB: 30
    UH: 34.5

    Thank you.

  • Courtney S

    Hello Cheri! I am new to waist training and I have no idea hat type of corset I get. Would a waist cincher or a corset work best? I am trying to get an hourglass figure. would I need to get a smaller size? For instance, if I am a 32, I would need a 28 or something?

    113 pounds
    waist- 25′
    thank you for responding!

  • Jason T.

    Hello Cheri I am looking to get a corset and need to know what do you think would work best for me. I would also like to get a corset to help with my bad back & back pain everyday.

    Bust 40
    Waist 38
    Hips 42
    180 lbs

  • terykas

    Hello Cherri I am looking to get a corset and need to know what do you think would work best for me.

    Under bust 36
    Waist 38
    Upper hips 47 1/2
    230 lbs

    I want something to help with that lower belly


  • Becky

    Hi I’ve recently started waist training and I have 2 questions ….
    Should waist training cause any soreness or tenderness on the ribs or hip bone?
    Is it ok to do normal activities while wearing a corset ? (Sitting,bending, driving, etc)
    I wear the CS-411

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Becky,

      In the ribs sometimes (why seasoning is so important). I haven’t at the hip bones, but my corset sits above them. Normal activities yes. Again, until the corset is seasoned and your body has accustomed, you should only be wearing your corset a couple of hours at a time.

  • carrisma

    im trying to get my wast smaller so my butt looks wider, im alreay a 30′ in my waist and a 36′ in my butt i also have that dreadful lower pouch,is there a corset that can help that go away as well as slimming my waist line?

  • Sherri

    I have four questions. 1) What should I do with the extra lacing after cinching to hide it best under my clothing? Right now I run the bow down the center back to the bottom edge and tuck the remainder under the edge along to the front, but sometimes the extra lacings at the hip cut into my skin. The bow and laces cause a bulge at the back waist. 2) How do I manage “backfat” that occurs when I lace. Apparently, my extra goo gets squished up and causes overflow of flesh and almost what I would call a cleavage between my shoulder blades. 3) The knot that comes pre-tied to join the edge of the lace into one big loop many times digs into my skin at the butt. The modesty panel isn’t quite long enough to cover this problem. Do you ever recommend re-lacing my corset so this knot is positioned at the waist loops instead of this bottom edge to prevent this? 4)How can I best control the modesty panel while I am lacing down so it remains level and flat?

    I love your product and look forward to the new cotton corset coming in colors. I will surely buy several of these!

  • Emily

    The colour of the cs-305 in Burgundy Wine is stunning!

    I have a question; I’m looking for an underbust corset but I’m not sure which one to go for. My measurements are 40 inch underbust, 37 inch waist and 46 inch upper hip. I was thinking about going for the CS-426 (my torso is quite long) but I’ve worked out that I would only be able to get a 1 inch reduction because only the 36 would fit my hips and bust. I’m very confused as to which one to get!
    Maybe I’m just having a blonde moment, but would any of the corsets fit me?

    • Leia Tilton

      Ok, granted I do not work for OC, but both you and I have almost the same waist to hip ratio, yours is 9″ & mine is 10″. I measure at ub 30″, w 29″ & h 39″ so maybe I can help?
      I originally purchased the 24″ CS-426 corset (keep in mind I have been corseting almost 24/7 for just over a year) and was able to close it the first day. Needless to say I exchanged it for the 22″ of the same model and it fits quite well, surprisingly well for an OTR corset! So here I am with 29″ waist and 39″ to 40″ hip wearing a 22″ corset every day very comfortably.
      I hope that helps! Good luck and enjoy your corseting!!! Personally, I LOVE it!

    • Cheri Dudek

      Hi Emily,

      If you size down to a 30 in the 426, you won’t ever close the bottom of the corset, but the laces should not be too terribly “A” shaped. You will get some reduction in the hip if you have any fluff on your hip.

    • Leia Tilton

      Make sure you are wearing a soft, slinky fabric for a corset liner, mine looks like a tube top. Also make sure that every time you take your corset off, apply a good lotion. I have tried several but have found that a handful coconut oil with 1 or 2 drops of peppermint oil do great without leaving a nasty residue on your skin and liner.
      Also, if the corset is sliding around, had some kind of construction error or just does not fit, you will get nasty burns and rashes and there is nothing you can do but get a better fitting corset.
      I have been corseting almost 24/7 for over a year and have encountered each of these issues in the journey to finding a good fit that gives me the support and shape I desire.
      Good luck!!
      Also, OC has a great relationship with Lucy from Lucy’s Corsetry who gives many tips on skin care and corset fittings that you may find helpful in addition to OC’s blogs.
      Enjoy your corseting!!!!
      Leia šŸ˜‰

  • Judy D

    Hello! I am confused about which corset sihouette would be best for me if like looking for an reduction of about 5-6 inches. I have 28 inches under bust 27 inch waist and 42 hips so I have a pear shape. I would like to accentuate my waist and make it smaller. I have a steel boned corset and I’m able to lace really tightly. I’m also 5’9 170 lbs. I knows there’s conical, hour glass , wasp … Which one is best suited for me.

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