Category Archives: Waist Training

Tips, strategies and real life accounts of waist training using OC steel boned corsets.

Waist Training 101: How Long Before I See Results?

Want to train your waist? What is the “average” time?

THE OC Waist Training FAQ (Video Blog)

Hello OC Blog Readers! This must be one of our most challenging FAQ’s asked of our Customer Care Team. It seems everyone wants a finite timeline to waist training success. Anyone who has ever entered into a long-term commitment knows the path is different for each us.

If you pay for gym membership-would you expect the trainers to know when you achieve your fitness goals? Of course not! The act of buying a gym membership does guarantee anything. How many hours a week will you work out? Will you adapt healthier eating habits? How rigorous will your workouts be? How consistent will your workouts be? Will your family genetics help or hinder your progress?

mesh 201 black crop

No waist training

You can see how quickly each of these variables will affect your individual timeline. The same is true for waist training. How many hours a day will you wear your corset (this can range from just a few hours to up to 23 hours per day)? How many days each week? Do you plan to incorporate diet and/or exercise into your waist training regiment (as opposed to just the body modification aspect of waist training)? Will your genetics help or hinder your progress? I do not waist train, per se, but I wear corsets with some regularity at work (and for special occasions)

Wool Skirt and blouse

Sarah Christman-serious waist trainer

In short, there is no “average” time it takes to see results. We hear from customers who lose an inch the first week (out of their corset), I would not consider this typical, but it happens often enough to not be a fluke. Others find it takes weeks to notice even a small difference outside of their corset. Everyone notices their amazing new figure in a corset-but most who engage in waist training are looking for changes once the corset comes off. It is important to remember that even once you reach your goal, maintenance waist training is necessary to keep your new curves (for most people anyway-I had one gal comment on a blog that she has not corseted in two years and still has her modified waist-but that certainly is NOT the norm).

Waist training is not a sprint. It takes time and dedication to achieve lasting results-like all good things in life!

Waist Training Surprises: Some Things You Might Not Know

Is This Normal?

FAQ’s from the Orchard Corset Customer File

Hello OC Blog Readers! We get questions from our customers all the time asking us if this is normal or if that is to be expected. Some concerns are common corset waist training growing pains; while others should be addressed and perhaps  a change in corsets or behavior is warranted.

If you have never worn a corset, a few surprises could await youplus_size_underbust_corset when you initialize a waist training regiment. One such phenomenon many of our customers ask about is back pain. Is it normal? Sharp, acute pain is not normal-ANYWHERE, EVER when you are corseting and you should STOP. However, a soreness or even a tenderness in the muscle is normal. Most of us do not engage our back muscles because we tend to slouch more than we should. Wearing a corset, especially a longline, forces you to sit very erect and engage some of those posture muscles that may have sat dormant. Seasoning your corset properly will not only allow your corset, but your body, to adjust to the process gradually.

skylar-clown-lollipop-bubble-in-handAnother question that rolls across our customer service desk: Is it normal to feel more gassy while corseted? YES! Check out our blog on corsets and eating, but remember you are giving your abdomen less space to work with- so very gassy foods like raw veggies and soda might be a problem. However, you should NEVER feel nauseous or dizzy when corseted-and again REMOVE your corset. It could be you are lacing too tightly and have not given your body enough time to acclimate to corseting.  Try again later when you are feeling “normal” again with less tension for short periods of time.


And finally….our customers wonder if it’s normal to look so FABULOUS in their new corset-YES!! What you will notice right away is curves-curves you didn’t even know you had! Remember waist training is a process that takes patience and diligence. Be patient with yourself and your corset and the two of you will enjoy a long, cinched relationship together! Looking for more? Visit our Corset 101 Sizing and Waist Training Page.


How Do the Bones in My Corset Affect the Bones in My Body?

Corset Myths: From the Ridiculous to the Realistic-

What Really Happens to Your Ribs During Waist Training?

Hello OC Blog Readers! I have been really digging into more and more research and literature on corsets and waist training.  There is much controversy-past and present-surrounding corsets and tight lacing. Will I need to have rib removed? If I lace up tight can I break a rib? Will my ribs be permanently reshaped?


Note the “floating ribs” at 11 & 12

In a word – NO! First, there is absolutely no evidence that anyone has ever had a rib removed, EVER. This type of surgery would have been extremely risky back in the Victorian era when corsets were an essential wardrobe accessory. And despite urban legends that celebrities like Cher have had a rib removed…they are just that-urban legends.

corset-valerie-steelValerie Steele, author of “The Corset: A Cultural History” has done extensive research with the assistance of qualified medical doctors and historians. What she and others have discovered is that corsets worn tightly can indeed change the shape of your ribs. This is especially true for pre-adolescent girls, which is why we recommend you don’t corset or waist train under the age of 18.

Your “floating” ribs at the bottom of your rib cage (see image above) will move in as you waist train, even as an adult. However, once the corset is removed your ribs will pop back out (not instantly if you train over time rigorously). If you engage in more extreme round the clock tight lacing you will certainly notice your dramatic shape after doffing your corset, but your ribs and flesh will begin to return to their former shape.

When Catherine Jung is asked if she had her ribs removed, her husband answers “It isn’t necessary.” Catherine has worn her corset day and night for many years and has reduced her waist to about 17 inches. When she removes her corset however, her ribs and flesh do expand again. In order to maintain some form of your corseted shape, you will have to continue to spend some time in your corset. You will never be able to mirror your corseted image fully without your corset, but you can overtime develop a more hourglass shape even unlaced.corset-cartoon

As for breaking ribs, that is also nearly impossible. It takes more force than most of us can muster to break a rib. This Victorian myth most likely stems from the fact that early corsets were made from whale boning (Baleen) and those bones did certainly break. So it wasn’t that the corset was breaking ribs-but that the corset “rib bones” were breaking. Be sure to check out all of our Corset 101 videos and blogs as you navigate through the world of corseting and waist training.

How Many Corsets Do I Need?

Can You Ever Have Too MANY Corsets?

NO! But perhaps you have too few…


Hello OC Bog Readers! Another question from our FAQ customer service file here at Orchard Corset. With so many women wearing corsets for daily waist training-not just occasional wear-I thought it was time to write this quick blog.


Black Cotton CS-411

If you plan to wear your corset every day, then you need to have more than one. The all cotton corsets are now my go-to corset when helping customers looking for a daily wear corset. The cotton is sturdier than satin and more comfortable (for most people) than the brocades or leather (which can be warm). And if you are waist training daily, chances are your corset is under your clothing so you don’t necessarily need a fancy print.

But let’s face it ladies (and gents)-if you are wearing your corset EVERY DAY for 6, 8, 10 or more hours every day your corset needs a break! Corsets cannot be washed (dry cleaned or spot cleaning) so they really need some time to “breath”.  Hang it up every couple of days and let it rest for at least a day and wear your other corset.

Now if you want a little variety, then pick out one of our gorgeous brocade, sumptuous leather or shimmering satin corsets for your second (or third…or fourth). Choose a day or two each week when you want to maybe show your corset off! Also, hold onto to your corsets that have sized down out of. Should you ever decide to try sleeping in your corset, or maybe some other more rigorous activity (like housecleaning), that well worn not-too-tight corset will be perfect.

gold-laces-4-yards-closedIf you only wear your corset occasionally, then one corset at a time should satisfy your needs (but if you’re like me, options are always nice).  And at our prices-just about everybody can have more than one corset! Many of our customers also like to have different corset styles for different uses. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. Check out our weekly corset giveaway every weekend on our Facebook page for a chance to pick up another corset.

Book Review: Victorian Secrets- What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself

Orchard Corset’s First Book Review

An Intriguing and Informative Novel by Sarah A. Chrisman

Victorian-Secrets-coverHello OC Blog Readers! I thought I would try something new today…a book review! I won’t profess to be a literary expert, but I am an avid reader and have an opinion-what more do I need? The publisher had contacted me a few months back to ask if I would be interested in a copy of “Victorian Secrets“, and of course I replied with an enthusiastic YES!  An opportunity to read about a native Washingtonian (Sarah and her husband currently reside in Port Townsend, WA) and learn more about the history and nature of corsets and corseting-how could I refuse?

First let me say that as a reader I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author, Sarah, is warm and witty in her biographical account of her corset evolution.  An excerpt from Chapter 16…

Over the summer, my everyday clothes had largely been light cotton dresses, which had been easy enough o fit to my new figure, although they had never been designed with corsets in mind. Once the weather had turned decidedly chill, however, these light dresses were simply unfeasible. I had grown rather vain about my figure, but I couldn’t see how it would do my beauty any good to catch pneumonia over it.

The book is really a series of anecdotes expertly woven to capture Sarah’s decision to not only corset, but adopt a traditional Victorian style of dress. Her and her husband, Gabriel, have collected authentic vintage clothing and other items for many years. For her 29th birthday Gabriel presented her with a corset. At the time, that was the one garment Sarah was vehemently against. The majority of the pages cover her foray into corseting-from occasional to full time. She shares the good, the bad and the ignorant she encounters along the way.  A conversation from Chapter 27…

“Cinco de Mayo!”

I raised an eyebrow at this. “Pardon?”

“It’s a Mexican holiday, I thought…” His voice trailed off.

I pointedly looked myself over: ankle-length wool skirt, three petticoats, cashmere-lined leather gloves…I’d have died of heat prostration anywhere in Mexico that wasn’t at least a mile above sea level.

I learned a great deal, not just about corsets, anatomy and Victorian women as a whole, but about modern society and how our relationships have changed over the course of the time. Her words have given me much to think about (which I always applaud). This is a great read for really anyone-not just women interested in corseting or waist training. Pick up a copy and let us know what you think.


OC Model Danielle-My Corseting Evolution

My Corseting Experience:

From Occasional Model to Moderate Waist Trainer

Steel Boned Brocade corset (CS-426)I have been wearing corsets for about 2 years now, all of which started off just modeling the products at Orchard Corset from time to time, probably once or twice a month. My initial impression was this is great my waist is going to look awesome in one of these! After having my first corset cinched up, I quickly realized this was no walk in the park garment, but a heavy duty, very durable and weighted accessory around my torso. At the time my measurements were: Overbust-36 Underbust-30 Waist-29 Upper Hip-34 and I started off in a size 24 corset. For those of you that are newer to this, this corset brought my waist 5 inches down from it’s natural size, we recommend 4-6 inches up to a size 38.. At this time, I could wear the CS-305 and CS-411 very well, the CS-426 had too much hip for my curve, being a longline.

After about 6 months of wearing them once or twice a month, I was hired on at Orchard Corset and was the “Guinea Pig” for all the samples that came in and also started doing more frequent shoots for product shots. I began wearing corsets a lot more frequently than I had in the last 6 months, I would say once or twice every two weeks. I was noticing a big difference in my comfort level in a corset, and was able to wear one for longer periods of time. The more I wore them it seemed, the more I was able to cinch one down until the 24 was closed.

This took me about 6 months doing it slow, like I said I only had them on for a day or two (6 hours-ish) every two weeks I was working out some and eating good but never denying myself the sugar crave that hits occasionally. I am now in a size 22, and have been for about a year now. To tell Waist Training PInk Corset CS-411you the truth, I am active but not going to the gym nearly as much as I used to 2 years ago and my eating is both good and bad at times, though I try and keep it on the better side. My measurements as of now are: Bust-34 Underbust-29 Waist-27 Upper Hip-34. As of the last 6 months I have been waist training 4 days a week for 4-9 hours and I can now completely shut my seasoned corsets in a size 22. (those who are beginners, a seasoned corset is one that you have broken in by wearing for short periods of time the first couple weeks to allow the corset boning to form to your figure so it does not stress or warp, we have a great blog to read if you are wondering how to do this).

For now, I choose to stay at a size 22, and I see a noticeable difference in my hourglass curve, even without the corset on which is awesome! I can rock a 426 like no one’s business now because I have lost 2 inches on my waistline and it gave me the curve I needed to fill in the hip room I lacked when I first started wearing corsets.  Before this, Steel_boned_black_satin_underbust_corsetI could wear the CS-511 overbust being in the 24, but now with my smaller waist I have noticed pushes my girls up a little farther than I particularly like so I am defiantly one of those anxious consumers wanting the much anticipated OC overbust that will accommodate us bustier ladies (for the record I am a 34D). Also, the 305 satin is not curvy enough for me, I can still wear the 305 leather because it has more give naturally but is not as comfortable on my hips anymore as the style once was.

Another thing corsets have corrected for me is my floating rib and broad rib cage I have had since birth which otherwise would not be fixable. In a sense, corsets to my ribs have been like braces are for your teeth. I often explain corsets to beginning waist trainers as such; Just like braces, it is a slow process to gradually change your figure just like straightening your teeth. You may feel sore in spots from time to time, and you need to wear your corset every so often like a retainer to keep the exactness of what you want once you reach your goal, but the results are well worth the time and patience.

My Advice:

  1. BREAK YOUR CORSET IN!! I often compare the corset boning to a paperclip, because once you bend and stretch out the paper clip, it will never be the same if you try and put it in it’s original form, so breaking in your corset is VERY important, also it gets 100 times more comfortable the more you wear it and break it in properly.
  2. GET YOUR CORRECT MEASUREMENTS!! Bust, Underbust, Waist (where you bend), Upper Hip, and Torso Length (from the bottom of your sternum under the breast to the top of your pelvis where you took your upper hip measurement, straight down). Corset sizing CAN NOT be guessed or known by bra size or pant size.
  3. DO NOT START OUT IN A SIZE WAY TO SMALL FOR YOU! you will already bend the boning, and then you are training your body with a bent corset, and you wouldn’t want a crooked retainer on your teeth would you? If the back of your corset looks like this ( ) with your skin showing or almost showing in the middle, it is too small or you are tightening the top and bottom too much and you need to work on pulling in the middle. It should be evenly laced to bring in your waist correctly, which is the point of the corset like this ||
  4. If you do not know your size…ASK!! we have so many helpful blogs, videos, and employees more than willing to share information to help. Chat with us, call, of just send an email!
  5. BE PATIENT!! Your teeth don’t move with braces over night, nor will your rib cage. You do not want to harm yourself or your organs by trying to cinch to low to fast. Allow time for your body to adapt to it’s change. It will happen I promise…patience is a virtue!
  6. DO NOT START OFF IN A LEVEL YOUR BODY CAN NOT HANDLE! We have tons of different styles to accommodate different body types with a great blog to compare our styles. Like I said, the 426 was too curvy for me at first until about a year of slow waist training. Work your way up the latter, so you do not get discouraged or experience unnecessary discomfort.

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….

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:    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!