Category Archives: Waist Training

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

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?

human-ribs

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…

danielle-skylar-411-purple-blue-black-brocade-colorful-

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-411-corset

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!

Sleeping in Your Corset

To Sleep or Not To Sleep

Adding the “sleepover” to your waist training

sleeping-corset-blogHello OC Blog Readers! Cheri here again with my latest corset adventure-sleeping in my corset. My first attempt at this didn’t fair so well. I wore my maroon CS-426, lacing it how I would normally. Big mistake! I had a mild panic attack and had a hard time relaxing. After about 90 minutes (which seemed like hours) I had to take it off. I panicked just a little bit more then, irrationally thinking that I might not be able to remove it (so silly, I know-but our model Danielle had a similar experience her first attempt).

Not one to give up so easily, I tried again a few nights later. This time I laced my corset up about an inch to an inch and half less than I would for daytime corseting. MUCH BETTER! My theory is that when I am corseted during the day, I engage my core muscles (hold in my gut) because that obviously makes the corset more comfortable-better posture through corseting. Well, when I am trying to sleep, I (and everyone else) relax the muscles in my body, which causes my midsection to expand slightly. This made the corset feel uncomfortably tight and caused my original panicky sensation.

411_royal_UB_corset

Lace more loosely at night

Now, I did not survive the whole night, when I woke up midway to use the restroom, I chose not re-lace my corset. However, I believe I could have. I was not miserable and uncomfortable (warm-perhaps) If you are interested in a more aggressive waist training regiment-sleeping in your corset can be done. What I can say is start slow (try just a nap if you are a napper), loosen up your laces, and give yourself a break. If you are feeling uncomfortable, physically or mentally, then STOP! Work your way into a full night’s corseted rest…a few hours at a time. If you normally wear a double steel boned corset, I would also suggest trying a less restrictive single-boned corset for sleeping.

Most of you who have read my blogs know I am not a waist trainer, I began wearing corsets as research for my job…and now wear them daily at my desk for support and posture (and I just feel sexier and more confident!) Sleeping in a corset is something I wouldn’t do personally (outside of research for this blog), but I realize many of our customers do. Read up on our corset care and seasoning blogs (and videos), and if you have any medical concerns it is advisable to seek the advice of the doctor, before beginning a waist training regiment.  Remember your safety and well-being are important to us-so take care of you!

Many women find it’s easier to sleep in a latex waist cincher. Check out this blog for more information on that.

Corsets: Not Just For Waist Training

Waist Training or Tight Lacing:

What if I don’t want to do either?

Hello OC Blog readers! As many of you know, I have been trying out different corsets we offer at Orchard Corset in order to become more familiar with the attributes of each corset and corseting in general. I have about four corsets I have broken in over the past several months. I was amazed at how comfortable a corset becomes after it has been seasoned to fit your body!

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CS-411 Black Satin Underbust Corset

I now wear a corset at work everyday. I like to wear one style for a few days or a week, then switch it up. I am still trying to decide which is my favorite-I like different qualities in all of them (and I will share those later in this blog). I am NOT looking to waist train, nor do I engage in serious tight-lacing. I wear my corsets snug and fitted, but not tight. So why wear them if I don’t need to research them? Because they are comfortable and my posture is so much better! I sit at a computer most of my work day, and my days of slouching are gone! I had a girlfriend comment the other day about my posture at dinner-she actually noticed I was sitting up straighter than usual. I told her it’s because I wear a corset several hours each day, and that must translate into my everyday life.

I have also noticed that despite the fact I am not waist training, I can lace my corset down further than when I started, even though I only wear a corset about four hours a day and really never on weekends.  Accidental waist-training? I do know of several customers who are on their feet all day and wear corsets under their clothes to reduce or eliminate back and leg pain. And even though I spend much of my day in an office with a few other employees, wearing a corset does make me feel just a little bit sexy-even if I am wearing yoga pants and a ponytail!

black_with_white_lac_cinching_corset

CS-426 Double Steel Boned Corset

As promised, here are some of my thoughts on our different corsets. The first corset I broke in was the maroon CS-426. This is an excellent waist training corset, and when I first laced into it, I definitely felt restricted! I am long-waisted so I didn’t have any problems with that. After a few days the corset started to break in, and was more comfortable and easier to wear for longer periods of time. It gives extreme curves (too much for me personally to wear out in public), but very sexy and you feel fully supported.

Lace_up_brown_leather_corset

CS-305 Brown Leather Corset

The next corset I wanted to break in was the CS-305. I chose the red leather-the most comfortable corset by far! This corset is single-boned and more pliable than the double-boned 426. It’s only a level 1, but my own natural curves are plenty visible. This corset really does feel like you are wearing a hug (and I would totally wear this out in public). I broke in the CS-331 about the same time, as it is very similar. Really super comfortable and so cute! I could (and would) wear this corset out dancing! Accentuates my waistline and supports my back without binding. The shorter, single boned structures offer support, but allows for greater freedom of movement in both corsets.

411-vs-426-side-by-side-back

Me comparing the 426 and 411

Next was the CS-411 underbust in black satin and CS-425 in the lovely red and gold dynasty print. This might be my favorite (more research needed-and waiting on a full-busted overbust to try), as it gives me the best of both the 426 and the 305. The 411 is shorter than the 426, but still boasts double-boning. I get an extreme curve (but the shorter length makes the appearance less dramatic-and I am very curvy all on my own). When researching the 425, I discovered it was exactly the same as the 411-but in a brocade and not satin. This makes the corset stiffer and takes a little longer to break in.

Different corsets for different moods or situations. They are all exceptional quality and come with our outstanding customer service -it’s a win win!