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.


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.


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.