Ah, the allure and illusion of an hourglass figure created by a corset, where do all your lady layers suddenly go? While donning a corset and slimming your waist can seem like a neat magic trick, the truth is that you’re not eliminating fat, but simply moving it around to create the hourglass shape you prefer.
The question, of course, is where does the fat go when corset training? If you know how solid matter works, you know that it is not destroyed, but simply changed or rearranged. So, when you put on a corset, you aren’t magically zapping fat, but merely moving it, and when you do it right, the effect can be very pleasing. How does it work? Here’s the 411.
Do corsets help flatten your belly?
Women have been using corsets for hundreds of years to dramatically slim their waistlines. And while the garments themselves have evolved over the years, the basic concept hasn’t.
So, how does it work?
Corsets use a variety of innovative construction methods and materials to tightly compress your midsection, from your hips to your underbust. Typically, corsets are clasped in the front and laced up in the back for extra compression. The fabrication of the garment is designed to reinforce the compression, helping to keep your figure looking slim and smooth all the way around. Inside the corset, there are thin, flat pieces of boning that run vertically to help hold the compression. Typically made of steel, the boning does most of the heavy-lifting, helping to sculpt your hourglass curves. The boning is very strong, but also flexible. So unlike those wickedly-rigid corsets of the Victorian era, today’s steel-boned corsets can actually be quite comfortable, especially when you get used to wearing them.
Another popular form of corset uses latex with flexible boning and hook-and-eye closures (without laces). These are slightly different from corsets and generally referred to as waist trainers -- but the concept is the same: dramatic slimming and sculpting of the midsection.
They flatten your belly instantly
The best part of wearing corsets and waist trainers is that the belly-flattening is instant. That’s why many women wear corsets for special occasions. They can be hidden discreetly underneath dresses or other clothes to achieve a slimmer figure. It’s a quick and simple way to give yourself a gorgeous hourglass silhouette, whenever you want. (Psst, celebrities do it all the time. If you’ve ever wondered how those A-listers always look so perfectly curvy, it’s because many of them are using hidden corsets and other high-compression shapewear to pull it off.)
Putting on a compression garment is sometimes compared to squeezing yourself into a sausage casing, but let’s not equate ourselves to mystery meat, especially since a corset is hardly a skin-tight body stocking. Your corset is designed with robust construction to immediately slim your waistline, and one of the ways this is accomplished is by essentially squishing your fat.
To a degree, the contents of your abdomen are malleable. While bones are hard and virtually immovable and muscles are fairly dense, your abdominal cavity allows for a bit of wiggle room, so to speak, thanks to squishy organs and fat, as well as space in between. If you don’t have much excess fat to speak of, it’s likely that your corset will simply compress it, moving it into available space in the abdomen.
Redistributing your bodily fat
If you have some extra jiggle in your midsection, it has to go somewhere when you slip into your corset, and typically, it will go up or it will go down, or both. Just think about what happens when you pull on a pair of tight jeans. If they’re low-waisted, you’ll end up with a muffin top. If they’re high-waisted, you might camouflage some of your belly, but the tight squeeze will likely push some excess upward.
The same basic principle applies to your waist training corset, but you do have some control over where the excess goes. By selecting the right styles and features, you can mould your body to the proportions you prefer.
Suppose you want to accentuate a smaller bosom. You can choose an underbust corset that extends right up to the bustline to push everything upward, or alternately, try an overbust corset with some padding in the bust for even more volume.
If you want to accentuate your hips and buttocks, a short garment like a waspie could do the trick. Or if you’d rather downplay this area, a longline corset can help to flatten the belly.
What if you’d rather not deal with flesh squishing out of your corset at the top or the bottom, but you still want a narrow waist? In this case, your best bet is to look closely at the spring of the garment, or the difference between the waist measurement and the hip and chest circumference.
A generous spring allows extra room at the top and/or bottom to accommodate the excess fat being pushed away from the waistline. This means that you’ll maintain a relatively smooth appearance all over and enjoy a comfortable level of compression from top to bottom.
Knowing what you’d like to accomplish with your garment and planning for known compression and redistribution of fat can give you the opportunity to choose the perfect corset for your needs. Your corset should always be comfortable and make you feel beautiful, so don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want.