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“Waist Cinchers” VS Corsets: Which Should You Start With?

Last updated on February 9th, 2015 at 12:25 am

Elastic latex/rubber waist cincher or faja
Elastic latex/rubber waist cincher or faja

In the past month or so, I’ve received the same question from over a dozen people: “Should I start with a waist cincher before buying a corset?”

This causes a lot of confusion, because two different markets are both referring to two completely different garments as “waist cinchers”. Within the corsetry community, “waist cinchers” are still genuine corsets – but simply shorter than a full underbust corset. Essentially, what I consider a cincher is simply a particularly short underbust corset.

However, within a certain market, it seems that “waist cincher” has become synonymous with latex/rubber elastic fajas that only reduce your waist 1-2 inches, and are designed to not let your skin breathe, overheat your body and make you sweat to reduce water retention. Below the video break, I’ve made a comparison chart between a genuine corset “waist cincher”, the other elastic “waist cincher”, and a full underbust corset:

Elastic “waist cincher” Corset “waist cincher” Full underbust corset
Length/height is irrelevant to its definition. May be 6-8″ long on the side seam. Doesn’t come right up to underbust, and stops short on the hips. May be 9″ or more on the side seam. Comes right up to underbust, and may be short hip or longline.
Very few bones, often plastic. Wrinkles at the waistline. Fair number of steel bones. Should not wrinkle. Fair number of steel bones. Should not wrinkle.
Stretchy, unbreathable panels made from latex/rubber. 100% cotton strength layer, breathable and not stretchy. 100% cotton strength layer, breathable and not stretchy.
Fastens with hook and eye tape (not as strong) Fastens with a steel busk Fastens with a steel busk
No laces in the back. Ties up with laces. Ties up with laces.
Gives perhaps 2″ waist reduction Can give 6-8″+ waist reduction Can give 6-8″+ waist reduction

The Grey Area

Corset waist cincher (genuine corset, but shorter than an underbust)
Corset waist cincher (genuine corset, but shorter than an underbust)

It’s important to note that calling a corset a “cincher” vs “underbust” depends on the person, whether you are the corsetiere or the client. A short corset that is advertised as a “cincher” by a certain brand, may fit like a full underbust corset on a client with a particularly short torso. Corsets that are between 8″ – 10″ on the side seam I often consider to be a grey area, because depending on your height and torso length, it may fit either like a cincher or a full underbust corset.

Who can wear corset cinchers?

I recommend corset cinchers to people who are short of stature or who have a short torso (because full underbust corsets on the market are often too long, which pushes up the breasts unnaturally and/or may dig into the lap when sitting down). Someone of average to longer waist may also enjoy a cincher because it provides more mobility and less rib contouring than a full underbust.

Which companies sell genuine Corset Cinchers?

I’m glad you asked! I have a whole gallery dedicated to Cinchers for $200 or Less.

Are Latex/ Rubber Cinchers good to start with, to get me used to corsets later?

Truthfully, I think a latex cincher and a genuine corset feel totally different. The few weak bones in the latex cincher don’t support it enough, and if they are plastic then they can warp and poke into me. The fabrics ends up wrinkling and bunching into rolls, making my figure look worse. I also find the non-breathable, sweaty, grippy, itchy fabric almost unbearable. Although a genuine corset is more rigid and can be bulkier with more layers, I find it more breathable, more comfortable and much more effective at giving a dramatic waist reduction. If you’re looking for a starter corset to test out tightlacing, go for a corset cincher that doesn’t come up as high on the ribcage. This will allow the ribcage to expand more freely, will give you more mobility, and may be able to hide under your clothing more easily compared with a full underbust or an overbust corset.

Full underbust corset. Longer than a cincher corset.

Which is more cost-effective, a Latex Cincher or a Corset Cincher?

Many people buy a latex cincher because it seems to be a cheaper/smaller investment (around $40 for some brands, as opposed to $75-$100 for an entry-level corset). But even a not-so-great OTR corset may still give you useful experience in corseting, and can help you reach a 4″ reduction in your waist, even if it falls apart within a month or two. By contrast, a latex cincher may cost less but also won’t give you as much waist training progress, won’t give you useful experience to see if you want to continue waist training, and will also not last forever, as latex can stretch out and dry-rot over time.

You really hate rubber cinchers, huh?

They might suit some people. If you want to keep a small waist reduction at night but you’re claustrophobic about sleeping in a genuine corset, then an elastic cincher may be a better option. Likewise, you’re not supposed to exercise in a genuine corset, so perhaps wearing a latex cincher would be better then (only if you insist on wearing one for exercise; I don’t). But if you are genuinely interested in tightlacing or waist training, I would encourage you to save your money and buy a worthwhile authentic corset.




*Now that you know to start with a corset cincher, check out my buying guide for curvy cinchers for under $200.

76 thoughts on ““Waist Cinchers” VS Corsets: Which Should You Start With?

  1. Hey beauty!!! I have a doubt! The corsets cinchers are just for people with short torso? I’m considering to buy one! Here are my measurements under bust – 30″, waist 25″, upper hips 32″ and torso 10,5″. I already have an orchard corset 22″, but it doesn’t give me the waist curve I’d like. I feel I can squish my waist even note without the corset, because of my ribs. So, what do you think about buying a corset cincher??? Thank you so much for your help! 😘😘😘

    1. Even more* – I typed wrong 😊

    2. Hi Carla, thanks for your comment! Your measurements are similar to mine (except your waist is naturally smaller than mine) so if you look at my corset reviews, they might fit you similarly. I also have a page dedicated specifically to cinchers and waspies here if you’d like to take a look. I also have a measuring guide and contact form here.

  2. From what is seems like your saying is that if I am of average height and a normal under bust corset does not bother me, then its better to just wear one of those instead of a cincher and it does the same thing?

    1. Hi April… if it comes down to wearing a genuine corset or a rubber / neoprene elastic garment, I will choose the genuine corset every time.
      If you have an average length torso, you can wear 90% of genuine corsets on the market.

  3. Hi I have a question what type of corset I should buy for myself how would it be possible that you can tell me do you need my measurements my English isn’t too good not that bad so maybe I can understand you and I would really like you could tell me what I need to buy that I will be happy with it and it will make me feel good because I tried many different ones and I didn’t like any of them I tried the one that’s called a Faja and they’re just useless thank you

    1. Hi Eva, I have a measuring tutorial and contact form on this page, if you leave your measurements, I will be able to tell you which style and size of corset will fit you best. Thank you!

  4. I have a very short torso. Also my tummy kind of bulges in the middle. I want to find a short torso corset or clincher. And I don’t know what to use. I need good support around the middle of my tummy. Please help? Thanks!

  5. Hi, I’ve been reading are website for awhile and I was just wondering. What type of corset would work for me? I’m 4’11 and 76 in weight.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Zayna, thanks for your comment! I have a gallery of cinchers that might work for you – they’re suitable for people with short torsos or who are shorter of stature. Click on any of the photos to be redirected to that seller or shop. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. If I wear the corset and my waist shrinksin, will my waist permanently look smaller when I take the corset off?

    1. Hi Beth, if you waist train with corsets, eat properly and tone your muscles, yes with a combination of the three your waist can look smaller even after you remove the corset! See this Before and After page for real examples of people who have waist trained, and also see this video which goes into more detail about (semi)permanent waist reduction.

  7. Hi. I’ve recently bought a 25 steel bone under bust corset off ebay. I hadn’t seen your video but dud do some research. It’s got a Cotten lining but a latex outer. Would this be OK for a starter? It’s sort of hour glass shape.

    1. Hi Caroline, I really don’t care for the latex pieces as they will eventually stretch out or dry-rot over time, they’re often not supported with enough (or high quality) bones so they can create some lumps and cut in at places, and they’re not sized as precisely as corsets in that it takes into account your ribcage, natural waist and hip bone measurements. If it works for you then power to you, but I don’t condone the use of latex cinchers.

      1. Hi. It isn’t fully latex. Only the fashion layer. The rest is cotton. It has 25 steel bone’s. One either side of the fasteners. I don’t sweat in it. And wear it comfortably for over 9 hours a day.

  8. Hi, After had 2 kids my tummy hangs a little bit. So what waist training would be good for me?

    1. Hello Anu, sorry for my late response – if you have a low hanging tummy, I would not recommend a cincher but rather a longline corset, something like these so they extend down and cover your tummy. The fabric wrapping around the hips helps to pull your tummy in and up for better control.

  9. Hi im interested In slimming corset

    1. Hi Jojo, I’d be happy to look at your measurements and see what kind of corset would fit you best. I have a measuring tutorial and contact form here.

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