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Corset-Adjacent Garments: Modern Descendants of the Corset

As any historian would attest, the corset was not merely a fashionable garment designed to shape the wearer into the desired silhouette of the day. It was utilitarian foundation-wear that served to support the bustline before bras were invented, distribute the weight of 10+ pounds of petticoats, support the back of the working class, promote good posture (however that was defined at the time), and more.

Naturally, humans strive to invent, innovate, and improve upon earlier designs. As the corset fell out of mainstream fashion in the 20th century, many (and I do mean many) different garments and devices cropped up to functionally replace the corset. Some were improved upon, but as many of the writers in Solaced have come to realize, sometimes it’s reasonable to go old-school with a well-fitted corset that combines the functionality of multiple products here, rather than reinventing the wheel.

Here I’ll go through a dozen or so of the descendants of the corset. Call it an extended family reunion, if you will.

(P.S. you can test your knowledge in my Corset Descendants Quiz here!)

1. Brassiere

We’re starting with the most obvious, mostly because I want to get it out of the way. Yes, we are all familiar with the story of Mary Phelps Jacob and her 1914 patented handkerchief brassiere.

Bras hoist the bust tissue like a cantilever bridge using tension around both the ribs and the shoulders, while corsets provide a resting place for the breast to sit on, more like a beam bridge (the “beams” being the vertical bones) or perhaps a window flower box. The physics for each is different, but sound.

Where bras can become troublesome is with particularly heavy bosoms; too much tension on the shoulders can squeeze the nerves and blood vessels against the collarbone – this is much more serious than just permanent deep grooves in the shoulders. It can lead to numbness, tingling, pain, and eventually neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome.

2. Waist Trainer / Cincher / Faja

Often made out of of latex rubber or neoprene (blended with cotton or polyester), a trainer or cincher is a wide, stretchy belt that provides compression to narrow the waistline – albeit, a more gentle compression than corsets are capable of achieving, and the latex may dry-rot or stretch out over time. It may also cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

It is also designed to hold in body heat and sweat via its unbreathable fabrics (whereas cotton and linen corsets allow for heat exchange and sweat to be wicked away). These cinchers claim that the metabolism will increase with body heat, and increased sweating will detoxify the body. As we now know, it really just temporarily gets rid of edema and dehydrates the wearer but this does not cause fat loss.

The single one-up that this garment has over corsets is that it’s more flexible and “stealthable” under clothing, but modern innovations are challenging this claim with the No Line and the Power Corset.

3. Post-partum belly binder

Gentle post-partum belly binding has been practiced independently for centuries, by different civilizations all over the world. The belly cloth or binder goes by many different names – sarashi in Japan, faja in South America (originally a simple cloth, not to be confused with the rubber faja above), and Bengkung in Malaysia (seen here).

The binding practice is supposed to help keep the body warm (in line with the Indian practice of banantana, where no cold food or drink is allowed, no cool showers, drafty dwellings, etc), assist in contracting the uterus, and pull the abdominal muscles together to minimize diastasis recti. Especially notable is the way the bengkung is wrapped and tied back to front – not pulling from front-to-back as in the case of many front-lacing corsets.

If wrapped low enough over the hip bones, it can also stabilize the pelvis as relaxin leaves the body and your joints become less loosey-goosey.

The operative word here is gentle binding. I would not recommend wearing an actual corset any sooner than 6-8 weeks postpartum (or more!) – whenever your midwife/OB says you are finished with your pelvic rest period, your pelvic floor has fully healed and strengthened, and you’re free to return to normal activities, including vigorous exercise.

4. Post-surgical Compression Binder

There are many different types of post-operative binders, but most of them are some variation of a wide, stretchy, adjustable tensor bandage. Surgeons keep these on hand and gently wrap the patient with one of these bad boys (overtop of the regular gauze and dressings) after some kind of abdominal surgery – whether that’s bariatric surgery, liposuction, tummy tuck, gall bladder removal, endometrial excision, hernia correction, or some other type of surgery.

It is flexible enough to allow limited movement in the patient, but not so much that the patient will accidentally pop their stitches / staples. The compression will also curb edema and prevent the body from swelling too much (excessive inflammation can impede proper healing). This is also helpful after liposuction, where the skin may be slightly loose and the compression can help the skin to contract (to a limit).

After open surgery (where a large incision is made and organs might be moved/pushed out of the way), compression can help the organs return back to their original positions (more or less – peritoneal organs are less fixed than we believe!). In laparoscopic surgery where there’s usually insufflation (the abdomen is pumped full of carbon dioxide to inflate the area and allow the camera to see where you’re navigating), the gas has to eventually escape by whatever means possible – through incisions, burping, passing wind – and compressing the abdomen may help expedite this process.

This type of garment (made by NYOrtho in this case) is cheaply manufactured and designed to be discarded, which is a positive in this case as it will very likely become soiled with blood and other fluids draining from the incision sites. It would be a shame to soil an expensive corset!

5. TLSO (Rigid Orthopedic Back Brace)

The Sforzesco brace for scoliosis

There are dozens of different rigid corrective braces out there: Milwaukee brace, Charleston brace, Boston brace, Lyon brace, etc. but the Sforzesco brace (seen here) caught my eye, for reasons you can probably guess.

TLSO stands for Thoracic (the part of the spine where the ribs are attached), Lumbar (the lower back), Sacral (the fused part of the spine attached to the pelvis) Orthoses. A longline underbust covers from the lower thorax to the sacrum; an overbust can cover from even higher on the thorax.

The Sforzesco brace was created in Milan, a fashion-forward city, and was designed to functionally outcompete many other TLSO braces while at the same time being (mostly) transparent rigid plastic; thin and easily stealthable under clothing; and creating a (mostly) symmetric and fashionable silhouette – all features that may appeal to a self-conscious young scoliosis patient, thus encouraging patient compliance to wear the orthosis as much as possible, for the best possible outcome.

There are corset makers who are able to create stabilizing asymmetric textile braces and traction units for scoliosis patients, but be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons for yourself and discuss with your trusted osteopath/ chiropractor/ orthopedic physician before jumping in.

6. SI-Joint Belt

An SI-joint belt (SI = sacro-iliac) is designed more for symptomatic pain relief rather than claiming to correct an asymmetry, in the case of the TLSO brace above.

That being said, this particular belt by BraceAbility comes with many lofty promises, including being able to help with SI-joint dysfunction and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD, a condition that affects pregnant women where the joints of the pelvis loosen and slip around painfully), stabilizing hairline vertebral fractures, providing relief for arthritis of the spine and hips, and more. The “lacing gap” in the back also clears the tailbone if the wearer suffers from a cracked or bruised coccyx.

While SI-joint belts and lumbar braces come in many forms (usually padded velcro belts) I was tickled to see this one by BraceAbility with a pulley system that closely resembles the form and function of a back-lacing corset. It’s also not uncommon to find lumbar braces with vertical bones to provide the necessary perpendicular tension to hug the small of the back without collapsing on itself.

7. Kidney Belt

Betcha thought this was yet another lumbar brace – but it actually serves a completely different purpose in this context! Sure, it provides some posture correction and lumbar support, but the kidney belt replaced what the corset did for cavalry (soldiers on horseback) since the 1820s or so.

Spending all day, every day on horseback (or in today’s case, on motorcycles) constantly jostles the body – from bouncing steeds to vibrations on gravelly or pothole-riddled roads, your organs take a hit – now, the intestines are fairly durable, but kidneys are sensitive (they’re enrobed in a layer of fat and we have two of them for a reason, in case one eventually gives out). Riding often enough or long enough can result in kidney damage over time, and there was a time when it was not uncommon for a rider to see blood in their urine. This belt holds the kidneys still, minimizing injury – and the belt can also serve as armor, shielding the lumbar spine from damage if the rider is thrown.

8. Cummerbund

The pink sash sported by Fairytale Groom Ken (which I had a very similar Ken doll in my toddlerhood) is designed to replace a waistcoat in a 3-part tuxedo – but more interestingly, it hails back to a protective and practical garment worn by military, sportsmen, and ushers alike.

The etymology and history of the cummerbund is one of my favorites. The name comes from two Hindi words: kamar, meaning “waist”, and band meaning “belt” or “tie”. So cummerbund literally means a cloth to bind the waist.

Cummerbunds were originally simple sashes used in the Middle East and India for over 400 years, worn by military (likely used for the same purpose as kidney belts or cavalry belts, see above). Today, some modern military groups (including the US Navy) still wear a cummerbund as part of their formal dress.

Cummerbunds were also used in sporting events in the 1800s and early 1900s – whether to wick away sweat or to provide postural support, perhaps in the same way as modern lifting belts (we’re getting to that next!).

Lastly, cummerbunds were often worn by servicemen in high-class facilities (“fancy buildings”). E.g. worn by ushers in opera houses, doorkeeps at galas, bellhops in high-end hotels, etc. The upward-facing pleats of the belt functioned as several tiers of shallow pockets – enabling the wearer to keep ticket stubs, cash tips/change, or other small items within easy reach.

Depending on how tightly a traditional cummerbund is fitted to the body, it can also pull in the abdomen and prevent one’s spreading figure from outgrowing their uniform.

These days, cummerbunds usually have an elastic or velcro backing and don’t provide much support, but are now only for show. They’re most commonly worn during proms or weddings as an alternative to a waistcoat – so it’s more lightweight and cool for someone who doesn’t want too many layers.

Corsets for men obviously exist today, and can easily be disguised as cummerbunds or waistcoats.

9. Weight Lifting Belt

As mentioned above, the weight lifting belt has existed in “primitive” forms as a tight cloth wrapped around the waist back in the 19th century, and has since been reinvented as ever-more-macho wide leather belts designed to be worn around the navel.

Weight lifting belts serve several purposes – according to ProFitness (the producer of this particular piece), the belt supports and holds the lumbar spine and abdomen in a neutral position – preventing muscular strain, herniated discs, or other injuries. It also applies counter-pressure to the abdominal stress already being exerted on the body from the lifting action, preventing umbilical or abdominal hernias.

Encouraging good form and allowing the lifter to build good muscle memory will also enhance their performance and allow them to lift up to 10% more weight, they say.

10. Hernia Girdle

Sometimes hernias happen: whether you lifted too much without proper support (see above), you gestated a child and your diastasis recti was uncontrolled, you had surgery and the muscles never properly healed, or you have a congenital condition – plenty of people have abdominal hernias. Particularly common are umbilical hernias, because when you were in the womb, your belly button used to be a literal hole where the umbilical cord outside your body led to a vein inside your body (it went to your liver and vena cava, for those curious – and it closes up minutes after birth).

Anywho, you have quite a lot of pressure inside your body, and your muscles hold everything in nicely – most of the time. But if you have a hole in your muscles, and the pressure inside your body is greater than the pressure outside of your body, your intestines want to make their slippery escape. This is painful – and dangerous, if blood flow to the bulging intestine is pinched off. Hernia girdles stop this from happening by applying external pressure on the area and pushing the intestines back in.

Corsets have been known to do this as well – but it’s important to note that it’s only good for abdominal hernias. Inguinal (groin) or hiatal hernias (where the stomach pushes through the diaphragm) require a different type of bracing or truss (or surgery). Corsets, as well as the abdominal binder seen here, will not help with inguinal and hiatal hernias, and in fact might exacerbate the condition, so be sure to know exactly what you’re dealing with.

11. Shoulder Posture Harness

I don’t blame you if you’re confused by this harness being here, because back in #1 we discussed some of the advantages of corsets NOT having shoulder straps. But corsets can help reduce a rolled shoulder posture actively (through the use of waistcoat corsets or corsets with shoulder straps) OR passively, simply by virtue of taking the weight off the shoulders and allowing them to relax and return to a more neutral position.

Many folks who suffer with a heavy bustline will find that a supportive overbust corset relieves the weight that pulls the pectoral and trapezius muscles forward – allowing the wearer to open and stretch their chest muscles, hold their shoulders back, and reduce slouching much in the same way as this harness. However, one should be careful not to go overboard with a “proud” posture (looking at you, Edwardian S-curve!).

There’s such thing as “too much of a good thing” so whether you use a corset or a posture-corrective shoulder harness, be sure that it’s properly fitted and not too tight or forcing you into an unnatural stance.

12. Bustier

I am loath to include this in the list (I’m a bit of a snob) but the family tree would not be complete if I didn’t invite the bustier to this reunion.

The bustier is visually the most similar to a corset, but it does have some marked differences in form and function. They are most often worn as lingerie or club wear.

Bustiers do provide some bust support, with or without shoulder straps. They can have separate cups, or look similar to the one shown here. However, they tend to come in a limited range of bust sizes – and because they are more lightly structured than corsets, they can have a tendency to slip down (but few people care if they plan to only wear it short-term anyway).

Most bustiers also have bones to hold vertical tension, albeit usually featherweight plastic boning. Bustiers also always have some elasticity to allow for greater range of motion, to more easily fit a wider range of bodies, and also to be able to use hooks & eyes or a zipper to secure the garment (instead of a lacing system).

As such, apart from some modest bust support, the bustier’s main purpose is primarily aesthetic – which is 100% okay, it just should not be conflated with the corset, which offers a broader range of practical uses.

Is there any other garment or device that you would add to this list? Leave a comment below! Also, now that you’re familiar with the corset-adjacent modern garments, test your knowledge in my newest quiz here.

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Where to buy waist cincher corsets for under $200

Note that this post is a copy of the same one under the “Research Corset Brands –> Guided Galleries” menu. It is part of a collection of articles to help corset enthusiasts shop more wisely.

Please note that this article may be outdated! To be sure that you are getting the most up-to-date selection, see the permanent page for curvy cinchers and waspies under $200.

Waist cinchers are short corsets, usually cut high over the hip and in some cases stop a couple inches below the underbust line. I usually measure cinchers by the height of the side seam – if it’s 8″ or less on the side, it may fall into the “cincher” range, and most cinchers are 6-7″ high (although I have seen cinchers or ‘waspies’ as short as 4″ on the side!).

Those with shorter waists (or who are short of stature) may wear a cincher and have it fit like a full-length corset, so petite women can save money on waist training by purchasing a made-to-measure cincher, so it fits her body perfectly. A cincher can also accentuate outfits as a wide belt on those with longer waists. There is one caveat though; many companies don’t make cinchers in larger sizes as they don’t provide any support for soft and low-hanging tummies. The following corsetieres and businesses deliver curves in a teeny package.

SnowBlack Corsets made-to-measure raw silk cincher, $170

SnowBlack Corsets is another underrated corsetiere, although Marta’s designs have been featured many times in Polish alt fashion magazines. She offers custom-fit cinchers with a maximum side length of 18cm (7″), finished in raw silk for only $170.

Orchard Corset CS-301, starts at $65

Orchard Corset has taken the OTR corset industry by storm due to their curviness and affordability. Their CS-301 waspie (mini-corset) has a front length of 8″ and a size length of 7″ and is offered in sizes 16″ up to 46″ (they recommend natural waists up to 54″). Be sure to use the code CORSETLUCY to save 10% off any purchase for an even better deal.

Isabella Corsetry Octopus classic cincher, $180

Isabella Corsetry offers incredibly curvy ready-to-wear cinchers made in the USA. She offers novelty prints, like the Octopus Classic Cincher above, or more conventional designs like floral and pinstripe in sizes up to 36″ (for waists up to 41″). Isabella holds constant sales where you can sometimes catch cinchers for as low as $95.

Aranea Black made-to-measure waspie cincher, $150

Aranea Black is a one-woman corset company in Croatia whose creations are underrated. She offers this curvy made-to-measure waspie/ cincher for only $150 on Etsy, made with closed front and your choice of coutil, spot broche or floral broche.

Morgana Femme Couture MF1329 cincher, £95

Morgana Femme Couture makes a beautiful and simple made-to-order silk dupion cincher for £95 (about $150). It’s only 6″ on the side seam and is offered in 19 different colours of silk. The only caveat is that they’re only offered in sizes 18-24 (they recommend up to 28″ waist).

Meschantes Corsetry Mischief waist cincher, $160

Meschantes Corsetry offers two shorter-style corsets, both made-to-measure: the Mischief corset (shown above) or the Etoile corset which is more pointed. These corsets start at $160, but if you check their Etsy shop, they often have ready-to-wear Etoile cinchers for as low as $99.

Sugarkitty Corsets Waspie, $164.

Sugarkitty Corsets offers the tiniest waist cincher I’ve ever seen. The front and back of the corset are around 7″ high, and the side seams are incredibly short (likely 4-5 inches). It’s still made curvy to nip in the waist and is offered in standard sizes up to 32″ (natural waists up to 36″). Please note that Sugarkitty is only offering custom corsets up till the end of 2013.

Heavenly Corsets Bébé cincher, £120

Heavenly Corsets‘ newest addition is the Bébé corset, which is less than 7″ high. For £120 (about $190) it is made-to-measure, and Elle guarantees that it will hold up to even 23/7 tightlacing/ waist training. Elle recommends a maximum natural waist of 32″ for this corset.

If you can stretch your budget a bit more…

Pop Antique Bombshell buskless waspie, $205

Pop Antique‘s Bombshell waspie is so close to $200 that it may as well be up in the other section! Marianne’s super curvy and fun waspie for $205 is standard-sized but will fit most figures like it was made-to-measure. It’s sure to liven any outfit, and can be upgraded with a front closure for $50.

Madame Sher mesh ribbon-style cincher, $220
Madame Sher mesh ribbon-style cincher, $220

Madame Sher offers this breezy mesh cincher for a cool $220. This custom-fit cincher is perfect for summer days and hot climates, and with a side seam of a bit over 8″, it should fit most body types. As Madame Sher’s corsets are made-to-measure, the range of sizes is unknown.

What Katie Did Baby corset, £130

Where would we be without WKD? I wouldn’t feel right not mentioning What Katie Did‘s Baby corset, even though it’s a little over the $200 budget. At only 7″ high and boasting at least 10″ hip spring, this is the curviest of OTR cinchers (it’s patterned from their famous Morticia underbust!). It’s made up to size 34″ (may fit natural waists up to ~40″).

*Please note that I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company on this list. This is for informational purposes only.

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

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.

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Sparklewren Flossed Swiss Cincher Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Sparklewren Cincher Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 9.5″ inches long, dramatic hourglass or wasp-waist silhouette. Side is 8.5″, good for average or even short-waisted ladies. I would not recommend this cincher for someone who has a problem with lower-belly pooch, though. Very comfortable due to high cut on the hips and external, continuous boning.
Material 2 or 3 layers; fashion layer is satin coutil and the lining is a plush satin (not coutil). May have strong interlining as well (guessing from thickness) but not sure.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Panels are assembled and external boning channels laid down and flossed before a floating liner was added. All the finishing is done by hand.
Binding Black satin coutil bias tape neatly machine stitched outside and hand-finished on inside. Very thin binding (I like it!).
Waist tape ~0.75″ wide invisible waist tape under the lining.
Modesty panel No lacing protector on the back; unstiffened placket attached to the knob side of the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 9″ long (5 pins) and has an additional 1/4″ wide flat steel bone on either side of the busk (this bone is extremely stiff).
Boning 34 steel bones not including busk. 28 spirals (1/4″ wide) all in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets, an additional 2 flats (1/4″ by the busk).
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #X00 two-part grommets with small flange; set closer together at the waist, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets.
Laces Strong cotton braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip better than nylon laces, and they are long enough with absolutely zero springiness.
Price Currently £350 for a made-to-order cincher (in your size, with your suggested flossing color/ motif). Contact Sparklewren on her website.

Sparklewren cincher. Model: Lucy (me!). MUAH: Stella Amore. Photo: Trillance.

Final Thoughts:

Oh my God.  Despite the fact that this corset wasn’t originally made for me, it fits like a dream. If fate exists, then this cincher was fated to be mine. This corset is super comfortable – as I mentioned in the video, the high cut at the hips bypasses the issue I usually have at the iliac crest, and the continuous boning prevents any pressure points. The external channels mean the inside is completely smooth. Due to the army of bones, this corset is rather heavy and thick – the external measurement is around 24″ but the inside measurement gives a waist measurement of closer to 22.5″, and with barely any rib compression as well!

This was the first corset I purchased that contained flossing, and first with continuous boning. It’s amazing how the smallest details “make” the whole corset – what seems like just a sweet, simple cincher actually has a startling amount of work and detail. This pretty piece of armour has ruined all other cinchers for me!

In addition to her skill, Jenni (the lady behind Sparklewren) is one of the kindest, most communicative and helpful corsetieres I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I will speak more of this when I review my custom overbust from her, but I will say now that her customer service is as good as her corsets.

To see the Sparklewren’s other work, do check out her website.

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Corsets and Toilet Issues

This entry is a summary of the information in the video “Corsets and Toilet Issues”. If you would like more detail or demonstrations, please see my video on YouTube here:

Dogs don’t have corset-and-toilet issues because they use neither corsets nor toilets. (via Khaligo on Pixabay)

Going to the bathroom. Visiting the loo. Going for a tinkle or a whiz. Dropping the kids off at the pool. Whatever you want to call it, and no matter how un-PC it is to talk about it, everybody needs to do it. Here’s a few tricks to make it easier when you’re wearing a corset:

WHAT TO WEAR TO MINIMIZE FRUSTRATION

1) Wear a skirt with a corset. Corset under your clothing with garters, then place your knickers over that, then your skirt over everything else. This way, when you need to go to the bathroom, you don’t have to unclip your garter straps to pull your underwear down.

2) Avoid wearing button/zip up pants with longline corsets. Wear high-waisted pants or yoga pants over your corset, and low-rise underwear will help if you’re wearing a longline.

3) You can usually wear a multitude of outfits with a short corset or waist cincher since it doesn’t cover the hips too much. Low-rise pants is a good choice if you don’t have tummy pooch hanging out underneath your corset. In this situation, a bit of “tucking” of your pants/underpants into the bottom of the corset is not too annoying. I wear cinchers most days.

HOW YOUR BODY’S FUNCTIONS MAY CHANGE WHILE WEARING A CORSET

You may notice that wearing a corset makes you defecate less often. This is because food is moved along by peristalsis, a pushing and squeezing action of the intestines, and that natural movement is slower when tightly cinched. This is another reason that it’s important to train your waist down slowly, so it gives you time for your intestines to get used to the change. If you find the corset causes constipation, loosen the corset, and try to cinch down more gradually over a longer amount of time.

Also adding fiber always helps. After I was corseting for awhile, I noticed that foods that stayed in my stomach for a long time didn’t make me feel good. I felt good whenever I ate fruit, soup and salad which all have a faster stomach-emptying rate (digests faster) and these foods also have higher fiber and water content. Everyone will find their own preferences in terms of how much soluble/ insoluble fiber and water they need to feel best. I personally find that foods with soluble fiber, like fruit, when taken with the proper amount of water, is more effective in making me regular compared to just insoluble fiber (bran, leafy greens etc).

You might also notice (especially if you have a longline corset that presses down on your pelvis) that you will have to pee more often. Don’t worry, your kidneys shouldn’t be affected by your corset, the main reason that you feel you have to pee is because the corset presses down on your bladder. But whatever you do, don’t decrease your water intake – you need water, it’s good for you and especially helps in bowel movements.

WHAT TO DO WHEN ACTUALLY DOING YOUR BUSINESS

Before you sit down, please make sure your laces are tucked safely away! Just stuff them under the X’s or underneath the bottom of the corset.

When sitting down on the toilet and doing your business, especially to poo, you might notice that you can’t push as hard. This is because your abdominal muscles and your diaphragm play a part in help pushing out the waste. If their movement is hindered then it can be a little more difficult to get your bowels feeling empty, especially if you didn’t have enough fiber! If this is a problem for you, just loosen up the corset when you go to the bathroom. You don’t have to take it off completely. If you’re the type who only has a bowel movement once a day, this won’t be too annoying. If you have 3-4 movements a day, the constant loosening and tightening of your corset may be a little laborious for you.

Other things you may notice: since a corset tends to flatten your intestines, you may notice that the circumference of your poop becomes a little skinnier. Maybe this is good news to those who find big poops painful. ;)

Wiping is a little different because you have perfect posture when sitting down. If you’ve got long arms, you will generally not have a problem with wiping. If you have a problem reaching, try a different position: squat down a little more, stand up a little more, or even approach it from a different angle. Just make sure, wherever you approach the mess from, to always wipe front to back. So if your hand’s in back, this is a pulling action, if your hand’s in front, it’s a pushing action. This is VERY important especially for the ladies, so you don’t get e.coli in your reproductive tract, because that can cause a very bad infection.

When worse comes to worst, you can feel free to loosen your corset prior to wiping.

Lucy’s Little Life Lesson: If a bully tries to intimidate you, imagine them pooping. Suddenly it puts you both on the same level.

 

*Please note that this article is strictly my opinion and provided for information purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of a medical doctor. Please talk to your doctor if you’d like to start wearing a corset.*