Like many, my first memory of seeing a corset comes from the popular Titanic scene with Rose and her mother. Here, the corset is depicted as a painful and difficult item of clothing that has to be pulled tightly while reinforcing stereotypes about women’s bodies.
You see, the corset is an undergarment that women used to wear back in the day to portray a more desirable body shape. Then, all of a sudden, the Kardashians modernized it and bought it back as a waist trainer.
This got me wondering if perhaps the corset and waist trainer could be one and the same. Both have the noticeable quality of reducing the waistline but there are some distinguishable features between the two as well. Join me as I discover what sets the corset apart from the waist trainer and vice versa.
What is a Corset?
The corset is an undergarment made with steel bonding and lacing at the back. The thing about the corset is that pulling the laces means a tighter fit which in turn means the bodice seems more synched and able to showcase a slimmer waistline.
What is a Waist Trainer?
The waist trainer is made from latex fabric and has somewhat of a hook and eye closure in the front.
Because the waist trainer is made from compression material, the body appears to be inches leaner. The waist trainer was popularized by the Kardashians for its ability to help them achieve that hourglass figure- irrespective of where it is that they are going (an evening event or to work out at the gym).
A brief history of corsets and waist trainers
The waist trainer has been around for a very long time, particularly since the 16th century and it was King Henry II’s wife who despised fatter waistlines and made it necessary for fuller ladies to wear corsets. They were initially made from silk fabric but later, rods were incorporated to make the corsets more structured and fitted. The corset is a durable fashion statement that continues to make waves even today.
Waist trainers are also believed to date back to the 16th century and a growing number of celebrities are encouraging the use of waist trainers made of more breathable fabric types without the inclusion of rods or bones.
How else are corsets different from waist trainers?
Different materials are used in the making of these two waist cinchers
The first difference that separates the corset from the waist trainer is the nature of the materials used to construct them. The materials commonly used to create corsets are cotton, satin, and leather. In the past, even mesh was used to make corsets.
These types of fabrics are soft, however, the flexible rod that is added during the construction of corsets is what adds sophisticated structure to the flimsy silk, cotton, mesh, or leather fabric.
When it comes to waist trainers, the fabrics used to create these slimming undergarments are usually spandex, latex, or nylon. It is these types of fabrics that make it possible to reduce the size of the waistline. Spandex and latex are particularly effective at creating a leaner physique and these fabrics do not need the inclusion of rods or bones to help the fabric restructure the waistline.
Design features of corsets and waist trainers
The corset’s design is incredibly appealing. It’s an undergarment that has been designed to fit all body shapes and sizes.
The waist trainer seemed to have been designed with fitness and fitness goals in mind, and while it does appear to have the same function of reducing inches over time, the waist trainer doesn’t look as attractive if worn alone. I honestly feel that the corset looks far more flattering than the waist trainer will ever look.
The durability of both undergarments
Due to the fabric as well as the rod used to manufacture corsets, they are far more durable than waist trainers. While both waist trainers and corsets can last quite a while, you will notice over time that it is the corset that ultimately stands the true test of time.
Cost differences between the waist trainer and corset
Generally, the corset is far more expensive than the waist trainer. While corsets that have bones as opposed to rods are cheaper, if you really think about it the corsets made of bones have no waist reduction properties and are merely meant to be an undergarment not to reshape your waist in any meaningful way.
Benefits of each
The idea behind both of these undergarments is to wear them under clothes in order to portray a more toned physique. If you wear either the corset or the waist trainer every day for over 8 hours, you should see an overall reduction in inches around your waistline.
The beauty of these undergarments is that they lead to weight loss over time. The corset, however, seems rather bulky to wear underneath your garments even though it’s effective at taking more inches from your body depending on your body type and shape.
The waist trainer is made from smoother fabric that coats the body effortlessly in an attempt to make the tummy look flatter. Many people choose to wear a waist trainer to the gym to ensure maximal weight loss but you can wear it under your clothes for a permanent hourglass figure whenever you go out.
Disadvantages of each
While there are advantages to wearing either undergarment, there are also disadvantages to both. For one, the corset is more structured and durable but also very difficult to put on.
The disadvantage of the waist trainer is the fact that there are many risks associated with wearing them too often. It may damage your ribs, and bones and even disrupt your digestive system.
On the other hand, you cannot wear a corset to the gym, for running, or other similar pursuits whereas it is possible to wear your waist trainer irrespective of where it is that you are going.
While both corsets and waist trainers seek to make you look like you’ve lost inches within seconds, the smooth fabric of waist trainers cannot quite mimic the ideal body shape produced by wearing a corset underneath.
Although the corset is more, expensive, it is a long-term investment worth making for someone who is passionate about this form of body modification. Plus you can’t always wear a corset so you are not risking your health too much by wearing it.