As the owner of a bridal salon, all of my waking hours are dedicated to discussing the fine points of the big day, including the dress (or the suit, or the jumpsuit, or the crop top).
I'll admit it: I wear Spanx. Well, I mean that in the way some people say Kleenex for all tissues -- a genericized trademark. I wear the less expensive knockoff shapewear.
I'll throw on shapewear shorts if I'm wearing a skirt or dress to kill two birds with one stone: smoothing out my butt and preventing the world from seeing my bits if I fall down the subway steps, which I'm constantly, inordinately worried about doing. Almost every day, though, I'll wear one of those wear-your-own bra camisoles that smooths out the tummy and back. I think my clothing looks better over it, and I just feel a little more confident in it.
The next step up from one of those camisoles, arguably, is a waist-training corset. Last year, Lesley wrote about the history of corsets, and I think it's safe to assume her argument that there's nothing intrinsically wrong with them is what inspired Kim Kardashian to start wearing one all the time, including while working out. Even before that, Jessica Alba told Net-A-Porter's The Edit that she wore a corset constantly (except in the shower, I hope) for three months straight. She had previously called it a girdle in a Lucky interview, but corset sounds way sexier, right?
I realize celebrities have, like, a special wrinkle in their brain or something that makes them extremely tolerant of doing uncomfortable stuff that makes them look better than non-celebrities because it's their job to look perfect, but I figured, I wear shapewear, so I could totally tolerate a waist-shaping corset... couldn't I?
So the folks at Hourglass Angel, the same online shop that sent me butt-lifting jeans, kindly (or maybe sadistically) sent me a cincher by Amia for a little experiment: I wanted to see what it's like to wear one of these doohickeys for "normal life things."
The Amia cincher promises to "sculpt inches from your midsection and enhance your curves while increasing thermal activity in your core," so basically, it serves as both a waist-training corset when worn over time (it doesn't come with a suggestion for just how often and long to wear it) and a pretty hardcore shaper under your clothing in the short term.
The first time I tried it on, I was surprised how difficult it was to get the hook-and-eye closures to come together. This thing wasn't kidding around. I eventually got it fastened -- it gets easier each time you put it on -- and wearing it around my apartment for a few hours taught me that waist-training corsets are a great way to force your body to pass gas.
But I wasn't about to dive head-first into 24/7 corset-wearing/farting, so I chose a few select activities to give me an idea just how bearable it is.
I love batting cages, but I hadn't been to one in years. What better time to fall back in love with swinging an aluminum bat at fast-approaching balls than while wearing a corset?
- Wearing the cincher forces better posture, so my batting stance was probably better.
- I likely lost a little extra water weight from sweating even more excessively than usual because the cincher is made of 75% rubber. (Hence why you see so many smudges in the photo on the right.)
- I couldn't swing as flexibly as I would've liked due to the rigidity of the cincher.
- Feeling like an ass wearing a corset to the batting cages.
I go to Britpop Choir practice every Monday night -- we're currently learning Blur, George Michael and Morcheeba songs, because it's the best choir ever -- so I decided to throw on the corset under some casual choir-practice clothing and see if it affected my singing.
- Again with the posture! I sat and stood up much straighter than usual.
- I was way more aware of my breathing, which is very important when it comes to singing.
- When I say I was more aware of my breathing, I mean I was more aware that I could not expand my diaphragm, like, at all.
- I couldn't do the warm-up stretches very well, especially the one where we bend over. The good news is, all of my choir mates have very nice tops-of-their-heads.
I haven't really done much dating this year, but I think I might be happy to report that I got laid recently for the first time since February. I probably could've had sex sooner, but I was holding out for the right corset.
- My midsection is what I'm most self conscious about, so the cincher let me keep it covered while letting the important stuff be accessible.
- Calling it a corset makes it seem slightly sexy?
- I didn't fart!
- I think he would've liked to be able to touch my midsection, despite my stupid insecurities about it.
- Limited flexibility.
- So. Much. Sweat.
And this wasn't just any sleep, my friends; this was sleep in the bed of the dude with whom I'd had the aforementioned sex.
- I was being spooned, so again, the cincher kept my least favorite parts covered.
- I actually fell asleep, and pretty quickly to boot! I don't normally fall asleep that quickly in my own bed, alone and unspooned.
- I was on the side of the bed I typically don't like sleeping on, but that's not the corset's fault.
- I'm pretty sure I farted as I was drifting off to sleep. That's probably the corset's fault.
Overall, this particular waist-training corset was far more tolerable than I expected, but every time I took it off, I was reminded just how powerful it is; I could breathe more deeply, and I could melt comfortably back into my natural form and crappy posture.
I don't think I'll be wearing it full-time, but it does give me an enhanced hourglass shape under closer-fitting dresses, so I'll keep it around for my more aggressive shapewear needs. And if I ever have trouble passing gas.
Have you tried a waist-training corset? Have you worn one for hours or days on end? What's the least corset-friendly thing you've done in a corset?