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What to Look for When Purchasing a Waist Trainer

Whether you’ve purchased a waist trainer before or if this is the first time you are considering it, there are a few things that one should always pay attention to before deciding whether or not to make the investment.

Here are my top 5 traits to look for in a good waist trainer:

1. Steel boning

There’s just no two ways about it: a waist training corset must be 100% steel boned. There is not one corset out there made from plastic/acrylic boning that will be able to offer you what a proper waist trainer will. Fashion corsets can be lovely, but they are meant to be worn more for the look of a corset and not for any sort of waist reduction.

Also, a good waist trainer should be made up of both flat and spiral steel bones. Flat steel bones are great and required to form a solidly built corset, but they are usually reserved to the front bust and the back panels. The body of the corset is best made up of spiral steel bones. A spiral steel bone has far more flexibility but all of the durability of a flat bone and as a result, the spiral steel bones will allow the corset to mold more smoothly to the curve of your hips, waist and bust.

Lastly, any good waist trainer that is worth the investment will also indicate in the description how many steel bones it features. Anything less than 20 steel bones? Not a waist trainer. It might still be a fantastic steel boned corset, but it won’t deliver 6” to 7” of waist reduction the way a waist trainer can.

SpiralSteelBone-Watermarked

2. A steel busk front closure

There are waist trainers available out there with zipper closures…not the best idea. Yes, they can be cinched in the full 6” to 7” that most waist trainers promise, however a zipper is not built to endure that sort of tension. So whereas you may be absolutely in love with your new zip front corset, it won’t be able to withstand the tension the same way a busk front closure will and as a result, the zip front corset may not have the same lifespan as a steel busk front closure.

steel busk front closure

And truth be told, under no circumstances will a hook and eye tape ever do the trick when it comes to waist training. Hook and eye closures are nothing like a steel busk front closure. You know those little hooks that fasten your bra? Yeah, those are hook and eye closures…’nough said.

hook and eye closure

3. Sturdy fabric

Anything that looks very thin or lumpy is a bad idea. Focus more on a strong taffeta or satin fabric. Even a pretty cotton twill or denim is a good choice.

Sturdy fabric also comes down to the fabric content. Cotton, polyester and silk or a blend of any of these is a good choice. Rayon and acetate?  Not so much.

Also, any good waist trainer will have the fabric fused to the lining (more on linings in point #4). By fusing the outer fabric with the lining, it not only avoids unnecessary bunching but also adds strength to the corset.

4. Lining

If you come across a “waist trainer” that has no lining to it, then simply keep looking. No good waist trainer is without a lining. Now, it needn’t be 100% cotton. A cotton poly blend is also okay, but there should definitely be a lining and it should totally have some natural fibre to it (e.g. 60% cotton, 40% polyester).

Not only does a fused lining add strength  to the corset, but it increases the wearer’s comfort and allows for the wearer’s skin to breathe comfortably.

Playgirl Lining

5. Honest photographs

Firstly, look for a photo on a model. If the photograph is just of the corset itself with the model and background whited out, then how can you get any idea of what the corset will look on your person?

And, when it comes to photographs on a model you can generally spot a fake stock photo with a couple simple tricks:

-Have you seen the photograph used on the websites of multiple retail websites? If so it is likely a stock photo, poorly shot, heavily photoshoped and likely copy/pasted from the supplier's catalog.

-Can you zoom in on the product? If so, is the quality good or poor once you’ve zoomed in? If you are completely unable to zoom in on the product or if once you do it is of very poor quality, then this is a tell-tale sign of an edited copy/paste job of a stock photo.

And there you have it: my top 5 traits to look for when you are shopping for a waist trainer worth the investment.

Happy lacing!

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