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      Corsets vs Waist Cinchers - What's the Difference?

      Want to start waist training? Know the difference between steel boned corsets and latex waist trainers first, so you see the results you’re looking for. We share the most important differences between these helpful garments—each designed for different purposes and results!

      Also keep these differences in mind when you read about celebrities or bloggers and their waist training process. While the term “waist trainer” has been used to refer to nearly every imaginable contraption around your waist, each garment has its own unique benefits and purposes.

      Waist Training Corsets

      Corsets are powerful cinching garments designed to dramatically reduce your natural waistline and redistribute soft tissue to create an hourglass figure. Compared with cinchers, corsets can take more inches off of your waist—usually 3 to 6 inches, depending on your body type and the amount of soft tissue around your midsection.

      Steel boned corsets help to reshape your body over time because they can be cinched using the adjustable laces. A waist training corset is not:

      • A fashion corset, which has plastic bones and is more clothing than waist trainers since it's not built to reshape your figure
      • A waist cincher, which won’t be able to provide the same results; waist cinchers close with only eyes and hooks or zipper and have no laces to cinch tight

      That's why we call steel boned corsets "waist trainers" since you'll need one to waist train. Learn more about waist training in our Ultimate Guide to Waist Training.

      Waist Cinchers

      Waist cinchers are shaping garments made from latex or spandex that smooth and slim all over the abdomen. Cinchers can also target the thighs, butt, back and arms depending on the style.

      A waist cincher is designed to provide a slimming effect underneath your clothes and will usually shave an inch or two from your waistline when it’s on. If you carry your weight in your tummy, a waist cincher can help give you more of a waistline, but not quite the hourglass curves you would see with a steel boned corset.

      For clarity, you won’t hear us call a waist cincher a ‘waist trainer’ as it’s not an accurate description of what a cincher can do.

      So, Is a Waist Training Corset or Waist Cincher Best?

      We wear and recommend both—for different reasons! Find out whether a cincher, a corset or both are right for you with the help of our new quiz!

      Waist cinchers won’t alter your shape semi-permanently like a corset can, but you can wear a cincher to the gym. Exercising is something that you can’t do in your corset!

      Corsets can help you to achieve dramatic hourglass proportions for your next cosplay or big event. But if you are more interested in a smooth, moderate silhouette that has everyone asking when you started working out, choose a waist cincher!

      Corsets can be worn during your daily activities (as long as you’re listening to your body, of course!) but you might prefer the lightweight flexibility that a waist cincher has to offer for a supportive and flexible cinch on your most active days. It all depends on your personal goals and preferences and what is comfortable for you.

      Keep in mind, if you want to seriously waist train, a steel boned corset is the way to go and a cincher is extra credit.

      Best Waist Trainers for Beginners

      Difference #1: How Do You Fasten and Tighten a Waist Trainer or Cincher?

      Waist Training Corset: Typically corsets are tightened by fastening the front busk (the two long metal pieces that run up the middle of the corset, one with metal loops, the other with metal 'pins') and then cinching the corset by tightening the laces in the back to get an hourglass shape or modern silhouette, depending on the style.

      Waist Cincher: Waist cinchers are fastened using the same hook and eye closures that clasp your bra band together. Many feature multiple rows of hooks for slight adjustments and an additional fabric layer that zips over the base layer for an extra smooth look. Cincher designs featuring coverage on the legs and thighs may also have a snap closure for easy bathroom breaks.

      Difference #2: How Are Waist Trainer Corsets and Waist Cinchers Made?

      Waist Training Corset: Steel boned corsets are made from a strong, yet flexible fabric that is reinforced with steel boning (flexible steel rods) to give the corset great strength for pulling in your waist and accentuating the curve of your hips and bustline. Our corsets come in a variety of fabrics including cotton, satin, leather, mesh and seasonal fabrics.

      Waist Cincher: Most waist cinchers are made from a combination of nylon and latex or Spandex, some with plastic or steel boning. High strength latex and spandex fabric flattens and shapes the stomach and back and flexible boning offers a light cinch.

      Difference #3: What Are the Styles of Waist Trainer Corsets and Waist Cinchers?

      Waist Training Corset: Corsets are made to fit around your midsection and can be either an “overbust” or an “underbust", and depending on your style, can be worn over your clothes or under your clothes. Corsets come in a number of styles that have varying curve levels that fit a variety of different body types. Corsets styles range from modern or romantic curves to hourglass or extreme curves. The best corset style is the one that fits your body type.

      Get Your Expert Recommendation

      (Psst—f you choose to wear your corset under your clothes, we suggest wearing a layer between you and your corset, like our Seamless Bamboo Corset Liner. A liner helps to keep your corset in pristine condition and can make it more comfortable to tightlace for longer periods of time.)

      Waist Cincher: Waist cinchers come in a variety of colors, from fashionable shades to staples like black and beige. You can also find cinchers that offer a variety of different coverages, from the simple waist cincher, to thong body suits, cinchers with straps, and even body briefs to shape from top to bottom. Waist cinchers are also made with varying degrees of compression. For moderate compression, try the Vedette 939. This cincher is a great option for anyone who wants a latex-free cincher. Or, choose the extra powerful compression you could get from the Vedette 100!

      Shapewear Buyer's Guide

      Difference #4: How Do Waist Trainer Corsets and Waist Cinchers Change My Shape?

      Waist Training Corset: Corsets help you re-shape your body over time (like braces for your teeth) because they can be tightened and adjusted using the laces.

      Waist Cincher: A stretchy waist cincher (contrary to the name) can slim about 1-2” off of your waist while you’re wearing it but your shape will return to its normal state after you take it off. You will need to purchase a new cincher if you lose or gain too much weight because it can only be loosened or tightened minimally depending on how many rows of hooks and eyes the cincher has.

      Difference #5: I Want Waist Training Results that Last—Should I Use a Corset or Waist Cincher?

      If you're seriously considering waist training, there's really no contest: use a steel boned corset. A cincher simply isn’t the right tool for the job! Although cinchers do compress your abdomen, they don’t have the necessary construction and adjustability to be able to effectively train your waist.

      Ultimate Guide to Waist Training

      But, a waist cincher can also help you in your waist training journey! Many people find they want to waist train almost around the clock to maximize their results, but sleeping in a steel boned corset isn’t for everyone and you certainly shouldn’t exercise in a corset! That's where a waist cincher comes in to support your corset waist training.

      Waist Training Tips

      Another benefit of pairing shapewear with a waist training corset is in reducing or eliminating that dreaded “back bulge” that can arise from wearing some styles of corsets. While we have some corsets that sit high on the back which can prevent bulge, not all corsets have that feature. Doubling up when you wear your corset with a back bulge shaper like the Vedette 941 Underbust Bra Booster can be a way to have the best of both worlds!

      Ready to Cinch?

      Learning the truth about corsets vs waist cinchers is an important first step to begin your successful waist training program. If you’re ready to find your first corset or cincher that suits YOU, we are here to help! Chat with a sizing expert.

      Find My Size & Style