The History Of Waist Trainers

Posted by Sally Dobson on


For many years, women have been wearing steel-boned corsets for various reasons. Some have been doing so to look fashionable, while others have been wearing them to support their backs. Nearly all women who seek the services of waist trainers are motivated by the desire to have superb hourglass figures that can turn heads wherever they go.

What is the history of waist trainers?

Waist trainers have been around for thousands of years. They have been making use of tight fitting garments to shape torsos in accordance with the most fashionable silhouettes. Prior to the 19th Century, the tight fitting garments were simply known as pair of bodies, pair of stiff bodice and/or stays. If you read texts written during the 18th century, you’ll probably come across the term corset, referring to stiffened bodice with attractive tie on sleeves. Today, they are commonly known as corsets.

Baroque & Renaissance eras

Waist trainers began using iron-boned corsets that resembled cages as far back as the 16th century. Portraits of Venetian women who lived in the 1500s depict them in stiffened bodices. The women had flat chests and very high necklines. Women who lived in Europe in the 1500s used pairs of bodies that pushed up their breasts and transformed their torsos into slender cylinders. Waist trainers of that period in history used corsets made of buckram or whale bone. During the 17th century, dresses were separated from bodices. Corsets assumed cone-like shapes, and were usually made using two distinct boned-fabric pieces commonly known as stays. The two pieces were held together with busks. Towards the end of the century, stays became shorter since dress waists had started wandering higher up.

Regency & Victorian eras

At the beginning of the 19th century, fashion forced women’s waists back to their natural places. As a result, corsets became popular, and demand for waist trainers increased exponentially. In 1828, an innovative waist trainer invented lacing eyelets with metal grommets that were fixed using hammers. Initially, eyelets were stitched onto fabric. Immediately thereafter, waist trainers started using planchets to open up and close corsets, without necessarily unlacing every time. It became easier to completely change lacing with both cord-ends threading through eyelets. All this was made possible by busks. Evolution of the famous hourglass figure began in earnest around the year 1850 when all women who wanted to look fashionable wore corsets. The look was quite plain, given that tailors and waist trainers were still conducting experiments with complex and unique patterns.

Edwardian & Victorian eras

During the Edwardian & Victorian eras, fashioned revitalized the longing for hourglass shapes and wasp waists. As a result, waist trainers adopted the use of corsets that incorporated steel boning and extended beyond waists to create those shapes and waists. Additionally, new technology led to mass production of corsets. Remember that corsets had until that time been custom-made to fit specific women's waists. With the recommendation of doctors, designers began creating corsets with improved shapes. To ensure that little or absolutely no pressure was exerted on the stomach, waist trainers encouraged their clients to use corsets with straight fronts. However, many women did not like this invention. Consequently, designers exaggerated it such that the hips and stomach were pressed backwards.

1920s- 1950s

Women longed for clothes that offered greater flexibility/ freedom of movement, given their increased interest in sporting activities. Nearly every woman desired to have a thin and streamlined figure, and this created immense opportunities for waist trainers. The straight Garcone style with a slim waist and stiffened hip girdles became fashionable. It was easy for a waist trainer to control clients’ hips and stomach area without necessarily constricting the waists. To make women look boyish, a waist trainer would make clients’ breasts appear smaller. A bra would support the breasts. As a result, the most preferred undergarments worn by women of that period in history were bras and girdles.

Modern-day waist trainers

The popular punk movement that occurred in the 1970s made corsets the preferred outerwear for women who wanted to look beautiful. In their endeavor to be more attractive, punks wore old fashioned lingerie. Jean P. Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and other trendy designers were responsible for making this culture popular, given that many women across the world admired their sense of fashion. Waist trainers have been around for thousands of years, demand for them has been exponentially increasing in the last few years. Women keep comparing themselves to other women that they meet in college, at their places of work, or along the streets and in social media. If you desire to have an attractive hourglass figure that can make heads turn wherever you go, it’s important to purchase a waist trainer that is comfortable to fulfill your fitness goals.

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