Almost every woman wants a slimmer waist. Some ladies might dress in a certain style to create an hourglass shape. Others diet and lose weight. Yet there’s a third option available: wearing a waist trainer. Is this something plus-size women can do?
Plus-size women absolutely can and should wear a waist trainer to slim their midsection if they want to. To prevent a waist trainer from being too constricting, measure your waist and make sure you try on the waist trainer before you buy it.
If you want to learn more about waist trainers before making up your mind, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain waist trainers in detail, including their benefits and drawback. We’ll even have some tips for shopping for your first plus-size waist trainer!
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What Are Waist Trainers?
Shapewear is huge these days, with waist trainers among them. Yet what is a waist trainer? This is a garment that you wear around your midsection to create a slimming effect. The curves of your waist might look more pronounced, resembling an hourglass. We’ve written on this blog that the hourglass figure is the most desirable, so of course women with different body shapes would want to fake their way to an hourglass.
Waist trainers come in two styles, corsets or cinchers. Let’s talk about both types of waist trainers now.
Corset-Style Waist Trainers
A corset includes steel boning throughout. Not only does the boning lend the corset shape, but durability as well. The tightness of corset waist trainers is also for durability, as the compression remains intact even if you use the corset often. When you wear a waist trainer in this style, your hips will look their slimmest and shapeliest.
Among corset waist trainers are two sub-styles, underbust or overbust corsets. The underbust style goes under your breasts, as the name implies, so it only shapes your waist. Overbust corsets cover the breasts, pushing them together and up for great cleavage.
Most corsets are typically undergarments, although you can wear them as outerwear if you want to be bold. Overbust corsets as outerwear are an especially daring but fun fashion choice!
Cincher-Style Waist Trainers
The second style of waist trainers is a cincher. This garment is often made of latex and is for more everyday use. You won’t get as severe of a midsection change when wearing a cincher, but you can exercise in them (workout band cinchers, specifically). They’re also more comfortable to use regularly, so you might want to start with a cincher before you graduate to a corset.
The non-exercise styles of cincher waist trainers are vests and everyday wear. The vest style is more encompassing, as it includes shoulder straps that go around the back and over the bust. Although the breast lift won’t be as great as when wearing an overbust corset, vest cinchers do help your chest look good.
Can Plus-Size Women Wear Waist Trainers?
You love the concept of a waist trainer, but as a plus-size woman, you have your concerns. Corsets can look so itty-bitty that you wonder if you’d even be able to fit one around your midsection. Perhaps waist trainers aren’t for you?
Nonsense! Waist training corsets and cinchers come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate today’s women. If anything, we’d say waist trainers can be even more advantageous for plus-size women due to the body-changing effects they create. After all, not only can waist trainers help you achieve that enviable hourglass figure, but they can make your stomach look flatter too.
You’ll still have curves in all the right places, such as your breasts, your thighs, your hips, and your rear, but your midsection will look skinnier. It’s like you have the best of both worlds!
What Are the Benefits of Waist Trainers?
We’ve talked extensively about how good a waist trainer can make you look, but did you know that’s not their only touted benefit? Here are some other perks you might get to enjoy if you make waist-training a regular part of your routine as a plus-size woman.
It’s hard to slump when your stomach is enwrapped in a corset or cincher. Wearing a waist trainer is like a constant reminder to sit up straight. Improving your posture will do your body favors in the short term and especially the long term.
Proper posture can make you look taller, even for shorter women. If you have temporomandibular joint or TMJ pain or another jaw condition, bettering your posture could reduce the severity of your discomfort.
Your body will be able to process the foods you eat when it’s less crunched up so digestion occurs smoothly. Your circulation can also move freely. The capacity of your lungs increases as they’re uncompressed. Your neck might ache less and you could even reduce your frequency of headaches.
Admittedly, some of these benefits can be negated by using a waist trainer to improve your posture, but we’ll talk more about that in the next section.
It’s hard to feel hungry when you have pressure on your stomach all day. You should still eat at least three meals a day full of balanced, nutritious food for good health. Maybe a waist trainer can help you cut down on the snacks you eat though.
Some women who wear waist trainers report losing weight through consistent use of the garment. Part of it is indeed eating less thanks to your stomach being constricted, but that’s not the only way women can achieve weight loss with a waist trainer.
Wearing a waist trainer might make you sweat more, and it’s the loss of perspiration that can lead to a few pounds coming off. You shouldn’t expect significant weight loss, but some is better than none!
Can Waist Trainers Be Dangerous?
As great as waist trainers are, we’d be remiss to gloss over their downsides. Many of these disadvantages, as you’re about to see, directly contrast with the purported benefits above.
Worsening of Posture
If you only take your waist trainer off to sleep, you could worsen your core muscles rather than improve them. As these muscles weaken, maintain a rigid posture will become more difficult. Your back will also hurt, which can be exacerbated by wearing the waist trainer.
The women who wear corsets and other tight waist trainers day in and day out could even reposition where their organs sit internally. The kidneys and liver can both shift in ways that they shouldn’t, which affects the nearby organs as well. Your kidneys and/or liver can push into adjacent organs, leading to overcrowding.
When this happens, the crowded organs might not function optimally, which would be a health crisis. Blood flow can also be interrupted, likely leading to ischemia.
We mentioned that with better posture, your digestion improves, but that’s more likely to happen if you don’t work on your posture with a waist trainer. Squeezing your stomach into a waist trainer doesn’t only reduce your appetite, but it makes your organs work harder to move the food you do eat.
Your intestines, stomach, and esophagus feel squished, which blocks up the passageway that food usually takes. As a result, stomach acid can make its way into the esophagus, causing painful heartburn.
If this happens often enough, your esophagus’ lower esophageal sphincter–which is supposed to prevent stomach acid from coming back up–might become less effective. Then you’re at risk for gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery states that you’re losing a significant portion of your lung capacity when wearing a waist trainer, between 30 and 60 percent! If you feel like you can’t breathe with a corset or cincher on, that’s why.
Long-term use of a waist trainer could cause the lungs to accumulate fluid and swell up. The lymphatic system might stop working well, which could affect how your body removes toxins.
Tips for Buying a Plus-Size Waist Trainer
Now that you have all the facts, it’s your choice as a plus-size woman if you want to wear a waist trainer. Should you decide to proceed, these tips will help you find a waist-training garment that fits your frame and might not put you at risk of breathing or digestion issues!
Without knowing the size of your waist, you’re going in blind. If you haven’t taken your measurements recently, then it’s time to do so. You’re better off with a second person helping you out such as a trusted friend or a partner.
Using fabric or vinyl measuring tape, wrap the tape around your waist. Then adjust it so it’s around the part of your waist that’s narrowest. If you lean over slightly to the left or right, where your waist folds are where it’s narrowest. This should be above your navel by a few inches.
Although it’s not your favorite thing in the world, you will have to try on a waist trainer before buying it. The sizing of waist trainers isn’t quite like shirts or bras. You can start with the clothing size you usually wear but try on a waist trainer that’s a size bigger and a size smaller as well.
More than likely, the smaller waist trainer will fit you. An ideal waist trainer fit is one that’s around 4 inches less than your waist measurements, sometimes even 5 inches. Do keep in mind that how well a waist trainer fits can vary from brand to brand.
Skip the Cheap Stuff
On that note, we would advise you not to buy a cheap waist trainer. It might fit when you first try it on, but you’re going to have a lot of issues with the garment later. For instance, the low-quality materials might look bulky and bony under your clothes.
The tightness of the waist trainer will become less and less the more you use it. Within a few weeks, you’ll spend half your day readjusting your waist trainer. At that point, it’s not holding your midsection firmly enough for you to incur any benefits.
Try Both Waist Trainer Styles
You might prefer corset waist trainers or cinchers more, but both can come in handy at different times. As we said earlier, it’s better to start with a cincher since it puts less pressure on your body. This means you won’t get the precise curves of an hourglass figure like you would with a corset, but your midsection will certainly look slimmer.
Not only can plus-size women wear waist trainers, but women of any size can! Plus-size women will see the most body-shaping benefits by far. If you do decide to wear a waist trainer, we implore you to consider both the pros and cons so you can make safe, smart, healthy decisions for your body.