Corsets and Waist Reduction
By sporting a tightly-laced corset for extended perioda clinic called tightlacinmen and girls can learn how to tolerate extreme waist constriction and reduce their natural waist size. Tightlacers usually aim for 40 to 43 centimetres (16 to 17 inch) waists. Other women, such as Polaire, also claim to have achieved these reductions.
These are extreme circumstances. Corsets were and are often designed for support, with freedom of body movement an important consideration in their design. Present day corset-wearers usually tighten the corset just enough to reduce waists to size which vary from 18 to 24 inches.
Moderate corset lacing isn’t incompatible with vigorous action. In reality, throughout the late nineteenth century, when corset wearing was common, there were sport corsets specifically designed to wear while bicycling, playing tennis, or horseback riding, in addition to for maternity wear.
Lots of individuals now believe that all corsets are uncomfortable and that wearing them limits womens’ lives, citing Victorian literature devoted to sensible or hygienic dress. However, these writings were most apt to protest against the misuse of corsets for tightlacing; they were less vehement against corsets per se. Many reformers recommended “Emancipation bodices”, which were essentially tightly-fitted vests, such as full-torso corsets without boning.
Most modern day corset-wearers will testify that corsets can be comfortable, once one is accustomed to wearing them. A well fitted corset should be quite comfortable. Women active in the Society for Creative Anachronism and historical re-enactment groups commonly wear corsets as part of period costume, without complaint.