Although I am not currently a waist trainer myself, I've been making corsets for over 18 years. I've done research, worked with clients who Train, I've made plenty of corsets for waist trainers, and I've been asked and answered many questions. This is the 'Amy Delicious' take on Waist Training including a brief history of corsetry.
Like in foot binding, waist training was strictly for the wealthy, the people who didn't have to work hard and struggle day to day to work and take care of families. Men in the military, under their uniforms, wore corsets to get a more formal clean look. The aristocracy wore corsets and the middle class wanting to look quite put together donned them. They had teams of people to dress them daily. They didn't have demanding lives to lead. The term 'Loose women' came from prostitutes; they were not corseted or unlaced for easy transactions. They came in and out of style and were eventually replaced by girdles when stretch fabrics were used to great success and comfort.
Children were corseted as young as two years old. These corsets were little more than a snug undershirt; shoulder straps held them in place and sometimes there were attachments for skirts or underskirts. Young women wore corsets before and through puberty. This was the time that they were able to achieve most success in reshaping their bodies. The corset naturally restricted movement, but also natural growth. Ribs and shoulders did not grow as wide as they would have if un-restricted. The lower ribs developed a tighter curvature due to restriction. The muscles of the abdomen and lower back were weaker due to dependence on the structure of the corset. Corsets also restricted the natural widening of the pelvis during puberty. During pregnancy the women who always corseted needed to continue to wear corsets throughout the pregnancy. Their muscles weren't strong enough to support the extra weight of the baby, so gestation corsets were created which had gussets over the abdomen to expand as the baby grew. Outside of very little medical attention, the body that was weakened and physically narrowed due to life long corset wear, made child birth much more dangerous and sometimes deadly.
So, you're a full-grown woman or man who wants a tiny waist! Great, we can help. You should plan on buying two corsets either in the same waist size or having one slightly larger for unforeseen comfort issues. You should plan to wear something light and tight under your corset so it doesn't have to get dry-cleaned as frequently. You can switch off each day so the corset can air out. You should plan to wear your corset at all times. You only 'go natural' when you bathe. You will sleep in your corset, work and drive in your corset, wear it while cleaning the house, and playing with kids or catching a drink with friends. It is a commitment and you will see no results if you cannot commit. When your first two corsets are fully closed and you feel you want to go smaller we will construct you two new corsets keeping the ribs and hips very similar to the first pair (unless corseting has caused weight loss as well, bonus!). As a fully formed adult you will not easily reshape your ribs or pelvis, so outside of skin and muscle and fat ~your ribs and hips should remain as they were. The good part of this is that the bigger your hips are, the smaller your waist will look. You'll be getting the true 'hourglass shape' that everyone wants.
Although the moment you lace a corset on you see a change, don't expect to see real results only a day after using the waist-training corset, as you don't want to rush into trying to make your waist too small too fast. The best thing for you to do is to relax while you are waiting for your results day after day. There's no quick way to trying to slim down your waistline. You should enjoy the time that you are waiting for your waistline to slim down as beauty and fashion is not a punishment.
What happens when you take off the waist-training corset you've invested in? Do you stay tiny? No! Dramatic photos of women who waist-train out of their corsets are taken within moments of removing them. If they curled up on the sofa to watch a movie and eat popcorn, then got photographed, I expect you'd see a much different waistline. If while wearing your corsets for an extended period of time you're also dieting, doing some light exercise to keep your abdominal and lower back muscles strong, you will shrink your waist. Often while corseted your appetite lessens, you feel full more quickly, and it is physically uncomfortable to overeat.
Can you damage your body wearing a corset? Yes. You can damage your body wearing shoes too tight, pants too tight, bending and lifting wrong. If you tighten your corset too much too fast you can damage your corset and your body. You can cause bruising and pain, and if you fall you can hurt yourself. If you overeat in a corset your visits to the bathroom may be less than comfortable for a few days. If you don't urinate frequently you can cause a bladder infection. Many of these concepts are just common sense, but they are frequently asked.