By Marcy Montgomery Jones
If you’re looking to create an hourglass silhouette, the waist cincher can be a fantastic addition to your shapewear wardrobe. In addition to sculpting a shapely waist, a cincher also controls back fat and tames the tummy. The modern waist cincher is made with stretchy fabrics and flexible boning that move with your body, ensuring a comfortable fit. Below is a compilation of some of the most frequently asked questions about waist cinchers, and answers to them.
What kinds of waist cinchers are available today?
You have a few different options. The two types most commonly available in department stores are the hook-and-eye and step-in styles. These descriptions refer to the closures, or lack thereof, on the garments. Decorative, lace-up options are available too; however, these sometimes can be seen underneath clothing. Other, less common, styles incorporate buckles and zippers. Of course, you’re more likely to find lace-up and buckle cinchers in specialty shops selling tantalizing lingerie, not functional shapewear. A cincher may also be combined with a brief or thigh slimmer in a single, comprehensive, lower-body shaping garment.
What makes a good waist cincher?
High compression is the key attribute to look for in an effective garment. If the fabric used is high on stretch and low on modulus (the force at which the already-stretched fibers compress), the cincher won’t deliver the body transformation you expect. This compression can be engineered into the construction of the fabric, created by combining multiple layers of fabric, or imposed by using rigid (non-stretch) fabrics. The other important factor separating a good cincher from a bad one is the performance of the stability system. Depending on the shape of one’s hips or tummy, a cincher has the potential to roll down or flip up. Often, metal spiral stays are sewn into the cincher to create semi-flexible structures that keep the garment flush with the body.
How long are waist cinchers?
Waist cinchers are available in a variety of lengths. Most cover the torso from the top of the hips to just underneath the bust, but shorter versions also exist that target just the waist. The choice of length is really one of personal preference, and may be dictated by a particular outfit being worn for a special occasion.
What’s the easiest way to put on a cincher?
Step-in cinchers, as their name indicates, should simply be stepped into and pulled up to the waist. The good news is that there’s typically just enough stretch in hook-and-eye cinchers that they can be completely fastened, stepped into, and pulled up to the waist as well. For lace-up styles, the best method is dictated by the location of the laces. When located in the front, they can be loosened and pulled tightly after the garment is stepped into, pulled up, and properly adjusted. When located in the back, the buddy system has to be employed. Such maneuvers are reminiscent of Kate Winslet being corseted in Titanic.
Who wears waist cinchers?
A variety of people wear waist cinchers, for a variety of reasons. Women who want to display an hourglass silhouette are the most common wearers. Others claim that they provide back support and wear them in order to do their work more comfortably. And some men of the cross-dressing and transgender communities also use waist cinchers to create more feminine silhouettes for themselves.
Waist cinchers are unique garments that provide perhaps the best historical link to the days of corsets. The ideal of possessing a curvy, hourglass shape, complete with a small waist, has long been a fashion goal, and has endured to this day. But modern cinchers are much more comfortable, breathable, and functional than ever. They’re certainly not your great-grandmother’s corsets. If you have any questions or comments about waist cinchers, please send them in!