History of waist trainer

To understand the history of waist training you have to go way back in time. You've probably heard of the term "waist trainer" before. It's a special kind of garment used to hold and train the waist into the desired shape - which is usually an hourglass figure.

And so let us start by first looking into the history of waist trainer. Waist trainer have three main uses

  1. Fashion

The most common and well-known use of waist trainer is of course fashion. They're used to help slim the waist, which in turn makes the breasts, hips, and butt look bigger. This creates an hourglass figure. Back in the olden days, most waist trainer were laced up extremely tight, and they also used metal in their construction, so the corset would not rest directly on the skin, there would be another layer between the body and the waist trainer. Nowadays modern garment technology has come to a long way and it's perfectly normal to wear a waist trainer directly over the skin.

  1. Medical

For hundreds of years, doctors would prescribe waist trainer to people with back issues. Specific spinal issues, like scoliosis, would often be treated by the use of a waist trainer. Not many people know this, but famous painter Andy Warhol wore a waist trainer his entire life.

  1. Fetish

If you’re into kinky sex you’re probably no stranger to waist trainer in the bedroom. Waist trainer are a popular sexual fetish, especially in BDSM culture. Often dominants enjoy wearing waist trainer (sometimes black, often leather), and sometimes the breasts or other areas are left exposed.


History of waist trainer 

16-17 Century

Waist trainer have been around for a serious amount of time. According to the history books, Catherine de'Medici, the wife of King Henry 2 of France, enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance during the 1550s.

Nobody knows why she hated "thicker waists" so much, but she did, and that's what started this whole movement. The name has changed quite a bit over time. Originally, it was called "a pair of bodies," then in the 17th-century people called them "stays."


19th century

It wasn't until the 19th century when people began to call them waist trainer. By 1920 waist trainer began to fall from fashion and girdles and brassieres took over. The waist trainer moved to more of a lingerie, fetish and Goth subculture item. There have been a few revivals lately, like in 2001 when the movie Moulin Rouge came out, also lately the Steam punk culture has some small groups getting back into wearing waist trainer, but it hasn’t been until just last year when modern waist trainers have become a popular form of waist reduction that we’ve seen such an influx in mainstream media attention toward the waist trainer.

Waist trainer is a garment which is tight fitting and has been stiffened to create a shape to a female torso. These have been fashionable in the past and still are today. Traditionally, corsets were called a ‘pair of bodies’, a stiff bodice or stays before the 19th century. In fact, they are referenced in some texts from the 18th-century where they are referred to as corps. The actual origins of corsets are unknown but they go far back into history

Stiffened bodices are displayed in portraits of Venetian females around the 1530s. Here the necklines are quite high with the chest flattened rather than pushed up. It was only during the 16th century where the cleavage was pushed upwards and torso formed into a slim cylindrical shape.

These corsets were often manufactured from horn or whalebone. During these times the bodice was usually a part of a dress, but during the 17th century, the bodice was separated to become it’s own garment. During this time, corsets developed a more cone style shape which was usually constructed from two pieces of fabric which were boned. These were commonly referred to as stays and were held together at the front with a busk.

Towards the end of the 17th-century women wore skirts, jackets with a bodice as underwear. At this time, the waists of dresses got higher and so the bodices became shorter than they were previously. It is around this period when doctors sometimes warned women against lacing their corsets to tightly.

In the 1820s, the fashionable waist went back down and corsets also became more popular. Lacing islets with metal grommets were created in 1828 and shortly after a mechanism was created where a corset could be opened and closed at the front without the need for lacing and unlacing. The hourglass silhouette which is famous today has evolved from the middle of the century where corsets were the only way to dress. At this time, the emphasis was on creating beautiful corsets from delicate fabrics.

In the 1880s there was a rising popularity of the pear-shaped corset which bent inwards around the stomach area. During Victorian times, corsets could now be mass-produced due to new technology in manufacturing. These previously had to be custom-made to a ladies measurements. But during World War I, fashion changed and women could look elegant without wearing corsets. The tight lacing had disappeared, and elastic took its place which provided more movement.


20-th century 

The 1920s saw women become interested in sports and along with that came a need for clothing that allowed for more freedom of their movement. The widely desired silhouette figure had changed from an hourglass to a thinner figure. During this time, girdles manufactured from plastic appeared. The idea behind these was to control the waist and hips without constricting. Bras were worn to support the breast area, and so the girdle was popular instead of corsets through the 1940s. Throughout these years corsets were still seen for erotic means but had disappeared from popular fashion.

During the 1970s, the punk movement brought corsets back. These were often worn as outerwear as punks would wear old fashioned lingerie. Many designers helped to bring back the corset, as they became a part of the mainstream. Pop stars such as Madonna and Cyndi Lauper can be seen wearing them in the 1980s. And today celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian can be seen bringing back the corset and waist training craze. 

Take a look at our Lissommex corset for waist training.