The difference between waist trainers and corsets

The Kardashians have made waist training the hottest method of getting, well, their inimitable hourglass figures. But are waist trainers and corsets one and the same, or are they inherently different? And is one garment more effective than the other when it comes to shrinking our waists down? 

A post by Hourglass Angel explains that which type you choose has more to do with personal preference than anything else, advising both are generally recommended if you're looking to slim your waist. However, there are still key differences between waist trainers and corsets that, aside from helping us better understand their uses, could also help those who aren't sure which one to choose for themselves personally.

Waist trainers and corsets are made differently

The first major difference is in construction — a corset is usually made with steel boning and lacing in the back, while a waist trainer is made with a latex core and hook-and-eye closures in the front. A corset slims the waist with the aid of tightening its laces, while a waist trainer works via compression material. If you've heard both terms used to describe both garments, that's because they're basically interchangeable, but the term "waist trainer" has more to do with the results of regular use.

Corsets are typically made of cotton, satin, or leather, with long, flexible steel rods to structure them. Small steel busks fasten into place on front, while satin laces in the back are used to pull 'em tight so you can see an immediate reduction of 3 to 6 inches in your waistline. Waist trainers, meanwhile, are typically made using nylon, latex, or spandex. These materials provide the compression that typically leads to a reduction of 1 to 3 inches from the waistline over time. This generally means corsets are more durable in the long term. 

Waist trainers and corsets have different uses

Both are worn as undergarments and hidden under your regular clothing, though corsets tend to be slightly bulkier. Both are effective for waist training, particularly if you wear either for at least eight hours daily over a period of months. There are more varieties of waist trainers available, however, so they might prove more suitable for an active lifestyle, particularly when it comes to working out, as they're more flexible. Corsets also tend to be more expensive and are more difficult to put on.

However, as Big Cup Little Cup notes, corsets are more easily designed to fit different body types and are more flattering and stylish overall. But that's because they're generally utilized more as stylish undergarments, while waist trainers are often worn as part of a greater health and fitness regime, with a weight loss goal in mind. Both are functional, certainly, but which you choose will depend on personal preference and what your overall end goal is.