Q: We would like to get involved more seriously with tight-lacing after the birth of our child. I have three questions:

1) How much time (if any) after giving birth should she wait before she starts tight-lacing?

2) Does child-birth cause any permanent or short-term effects related to corset-wearing that we need to be aware of?

3) 24-hour-a-day wear is not an option for us at this point. Several hours per day, several days per week is more realistic. Her natural (pre-pregnancy) waist was 26.5 inches, and we would like to achieve 21 inches or less (over the corset). And as you have mentioned, a nicely tapered figure is preferable to an ant-like cinched waist. In other words, we want to achieve beauty, not just low numbers!

I know every woman is different, but, from your experience, is this a realistic expectation given that she is not yet ready to wear the corset continuously? How much time might we expect it to take? The smallest she has gotten in the past is 22.5 inches, with an off-the-shelf corset worn a few hours per week. We plan to get a custom-made corset, by the way. --Billha (3/11/97)

A: 1. There is a decisive difference between corset-wearing and tight-lacing in this respect. Tight-lacing must be avoided at least 6 months, whereas corsetting and moderate lacing can start much earlier. For we who have been used to corsets through many years and who actually find their support very comfortable, not to say indispensable, this creates no harm. You will feel  when you eventually can pull the laces then moderately more. But a good, well-made corset is mandatory in order not to ruin your figure. In the "good old days" when women were used to wearing corsets from a very early age they, of course, wouldn't stop to using them under any circumstances, and during that period you found a wide range of pregnancy and maternity corsets, models which are not available today.

2. The answer is "no," but, of course, the abdominal body tissues are stretched during pregnancy and require some time to get back into their original form and location after delivery. Moderation is the word.

3. I am happy to hear that you are talking about enhancing beauty by corsetting rather than setting waist measurement records. The key is not to go down to the smallest possible endurable waist (if only for a few hours). Much more important is to wear your corset daily and get used to its support.  A few hours of tight-lacing every week doesn't make sense, whereas full days of serious (though moderate) corsetting for several months and years will almost automatically mould your waist into a nicely small and beautifully tapered one. Of course a custom-made corset is preferable.


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