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We did it for the ‘gram…well, actually, because of the ‘gram.
Every so often, celebs really believe in the products they're paid to push. And, sometimes, those products really do work (case in point: SugarBearHair gummy vitamins). With endorsements clogging up your Instagram feed, it's hard to tell what's legit. Luckily, in this series, we try out trending products and fun fads…so you can decide whether that post really deserves a double tap.
Next up on our docket: waist trainers.
The Kardashians are big fans of the body-shaping garment, and even Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba have admitted to wearing corsets after pregnancy. So, for a few weeks, I tried two waist trainers—Hourglass Angel Active Band Waist Trainer By Amia (for working out) and Hourglass Angel Classic Waist Cincher By Amia (for daily wear)—and here's what happened.
Materials Matter: I now get why Khloe Kardashian wears a waist trainer to the gym—it helps with your form! The Active Band Waist Trainer is made out of thicker material than the Cincher, but the Flexi-boning allows you to move around. It's slightly restrictive, but I wasn't in pain; in fact, it helped me optimize my workouts. Real talk: I'm horrible at squats, but the waist trainer helped me keep my back straight as I went lower (read: better booty workout). Does it get a little sweaty and hot? Yes, but it's bearable, and if it corrects my posture, I'm all for it.
No Pain, No Gain: Remember that scene in Titantic, when Rose's mom tightens Rose's corset and, figuratively and literally, suffocates her? Same status. On the packaging, it warns that initial wear will be uncomfortable, but for me, the Cincher hurt…bad.
The brand suggests wearing it for a few hours per day, to mold your curves into a more hourglass-like shape. Too bad my bones got in the way. Either my torso wasn't long enough or my hips were too wide, but I felt like the Cincher was crushing my ribs. On my first day wearing it, I was sweating profusely and, at one point, thought I was going to pass out. I ended up wearing it every other day instead, but every time I had to squeeze myself into it, I dreaded the next hour or so that ensued. It got slightly easier as the days went on but remained an uncomfortable experience throughout. It did, however, curb my appetite while I was wearing it. I think my body was too busy focusing on getting air than eating…
Layer it On: While working out, a gym buddy noticed that I looked "skinnier." The Active Band definitely kept things in place under my workout gear, which is a plus but not necessary since I don't really care how I look at the gym. Interestingly, even though it's thinner, a sharp eye could spot the Cincher under my everyday clothes. You could see the rows of clasps under my lightweight outfits (think: satin blouses, cotton tees), and my pants would bulge a bit around my hips when I sat down. Perhaps it's because I have a short torso, but the Cincher would uncomfortably push up my bra as well.
Size Up: Waist trainers are designed to trim a few inches off your waist, so they run small. Warning: It's slightly demoralizing when you have to squeeze yourself into one—closing every clasp was like slowly hiding away another centimeter of compressed fat and skin from the world. It's also time consuming, taking a few extra minutes to put on and take off. It is, however, definitely worth the trouble for special occasions when you want to look right and tight.
Final Thoughts: Waist trainers are like Spanx on steroids. I saw immediate results, especially when it came to how certain clothes looked on me. If you're going to try one out, I suggest starting with a trainer made for active purposes. It will have more flexibility and will enhance your workout form while shaping your body. Will I continue wearing waist trainers? Perhaps only to the gym. But just like Jessica Alba told Net-A-Porter magazine about her own corset experience: "It's not for everyone."