Waist trainers are meant for long-term body sculpting use while waist cinchers are meant for instantaneous slimming, such as one might desire for special events or going out with friends. An easy way to remember the difference is to say that a waist trainer is used to train your body while a waist cincher helps you look slimmer in a pinch. Ok, so it’s a bit of a stretch but it still helps remember!
A History of Bodyshaping
To help clear things up some more let’s define what a waist trainer is, exactly. Waist training is a form of bodyshaping that dates back thousands of years to our ancient past. Women (and men) would create garments to help shape the outlying figure of their bodies. As one might expect, the majority of these garments were designed to fit about one’s waist. Many ancient cultures are renowned for the severity of their body-modification practices.
Some examples are the American Indian’s skull elongation and the Oriental practice of actually squeezing a child’s head when the skull was still somewhat malleable. These practices are, for the most part, no longer practiced today. The best way to think of them is as examples of how innate the desire to modify the human body is. We’ve been doing it for centuries and our tools have gotten better than ever!
Waist Trainers vs. Waist Cinchers
The difference between waist trainers and waist cinchers is, for the most part, a matter of how one plans on using them. A waist trainer can be a waist cincher as well when used for the purpose of creating an “instant” slimming effect. In other words, you can use your waist trainer to “cinch” your waist as well! Think of it like this: your black leggings can also serve as yoga pants, right? It’s important to note that, just like not all leggings make the best yoga pants, not all waist cinchers make the best waist trainers (and vice-versa!)
What’s a Waist Trainer?
Waist trainers are meant to be used over a long period of time to create subtle changes in one’s appearance. This may include a slimmer waist, more pronounced hips, and even a flatter belly. Just like not all spandex leggings are well-suited for use in one’s Yoga practice, so to can it be said that not all waist cinchers are well suited for use as waist trainers. Waist trainers are meant to be worn for long periods each day, for many days in a row. Most people find that super tight compression ratios become uncomfortable over such a long period of time.
Waist trainers are meant to be worn for long periods each day, for many days in a row
After all, waist trainers are all about training one’s body—not forcing it! Just like one would jog for many days, increasing your distance each day, when training for a marathon one would also slowly increase the compression of a waist trainer over a long period of time to shape one’s body. You wouldn’t sprint to train for a marathon and you shouldn’t “train” your waist by tightening things down as much as you can bear! Waist trainers tend to be made of materials that are designed more for comfort than performance. For example, many waist trainers like the ones from Ann Chery offer natural latex and cotton-lined designs.
What’s a Waist Cincher?
Waist cinchers are meant to be worn when one wants an “instant” slimming effect. These products are often designed more for performance than they are for comfort. Nonetheless, you’ll find many waist cinchers are also lined with cotton and made with comfort in mind. A similar garment is a corset which has historically been considered augmentative of an upper-class Lady’s formalwear. These garments have been used in our past (and still today) to greatly reduce a woman’s waistline when wearing formal attire. Today, corsets are still used for the same purposes but much less so.
Waist cinchers are meant to be worn when one wants an “instant” slimming effect
Waist cinchers are usually smaller and less robust in their design. This is because they are intended to be used for only a few hours at a time on single occasions. There’s nothing to say one couldn’t wear a waist cincher for longer, or for many days in a row; just that these products typically offer higher amounts of compression and can quickly become uncomfortable. In other words, just because you could wear a waist cincher every day doesn’t mean you should. Trust us on this one.
The truth is that waist trainers and waist cinchers are often indistinguishable from one another. Products are often sold as “waist trainer cincher corsets.” Try and define that one! We recommend focusing on how you plan on using your waist trainer/waist cincher and look for the features that you feel will help support your goal. If you’re planning on training your waist over a period of months then shop for a waist trainer that is going to be comfortable, durable, and dynamic. If you just want something to help slim down a bit for girls-night-out go for something that’s a bit cheaper. Just remember, you get what you pay for!