Waist training or tightlacing as it's sometimes known isn't complicated, but it will take dedication, time and patience and most importantly you must do it at your own pace. There are no hard and fast rules, just one simple thing to remember, the more you wear a corset that pulls in your waist the more effect it will have, you just need to work out what will work for you.
Dedicated waist trainers will wear their corsets all day every day, some take it further and wear their corsets to bed, only removing it to bathe. Others will wear their corsets during the day but then take it off for a couple of hours in the evenings to relax on the sofa. You can choose your own system and tailor it to different days to suit your needs.
Do bear in mind that the length of time you wear your corset makes more difference than how much you pull your waist in. It is more effective to be comfortable and wear your corsets for longer periods of time than to pull it in too much and have to take it off a few hours later.
If you are a beginner, I wouldn't recommend going for more than a 4” reduction. It will take a while to get used to it and over time you will work out whether you can go for a greater reduction.
Have patience with your training. Don't pull in the corset so far that it is uncomfortable; you will just get discouraged and give up. A corset should feel like a warm, friendly hug, putting it on should make you feel good! What a lot of people don't realise is that both the corset and your body will take a while to settle in when you first put it on. If you give yourself around half an hour of wearing your corset at a comfortable reduction, you should then be able to pull in the extra quarter or half inch or so without discomfort. The fibres in the corset fabric relax when they warm up a bit and your body also adjusts to accommodate the corset.
Another thing to bear in mind is that a new corset will be like a new pair of leather shoes - you will have to break it in. How often do we get blisters from wearing new shoes for too long? But break them in slowly and they get more and more comfortable. Our feet toughen up where the shoes first rubbed and the shoes soften where they need to flex. Likewise, your body will get used to the points where the corset tightens and the corset will mould to your shape.
To break the corset in you should wear it for just 2 hours or so without lacing it very tightly (just 1 ½ - 2”) for the first few times you wear it, this can then be built up gradually over the week to 4 hours or so. After this you should gradually extend the amount of time your wear the corset, up to 6 – 8 hours before you start to lace the corset any tighter. When ready, you can lace the corset tighter, not too much, but again for the first few wears at this tighter reduction, drop back the number of hours you wear it, building back up again to fit into your own system.
Have patience and don't rush the training by over doing the reduction or not bedding in your corset. Men who wear corsets should bear in mind that it is even MORE important that they tightlace GRADUALLY. Remember: Women's bodies, because they are designed for childbearing, adapt themselves to the movement and repositioning of organs far more readily than men's.
You may find that wearing the corset over a cotton t-shirt, vest or specialist corset liner will reduce the number of times that it needs to be cleaned (it's easier to clean these items regularly than your corset). You should apply moisturizing oils or lotions to your skin at every possible opportunity especially if you have a tendency to perspire excessively.
Once you have reached the point were you can wear your corset comfortably fully closed, if you wish to go further the next progression should be to buy a corset a further four inches smaller. There is no set time as to how long it will take to acheive this level of reduction, everyone is different, it may take two months or six, depending on the trainee. The older corset may then be used for sleeping in if you so wish.
You will also need to be conscious of what you are eating. Being tightly laced means that you can’t eat heavy meals, spicy foods or carbonated beverages. Be sure to drink plenty of water. The tendency to feel full sooner after eating while wearing a corset can be helpful in supporting weight loss goals.
Once you have reached your ideal goal, you will still need to wear a corset on occasion to maintain your new shape. How often you need to wear it will vary from person to person and you will have to work out your own rhythm. The simplest way I can think of doing it would be with your trusty tape measure and a notebook. Keep track of how often you wear your corset and check up on your waist measurement; if it starts to revert, wear your corset more!