Throughout history, women (and men) have gone to great lengths to constrict their mid-sections, striving for smaller waists since the times of Ancient Greece. For women, corsetry became an everyday obsession beginning in 15th century France and flourishing in the courts of England in the Victorian era. Fortunately, we’ve moved on from the days of using whalebone rods to squeeze in our stomachs....

Like many modern conveniences, we’re lucky to have an easy, comfortable solution to an age-old dilemma. Today, we have corset alternatives in the form of shapewear that are not constricting in the least. Rather, it is comfortable and breathable, allowing you to look amazing while living your life unencumbered by a tight waist shrinker. Discover some of our favorite shapewear pieces below!

Goodbye Corset, Hello Cami

The Victorians would have fainted a lot less if they’d known about our shapewear! To sculpt an hourglass shape without the squeeze, try a tank or cami that provides full torso smoothing. The benefit of wearing a cami as a waist trainer alternative is that it is more than a foundation piece – it is a top in its own right. A go-to option for layering is our Lena Nylon Seamless Shaping Tank, which has a knit-in shaping panel for the tummy, Level 4 firm compression, and no side seams for an invisible, held-in yet comfortable feel.

Waist Shapers, Not Trainers: Our Favorite Waist Trainer Alternatives

You may have heard of the concept of waist training, which basically involves wearing a corset to supplement your exercise routine by “training” your tummy. That’s not Yummie (or comfortable!). Our shapewear isn’t designed to exercise your body; it’s a gentle compression to hold you in without stifling you.

You should feel smooth and free in our alternatives to waist trainers. If you don’t know where to begin when choosing shapewear, try a simple pair of shaping shorts. These are an absolute dream as a base for summer dresses and one of our warm-weather must-haves. With mid-level compression, our Cotton Seamless Shaping Short is an everyday staple that is also a comfortable and effective waist trainer alternative.

Be Gone, Girdle

By the 1950s, women moved away from corsets to another hot and uncomfortable device to cinch their waists. Often made of plastic or rubber, the girdle was worn by American women to present a constricted, yet idealized idea of the female form at the time. Thank goodness the girdle has gone the way of the corset!

Today, you can harness tummy taming power from something as simple as a bodysuit, without the uncomfortable downsides of old-school waist shrinkers. As we move into summer, a bodysuit is an essential wardrobe staple. Providing full torso coverage, a bodysuit serves as a lightweight top with many looks. For outdoor parties, a bright satin skirt and white bodysuit is a winning combination. Try our Ruby Cotton Shaping Thong Back Bodysuit and enjoy dancing the night away!

Thankfully, shapewear isn’t nearly the same as corsets or girdles. Shapewear is about giving you the peace of mind to feel great in your own skin. You don’t need to be constricted to look amazing; there are many gentle options that will smooth the lumps and bumps while still keeping you comfy.