By Alyce Collins
THIS CORSET obsessed woman who only started wearing the controversial garment in a bid to improve her posture has now completed her six-year odyssey to shave eight inches off her waistline to compress her frame into a tiny SIXTEEN-INCH corset.
Social media marketing manager Sarah Vaeth (42) from Oregon, USA, who currently wears a corset for 20-hours each day, first tried on her first corset in 2012 in the hopes of correcting her very poor posture, but she had no idea that this would start her fascination with corsets, as she now proudly wears an 18-inch corset every day.
Sarah was developing a hunched neck and shoulders due to having bad posture, so trying on a corset was a way for Sarah to learn to hold herself up better, preventing a permanent hunch at such a young age.
The instant hourglass figure that a corset gave Sarah made her fall in love with the look immediately. Sarah’s first corset was a 24-inch waist one, with Sarah’s actual waist measuring 26-inches.
The slight difference that Sarah’s first corset created encouraged her to delve deeper with the hobby and want to see how much further difference she could make with even smaller corsets.
Sarah now wears a corset for 20 hours every day, and she only waited days after giving birth to her daughter before getting back into her favourite hobby.
“I felt instantly sexy because that little bit of difference, just a couple of inches off the waist at first, looking astounding to me,” said Sarah.
“After a few minutes I just felt awkward and uncomfortable because it takes a long time to break in a new corset. At first, I could only wear it for an hour at a time.
“A new waist training corset starts out absolutely rigid and then gradually the steel boning starts to curve and conform to the body, and the body also begins to conform to the corset.
“As an adult, I’ve always liked my body because it was strong, but I didn’t feel that my body was very feminine.
“I’m quite interested in tightlacing as a body art, with my own tightlacing becoming a kind of ongoing art project.
“I currently spend most of my time in a corset with an 18-inch waist, but I’ve recently started wearing a 16-inch corset for short periods of time.
“I own 14 corsets in total, some are just off the rack standardised corsets, but others are bespoke or semi-custom ones.
“I have a few interesting vintage corsets which I bought as curiosities, although they are wearable.
“The bespoke corsets I’ve bought are between £200-£300, and that’s really at the low end for bespoke corsets. My off the rack corsets are all around £60-£80.
“I tend to wear corsets for anywhere between 16 to 20 hours a day, and I almost always sleep in it. The longest I have gone with wearing a corset constantly is 24 hours though.
“During my ordinary daily routine, I wear a short style corset which allows me greater mobility. I can garden in it, clean the house and hike in it. The only thing I can’t do is run, so I take it off for that.”
Sarah has a four-year-old daughter, Kestrel, and it was only a matter of days following Kestrel’s birth before Sarah braved a corset again.
Given how much her body had changed, and she didn’t wear a corset for her entire pregnancy, Sarah started off with a 24-inch corset just days after bringing her new baby home.
“I bounced back pretty fast, I remember feeling relieved that it wouldn’t be a lot of work to get back into the corset,” said Sarah.
“I ended up only wearing it intermittently during the first year with my baby, sometimes sleeping in it. It was too inconvenient during the day.
“I was spending a lot of time sitting in a rocking chair with my baby, but the corset just got in the way. Once Kestrel was weaned and crawling, it made sense to pick the corset back up again properly.
“I’m really in love with corsets so I don’t anticipate ever given them up for good.”
Sarah loves the way corseting has changed the shape of her body and even how wearing a corset has alleviated the anxiety that she battled for so long.
“I believe that it works very similarly to the kind of compression tools that are used therapeutically for a range of disorders,” added Sarah.
“I think there’s something about the way the corset forced the body into an upright, more proud posture. I think it tricks me into feeling more confident about myself.
“At the level of reduction I’m at, my ribs are compressed. This isn’t something that I even notice very often, but I know that my lung capacity is less than it was in a natural state.
“The body is resilient, if I was to stop wearing a corset, it wouldn’t take long for my body to return to its genetically predetermined state.”
You can see more of Sarah’s corseting by visiting her Instagram page, @smallestwaist.