If a genie appeared out of thin air and said, ”At the snap of my fingers I can change any one thing about your body, what will it be?” I wouldn’t have to think long and hard about what I request: a 22-inch waist. My waist is 25 (when I’m being diligent)-26 inches. I’m aware that my measurements are relatively small but the allure of a tiny waist has always been irresistible to me.
I realized that many of my beauty icons shared this same enviable feature. Audrey Hepburn, an eternal favorite of mine, had a 20-inch waist. My go-to look is a blouse tucked into a high-waisted skirt or high-waisted cropped pant. I also love dresses with a cinched waist for their classic, timeless glamour. I have a soft tape measurer that I measure my waist with frequently, almost as often as I step on the scale.
I’m not alone in my obsession with having a small waist. Check the Instagram hashtag ‘#waisttrainer’ and ‘#whatwaist’ to see thousands of women peddling spandex corset contraptions, all promising the illusion of a non-existent midsection with purchase. I did invest in a beautiful corset while on a quick trip to San Francisco and I was pleased with the results. The well-crafted corset aside, it’s not practical to wear a corset for the modern woman. I take the subway, run to meetings and eat real food — I can’t afford to be laced into a Victorian girdle.
There are however incredibly effective ways to cinch your waist, 6 pro tips below:
1) Spanx: far more comfortable and effortless than corsets. Other brands like Yummie work well too. Always get the smallest size they make so that you really feel pulled in and if you want to go the extra-mile double up on Spanx (apparently Beyonce does this).
2) Pilates really does wonders to train your waist and core muscles. Any twisting abdominal moves work to whittle down your midsection. See my older blog post on ballet training for your body if you’re interested in specific workouts.
3) Eat Well. Exersize can help get you there but a clean diet will really push you towards your goal. Start the morning with a smoothie full of fiber and energizing greens. Apparently Dita Von Teese swears by a morning smoothie for her figure. I don’t have Dita’s recipe but I combine: 1 cup of coconut water, a handful of kale, a few basil leaves, ginger, lemon, chia seeds and frozen berries in my magic bullet (any blender will work) for breakfast each morning.
4) You can also create the illusion with clothing: high-waisted pants in a dark color with a body-hugging light colored top create the effect of a smaller waist. You’ll see this trick used in some of the images in the gallery above.
5) Accessories will work too. Stylists often use an eye-catching belt, like silver metallic chains or a suede belt in a primary color, to cinch the waist. Always fasten your belt around the smallest part of your waist. I love this styling trick with an oversized white blouse.
6) Emphasize the rest, body shape is all about proportion. The Coca-Cola silhouette or hourglass shape is just as much about the hips and bust as it is about the waist because it’s all about proportion rather than actual size. The larger your chest and hips appear, the smaller your waist looks in comparison. Beyonce and Kim Kardashian both use this trick to create exaggerated feminine frames. You don’t have to go as far as they do but a well-padded bra and a few extra squats will certainly help.
Whether you want to create the illusion of a small waist with retro-silohuettes, shaping undergarments and clever belting or get there through fitness and careful eating — the choice is yours. At the end of the day, we’re a lot more than our body measurements so as long as you look as good as you feel, that’s glamorous to me.