The Corset Diet


Jessica Alba caused a furor when she admitted to wearing a corset to regain her figure after giving birth.

Jesscia Alba caused a furor when she admitted to wearing a corset to regain her figure after giving birth.

Have you heard about The Corset Diet?  It is very controversial – and not a diet in the traditional sense of an eating plan. A website that sells the diet explains it this way: “It (the diet) involves wearing a corset. Not a tight-laced waist-squeezing breath-catching corset. We can supply a special fitted corset aiming to reduce your waist immediately by 2 inches. ” The ladies behind this version of the corset diet go on to explain: “The pleasant hugging sensation rewards the wearer not only with an improved figure but also posture. However, that is not where the corset diet really benefits the wearer. A smaller waist instantly may be enough for many, but reduction of the waist in turn leads to the reduction of the internal volume of the stomach. This is turn can lead to lost (sic) of weight.” 

Recently, actress Jessica Alba told a reporter that she wore a double corset, day and night, for three months to regain her figure after her last pregnancy.  While many female journalists are outraged by the idea, Alba’s only complaint about was that it was “sweaty”. 

While some doctors have rushed forward to say the diet is dangerous or that it makes no sense, others disagree. In numerous interviews, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Alexander Sinclair, M.D. talks about using the corset method with patients to safely reduce their waist sizes without surgery. 

And if you think the method is crazy and only for movie stars, think again.  Women’s magazines that shriek about the politically-incorrect sounding “corset diet” have reported very calmly about the popular postpartum belly-band. The belly-band is a waist-shaping, postpartum double corset. Brooke Burke, Kim Kardashian and other A-list moms all used it.  Dr. Jay Goldberg, a Beverly Hills obstetrician, approved the corset like-bands on Good Morning America, saying, “They’ve been used for hundreds of years, possibly longer.” I personally know very healthy active women who used belly bands after giving birth. They claimed it was more comfortable for the first few months. 

downloadIn Victorian Secrets, Sarah A. Chrisman, an author, professional exhibit director, and Victorian clothes collector chronicles her transformation from a plus-sized student to a wasp-waisted “Victorian lady”. Both Sarah and her husband love the Victorian era and collect antique clothing. Yet, Sarah was surprised when her husband gave her a corset for her birthday one year. Her book describes how the corset changed her life. Slowly she lost weight as her appetite shark, her posture improved, and according to Sarah her migraines disappeared.  

Sarah explains that stories about women breaking ribs or having them removed surgically to wear corsets are not true. Sarah also explains that old books and letters talk about “broken bones” from too tight corsets they are referring to the whale bones in corsets that could snap if a woman repeatedly laced her corset too tight.

 Sarah’s physical transformation is impressive and she certainly looks fitter in her after-photos than in her before-photos. Sarah wears a corset to work, play, and sleep. She even rides her bicycle and clean house laced into one. The book will fascinate lovers of the Victorian era as well as fashion historians, though Sarah’s dedication to “tight-lacing” may be off-putting to some. In the book she describes many encounters with people who object to corsets.  I was shocked that so many strangers would feel so free to comment on a grown woman’s clothing choice and harangue her. 

The secret to this famous dress is a corset


I have worn corsets over the years built into ball gowns, bustiers, and cocktail dresses. The corset acts as foundation to hold the dress up. If it is done right, it is not uncomfortable and the dress looks fabulous.  Many red carpet gowns are made that way. Sometimes a full corset is cleverly concealed in a gown so only the wearer is aware of it.   Dolce and Gabbana’s “corset dresses” and Vicky Tiel’s “Pretty Woman Siren Gown use the sexy shape to advantage.  These clothes are expensive and designed to fit well and without discomfort. 

I can’t endorse the “corset diet”. I am not a doctor. I will point out there is a degree of conflicting opinion on the subject. And I am not overly worried about large numbers of women adopting a diet that requires restrictive clothing in world where many seem to find anything but sweat suits and flip-flops too confining. 

But with any health matter, be sensible and always rely on trained and licensed professionals for medical advice.


Fashion tips from the Golden Globes!

Sexy strapless gowns like this can look fabulous if the fit is flawless. Dress from www.uniquevintage.comWatching the latest red carpet parade of Hollywood stars dressed to impress at the Golden Globes, it becomes clear that there are a few simple rules to looking fabulous at a formal affair. Break them and you risk looking less than stunning, even if you are a natural beauty.
Here are some of our fabulous favourites from this year's Golden Globes that illustrate the rules:
Zooey Deschanel was standout in a bright, red strapless Oscar de la Renta ball gown. The dress had clean classic lines. Deschanel’s wore her brunette hair in a smooth updo that brought the focus to pretty face. The look was perfection with no extraneous details to distract from Deschanel’s own vibrant beauty.
Red-head Amy Adams opted for old-style Hollywood glamour in a beaded mermaid gown with a tulle flounce form Marchesa. The pale pink, strapless gown showed-off her opalescent complexion. Her famous red mane was contained in classic chignon.
Kate Hudson always looks beautiful, but was never more chic than in her slim black Alexander McQueen gown. The dress had long sleeves and plunging neckline. Its stark black was set off by an ornate embroidered gold collar and a stunning black belt with matching gold ornaments that accented Kate’s slim waist. She wore her long honey blonde hair parted simply down the middle. The look was stunning.
Jessica Alba also wore Oscar De la Renta . The slim peach-coloured mermaid dress complimented her slim figure and long honey blond hair. The stunning diamond necklace she wore echoed the V of the dress’s neckline. Her burnt orange harmonized with her peach dress. The look was glamorous and very old Hollywood, right down to her Veronica Lake side-part waves.
And here are a few beauties whose style sense fell short:
Eva Longoria is a stunning woman, but her belted, lace dress with waist-high slits was a mess. It has been compared to Angelina Jolie’s news-making, leg-baring Oscar dress of 2012. But Eva got it wrong! A dramatic dress like Angelina’s needs no distractions.
Jessica Chastain is a very pretty actress with a slim figure. So it was shocking how poorly her Calvin Klein gown fit her. The pale blue colour was pretty with her red-hair and blue eyes, but lacked punch for big night gala. The fabric also looked rumpled. The halter top made her breasts look saggy and the extra fabric around her hips, designed to look like a trendy peplum, added pounds to her slim figure. Luckily everyone knows she is stunner underneath this disaster of a dress. At least Jessica’s hair and makeup was impeccable; from the neck up she looked fabulous.
Sienna Miller is a sexy blonde known for edgy roles and fashion savvy. So why she wore a so-called "mod” gown by London designer Erdem is a mystery.It reminded me of a grandmother-of-the-bride’s dress. Supporting her countrymen maybe a noble idea, but appearing in this matronly gown that looks like she could have borrowed it from the Queen’s closet was a mistake! Also, her hair was pulled back as if she was prepared to give her closet a good cleaning. The slicked-back do was not “mod “or flattering. Sienna is gorgeous, but this dress and hair style hid her assets.
The fabulous formula:
Choose simple styles that flatter your figure. Avoid dresses that are too big or too small. A petite woman can’t handle huge skirts, patterns, or details. A tall woman looks foolish and gawky in an overly dainty or fussy dress. The camera loves bright colours and spangles. Avoid fabrics that wilt or are fussy, such as a delicate chiffon or prints. Also avoid bulky and stiff fabrics; they always photograph fat and matronly.
Simple is chic. A dress with lace, a belt, and a huge slit is distracting and looks like a mess. A long leg-revealing slit like the one on the black dress Angelina Jolie wore to the 2012 Oscars, is effective, if you have the legs for it.
Flattering colours help you shine. Know your best shades; they are the ones that make strangers say, you look fabulous in that! Friends and family can be too kind!
Co-coordinating accessories can make or break your look. Shoes and bags should match your dress exactly or be metallic. Keep formal bags small and delicate. Think of them as jewels. The shinier the dress, the fewer the jewels you need. With a beaded dress you need only earrings and a ring or two. With silks, satins, and velvets, bring on the bling.
The fit of a strapless or any bare evening dress is vital. The top must support your breasts, show off your waist, and glide over your hips. The top should stay in place without tugging. To obtain this type of flawless fit your dress, may need to be altered by an expert dressmaker. It may need and additional bra, padding or hooks. Without such adjusting, the dress may hang and make your breasts look flat or saggy, or your body look slack or worse. This can happen even if you have a great figure because the dress fits like a sack. Or, you may risk over-exposure.
A deep décolleté may need fashion tape and special bra to keep it in place. Consult a good lingerie store. Lightweight Spanx can also help many dresses hang better as they smooth out the body.
When it comes to looking fabulous, simple is best and the devil is in the details!