If you’re active on TikTok, chances are almost every fashion girl on your FYP is rocking some type of corset. Some have splurged on actual vintage pieces, others ordered the cheapest iterations on Amazon—but pretty much all agree that the Maidenform Self Expressions Firm Control Waist Cincher gets the job done. And TBH, after trying it, it’s one of my new faves, too.
I’m a big shapewear gal, and as someone with a natural figure that leans towards hourglass but is nowhere near the over-hyped Instagram model silhouette praised online, anything that gives me that extra cinch is a big win in my book. If Victorian corsets were comfortable, I’d wear one under my basic betch OOTDs every damn day! That said, I don’t think one body type should be celebrated over another, so corsets and waist cinchers should only be used if you want to create the illusion of a snatched waist. Do you, boo!
For months now, I’ve seen TikTok users posting corsets from Victoria’s Secret, Amazon and pretty much everywhere else they can be purchased. Still, it wasn’t until I saw @madelinekayleee post about a Maidenform waist cincher that I actually placed an order. Just $20? Readily available at my local Target? Looks good with everything? There was no way I could pass this thing up.
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Eager to give it a go, I tried out the Maidenform Self Expressions Firm Control Waist Cincher in a size Large as well as Extra-Large and ended up preferring the latter, which kept me snatched but didn’t feel overly restricting. The Large fit, but in a far more pin-up type of way, so I’d only recommend sizing down if you’re really looking for a dramatic shape.
Yes, it’s a little humbling to get on (the hook and eye closures really do their job as you move down the opening) but once it was on, I was shook at how good it looked. Immediately, I threw it on with a black tank underneath. So you could see the difference in shape, I kept my sweatpants on with it, but I was itching to throw this baby on with some ’90s-inspired denim, too.
As you can see, the waist cincher smoothed out my sides and gave my waist a more defined silhouette, but it also helped create the illusion of a longer torso, which is my absolute favorite benefit. As a 5’1 gal with a larger chest, my short torso is my biggest curse, and this totally transformed it without making me feel too restricted. Personally, I like that this isn’t a full corset, as I find pairing a waist cincher with my own tops, bras and bodysuits gives a more casual look.
In the video I first watched about this piece, what intrigued me most was that the original poster had said the cincher could also be worn as a full bustier-style top, if you were brave enough to pull it up over your chest. Given that I’m an E-cup, I was planning to pass on this alternate way to wear, but at the last minute I decided to try it out and I was not disappointed. It looked so good??? And didn’t feel nearly as uncomfortable as I had expected. Two tops in one, y’all!
All in all, if you’re dying to try the trend, it’s clear that the Self Expressions Firm Control Waist Cincher is the move. Wear it under your clothes, over your tanks, as a bustier top—however you like! If some of the corsets you’ve been seeing seem too costume-y for real-life wear, consider this cincher the perfect everyday pick.
A version of this story was published March 9, 2021.