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We Tried It: The Corset Craze

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What it is: A crazy-tight (is there any other kind?) rubber corset, used to slim one’s midsection
Who tried it: Zoë Ruderman, Senior Style Editor
Why she did it: Because Jessica Alba recently revealed that wearing a corset “day and night for three months” post-pregnancy was how she lost her baby weight. And while I didn’t just give birth, I have a pretty firm policy that I’ll try most everything Alba recommends.
How crazy is it on a scale from one to Kim Kardashian’s blood facial? If I’d worn it as much as she had, a 7, but I did the “lite” version, so a 4.

After reading Alba’s confession, I ordered the Almighty Cincher by AMIA (available for $54 on The actress actually wore two girdles at once, but I figured I could build up to that. It sat on my desk at work for a week (quite the conversation starter!) then in my apartment for a few days.

I finally busted it out when my boyfriend left for a business trip. When the cat’s away, the mouse will … do unflattering (but highly effective) mud masks, watch bad TV and wear a corset.

I figured I’d just throw it on like Spanx, but it took me a good five minutes to get into my corset. It fastens with tons of tiny hook-and-eye closures and this thing is tight. Like, no-kind-of-shapewear-you’ve-ever-tried tight. I’d liken it to when you’re getting your blood pressure read and the nurse pumps it to the highest level just before releasing the pressure.

As soon as the last hook was in the last eye, the first thing I noticed was my posture. It forces you to stand up and sit really straight and it engages your abs while doing so.

Alba had commented that, “It was sweaty, but worth it” and when I first had the corset on, I smugly thought to myself, Alba must just be a bigger sweater than me because I’m totally dry under here. Not the case. You don’t realize how much you’re perspiring while wearing the girdle (is that the sexiest sentence ever written? I think so), but as soon as you unhook it, you’ll see. And really, you want to be sweating. That’s the idea: “[It] stimulates thermal activity and perspiration, mobilizing fat and toxins,” according to the description on

I wore it for a few hours that first day, then on and off for nearly a week and I’ll definitely break it out again, though I can’t imagine ever sleeping in it.

The Verdict: I plan to use the AMIA corset as shapewear under dresses since it holds everything in way better than anything already in my arsenal. And I’d absolutely recommend it for anyone trying to improve her posture. As far as using it for weight loss, it’s gotta take a lot of commitment to see results (my jeans fit the same way they did at the beginning of the week), but if you’re as committed as Jessica Alba, I bet you’d notice a difference.