I watch a lot of the RuPaul’s Drag Race. One of the subjects that comes up a lot is proportion when getting dressed up. Traditionally the Queens use things like padding and corsets to create their silhouettes (although some of the newer generation of competitors tends to eschew these devices).

All of this has made me curious about shapewear. I have never had an hourglass figure but as I get older I look more like an egg with skinny bird legs, I bought a girdle at Dollarama but it didn’t make a noticeable difference in how clothes fit. So I sent away for a waist trainer. I have two takeaways from this experiment.

The first note is that this is not a girdle.I was hoping that I’d be able to squeeze into a few garments that are a little too tight around the waist. The trainer does note take inches off your waistline, it just moves them around. It’s also not uncomfortable like I thought it would be.

The second thing I realized is that the goal is not to look smaller, just smoother. Above are some photos of me modelling various too tight things with the trainer.

The sweater pictured far left is knit and vintage. Vintage from the age when women wire girdles whether they needed them or not. A lot of clothing from this era is cut for a cinched waist. The trainer makes it fit better.

The pants in the middle photo only barely button up. Because they are pleated, this creates a strange puffing out around the pockets. Even with the clincher I can barely button them up but at least the pleats lie flat.

And finally, the far right photo is a skirt that doesn’t quite close. Still doesn’t. But it doesn’t ride up like it used to when I wear it without the trainer.

I’m still hoping that I can further pare down my apple shape through diet and exercise. I can also investigate having these garments let out.

Speaking of squeezing, I also got some compression socks to help support my ankles. Have not test driven them because I haven’t really left the house today because I was busy trying out outfits with the trainer and stirring the pot with unsolicited advice.