I Spent a Week in Corsets Like Kim Kardashian West—Here's How It Really Felt

It's been an incredibly long time since the corset could claim it had a proper hold on fashion. More than a trend, being trussed-up was a way of life well up until the turn of last century, where Edwardian ladies were the first generation to be emancipated from the restrictive daily pursuit of such extreme lacing-up. Womankind hasn't looked back since.

Coco Chanel liberated the female wardrobe even further with her natty pantsuits; leggings are the modern friend of many; and we don't know where we'd be without forgiving fit-and-flare midi dresses, so why is the corset—and the teeny tiny waist that comes with it—such a focal point for the coming autumn/winter season? And could it really ever be as omnipresent or "normal" again?



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A brief look at Kim Kardashian West's 2016 wardrobe thus far and the answer is krystal klear: Corsets, in one form or another, act as the very foundation to her many looks. Rather than boning and structure being used traditionally as underpinnings, her silhouette-engineering items are a very visible part of each ensemble. Kim's employing them on a regular basis to cinch the waist of every outfit imaginable—from jumbo sweatshirts worn as dresses to the rather radical accompaniment to her other new craze, cycling shorts.



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We know KKW is no stranger to the aesthetic-over-comfort concept (she single-handedly brought the waist-trainer into mass-market consciousness and powered through both her pregnancies in strappy Perspex heels), but she's also no fool when it comes to jumping on a high-fashion moment. Both corsets and bandeaus are key accoutrements on the A/W 16 fashion menu: Prada, Victoria Beckham and Loewe are just a few of the big names backing them. But can a real girl, with a real commute, a regular job and a really-anything-but-honed body get on board? There was only one way to try: I wore two different corsets throughout a week and this is what happened. Apologies in advance if anything sounds like it's been pulled out of a Jackie Collins novel…