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Could a corset help you drop a dress size? This gran, mum and daughter say it's a fantastic figure fixer ...

By Stephanie Bell

Think corsets are confined to period dramas? Well not any more. The waist-sculpting garment has had a modern makeover and now a Belfast grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter can't wait to get into their festive party frocks.

If you are wishing you had made more of an effort to lose a few pounds to fit into your Christmas party frock don't despair, as one local family has discovered a secret weapon which allows you to drop a dress size instantly. Looking incredibly glamorous in their sparkly festive dresses for this exclusive photo shoot, three generations of the same family demonstrate how an age -old garment which has recently enjoyed a revival - the corset - can instantly shrink your figure.

Belfast grandmother Pat Seawright (76), her daughter Alison Taylor (53) and granddaughter Stephanie McVeigh (26) shaved inches from their waists and tummies to look and feel sensational in their figure-hugging party dresses.

The women were amazed by the transformation before and after donning their new Cinch Corsets. Cinch Corsets was launched by Holywood women Angela Hunter and Nicola McIlhagger who saw a gap in the market for comfortable shape wear and designed and launched their own product in June 2015, which has since taken the fashion market by storm.

Not only do they make an instant impact by creating curves and a flat tummy but the corsets are designed as a slimming aid with a unique latex material which, over time, helps to attack unwanted body fat and impurities within the body.

Pat, her daughter and granddaughter are thrilled to have found a simple solution to feeling fantastic in time for the festive season.

Pat, who is married to Ronnie (76) and also has a son David (51), says she has been a lifelong fan of the girdle and can't believe the difference the corset has made since she treated herself to one just a couple of months ago.

Pat says she was thrilled to fit into daughter Alison's little black party dress for our photo shoot.

She had her eye on the dress for some time but wouldn't have had the confidence to wear until she got her corset.

"My mother always told me to wear a girdle to make sure I look well in my clothes, and I do to this day," she says.

"Alison bought a Cinch Corset about a year ago and I was amazed at the difference it made to her and I thought I would treat myself to one this year, too.

"It really works," she says. "I started to wear it round the house thinking I would need to get used to it because I thought it would be restrictive - but it isn't, it is very comfortable.

"I always loved Alison's black dress and I didn't think I would get into it, but I felt great in it for the photo shoot."

Pat describes her own style as smart-casual, but likes to dress up for special occasions. She's now looking forward to wearing a party dress at a number of Christmas events she has coming up this year.

Like most women she has had confidence issues with her body over the years and, while she isn't a follower of fashion anymore, she still likes to look her best.

Pat says: "I was never into designer fashion and also when you get older you tend not to buy as many clothes and just wear what is in your wardrobe. But this year because of the corset I think I will treat myself to something new for Christmas.

"My big issue is my arms," she points out. "When a woman is asked what part of their body they least like for me it has always been my arms. I have always felt that I have big arms and usually buy tops and dresses with sleeves in them.

"When you are younger it is exciting getting dressed up to go out but as you get older you take it more in your stride. This year I have a few events to go to at Christmas and because I feel so good in the corset I'm looking forward to getting dressed up in something new."

Daughter Alison says she wouldn't be without her corset since she bought it over a year ago.

Alison works at home, carrying out the marketing for her husband Harry's shop Ink & Laptop. The mum-of-two - she also has a son Jonathan (25) as well as Stephanie - recently treated herself to the newest style of corset designed to sculpt the upper back and chest.

She says: "I have always been conscious of back fat but this new corset goes on like a waistcoat and I love it. It gives you a fantastic shape."

Alison also prefers casual attire during the day but loves to put on the style for a night out. And her body confidence has soared since she got a corset a year ago: "I have a bit of a tummy and I couldn't believe the difference when I put the corset on.

"It was just brilliant as it pulls you in. At first I thought it wasn't going to be very comfortable but I wear it every day - even sitting at my computer at home. I forget that I have it on.

"I have bought shaping underwear previously which comes up under your bra. But I always needed someone to go to the toilet with me, when I was out, to pull them up again at the back.

"The corset is just amazing. I feel more confident with it on and, as well as flattening my stomach, I think it lifts your bust as well and helps your posture too. Overall you have a better body shape."

Alison has seen her weight yo-yo over the years and she did try running a few years ago to keep trim but, for health reasons, had to give it up. Now a size 16 on top and 14 on bottom she says she would have been too self-conscious to wear a figure-hugging dress - until she started wearing a corset.

She says: "I have a party to go to on Christmas Day and I am looking forward to wearing my nice clingy dress. The corset really has made such a difference to how I feel in clothes."

And Alison's daughter Stephanie is a convert to the corset, too.

Stephanie (26), who is a pre-school manager and lives in Comber, is married to Karl (29), an engineer.

She bought her corset a month ago and now wears it every day.

Even though she is a slim size 10/12 she believes the corset has dramatically changed her body shape. She is now such a fan that she has persuaded her girlfriends that it is a wardrobe essential.

Stephanie says: "I would have been a bit sceptical and even though mum had got her corset a year ago and I could see how good it made her look I still wasn't convinced.

"I'm not skinny but I'm quite fit and I couldn't see how it would make much difference to me.

"I was in my local hair salon recently and all the girls there who are very slim were talking about it and I just thought I had to try it. I bought one and, honestly, can't believe how good I felt the instant I put it on."

She admires her grandmother's style and loves the fact that her mother now asks her advice when choosing something to wear for a special occasion.

The pre-school manager says the two women have been fashion role models for her and, while she loves the latest styles, admitted she lacked the confidence to wear her most fitted clothes.

"My nanny is always very smartly turned out and wouldn't be seen dead walking down the street in a tracksuit," she explains. "And mum loves her jeans, but also loves to dress up too if she's going out.

"I like to get glammed up too but three of my favourite dresses are very figure-hugging and I wouldn't wear them because I would have been too self-conscious. I was worried they would show off any lumps and bumps.

"Now I can't wait to wear them at Christmas and I honestly didn't think I would wear them again.

"Even though I am a size 10 I would have been quite conscious of my waist, hips and tummy, especially if I was feeling a bit bloated.

"I've been wearing my corset every day and I'm running after 21 children - you don't even know you are wearing it.

"It just makes me feel so good," she adds. "I've had a jumper for two years which I've never worn because I felt it was too tight around my hips but I'm wearing it now with the corset and it feels good.

"I go running a couple of times a week but I like to socialise at weekends with friends and have a glass of wine or two and I do like my food.

"I'm thrilled to have discovered the corset and I'm telling all my friends about it - and two of them have recently bought one as well."

  • Cinch Corsets are available from a number of stockists locally and also online at cinchcorsets.co.uk. Prices from £19.99 to £59.99.

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