Corsets: The Newest Fashion Craze

Women - and men - use an old tool to make slimming down a cinch; Deborah Roberts tries it on.
3:00 | 10/13/12

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Transcript for Corsets: The Newest Fashion Craze
Here's a question, is the size of your waist weighing on you? Want a want to slim down without diets, surgery or even exercise? You might not be able to breathe, but that's a separate story. Here's deborah roberts who gave her rib cage to the cause. Reporter: In the blink of an eye, bodies transform from ordinary to fabulous. It's a trend taking women by storm on the red carpet and off. The agony, the ecstasy of squeezing your body into that glamorous hourglass shape, at it's most extreme, it's called "waist training." Just hold on and suck in. Reporter: In the days of "gone with the wind" it took an extra pair of hands. Now with youtube, you can learn how to do it yourself. Corsets are making a comeback -- in large part because women are going mad for "mad men." Ann grogan has been wearing and selling corsets for more than 20 years. She calls herself a corset coach. These are things that were once coed torture devices. Why would women today want to wear corsets? They call attention to the curviness of the lady's body and perhaps for the physical challenge of seeing how far they can go and how much they can test their own physical strength. Take a deep breath. Reporter: In utah, amanda meyers is a new mom with a passion for corsets. She wears her for up to ten hours a day. A true corset is going to alter your body over time. It's gonna give you a more dramatic effect, more perfect hourglass than liposuction ever could. Reporter: Training her waist into that exotic shape takes the discipline of an athlete. Wrestling her son as she ties it up, eating, exercising in her corset. There are a lot of rumors that you'll faint or you won't be able to breathe. I've never fainted. I've jogged in a corset. I've never had any problems with that. Reporter: She even sleeps in it. Determined to squeeze herself down to a svelte seventeen inches. Where I want to be is there. Reporter: Just a little wider than her neck. But while inching her way towards a smaller waistline, amanda made a surprising discovery. It helped me get rid of all of my baby weight, all that extra pudge down around the belly button area. Reporter: No surprise to ann grogan -- gastric banding is quite a similar process to corseting. Both seriously restrict the abdomen and the ability to eat large portions. Oh. Just pull this a little bit down on the body. Oh. My goodness! Reporter: It's easy to get excited given over the last 60 years, women's waistlines have grown by six inches, which may explain the multi-billion dollar boom in the shapewear industry. Maybe that's how lady gaga recently went from this to getting re-born this way within a matter of days. They were once feared to damage organs. They certainly caused many women to faint. Keira knightley's character nearly did in "pirates of the caribbean." I'm told it's the latest fashion in london. Women in london must have learned not to breathe. Reporter: Today doctors worry that they can be harmful if worn for a couple hours at a time. It deforms your liver and also your lungs. If you can't take a deep breath because you're squish iing in your lungs and your ribs by 30 to 60%, that's causing harm to your lungs. Reporter: And she cautions that waist training shouldn't be practiced by the very young. Don't tell that to hannah. She's been lacing up since 15 when in a corset she stakes on another personality. So many people think of this as something from the 17th century. Why would you even be interested in a corset today? I just love the drama. You saw the women with the poof if I dresses and tiny wastes. It was so extreme. Make me so happy. You've been tortured wearing this? Not if I'm doing it to myself. I don't think it's for everybody. It feels relaxing. As for me, I'm simply trying to get used to mine and so is my family. I have to say I have a pretty strong ab. That's okay. It doesn't hurt me. Oh, okay. Ann gave me strict rules to follow. The first thing will be limitation in your breathing. 30 times before you swallow. A lot of chewing. Awkward getting in and out of cars because your torso is a little more rigid. You will surely develop heartburn and an uncomfortable feeling in your midriff. I got a tingling sensation down my leg but with those tiny meals, hey, my waist was down a bit. 27 1/2. Is that possible? Wow! I'm wearing that baby. And if you think it's just women happily lacing up, think again. I say 10% of my clientele is what I call manly men. Two lawyers, in fact, have purchased corsets from me and wear them in their trial work. It seems they're not for the straight-laced anymore. When you see an impossibly svelte silhouette, just think someone may beslinking around with a victorian secret under wraps.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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