Waist training requires dedication and devotion, it is not something that will just happen by occasionally wearing a corset and it will take time, it will also need maintenance.
Just like training for a fun run or learning new skills, you will need to work hard to get to your goal and once you get there you will still need to do some work to stay there. Once you have done your fun run or learnt your new skill, if you stop training or learning, you will start to get unfit or start loosing your new skills. Suddenly 6 months later with no maintenance you go for a fun run and run out of breath half way through, the same thing would happen with your waist training, without occasionally keeping up your waist training your body will slowly revert to it's former state.
I don't want to deter you, I just want to make it clear that you will have to work at waist training. I often get asked if a corset will permanently reduce your waist by however many inches, the corset is an inanimate object, it won't do anything unless you use it to do what you want it to do. The key factor here is YOU!
But if your up for the challenge, then lets go through it:
Waist training is not complicated, it just takes time and patience and you can do it at your own pace. There are no hard and fast rules, there is just a simple ratio, the more you wear a corset that pulls in your waist the more effect it will have.
Most people who waist train are obsessed with corsets, they love wearing corsets and can't leave the house without one. On the other hand, most people who are are obsessed with corsets end up with a trained waist even though that was never their intention.
Full blown waist trainers will wear their corsets all day every day, some take it further and wear their corsets to bed, only taking it off to bathe. Others just wear their corsets when they are up and about but take them off when at home on the sofa. You can choose how you want to do it and you can tailor your system to different days.
Bear in mind that the length of time you wear your corset makes more difference than how much you pull your waist in, it is better to be comfortable and wear your corset for long periods than pull it in too much and have to take it off a few hours later.
If you are a beginner, I wouldn't recommend going for more than a 4” reduction. It will take a while to get used to it and over time you will work out whether you can go for a greater reduction.
Have patience with your training, don't pull in the corset to the point that it makes you uncomfortable, it will just discourage you. A corset should make you feel good! What a lot of people don't realise is that corsets and your body take a while to settle in when you first put them on. If you give your corset and body about 30 minutes of wearing at a comfortable reduction, you should be able to pull in the extra inch or so without discomfort. The fibres in the fabric relax when they warm up a bit, your body also adjusts to accommodate the corset, the 30 minutes is a generalisation, some people can pull in the extra after 10 minutes others may have to wait an hour, again we are all different and our corsets are all different.
Another thing to bear in mind is that a new corset will be like new shoes, you will have to bed it in. If you bought a new pair of shoes, you would probably put them straight on but hopefully you wouldn't start running a marathon because you are bound to get some blisters. Just like your feet need to toughen up where the shoes rub and the shoes need to soften where they will flex, your torso will have to do some toughening and the corset will have to do some softening.
So in conclusion, have patience and don't rush the training by over doing the reduction or not bedding in your corset. You will get there in the end!
A few extra notes:
For your main Daily wear corset I would recommend going for a heavy cotton, it breathes well and will last longer than most other fabrics.
Once you have reached your goal waist size, you will still need to wear a corset on occasion to maintain your new shape. How often you need to wear it will vary from person to person and you will have to work out your own rhythm. The simplest way I can think of doing it would be with your trusty tape measure and a notebook, keep track of how often you wear your corset and check up on your waist measurement, if it starts to revert, wear your corset more! By this point though, you will probably be obsessed with wearing corsets so it won't be an issue.
Having several corsets can also be beneficial, not just to feed your corset addiction! You can have different corsets for different occasions, a nice short comfy one for doing the chores, medium length ones for giving your back some support at the office and some longer or more decorative ones for showing off to the world. It is probably a good idea to have at least two, this will allow you to swap between them and air one out or clean it whilst the other is in service.