The Best Ways to Style a Corset for Every Outfit

The corset (and clothing influenced by it) are among the many fashion fads that have come and gone over the years. Wearers throughout history have preferred this waist-cincher for its ability to shape an hourglass, whether donning vintage costumes or styling a corset-style top for a casual look. Find out more about corset-wearing techniques.

What Is a Corset?

A corset is a form of shapewear traditionally worn around the torso to create or reinforce an hourglass figure. Period clothing often includes a white corset costume, which consists of two fabric panels that clasp in the front and lace up the back to allow the wearer to cinch the waist as tightly as they like.

The Four Best Corset Styles

Here are some corset outfit ideas for those who like the classic style and prefer the updated version of this shapewear.

As a crop top

Many women wear shirts that look like modern corsets as crop tops because they hit just above or below the belly button. For a night out on the town, try a short corset with a mini skirt, or dress up a pair of menswear-inspired slacks with a blouse and heels. Wear a strapless white corset top with skinny high-rise jeans, and layer a cardigan to stay warm. Modify the outfit’s formality by trying on a variety of color and pattern combinations. Dress up for a date night in a lace corset crop top and midi skirt, or dress down for the day in a simple white or black corset top and wide-leg pants or culottes.

As vintage shapewear

If you normally wear a bra, you may find that your need for one is reduced or eliminated when you wear a shapewear corset. A corset is a must if you’re going for a look that’s more true to the era, such as a Victorian or ’50s ‘do. Wear a shapewear corset under a bias-cut or bodycon dress for a modern take on the look. For a smooth appearance under your dress, choose a white corset dress made of cotton, silk, or satin.

Over a shirt

Nothing is timeless than a leather corset (or corset top) worn over an oversized white button-down shirt. Pair with leather pants and heels for an edgy look, or wear as a minidress with over-the-knee boots. To achieve a medieval look, wear a white corset bodysuit over a puff-sleeved top. For extra warmth this winter, a turtleneck sweater can be worn under a white underbust corset.

Over a dress

Put a corset over your dress to show off your curves and originality. It can be worn as a statement piece over a bodycon dress or layered over a maxi dress for a different look. Layer a corset over a T-shirt dress to give it personality, and finish the look with a blazer for a touch of timeless elegance. Alternatively, you can wear a white corset outfit over any jumpsuit, loose and voluminous or slim and form-fitting.

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