Is The Bustier Back? Corset Is
The corset is trending. We show you how to get the look.
As reputations go, the corset doesn’t really have the best. The organ-crushing, pain-causing, faint-inducing undergarment was seen as a symbol of patriarchal oppression that was made to constrain women, not just physically but psychologically. Dating back to around the 1500s, they were originally made from incredibly rigid, uncomfortable materials like whalebone and animal horns to shape women’s bodies into the idealised hourglass shape.


Today, corsets are structurally much softer — with boning made from wire or metal, if any at all. The appeal of a corset now is less about cutting off your circulation, and more about subverting expectations in a number of ways: lingerie as outerwear, and mixing masculine tailoring with feminine accessories. That said, the corset is still as provocative as ever, and it’s making a very big comeback, if the recent Autumn/Winter 2022 and Spring/Summer 2023 runways are anything to go by…


Dior’s padded corsets were worn over lace dresses, while Versace showed bone-in silk corsets in electric blues and baby pinks, built into jewel-toned minidresses and puffer jackets, worn under parkas, satin tailored coats and giant-shouldered blazers. Fendi styled theirs over boyish button-up shirts while Carolina Herrera and Jason Wu were standouts, incorporating corsets into gowns and tops.


Celebs love to a little corsetry too – Julia Roberts just appeared in a custom Thom Browne dress featuring a drop waist trouser skirt, a white shirt and a beautiful black silk corset. Ashley Graham stole the Balmain show in a corset and skirt inspired by Renaissance paintings. And no one loves a corset more than Lizzo, who collects them and steps out in them and performs in them.


One place you might be surprised to see the corset? TikTok. But a quick scroll will show more than 288 million views under hashtag ‘corsettop’. And Gen Z are rarely wearing them in the traditional sense, pairing them instead with baggy, boyish trousers and oversized fleeces.


As for Gen X and Y, the corset is power dressing personified in one ultra-flattering piece. Which is just the way we like it.


Styling Notes For Corsets

  1. For a modern spin on workwear dressing, layer a leather corset under a structured suit, or add a houndstooth version to a sheer buttoned-up shirt.
  2. Mix your textures: try pairing a vinyl corset with a lycra dress (just make them the same colour), or use metallic gold to break up head-to-toe black.
  3. A structured leather corset will add edge to a classic white shirt and blue jeans – it’s the ultimate day-to-night styling trick.
  4. For a look anyone can wear, team a corset with a cropped black blazer, high-waisted trousers and stilettos. Sheer panels definitely optional.


Corsets: Get the look


L-R clockwise: Malorey lace boned corset, Agent Provocateur; Structured corset top, Raquette; Kate cat-eye sunglasses, Saint Laurent Eyewear; Open-front cropped blazer, Saint Laurent; Black high-waisted flared trousers, Roberto Cavalli; 105 stiletto pumps, Gianvito Rossi; Strapless corset top, Danielle Guizio; Point d’esprit tulle corset,Dolce & Gabbana; Frankie lace corset, Fleur Du Mal.


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