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
- 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.
- 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.
- A structured leather corset will add edge to a classic white shirt and blue jeans – it’s the ultimate day-to-night styling trick.
- For a look anyone can wear, team a corset with a cropped black blazer, high-waisted trousers and stilettos. Sheer panels definitely optional.
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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