Corsets have long been used in fashion, not just to create an hourglass silhouette, but also as a fashion statement to create a bold and beautiful style. While corsets have always been worn, more recently the corset has been reclaimed by the fashion industry, as more and more women come to discover the wonderful benefits that this timeless style can provide.
The corset can be traced back to as early as the 15th century, but what’s the history behind the corset, and how can a corset be styled today?
Please continue reading to find out!
Corsets: A Brief History
The history of the corset is vast and might be something that you’d want to look into in more detail if you became a real enthusiast for this impressive garment. It’s thought that the corset as we know it today was first worn in France during the 15th century. Wealthy French women wanted to achieve a slimmer waist and so stiffened linen undergarments were worn and tightened at the front and back to pull the waist in.
During the 16th century, thick waists were even banned at court, making wearing a corset a must. For corsets that were laced at the front and back, a panel made of a fabric called the ‘stomacher’ was attached to conceal the laces. This style was not too dissimilar to the corset styles of the 21st century, which only have to lace to the back.
Corsets continued to be worn throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th century. In the early 20th century, the ideal shape of a woman changed a little. Corsets were redesigned to ensure a small waist was still achieved, but the new corsets would force the shoulders upright to create a long sloping bust. The desirable figure can be described as an ‘S’ shape, and corsets would be finished with ribbons, bows, lace and edging.
During the 1920s, corsets began to be laced at the back only, and the focus was more on slimming the hips and thighs to create a more boy-like figure. Corsets and various forms of shapewear continued to be worn throughout the 20th century, with the styles changing as the fashion changed for the female silhouette.
Corsets in the 21st Century: Underwear as Outerwear
Corsets are worn proudly in the 21st century, with this sultry garment being styled with everyday items and contrasting styles. The likes of Beyonce, Shikara and Lady Gaga are all known to wear corsets for their on-stage performances, adding a sense of drama and femininity to their act. More recently Kim Kardashian has been seen on multiple occasions, wearing a corset with tracksuit bottoms, effortlessly blending the underwear as outerwear and sports luxe trends.
While corsets work wonders for our figure, pulling us in in all the right places to create a beautiful silhouette and provide all the support we need, they can also be worn as fashion statements, to create a unique and eye-catching style.
What’s different about the modern-day corset is there are lots of variations and less in the way of adherence to the traditional ideals of the female form. No longer necessarily worn to create the perfect shape, today we wear corsets for ourselves, as a style statement that perfectly reflects our personal tastes and because they just make us feel good.
Corset Styling for the 21st Century
Still focusing on pulling you in and defining your waist, our corsets are designed to make you feel confident and beautiful.
For a vintage-inspired look, try Polka Dot Straight Bustline Corset Top with Off the Shoulder Sleeves. Designed to look more like a top than a corset, but with all the benefits of a corset, this pretty design can be styled in a number of ways. For an everyday look, team with high waist skinny jeans in a mid-blue wash, a round rattan crossbody bag and simple sandals. Alternatively, try the same style in black with a high waist denim skirt for a more dramatic look.
If you’re looking to invest in one key piece that can be versatile for day and night, try the White Cotton Embroidery Overbust with Gathered Bust style. For cocktails with the girls, try teaming with black leather high waist trousers and a chunky mid-heel. For day time, a pretty floral midi skirt or simple navy skirt with pumps is a stylish and chic look.
For further assistance styling your corsets for everyday wear, and for help with finding your perfect size, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.