Modern bustiers and corset styles

The ancestor of modern shapewear, the corset is designed to cinch the waist and boost the bust to create a slender yet voluptuous hourglass figure. The corset design and function is still popular today, with a variety of vintage-inspired styles making their way back into the fashion spotlight and influencing more casual attire. The corset dress and corset top offer the look and some of the shaping of a true corset without the rigidity, while the ultra-feminine waist corset is bringing back an unabashedly sexy style.

Whether you want to bring a traditional and confident glamour to your everyday style or you would like to call on the superb shaping that only a corset can provide for your wedding day, discover the merits and features of different types of corsets before you hit the boutiques.

About Corsets

Although some corsets have been designed to create a streamlined effect, the purpose of most corsets is to reduce the waist and embellish the hips and bust to exaggerate the natural curves of a woman's body. Although today's shapewear accomplishes a similar feat, the effect is typically far more subtle and inclusive; if you're looking for smooth lines all over your body, give girdles or shapewear slips a try.

A full corset can either extend over the bust or begin underneath the breasts, reaching past the waist and to the hips. Alternatively, some relatives of the corset target one specific area, such as the waist corset that fits between the ribcage and hips. There are also bustiers that tighten the upper abdomen to push the breasts up while gently cinching the waist, which are typically used in place of a push-up bra or can be worn as a camisole. Regardless of the coverage, most corsets achieve the hourglass effect with the help of boning, which is rigid steel or plastic strips that keep the shape of the fabric and the compression of the torso.

Corset Styles for Every Look

The lace-up corset is one of the sexiest and dramatic styles, with an open back panel that is laced up to tighten the corset once it is on the body. This is a popular style for lingerie, outerwear and bridal wear, as the ribbons lend a romantic flourish as you can form the corset to the unique curves of the body. Lacing a corset can be tricky, and you will undoubtedly need a helper. For a sexy look without the work, try a lace corset—the corset will come together with clasps or zippers, and the overlaid lace fabric will look very flirty and feminine.

If you are looking for something less dramatic the gives a subtle boost to your feminine attributes, consider a corset dress or corset top. These are not really corsets at all, but rather tightly-fitted bodices that compress the torso just enough to accentuate the breasts and narrow the waist. Some styles are made of lightweight fabric like cotton or lace, and will have underwire cups for more bust support, either with minimal straps or none at all.

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