With a history spanning centuries, starting with its origins as an undergarment for constraint made of whale bones and metal slats and enduring to today as a fashionable and comfortable piece of outerwear, the corset in all of its forms is now back on the runways and in our everyday wardrobe. Both loved and hated, seen as a fundamental and yet as a tool of torture, one of the most feminine undergarments of all times, the corset, has always been the center of debates since its official appearance as a bust shaping device back in the 16th century. Despite several comebacks, one of the most famous being Christian Dior’s debut collection in 1947, the struggle of the feminist movement deemed the corset a harmful means of feminine oppression, physically and ideologically, and banished the corset yet again from the female wardrobe. The 1980s saw yet another comeback, however, due to visionary designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood, bringing a new life to the corset as fashionable outerwear and oddly enough a message of female empowerment in the garment instead. Since the successful rediscovery of the corset, it has transformed into an accessory that is often used to spice up an otherwise casual look. The most recent occurrence of this happened when Prada proposed a contemporary reinterpretation of the corset during their Fall 2016/17 collection. Mrs. Miuccia Prada is well renowned as a fashion trendsetter and her leather and denim laced-up corsets worn over flower printed dresses and monochromatic coats set a tone for many other designers that embraced the same idea thereafter.
American brand Tipi showed off a tube waist stretch corset for Resort 2017, followed by a raw denim zipped corset for Spring 2017 and they were claimed as a real must have accessory for style this spring and summer due to their laid back approach, a cinched waistline laid over loose fitting knits.
Isabel Marant opted for a belt-like reinterpretation of the corset tightened around high waisted pants and shorts as well as blouses and jackets. The belt-corset hybrid had quite a following among designers, as Balenciaga introduced the scarf belt, an oversized leather belt wrapped around the waist.
Rapidly gaining a high ranking in the most followed trends, with street style photographs everywhere to prove it, fast fashion giants like Zara and Topshop stocked their stores with the often desired corset, with an inventory consisting of everything from buckled corsets to laced-up variants, made of a wide variety of materials and colors and suitable for every occasion.
Without further ado, here are some suggestions on how to wear a corset in style for the season.
Corset layering: Whether worn over a blazer or an oversized jacket, the right corset can turn your power suit into the perfect outfit for an important event. Zara, 499 CZK
When the night time chill suddenly strikes during your summer evening out, there’s nothing better than putting on a loose cardigan and cinching the waist with a constraining belt corset. Zara, 549 CZK TOPSHOP UK
Corsets layered over printed dresses make a chic statement. Mango, 499 CZK
Add a corset to a shirt and your everyday look becomes a totally effortless standout.
Cotton Corset Belt, Topshop Source: @stylesightworldwide
The easiest, and perhaps most effective way of wearing a corset is over a t-shirt, whether a basic and monochromatic tee or colourful and full of prints, you can never get this style wrong. Zara, 499 CZK
Source: @emrata Cover photo source: @tibi