Once upon a time, wearing a corset was a daily occurrence. Stiff, bulky clothing was either designed to hide the corseting underneath, or corsets were part of the exterior costume. These days, it’s a bit harder to wear a corset for waist training purposes, what with thin, jersey knits and drapey chiffons dominating modern wardrobes.
Waist training requires a robust corset for firm compression and support, but this can leave you with a bit of bulk beneath your clothing, which may not be the look you’re going for. You don’t necessarily want to give the impression that you’re wearing a bulletproof vest under your work attire, or that you’ve joined the robot insurrection and your torso is plagued by mechanical mods.
Okay, nobody’s going to think you’re a member of the Borg, but that doesn’t mean you want bulky laces ruining the line of your favorite tops or blazers. What’s a modern girl to do when the basic composition of corsetry hasn’t changed since the Victorian era? Unless you’re willing to slip into a bustle and skirts, you need to know how to wear a corset in public. Here are a few tips to get you on track.
Opt for Underbust Models
Hiding the bulk and stiffness of a corset under modern clothing is no easy feat, but it can be done with a bit of trickery. The first thing you need to do is minimize bulk as much as possible, so consider skipping the longlines and overbust models in favor of underbust corsets and waspies.
These minimalist models will do the same job as their bulkier brethren when it comes to waist training, but offer less obtrusive lines under clothing. If you wear A-line or empire waist tops that pull away from the waist a bit, no one will be the wiser.
Tuck Your Laces
One of the most difficult parts of a corset to hide under clothing is the lacing at the back. Even if you choose a relatively flat corset in softer materials, the leftover length of your laces could give you away. What’s the solution?
Well, you can start by choosing a lighter lacing material, such as satin. This slippery material can be difficult to work with and it’s not quite as strong and durable as other lacing options (like nylon), but it will lie flatter, so if you’re okay with potentially replacing the laces sooner, this is a great alternative.
Regardless, you can trim laces so you’re not dealing with six feet of excess once you’re laced in, and of course, you can always tuck laces. What does this entail? All you have to do is tie the laces in a bow as you normally would, but instead of double knotting to use up some of the length, simply pull the laces taut and tuck the ends up under the bottom edge of your corset to hold them flat.
Stealthing Your Wardrobe
There’s no getting around the fact that your favorite, soft tees will not hide the contours of a corset. Let’s be honest, though, if you’re waist training, you’re not necessarily going for the loose and comfy weekend look.
If you want to camouflage corsetry, you need the right wardrobe pieces, and there are several options to consider. Busks don’t tend to be terribly bulky, but if you like to wear form-fitting attire, simply choose button down tops. The buttoned flap will lie over the busks, hiding any bumps that would give away the fact that you’re wearing a corset.
For a more casual look, choose a top that is looser, but belt it at the waist. This allows you to highlight your smallest part (even smaller with waist training) without showing off the lines of your corset as a tighter top would.
Use it as Outerwear
This is where learning how to wear a corset in public gets fun. When you think of your corsets as everyday clothing rather than undergarments, you don’t have to worry about hiding them at all. In fact, working them into your wardrobe in creative ways can become a fun and challenging part of your day.
Granted, you don’t necessarily want to waltz into your office in nothing but a satin overbust corset and hot pants – this isn’t a Hollywood remake of The Scarlet Letter, after all. However, you’ll find that there are a number of ways to add waist training corsets to ensembles ranging from casual, to work appropriate, to formal.
For example, you could use your average waspie or underbust corset in place of a belt over everything from Oxfords, to dresses, to blouses and tees. Overbust models, especially those that feature straps, can sub in for a vest over tops, and they are entirely work appropriate, especially when paired with a blazer to hide the laces.
For a posh club look, pick a strapless, overbust model and pair it with your favorite sequined blazer, a mini skirt, and platform heels. The sky is the limit when you opt to don this underwear as outerwear, so long as you use it appropriately.
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My name is Rachel, I am the owner of Glamorous Corset, a small business founded by me in 2010. Back In 2005, I was in a car accident that left me with a herniated disk. Much to my surprise I learned steel boned corsets were beneficial to several medical injuries including mine. I was always intrigued with corsetry, their history and their beautiful aesthetic. I love sharing knowledge about corsets, educating my wonderful readers and breaking the negative stigma related to corsetry. In combination with my years of research and personal experience I hope my articles are useful and can help anyone who has struggled with some of the same things I have. More about me…