Unless you’re wearing hoop skirts and petticoats on a regular basis, you’ve probably wondered how to wear a corset under a dress. It’s a dilemma – most dresses are slim-fitting, so you want to wear a corset, but because they’re slim-fitting, you’re left with noticeable lines and bunchy laces. Before you decide to layer with long jackets or switch to pants for good, check out our top four tips for wearing a corset under a dress.
1. Choose a no-frills corset
Denim, leather, PVC … we love them all, but they don’t typically work well under a dress. If you’re wearing it under something tight-fitting, slide those to the back of the closet and pick out a plain cotton or satin corset instead.
They might be simple, but they’re still glamorous! Most importantly, they’ll go a long way in helping to achieve those smooth lines you’re after.
2. Switch to satin ribbon laces
If your corset’s laces are made of nylon, leather, or cord, you’ll want to invest in satin ribbon laces. While ribbon is a bit harder to lace than other materials, it provides the cleanest back lines. And (bonus!) they look gorgeous on corsets worn as outerwear, too!
When lacing with ribbon, you’ll want to take care that the fabric does not twist as its fed through each grommet to form Xs. Once you’re all laced up and ready to tie a knot … don’t! That knot will end up looking like as an unattractive lump under your dress, but don’t worry. Our next hint has you covered.
3. Make a braid
Braiding the ends of corset laces is the simplest and most effective way to avoid bunching. However, if you’re not particularly flexible, make sure to have a second pair of hands around for this step.
To begin, simply divide your excess laces into two sections and tie a simple knot. No bunny ears or anything fancy – we want the ends hanging long and loose. Then, divide the laces into three sections and braid. Once your braid is complete, tuck it under the Xs to lie flat against the modesty panel and voilà! No more messy laces.
While it might be tempting to skip the braid and simply tie excess laces around your waist, doing so can damage the boning and fabric of your corset. To be blunt, this type of damage will render your corset ineffective.
4. Layer with shapewear
OK, so you’ve switched to satin laces and tucked them away with a simple, yet magnificently effective, braid. Still seeing lines and lumps when you slip on your sleekest of dresses? It’s time to buy some quality shapewear.
If you’re not already wearing shapewear on a regular basis, prepare to fall in love. The creator of Spanx didn’t become the world’s youngest female billionaire for nothing! This stuff really works – if you know how to pick out the pair that is right for you.
A common mistake made when buying shapewear is choosing a size or two too small. Although it seems that it would need to be extra-snug to fit under a slim-fitting dress, this is not the case. Shapewear is already designed to fit tightly to your body, so getting a small size will simply be uncomfortable and pinch your skin into new bulges that weren’t there before. As if we need that!
If you follow these four easy steps, you should have no problem wearing corsets under your favorite dresses. Just don’t blame us when all your friends want to know how you achieved the perfect look.
Do you have questions or advice about wearing a corset under a dress? Let us know! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for weekly tips, updates, and our monthly corset giveaway.
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…