|Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth|
Corsets are one of my absolute-favorite things to own and to sell. The feeling of being held in, the hourglass figure, the joy of showing someone how to instantaneously transform their body - what's not to love? However, 9 times out of 10 I sell a corset realizing that the person probably doesn't realize how easy it is to integrate them into day-to-day life, or really to wear them at all.
Don't get me wrong - as tools of seduction alone, corsets are worth their weight in gold. Who can resist a tightly-laced hourglass figure? If you have a corset and wear it for a sultry night in with your partner, you're certainly getting the job done. But have you ever contemplated wearing it out?
There are two different possibilities in terms of daily wear for a corset - as a foundation item or as outerwear. Both are delightful ways to have an hourglass figure for the night, both are possible with any corset - but sometimes easier than others.
|Dita Von Teese in Velda Lauder's 'Dita' Corset|
|Velda Lauder's 'Dita' Corset as Outerwear ~ with matching Velda Lauder skirt|
Generally speaking, overbust corsets are easier to wear as an outerwear piece than as foundation wear. Firstly, if it's covering all the parts anyway, why not show it off? Second, the bustline on a corset is often stiff enough that it can be tricky to layer under anything but the thickest of materials. A cut like the Velda Lauder 'Dita' Corset is high enough in the bust that it can be worn as outerwear without excessive fear of wardrobe malfunction, but also looks darling layered over a blouse or partially-covered by a cardigan or bolero. In fact, this style is so easy to wear as outerwear that Velda Lauder has designed an outerwear-skirt to match (not stocked at Jane's Vanity, but available for custom order).
|Cadolle's Zip-Back Waist Cincher as Lingerie|
|Cadolle's Zip-Back Waist Cincher over a dress - detail shot|
|Cadolle's Zip-Back Waist Cincher as Outerwear|
The waist cincher (or underbust corset) is a piece that's super easy to wear either as a foundation piece or as outerwear. The above style, Cadolle's Zip-Back Black Waist Cincher seems ideal to wear as an outerwear piece since the back-zip makes it appear less like a piece of lingerie & more like part of the outfit - without sacrificing the reduced waistline. Paired over a dress (as seen above), skirt, or even with a pair of trousers, this fabulous piece should be a regularly-worn part of your wardrobe!!
|Vollers Corset as Outerwear - Back|
|Vollers Corset as Outerwear - Front|
Underbust corsets with traditional lace-backs can be worn in the same fashion, just as easily (as seen above with a Vollers underbust piece.) Give yourself a little extra time to get laced in (or have a corset-buddy on hand) and your look will have all the va-va-voom you could ever need!
|Cadolle's "Zula" corset, as photographed on Leighton Meester for GQ Magazine|
|Vintage dress, made possible by Cadolle's 'Zula' corset!|
Corsets as foundation wear is a bit trickier. We often have brides call who want to wear a corset under their wedding dress, and the qualifying factor really is the thickness of the dress material. As traditional corsetry has lacing/boning to contend with, thinner fabrics can often show suspicious (and not terribly attractive) lumps from the edges and lacing of the corset. However, thicker fabrics do a lovely job of laying flat over the corset, and some pieces feel like they were MADE for a corset, especially vintage dresses! As a huge fan of vintage dresses, I've learned over the years that if the only place a dress doesn't fit quite right is the waist, you can often still wear it with the help of a corset. The vintage brocade dress I wore for 2011's Holiday Fashion Show (photographed above) pretty much won't zip without the aid of a corset, but with a little nip in at the waistline - glorious! (Buscarlet gloves worn with the dress are available here)
|Dita Von Teese (image via Zimbio)|
|Immodesty Blaize via Zimbio|
Celebrities like Dita Von Teese & Immodesty Blaize are forever providing inspiration for the corseted look, and lots can be learned from looking at how they wear them. Do you own corsets? Do you ever wear them as outerwear? What's your favorite corset look??
In closing, a fantastic video from Velda Lauder showing how to lace a corset....