The first time I saw a mesh corset, it triggered a long-term obsession. What a wonderful idea! Conventional corsets can be hot and sweaty during summertime or in warmer climates. The oldest tulle corset I’ve seen is estimated to be from 1875 (featured left) and throughout the 1890’s it seems that linen mesh became more popular for corsetry, so the idea is not new! Fast forward to today; there has been a huge resurgence of summer corsetry, and they’re as strong as ever with the creation of new fibers and creative engineering. Mesh and net corsets are made with all different types of materials: cross-stitch canvas, linen mesh, Aida cloth, nylon mesh, polyester tulle, horsehair, and lace itself. In this article I’ll highlight some corsetieres and brands that offer modern mesh corsets.
*Please note that MANY corsetieres now create summer mesh corsets, and if I were to add them all, this post would be maddeningly long. Corsetieres, if your mesh corset does not appear in this list and you have one to submit, please send me an email here.
OTR/ RTW Corsets:
For those who love some whimsy along with staying cool in the summer: Timeless Trends has recently added mesh corsets to their corset line! Made from fun galaxy fabric and quality sheer corsetry mesh, this corset will lend a curvy silhouette and it’s still covered under the lifetime warranty. Full disclosure, I am a retailer for TT, so you can find this corset in my shop!
For those who want to try a mesh piece immediately, True Corset keeps affordable standard-sized mesh cinchers (in white mesh and black mesh) in stock for only £55 (or $83). Due to the nature of the mesh, True Corset recommends that buyers order a size smaller than usual as the corset may stretch over time. See my review of True Corset’s mesh cincher here.
Orchard Corset offers the least expensive OTR mesh corsets today, and in the widest range of corsets (CS-201 from $69, CS-411 from $70, the CS-426 mesh from $76, and the CS-511 mesh from $79) and most of them available in two different colors (tan and black). Orchard has also responded to the demand for more bones in the larger size corsets, so the number of bones increase with the size of the corset. See my reviews for the 411 mesh, the 201 mesh, the CS-426 longline mesh, and the CS-511 overbust mesh corsets. Use my coupon code CORSETLUCY to save 10%!
Glamorous Corset also carries several mesh styles, including the Bella cincher, Emma underbust, Lara curvy underbust, and this Jolie longline corset (from $74), in black (shown here) and also white mesh. See my review for the Jolie corset here. Use my coupon code LUCY15 to save 15% off your order!
Fairy GothMother also offers a standard-sized mesh cincher for £215, available in delicate black lace. They recommend this for light wear (2-4 inches reduction). If you prefer a more plain mesh, they have mesh cinchers in black and (relatively rare) all-red cincher for only £165.
Daily-Wear Summer Corsets
Brazil-based Madame Sher has a collection of simple and beautiful mesh corsets in her Tight Comfort section, ranging from $130 – $300 for a custom-fit design. They’re made with cotton mesh and cotton twill in various neutral shades. See my review of the Madame Sher black mesh cincher here.
Ferrer Corsets is also a Brazilian corset maker – and it seems that tropical Brazil is taking the summer corset industry by storm as they understand the need to feel cool while training in any climate! Ferrer offers a variety of mesh and net corsets, including the corset above which costs only R$790 (converts to $245 USD).
Delicate Facade Corsetry has made this summer corset made with “heavy duty, industrial grade, tightlacing quality mesh”, for a special client who requires a surgery support corset 24/7 after a horrendous accident. DF Corsetry has prettied up this breezy piece with highly decorative latticework. You can learn more about Delicate Facade, and read more about Sasha’s story here.
Sophisticated Tulle Corsets:
Contessa Gothique Design makes semi-mesh corsets with alternating panels of poly netting and cotton coutil – the one shown above is the one I own. The net is soft like tulle, but the double-layer makes for a strong piece. Embellished with lace appliqué and Swarovski crystals, this pretty piece holds up very well to tightlacing and accentuates any summer outfit while still keeping me cool – but if you prefer, the corset can be made more plain as well. See my review of this Contessa Gothique corset here.
V-couture makes a single-layer tulle overbust called “Nyx”, heavily decorated with beautiful corded lace, beads and sequins. Although it has no waist tape, V-couture ensures that Nyx is capable of giving up to 4 inches reduction.
Entre-Nous by Beata Sievi introduced embroidered tulle corsets in early 2014, such as this astonishingly gorgeous white piece with delicate pastel floral embroidery.
Cotton Bobbinet Corsets:
Morúa Designs of Chicago (and London) was the first known corsetiere to experiment with breathable, lightweight cotton bobbinet for corsetry. It is slightly stretchy which allows it to flow beautifully over curves for a smooth finish under clothing. The waist tape, binding, and other optional structured areas will prevent stretch and add extra support where you desire.
This corset is bubbly, fun and light, and so is aptly named “champagne” after a custom cosplay created by Crimson Rose Corsetry. It features brocade front and back panels, with breezy bobbinet on the sides. The (sparkly!) waist tape holds firm to give you a dramatic cinch in the waist while keeping your ribs and hips comfortable.
Julia Bremble of Sew Curvy Couture not only creates corsets from bobbinet (like this wedding corset sample with satin cups and lace embellishment), but also sells bobbinet in her corset supply store, in case you’d like to try making a corset from bobbinet on your own!
Ivy Rose Designs in Alberta, Canada, created this lovely “something blue” sheer bridal corset and covered it in corded lace with pearls for a bridal client. She also documented the process for Foundations Revealed to create a tutorial on exactly how to work with bobbinet for corsets, and what to expect.
What happens when you forgo the lace appliqué and just use the uncut lace itself as the panels in a corset? You get a breathtaking sheer effect, as seen in the piece above made by Wyte Phantom.
Bone & Busk Couture by Katharina Mior also featured some limited edition sheer cinchers this year, priced to sell. The strong mesh panels with full Chantilly lace overlay combine with super-strong spot broche to make an enchanting statement piece that can be worn over any outfit, or next to the skin.
Coloured Mesh Corsets:
JL Corsets offers some fun-yet-tough sports mesh corset in any combination of colours – you can order a corset in just one shade, but why not have ALL the colours?!
Do Balakobako Corsets from Brazil makes some of the most beautiful coloured mesh pieces starting from only R$ 250, and her prolific work is very quickly gaining admirers on Facebook! See her photo album of summer corsets here.
Sheer Corsetry Mesh & Organza Corsetry:
Angela Stringer Corsetry has a continual theme on floral prints. In the above corset, she combines the sophistication of sheer panels with floral femininity to create a unique piece that’s both playful and smoldering. This is available in both overbust and underbust versions.
The Bad Button Bespoke Corsets, based out of Kentucky, USA, has been hard at work through early 2014 creating her “Birds of Paradise” couture line. One such piece from her collection is the “Snowy Owl” shown above, made of alternating silk covered coutil and sheer corsetry mesh.
SnowBlack Corsets offers this lovely corset/girdle, made with a single layer of nylon mesh, and finished in black raw silk shell and coutil lining. While this corset has a waist tape and sturdy two part grommets, SnowBlack says that it is meant to serve as more of a slimming, supportive girdle and doesn’t recommend a reduction of more than 4″ in this. However, it would be the perfect tool to smooth your figure under a retro dress! This corset also features four garter clips, and two additional hidden garter tabs for additional hold of stockings if desired.
The Dark Garden Risqué corset is aptly named. Made from nylon mesh and silk, the Risqué is available as both a cincher and as a sweetheart overbust (above). The website provides fantastic ideas for wear, mentioning that sheer corsetry serves as a great foundation under formal gowns, or can be worn to show off tattoos.
Marianne is a well-known corsetiere for Dark Garden, but she also owns her own corsetry line and is a respected designer in her own right: Pop Antique‘s corsets are fun and contemporary, and the Flirt overbust is as coquettish as it gets with its peekaboo panels and little panniers (or “hip fins” as I like to call them).
Sparklewren also offers some sheer corsetry, from cinchers to full cupped overbust corsets. Natural sheer mesh sees layers upon layers of French lace appliqué in true Sparklewren fashion to create an ethereal one-of-a-kind design.
Bizarre Design proves that horsehair can shape the torso with extreme efficacy given the correct engineering. This sheer overbust with halter straps is capable of giving extreme reductions even without a waist tape.
Atelier Sylphe has created a beautiful sheer pointed overbust from poly horsehair and twill, also giving an impressive silhouette without a waist tape.
Anachronism in Action‘s sheer overbust features horsehair that had been dyed a diaphanous ice-blue hue. The beautiful lattice corset also features hundreds of Swarovski crystals over the bust.
Sian Hoffman (UK) powermesh corset-girdles are arguably one of the most recognizable designs of its kind, which combine the dramatic hourglass shape of corsets with the sleekness and mobility offered by powermesh shapewear. Her corsets offer a busk in the front or in the back (a back busk will allow the corset to be smooth in the front), with garters to keep the bottom of the girdle smooth and taut.
Morgana Femme Couture (UK) makes both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure corsets and corset-girdles. This one is particularly stunning as it’s also a cupped overbust (although it also comes in an underbust version). The rigid brocade fabric ends right below the natural waistline, while smoothing and supporting the hips with black powermesh for the best of both worlds.
Other corsetieres who have made mesh or sheer corsets:
- Xandriana (shop.)
- Forge Fashion (shop.)
- Orchid Corsetry
- Maison Moginot
- Corsets & More
- Lady Ardzesz Corset
- PureOne Corset Works
- Waisted Creations
Archived – Corsets no longer available:
What Katie Did previously offered a few mesh styles in the Demi-Couture section of their website. The Cabaret Sophia, Cabaret Laurie and Cabaret Morticia corsets featured panels of a double layer of organza in either soft peach or sultry black, and maintain as curvy a silhouette as ever. See my review of the Cabaret two-tone Laurie here.
Contour Corsets makes arguably the strongest modern mesh corsets in the world. Fran incorporates space-age materials into her corsets, and the photo above features my personal primary waist training corset, capable of withstanding 23/7 use and cinching my waist over 25%. The synthetic mesh and the construction of the corset are both so strong that the addition of a waist tape would be superfluous. My review of the summer Contour Corset can be found here.
I wouldn’t feel right without mentioning the late Velda Lauder’s sheer underbust, as she designed this years ago before any of the other corsetieres in this section had discovered corset-suitable sheer fabric. Ms Lauder forged a path all her own, and will be fondly remembered for her beautiful designs.
*Please note that I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company in these guided galleries. This is for informational purposes only.