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Outfits with a Corset: Hiding your Corset with Empire Waists

I know what some of you are thinking: “You spend hundreds of dollars for a high-end training corset, and countless hours of effort and discipline whittling down your waist, and you want to hide it?”

Hiding or concealing your corset isn’t about shame. Sometimes it’s necessary to conceal the corset during work or school hours (especially if one’s waist is obviously unnatural, such as a wasp-waist or pipe-stem). The same way that employees and employers alike cover their tattoos with make up or take out their gauge earrings (plugs), so corsets may be a form of body modification that’s frowned upon in the workplace. Even outside of corporate life, some people wear corsets for personal reasons but don’t feel it necessary to make it anyone else’s business.

That being said, there are several ways to fairly easily hide your corset under clothing. One of these ways involves empire-waist shirts and dresses.

Empire-waist tops are “cinched” in at the underbust level, and fall freely below that point (very much the popular silhouette during the Regency period). As such, the waist of your shirt will fall at, or just above, the point where your underbust corset will start. Since corsets tend to not constrict your upper ribcage, the high waistline of your shirt in this area will look natural, and then the surplus of fabric beneath that point will easily conceal the sharp inward curve created by your corset.

In the video below, I show a couple of different examples of empire waist shirts. They may have an elasticated bottom (in order to create a “bubble” effect) or they may be free and loose on the bottom, like an A-line skirt that starts just under the bust area. Both of these work well to hide corsets.

Generally speaking, heavier fabrics are better at hiding your corset than more lightweight fabrics. While lighter fabrics can still conceal a corset, any breeze or draft that pushes your shirt aside will show your silhouette beneath. (This can be used to your advantage sometimes!) The lighter the fabric is, the looser the cut of the shirt must be in order to conceal the corseted figure.

Even if this style of shirt or dress isn’t “in season”, there are two places that you’re likely to find them. The first is 2nd-hand stores, also known as fripperies, consignment shops, “vintage boutiques”, Goodwill/ Salvation Army/ Value Village etc. The second place where you will always find empire waists in fashion is a maternity clothing store, as most of their clothing is designed to conceal (or have enough folds of fabric to accommodate) a growing belly. In fact, most clothing which is designed to hide so-called “problem areas” (protruding bellies, apple-shapes etc) are also quite good at concealing other “odd” shaped torsos, such as a corseted figure.

In the next few weeks I’ll be making more of these “Dressing with your corset” videos and posts, to show you the different ways that you can either accentuate or hide a corseted figure.

To see my outfits in detail, watch this video:

Best wishes,

Lucy

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Outfits with a Corset: Victoria’s Secret Ruched “Multi-way” Dress

Let me start by saying that I’m a huge fan of convertible/ infinity dresses. Usually made out of a soft, flattering jersey (I like cotton and bamboo jerseys), they can be worn a multitude of ways. I’ve made 6 of them in the past for myself and purchased another two. I’ve also made several for other people – as birthday gifts for friends and family, for dancers, and even brides! These dresses are great for dressing up or down – they easily go from work to a picnic with kids to a night out dancing, depending on how you wrap it.

In this particular video I’m wearing one of my purchased ones – this is the ruched “Multi-way dress” from Victoria’s Secret (I think in the colour “sassy berry”).

I find that the fitted, ruched skirt serves well to fit over the curves of the corset nicely while still hiding the boning channels and other hardware of the corset. The long straps, which are most conveniently wrapped around the waist several times, also serves to “hide” and soften any harsh waspwaist made by the corset, resulting in a flattering but non-obvious corseted figure. In this video I show how to wear a convertible dress two different ways, although the possibilities are nearly endless – you just have to experiment for yourself and see which styles in this dress hide the corset best.

Also in this video I show how to easily and quickly put on strappy sandals while wearing a corset (either slip-on sandals, one with an elasticated heel or this even works with shoes that have a buckle at the ankle). Bonus: you can even get a quick quad stretch with this method.

To see my outfit in detail, watch this video:

Cheers,

Lucy

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Outfits with a Corset: Featuring “Corset Jacket”

A quick post on one of my favourite items in my wardrobe these days: the “Corset Jacket”. It looks like a two-button blazer in the front but has two rows of grommets in the back with ribbon, to tighten the jacket slightly. In my opinion this jacket looks stunning when worn over a corset and tightened to show off the silhouette. I often have problems finding jackets that have broad shoulders, long sleeves and are large in the -ahem- chest area, without leaving me swimming in the waist and hips. A jacket that was adjustable in the waist seemed like a suitable solution. After looking at the sizing for shoulder breadth/ sleeve length of these jackets, I took a chance and ordered a size medium.

I’m not good at officially reviewing leather garments as I don’t own many leather items, but I can say that all the seams are stitched (not just “taped”), the lining in it fits well, it seems symmetric and the quality of the different pieces of leather is good and uniform throughout. Although it’s not advertised as a raincoat, I use it as such and I feel like the coolest person in the world walking around in my leather jacket while everyone else is in plastic ponchos and fluorescent windbreakers.

Also in this outfit I’m wearing:

  • a pink/white cincher (which will be reviewed in the future)
  • “jeggings” (jean leggings) which fit nicely under a corset because it doesn’t have a bulky waistband
  • a fitted white zippered blouse. I personally find that zippered shirts are more comfortable under corsets compared to button-down shirts, because buttons are lumpy against my skin and zips are more uniform.
  • I completed this outfit with simple black flats and a black small purse, and wore this out to sushi with friends. :)

To see my outfit in detail, watch this video:

Stay tuned for other outfits in the future! :D

~Lucy