Corsets: A Transcendental Garment

corsetsgarmentIf you look in your closet, how many items can you find that have transcended multiple seasons let alone multiple years? Sure, maybe you’ve had them a few years, but are they really still fashionable? The idea perhaps, but the length, the fabric or neckline could easily give away it’s year of origin. When it comes down to it, you may have one item that has lasted and will continue to do so: your little black dress, but even still, it’s questionable.

However, there is one item that has been in fashion for well over 500 years and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. There have been minor tweaks, the fabrics can vary and you can choose from a variety of cuts, but nevertheless, the shape, function and basic look remains the same. What garment am I talking about? Corsets, of course.


THEN. Corsets originated in the 1500’s and served as a foundation for the dresses worn by the French court. It would take another 200 years to hit mainstream status, but everyone was wearing them by the 1700’s. Corsets were designed to elevate the breasts as well as pull in and reshape the waist in efforts to create a perfect hourglass figure. Without bras and spanx, corsets were imperative for smooth body lines and “perfect” bodies.

NOW. Fast forward 300 years and corsets are still going strong, but in a different way. Coming to us in two different styles: fashion corsets and traditional corsets. Both are beautiful and useful in their own way, but you are far more likely to encounter, wear and own a fashion corset.


TRADITIONAL VS FASHION. A traditional corset will provide back and bust support and have true waist cinching. Traditional corsets are typically custom made and are very expensive. They are beautiful and worth what they cost, but are not practical for most corset wearers. Fashion corsets were created for the mainstream fashion consumers, giving them far more accessible options in standard sizing. These are the kind of corsets you will find at lingerie stores. Visit Adam and Eve online for lots of lingerie options.

Traditional corsets are great for women who want to recreate a vintage look or are looking to do waist training. A fashion corset will be perfect if you’re just looking for a cute corset to pair with a pair of jeans or to wear as lingerie.


Some photos of me with fashion corsets incorporated into clothing : 1 | 2 | 3

You can also consider pairing your corset with a high-waisted pencil skirt or shorts as well as with any Halloween costume. Corsets can instantly give you a sophisticated, sexy or vintage look depending on how you style it. A simple black corset can be incredibly versatile and is easy to transition from day to night.

STRUCTURE. When looking for a corset, you should pay attention to the construction. Ideally, you can find a corset with steel boning. However, most fashion corsets these days come with plastic boning. Boning is the vertical support system throughout the corset that helps shape your body and give it that structured look.

SIZING. The sizing of a corset is very important. You want to make sure that you get one that is small enough to shape you, but big enough for you that it doesn’t create muffin tops on either end. Fashion corset sizing can be done through the waist size or standard sizing like Small, Medium and Large. When buying a corset, make sure you know your waist size and then subtract 4 from it to determine your corset size. Let’s say you have a 30″ waist, you will want to look for a size 26. However, with anything, you should try on a few before purchasing just to make sure it fits your body correctly, as fashion corsets can vary in fit. Need more info on fitting a corset, a great resource.

Are you a corset fan? How and when do you wear your corsets?

33 thoughts on “Corsets: A Transcendental Garment

    1. It is honestly uncomfortable at first, but that was also the case with skinny jeans and heels at first. After a while, it feels natural. I have had a bad back, but corsets have made me feel better. It’s incredible.

  1. I have one who have roses sewn on it. I bought it when I went through a goth inspirational phase, but I keep it until today because is pretty, and comfortable. Though I have to keep fit to wear it.

  2. Great post! Corsets are so beautiful and feminine. I haven’t worn one in years…but Im sure they will come bak in style at some point!


  3. Um regarding your latest giveaway (designed by mermaids) i’ve already sent you a response via email with my contact info but didn’t get a reply email so i wonder if you got it or not just let me know so that i stop stressing out over it.
    (My name is Marianne P

  4. this is such a unique post i love it ! its interesting because people rarely where corsets anymore but it’ll be
    so cool if they came back in style. I would totally be up for it ! BUt i like the feminity of it all (:

    xo Rei –

  5. wow, your waist looks incredible with a corset on, so tiny! I’d never wear one myself, but I like being comfortable I guess hahah. x

  6. I love corsets. Unfortunately I don’t own one but I am thinking about buying one because I have found some really cute and stylish corsets on the web. Thank you for the informative post.

  7. when i was in HS and college, i sported the outter wear corsets. i loved them! i wore XS and size 0 pants then too! i loved them so much and still do! its just harder to find them now than in 2002/03.

  8. I recently started corset training and it’s not nearly as uncomfortable as I thought it’d be (when done right!) I love how feminine it feels. :)

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