Nikki’s Inbox: How To Incorporate A Corset Into My Everyday Wardrobe?

I have these two corsets: one black with a silver zipper up the front, and one in royal purple with black lace detailing. I really want to be able to wear them out around campus and such, but I’m not really sure how to style them without looking like a street walker. I am 5’6 and 113 pounds, super pale with dark hair, and my measurements are 32-24-36. Hope you can give me ideas for wearing my corsets outside the bedroom! Thanks!

Colette, 20/USA

I love how my readers keep me on my toes! Colette, your question had me stumped briefly (briefly only!) but then again I never back down from a challenge.

Let me just stay that I love your confidence and audacity in wanting to make your corset a viable sartorial option for everyday wear. Of course, it will turn heads but given the right clothing mix, I don’t see how you could be mistaken as someone else. Besides, in this day and age, we really should stop using clothes as an excuse to judge other people. Clothes shouldn’t define a person, ever.

I wish you sent photos your corsets, Colette, to give me a better idea of what they look like. I have no idea whether the ones you have are of the underbust or overbust style because each one will have different styling requirements. Now take a look at my suggestions and let me knaow what you think!

Preppy Androgynous … With a Twist. What could better work with such a sexy piece of womenswear than a menswear-inspired outfit? Lace up your corset under a slim-fit (fabric shouldn’t be too thick), classic button-down shirt as an alternative to the usual knit vest for fall and winter. Tuck the tops into a pair of sleek flat-front pants with a slim cut (not skinny) or with a slight flare. Finish with a hip-length blazer or cardigan and your choice of shoes – I’d recommend heeled boots, wingtip loafers or even flats. The mix of masculine, structured pieces (blazer, shirt and trousers) and the unexpectedly feminine component of the corset will definitely turn eyes on you. Just make sure that your outerwear (cardigan, jacket, coat) is always longer than your corset.

Your corset is already bound to attract attention so keep the rest of your outfit simple.

Get Some Curvaceous Coverage. Turtleneck sweaters are sexy in that they cover you from the neck to the waist (or knees if it’s a sweater dress), but shows all your curves, thanks to the stretchy, figure-hugging knit construction. Your corsets will find a kindred spirit in these knits! Again, stick to thinner and finer knits to avoid looking extra bulky and don’t forget to wear a thin cami underneath your corset to avoid irritating your skin. You can also pair your corset with a peplum blouse to amplify attention to your waistline. A high-waist A-line skirt, patterned tights (perhaps with a minimalist lace pattern to match your corset) and suede ankle boots provide a polished finish.

Attrangs A-Line Skirt

Pairing your corset with timeless pieces like A-line skirts and turtlenecks makes it look elegantly sexy.

Channel Fab Fifties’ Style. Fashion in the 50s was defined by cinched waistlines, emphasis on the bust and wide, full skirts. If you’re feeling retro, then pedal back sixty years and team your corsets with classic A-line skirts, dresses and shirtdresses. Since these pieces are already designed with a defined figure in mind, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to pull this off effortlessly. Pick a shirtdress that already has a defined waist, not one that simply looks like a very long button-down; and in a plain color or with a pattern that’s similar to your corset. Go for heeled booties or knee-high boots that wrap around your calves for better effect. For an extra dainty finish, wear a cardigan and style your hair into a sleek chignon or French twist.

As a petite, knee-length skirts and dresses are best for you but if you’re going maxi, ensure your legs can still be displayed.

I hope you find something to your liking, ma cherie Colette. Let me know how it works out for you!


P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body, your tastes or personality. You can include a photo (link only please) of yourself or your clothes (which we won’t publish without your written approval). Thank you!

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