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  • Elizabeth Little

How Can I Wear a Corset Without It Looking Like a Costume?

Image via Public Domain

Dear Amelia,
I’m loving the new corset trend at the moment, but I’m not sure how to style it with regular clothes I already own, like jeans and day dresses. How can I wear them without looking like I’m off to a Renaissance Fair or a Steampunk Convention?
Corset Woes

Dear Corset Woes,

Corsets are such a fun trend right now, but I completely understand your uncertainties. Prior to Bridgerton’s wild success, the only person I had ever seen wear a proper corset in public was – as you mentioned – a steampunk cosplayer (which I should note, there is nothing wrong with but obviously not the look you’re after). Luckily, this styling challenge isn’t as hard as you may think, but will just require some time to try things on to find what works for you. And a word of advice, if you want to wear a corset directly on your body, buy one from a legitimate lingerie seller where the top has specially designed that way – your skin will thank you.

Here are a few tips, to help you started in the right direction.

1) Stick to neutrals*

*But avoid all black, that’s an easy way to head into Steampunk territory.

I think one of the things that can often make corsets look as if they’re off to the RenFair is lots of colour and pattern clashing. For every day, let the corset do all the talking. Try to keep your #OOTD from looking to chaotic, try to stick to neutral colours like blacks, whites, browns, and natural denims. If neutrals aren’t your thing, this can still be achieved by sticking to a colour scheme. Even better, if you have enough items to create a monotone look, that will look immensely chic. So if the corset you just purchased is white, look for other white pieces that you can wear with it, like a white skirt or jeans.

2) Don’t be afraid to layer

This summer, corsets truly had their moment, but winter coming up doesn’t mean that you missed your chance at this regal trend. Layering with a corset is super easy and will look great. I will note that this tip does work better with corsets that aren’t sheer, so if that’s the type you’re after, you’ll definitely need to take some extra time to experiment.

The easiest and no fail route is to wear a light weight, roll neck top underneath the corset. You’ll want to make sure that this top isn’t too heavy as you don’t want to get overheated. T-shirts will also do the trick. After layering this under the corset, tuck both items into a pair of jeans or your favourite trousers.

If you’re feeling stuck as you have a sheer corset, worry not. Tuck it into a midi skirt (I suggest a slip skirt, as the looseness will contrast nicely with the structured boning from the top) and pair it with either your comfiest cardigan or an old school blazer, depending on your vibe.

3) Try a harness

Alright, this tip may be a little controversial, and maybe you’re thinking this isn’t at all what you asked for… but hear me out. The fashion version of a harness as seen today (not the NSFW kind), thanks to the such designers like Louis Vuitton, are worn in a similar fashion to corsets. Strapped around your shoulders and back, they’ll bring attention to your chest area. However, harnesses often aren’t as much material as a corset and are more considered an accessory than a clothing piece. Because of this, if you’re still really unsure about how to wear a corset, a simple harness could be a great introductory piece. Make sure to contrast the harness with something that’s not too overtly sexy, like a smock dress or a sweater with jeans. Harnesses already have such a connotation, you don’t want people thinking you’re off to an after dark club (that’s not what this week’s column is offering, but if that’s your thing, suggest it for a future week!).

Hopefully these tips have given you a jumping off point on how to wear one of our favourite 2021 trends. And when you wear your gorgeous corset, make sure to share a photo of you rocking it with us by tagging @amelias_bloomers on Instagram!

And please, before you go: don’t tight lace. I know it looks cool, but it’s actually not as historically accurate as you may think, and depending of the type of corset you get can be really hurtful to your body. Be safe out there!



Do you have a styling or fashion question that you’re just dying to ask? Reach out! You can contact us here or by emailing us at and just put “Ask Amelia” in your subject line. We can’t wait to hear from you!


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