Fashion Tips for a Corset-less Hourglass
In an earlier article (see here!) we talked about the many ways to keep your weight down and your waist thin during the summer or any other time of the year when you might be forced to press pause on your waist training program. We chose to focus on three different areas of your life which can synergize to create a balanced off-season life: a healthy diet, regular exercise with a focus on training the abdomen and core, and keeping your stress levels down as much as possible.
However, there's one other way you can maintain your hourglass figure on a day to day basis without a single corset or cincher in sight, one last area with an importance so great we decided to give it its own whole article.
And what is that, you might ask?
That's right! Choosing the right outfit to slim that waist while emphasizing those gorgeous hips and that popping bust can, if you make just the right selections, be just as effective as a corset or cincher at producing that desired, sexy silhouette. Taking just that little extra bit of time to plan your wardrobe each day can keep you looking and feeling great all off-season long.
Sure, that sexy shirt with the belted waist won't give you a permanent hourglass figure in a week. Those pants that help your booty pop won't continue to have an effect once you've taken them off. We still definitely recommend combining diet, exercise and stress relief techniques to give yourself the best body possible. But for helping you look sharp while out in public and feel happy and confident throughout the day, there's no solution like a great wardrobe!
As is our usual strategy with "tips and tricks" articles like these, we picked the brains of every single one of our fabulous staff here at Get Waisted to learn all about their favorite corset-less hourglass styles! We've compiled all of their suggestions - in no particular order - and present them to you in the form of this list below!
Remember, the key to creating a fashionable wardrobe filled with alluring outfits is picking out things that you like and make you feel happy, confident and beautiful. Don't feel obligated to try out everything on this list just because we suggested it - there are practically infinite ways to rock an hourglass look while also staying true to your personal aesthetic and sense of style!
Lay On the Layers
"Wear lots of layers" popped up before as our number one tip in our guide to corset fashion found here. So imagine our surprised when it showed up here again, still the number one fashion tip when we asked around for outfits to wear without a waist trainer!
Adding layers is a fantastic way to alter your body's silhouette - think of it as "coloring outside the lines" in a sense, adding more materials to areas which have less to make them more prominent or further emphasizing what's already there. And so many types of garment and accessory can count as a "layer" - jackets, vests, blazers, winter coats, scarves, pashminas, shawls, ponchos, long jewelry, thick belts, leggings, long socks....okay, you get it. If we kept listing fantastic examples of layers, we'd be here all day.
Our point is this: Adding to the top and bottom can fill out those areas while keeping fewer layers on the waist makes it seem slim and trim in comparison. For example, if you're wearing a tight-fitted blouse which ends snugly at your hips, add a jacket on top - but make sure it is shorter than your top, so that you get that "thinner" area at the waist. Then, throw a skirt over some leggings at the bottom. Ta-da! Your admirers' eyes will be drawn to your hips and bust thanks to the little bit of extra padding, and your waist will appear narrow and fit even if you've left your favorite corset hung up at home!
Give Yourself an "A"
If you're a fan of skirts, there's no better way to narrow your waist and emphasize your hips and butt than choosing a fashionable, well-fitted A-line. An A-line skirt is narrowest at the waist and then gradually flares out as you go lower - it gets it name from sharing an approximate shape with the letter "A"!
A-line skirts - and variations, such as the trumpet or tiered look - should ideally sit tightly right at the natural waist, providing a slimming effect similar to a waist trainer if not quite as extreme. The flaring draws the eye lower down, showing off your hips and butt if the skirt is longer or perhaps your sexy, toned legs if you've chosen to go with something shorter.
Pencil skirts, the aforementioned trumpet skirts, and anything tiered are also great options for you skirt lovers who want to introduce a little bit of variety into your wardrobe. You just want to be careful to avoid anything that produces a linear, uninteresting silhouette or especially any skirt that "flattens" or "squishes" your butt, as it's important to remind the world of what you've got goin' on!
Make Daring Jean Choices...
Skinny jeans can be a nerve-wracking fashion choice, especially if you tend towards looser styles. Fashion blogs and magazines constantly herald them as "bold" and "revolutionary" even though skinny jeans have been around practically since humans collectively discovered our love for denim.
And we get why. All of us have experienced that worry - do my legs look fat? Does my butt stick out too much? Do I have muffin tops? But we're here to tell you that, when shooting for a corset-less hourglass silhouette, there is absolutely no such thing as giving "too much" emphasis to your booty and hips.
Skinny jeans make anyone's - yes, anyone's, that includes you, we can hear you doubting yourself, nope, you're gorgeous - legs and butt look downright amazing. How would anyone be able to focus on your waist when they've got those svelte legs staring them in the face?
So don't be afraid to make bold fashion choices this summer season. Treat yourself to a brand new pair of skinny jeans - or several pairs in all of your favorite colors and textures! - to enhance your perfect summer hourglass.
...and "Bra-sh" Lingerie Choices
When putting away your corset for the summer, you might feel a sinking sense of despair as you wonder how any bra will ever replicate the supportive feeling of your favorite overbust corset or that extra push which an underbust can grant. You might even be tempted to just take the lazy route and throw on whichever bra is at the top of your "clean" pile each day.
However, while no bra may truly be a match for a corset or cincher, your choice of top-half lingerie can have noticeable positive effects on your figure. Just as with a corset, it's important that your bra fit properly and give you the right amount of support. Many lingerie stores offer free measurings and fittings carried out by experienced staff, so we definitely recommend taking advantage of one of these opportunities.
A good bra should be supportive; features such as liners and padding are a great choice for giving your chest that little bit of extra push it needs to stand out. If you're the kind of person who doesn't get immediately irritated by the feeling of underwire, a bra which includes it might not also be the worst idea.
Certainly, you'll miss your corset, but that doesn't mean you can't help your chest look the best - or would that be the "breast" - it could be during the hotter months of the year!
Don't Neglect the Neck
You can further enhance that well-fitted bra by choosing a lower neckline which will draw attention away from your waist and towards your chest. We find that a deep V-neck tends to work the best here, as the triangular silhouette mirrors the inverted triangle made by your narrow waist and wider hips. In particular, the combination of V-neck and a trumpet or A-line skirt as described above provides one of our favorite sexy silhouettes.
If you work somewhere which requires suits or button-up collared shirts, don't despair - you can absolutely work those buttons to your advantage! Leave the top few buttons of your blouse and/or your blazer open to give your chest the same emphasis that a lower neckline provides. Professional and alluring all at the same time - what's not to love!
On the other hand, if you're not as into showing off your chest, or you just want to give your shoulders their day to shine, an off the shoulder top can add substance to your silhouette just as effectively. Highlighting the shape and breath of the shoulders by leaving them exposed causes them to appear wider and stronger, and the waist narrower and less prominent in comparison.
For something a little cheeky and unique, try a shirt which covers one shoulder while leaving the other peeking out. Alternately, add bright, eye-catching necklaces to your ensemble to make absolutely sure that every eye in the vicinity will be glued to your sexy shoulders.
Don't Sleeve Them Hanging
Wait, shoulder pads? you might be asking. Didn't those go out of style in like - the 1980s or something? Nope! Fashion is what you want it to be - whatever you want to wear on your body can be "in" for you even if the mainstream public opinion doesn't necessarily. So show off those shoulders, hourglass queen - yours will be the figure which draws the attention of every single person you encounter throughout the day!
Just don't forget to choose something which sits snugly at your natural waist rather than hanging loose - you want to make sure your waist looks as narrow and tight as possible. The lower part of your body should roughly resemble a triangle, not a rectangle.
Pretty in Peplum
A peplum is a type of shirt, blouse, jacket or dress which contains a sturdy ruffle or overskirt aligned with the natural waist. A peplum top can be worn over any type of bottom, but is typically paired with something with a narrow, simple silhouette - such as a pencil skirt - so as not to distract from the distinctive ruffle.
Peplums gained such rapid popularity because, like waist trainers, they are able to make your waist look temporarily skinnier. The ruffle or overskirt is usually angled slightly downwards, creating a little mini-triangle shape beginning at the waist and ending at or just above the top of the hips. Your waist, regardless of its actual size, then appears narrower than usual due to serving as the "tip" or "point" of this constructed triangle.
Peplums come in all shapes, sizes, styles and colors, so we thoroughly encourage you to go crazy. Fill your wardrobe with a peplum for every occasion! You'll never have to wonder "how can I pull off an hourglass figure today" - because your peplum collection will have it covered!
Belts, Belts, Belts!
We love belts. They're so versatile - they come in so many different colors, lengths and thicknesses, and they go perfectly with everything from a strict buttoned blouse to a slinky evening gown to even your favorite weekend T-shirt. And, of course, belts pretty much ALWAYS make your waist look fabulously narrow.
The science is simple - belts, like corsets, cinch at the waist, compressing it slightly and pulling it generally inwards. Yeah, there aren't many belts out there which are going to give you the same level of compression as a properly fitted cincher or corset, but, during the off-season, they'll definitely pay off in a pinch!
In order to get the most dramatic effect, we recommend pairing a thicker dark colored belt with a light colored outfit or vice versa. Belts with detailing can add a pinch of life to even the plainest of outfits, so feel free to experiment. A few ideas from our staff to get you started: try large, decorative buckles, glitter, rhinestones, patterns, and metallic or textured fabric.
The Angel's in the Details
Belts are probably the most prominent and well-known example, but, the truth is, pretty much any kind of detailing can contribute to a sexy hourglass silhouette. If you haven't got a belt to thrown on, either a top or a bottom with an extra bit of detail at the waist can camouflage it and provide a similar slimming effect as the belt would.
Some of our favorite examples of waist details include: blouses with a ribbon at the waist, jeans with high, small front pockets, and skirts with ruffles or pleating located at the top. You can even try tying a scarf or sash around your waist to add your own bit of improvised detail. If you're going for a casual look, even something as simple as tying a light jacket around your waist by the sleeves can be super effective!
On the other hand, detailing at the shoulders, chest and hips can work much in the same manner as the puffed sleeves and shoulder pads we described earlier - by providing emphasis to those areas and pulling the eye away from the waist. Try a skirt with buttons at the hip, a pair of jeans with rhinestone flowers on the back pockets, or a shirt with ribbons or ruffles around the collar to achieve the desired effect.
(If your detail in the hip or bottom area consists of pleats or ruffles, go for something made out of stiff, sturdy fabric which will not "wilt" or "droop" throughout the day. While flowing and billowing parts in the top part of your outfit are usually acceptable, too much flow at the hips can weaken and soften the sharp silhouette you are trying to create.)
The Magic of Colorblocking
Colorblocking refers to a fashion technique in which a single garment, most often a top but occasionally a skirt or dress, contains large, solid blocks of two or more visually distinct colors. For example, a colorblocked shirt might be black at the sides with a single wide white "stripe" running down the center, while a skirt might feature a red upper hip area and a blue hem and base. Rather than fading into one another (creating a gradient effect), the colorblocks are solid and clearly separated from one another using solid, defined lines.
The role of colorblocking in the creation of an hourglass silhouette is essentially to "trick" the observer's eye and brain into focusing intently on one color, usually the brightest, lightest, or more intense, and ignoring or writing off the others. In the first example described above, the brain would notice the wide white stripe while allowing the black to fade into the background, causing the shirt - and the person inside it - to appear slimmer and their figure narrower than it truly is.
When selecting a colorblocked outfit, go for ones which place bold, eye-catching colors - such as red, orange, or jewel tones - at the bust and hips and paler, more neutral ones - such as whites, blacks or pastels - surrounding the waist area. This will allow you to effortlessly create the most effective hourglass figure while simultaneously using color theory to draw the eye towards exactly where you want it to go.
Don't Be Afraid to Go Horizontal
Horizontal lines and stripes have long had a downright terrible reputation in the world of fashion. Even someone who's never read a single fashion magazine or blog post in their entire life has probably heard the old adage: Horizontal stripes make you look fat, vertical stripes make you look skinny.
Is that true? Well, yes, it is. Much in the same way as the colorblocking techniques described in the previous section, stripes "trick" the eye and brain by making them focus on either the horizontal or vertical dimensions of the person they are looking at. A person in horizontal stripes will appear larger to the average observer than one wearing the exact same outfit but with a vertical pattern instead.
So, you might ask, if horizontal stripes are broadening, what on Earth are they doing appearing in this article? Well, as it turns out, there are ways that you can make horizontal stripes work for you - if you plan your outfit just right.
Vertical lines lengthen and elongate, which de-emphasizes the prominence of the hips and chest - which is exactly the opposite of what we're trying to accomplish! Wear outfits that focus the horizontal lines in these two areas while avoiding the waist in order to keep its silhouette narrow. Another great set of options are outfits featuring horizontal diagonal lines, which start at the outer points of the hips and chest and angle inwards towards the waist, causing your outfit to mimic the appearance of - yup, you guessed it - an hourglass!
Picking a Peck of Perfect Pattterns
Choosing a skirt or pair of pants with a bold, intense pattern - anything from flowers to polka dots to plaid - can make the hips and bottom seem more prominent while minimizing the plainer areas above them (essentially the waist). Like all of our tips regarding color, these patterns function in a remarkably similar way - they are basically grabbing the observing eye by the hand and patiently leading it towards the part of the body it is supposed to be focusing on: the hips.
Absolutely do not be afraid to "go bold" and try something new here. Flowers and polka dots are classic, always popular choices, but the sky is absolutely the limit. A pattern of animals? Sure! Stars? Why not! Clouds? You bet! Popular children's movie characters? Did you hear us - we said there's no way you can go wrong. Any bright, eye-catching pattern of your choice will work excellently for this purpose!
Come to the Light Side
Another widely passed around piece of fashion advice which you might have heard before is this: dark colors are slimming. Is this true? You bet it is! There's a reason why the "little black dress" has become such an essential part of a well-stocked wardrobe - it can hide those extra pounds for a hot date, fancy work dinner or night on the town.
But does that mean the opposite is also true? Well, yes, it does! White, pale gray, pastel, khaki, and other light colors can emphasize the size of particular parts of your body. For this reason, when you're assembling an outfit to create an hourglass figure, you can't go wrong with white or light-colored pants, especially if they also rock a tight fit and hug your curves just right! For an extra fabulous effect, pair them with a black or otherwise dark-colored belt cinched tightly around your natural waist to make it appear as slim as possible.
(By the way, we here at Get Waisted totally advocate for wearing white or light-colored pants at absolutely any time of the year that you feel like doing so. Labor Day? Memorial Day? Nope. When it comes to fashion, never forget - every day is your day, so the only question that matters is "does this make ME feel good?")
Take it to the Tailor
Our last piece of advice for creating that perfect corset-free hourglass might seem like a simple one, but it's also one that a surprising amount of people overlook. If you've found an amazing shirt, perfect pair of pants or sexy dress, but it's not quite slimming your waist or emphasizing your hips and chest like you hoped it would, it might be time to pay a visit to your friend the tailor!
There's absolutely nothing wrong with getting your clothes specially tailored to fit your unique body. Celebrities do it, ordinary people do it, us folks here on the Get Waisted staff do it too! Every single body of every single person that has ever existed on this planet looked different from every other one. You need to do you, and create the best outfit to make your particular figure look as best as possible!
So, that's that! With these tips in hand, we're more than just pretty sure that you'll be able to create an entire summer's worth of hourglass-enhancing outfits. Not only that, you'll always be prepared for those occasional random days when work rules or sickness or even just a bad mood forces you to leave your corset on its hanger or your cincher in the drawer.So go forth and rock that natural hourglass for the world...
...buuuuut, for those times when the weather / your dress code / all other factors DO allow it, head over here to pick out one (or several) waist trainers from our amazing, fully stocked catalog!
And, as always, if you've got your own favorite fashion tips that you'd like to share with your friends here at Get Waisted, feel free to contact us here!