The Liner, the Waist and the Wardrobe: What to Wear with Your Waist Trainer
There are practically infinite reasons why waist trainers are so great. They help you lose weight! They increase your confidence! And, of course, they’re a super fabulous addition to any fashion-conscious wardrobe!
Wait, what? you ask. A corset isn’t just a slimming undergarment? It’s a fashion statement too? ABSOLUTELY!
Sure, you might associate corsets with burlesque performances, the goth fashion movement, or late night showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And all of those are definitely awesome ways in which corsets have entered the mainstream consciousness in recent years. But that doesn’t mean that corsets can’t or shouldn’t be worn anywhere else! Fancy evening gala or party? Pair a brightly colored silk or velvet corset with the classic little black dress. Big meeting at the office? A neutral black or white underbust goes perfectly with a pastel collared shirt and sharp blazer. Hanging out at the mall in the summer? Wear an overbust as a top with some high-waisted shorts and strappy sandals. (Don’t forget the camisole or corset liner!)
From formal to casual, morning to night, there’s practically no outfit which can’t be improved by the addition of a properly fitted corset. So don’t limit your waist trainer to the gym or your bed – proudly show off your brand new waist everywhere you go! Like we said, there’s pretty much no way to go wrong when picking out an outfit to match with your favorite corset.
However, if you’re looking for some tips or ideas to get started, you’ve come to the right place! This guide covers just a few of the many different ways you can make a corset a key part of your wardrobe and aesthetic.
Making the Best Of Your Bust
It’s important to keep in mind that not all corsets are created equal. In particular, corsets can be divided into two broad categories: the overbust and the underbust. As the names suggest, the distinction comes from where on your body the corset lies.
An overbust typically covers the bottom part of the breasts – and, in some cases, the entire breast – while an underbust stops at the top of the ribcage and does not cover the breast at all. Often, women with smaller busts will gravitate towards the extra padding offered by the overbust, while those with larger chests will enjoy the “push” the underbust provides. Of course, that doesn’t mean that anyone can’t wear absolutely any type of corset they desire! But why is this distinction important? Well, simply put, overbusts and underbusts can fit into very distinct niches when it comes to fashion. Overbusts are typically considered dressier, and can be worn more easily as shirts on their own without necessitating an under layer.
Meanwhile, an underbust can be worn on top of practically any shirt or dress that you could possibly imagine. Underbusts are also typically easier to wear under clothing, if you have days when you don’t feel like showing off your corset quite as dramatically. They also pair perfectly with more “casual” garments such as plain blouses or even T-shirts!
We’ll admit it – corsets are addicting. Once you’ve purchased your first one and seen how it enhances your every outfit, you will quickly find yourself wanting to purchase one in every color and style. But everyone has to start somewhere – even our staff here at Get Waisted still remember that long-ago time when we owned a single corset each.
And our catalog is huge – we definitely know it can be overwhelming to pick one out. So where’s the best place to start? Well, you can’t go wrong with simple! If you’re looking for a multi-purpose corset which can easily coordinate with pretty much anything in your pre-existing wardrobe, we recommend an underbust in an easily “matchable” color such as black, white, brown, or dark grey. Of course, once you’ve fallen in love with that one, feel free to add more corsets to your collection.
Try out rhinestones, beads, ribbons and other decorations! Strike a balance between underbusts and overbusts! Experiment with a variety of different materials! And, of course, don’t forget to assemble an entire rainbow of colors – before you know it, you’ll have a corset for every outfit!
Fun with Fabrics
While most cinchers and trimming belts are made from a fairly consistent range of material – latex, neoprene, spandex, the occasional polyester – corsets can be found in practically any fabric under the sun. Basically, if it’s sufficiently rigid and not too stretchy, you can use it for a corset!
If we covered every single material that’s ever been used to make a corset, we’d be here for days if not weeks. That being said, here’s a handy rundown of some of the most commonly used materials and the unique benefits which they provide:
- COTTON. Sturdy, 100% cotton is comfortable, fairly breathable and can hold vivid color for years and years without fading. A cotton corset can comfortably be worn as either outerwear or underwear.
- SATIN and SILK. These cool, slinky materials can be comfortably worn on even the hottest of summer days. Silk and satin corsets tend to be thinner than those made from other materials, making them a particularly excellent choice to be worn under clothing.
- MESH. The most breathable of all the corsets, mesh, like silk or satin, can be used as underwear or safely worn on hot, humid days. Mesh corsets tend to feature plainer colors and simpler designs, making them excellent for casual everyday outfits.
- BROCADE. A thicker, patterned and decorated material typically used to create more formal and elaborate corsets. As brocade usually features beautiful designs in gold, silver or brightly colored threads, definitely wear these corsets above your clothing rather than below – they’re made for showing off!
- LEATHER. Heavy leather is probably the least breathable corset material, and should definitely be left at home during hot summers. Traditional brown leather corsets can form a key part of a classy work wardrobe, while black or brightly dyed leather makes an attention-getting statement during nights on the town.
Layer, Layer, Layer!
We polled the entire staff here at Get Waisted, asking each of them for their personal #1 corset fashion tip. By an astounding majority, the response we got was as follows:
LAYER!More so than practically any other fashion accessory, corsets were made for layering. Balancing layers can help draw the observer’s eye towards exactly where it should be going – your fabulously skinny hourglass waist! As an added bonus, layers can add definition to your poppin’ chest and booty. Whether you’re trying to downplay your corset or draw attention to it, layers are the answer! Here’s some of our favorite ways to play with layers:
- Wear a blazer or jacket over your corset in a contrasting color. (For example, pair an eye-catching red corset with a classic black blazer, or a delicate gray corset with a rich deep blue one.)
- Choose tiered skirts and ruffled blouses to create an overall layered appearance. A look like that gives your narrow waist that extra bit of prominence!
- If it’s hot outside, throw a sleeveless vest over an overbust corset to beat the heat while still creating a complete look. This outfit also provides a unique chance to give some well-deserved attention to your awesome arms!
- Get funky with accessories. Add cardigans, scarves, long necklaces, chunky bracelets and more. Take this look to work or wear it to the mall with your friends and, before you know it, you’ll have started your own brand new fashion trend!
Going Down Under
When we talk about layers, we aren’t just referring to what goes over the corset. What lies beneath, while it may not always be the most attention-getting part of your outfit, can also be important! After all, it’s what’s below the corset which performs the super-crucial function of keeping you comfortable and happy.
A corset can comfortably be worn over most any type of shirt, from a thin tank top to a standard T-shirt to the fanciest button up blouse in your office wardrobe. However, the number one no-no is as follows:
Don’t wear your corset directly against your skin!
You should always, and we mean always, have at least one layer of fabric, ideally something soft and comfortable, between your corset and your skin. This is to avoid itchiness or irritation caused by friction – the rubbing of what is typically stiff, rigid material against soft, yielding skin.
An under-layer also prevents pain or injury caused by the metal grommets, hook-and-eye fastenings of the busk, or even the tip of a steel bone getting caught on the skin of your chest, stomach or back. If you’re wearing a shirt under your corset, this is of course no problem.
However, what about those days when you want to keep your corset on the down-low, so it’s serving as your underwear? Or how about going for a hot summer stroll with your favorite overbust taking the place of a shirt? Luckily, the solution is a simple one. Wear something which can properly serve as a corset liner, such as a thin tank top, camisole, or shift.
Pick something made from a thin, soft, comfortable and above all breathable material – silk, satin, or any number of smooth synthetic fabrics are great options! Don’t skip this step. Seriously. A simple liner can be the difference between red, itchy, irritated skin and looking and feeling great all day long!
Order Matters, Too!
The stiff, rigid nature of the garment can limit the mobility of your torso, making ordinarily simple tasks such as bending over or raising your arms above a certain point difficult to perform. Therefore, putting on a corset too early could make assembling the rest of your killer look more difficult than necessary. How to solve this issue? Luckily, it’s simple! Put your corset on last. ONLY and we mean ONLY things which will go over your corset, such as a blazer, should be put on afterwards. Put on everything else first. And by everything else, we aren’t just referring to shirts and pants and socks. We mean shoes. We mean jewelry. We even mean doing your makeup and styling your hair! Why? Well, doing these things with a corset on are difficult and uncomfortable, as we mentioned earlier. In addition, you could even accidentally damage your corset! Bending over for a prolonged period of time to tie your shoes could snap or warp one of the steel bones which gives your garment its vital shape. Spilled makeup can stain a corset beyond repair, while reaching up to style your hair can cause it to ride up and relocate away from your natural waist, totally ruining your look.When creating your fabulous layered outfit, there’s one more important element to remember: the order in which you put your clothes on. On a normal day, this might not be something you ever think about – whether you put on your T-shirt first or your jeans first or even your socks first, it doesn’t really matter. But when you’re wearing a corset, that changes.
So keep yourself and your corset safe and happy – put it on last!
Other Helpful Tips
While they didn’t quite get enough votes to reach number one, we received a lot of other helpful advice and great ideas from our fabulous Get Waisted staff. Ultimately, we couldn’t bear to limit ourselves to featuring just one, so here’s a list of them all!
- You can’t go wrong with belts. Belts are the best way to draw additional attention to the hourglass waist which your stylish corset provides.
- Don’t skimp on the details! Of course, your corset can carry any outfit all on its own, but that doesn’t mean it always has to. Add some of your favorite jewelry or a pair of alluring stiletto heels or long, sexy boots to really make a statement!
- High-waisted bottoms emphasize your brand new hourglass figure while preventing your corset from sliding, rubbing, riding up or generally becoming uncomfortable throughout the day. Low-rise jeans or skirts that sit below the hips run the risk of creating a line of bare stomach below the corset, drawing the eye there instead of towards your awesome waist.
- There’s absolutely no kind of shirt that a corset can’t be worn over. While dressy blouses or collared button-ups might be traditional, that doesn’t mean that you have to be. Try a corset over tank tops or even T-shirts – you can’t go wrong!
What to Avoid
Earlier, we said “everything goes with a corset”. Well, we’re unfortunately going to have to amend that statement slightly: Almost everything goes with a corset.
While there’s technically nothing that can’t be worn with one, a few clothing items might result in discomfort throughout the day. And we definitely don’t want that – your corset shouldn’t just help you look great, but feel great as well!
So here’s a few things you might want to avoid when building an outfit around your fancy new corset: High-waisted tights are pretty much the number one no-no when it comes to corsets. As they cover your entire lower body, they must of course be pulled down each and every time you need to go the bathroom.
However, if the waist of your tights is too high (for example, if it reaches to your natural waist) it can easily get caught under the corset and refuse to be pulled down. In the worst case scenario, you’ll have to unlace your corset in order to take your tights out every single time you need a bathroom break! (It’s important to note that leggings can sometimes have the same problem, although they do not tend to experience it as frequently as tights due to being made from a thicker fabric which is easier to maneuver and less likely to get caught.) Yes, going too high with your undergarments is a potential risk – but you can’t go too low, either!
Low-waisted tights or panties, such as those which hug the hips, can result in unsightly corset muffin. Wait, you ask, what on earth is a “corset muffin”? Derived from the phrase “muffin top,” it refers to the stretch of skin between the waistband of your panties and the bottom edge of your corset. When you sit down, fat collects in that area, creating bulging “pouches” just above your hips, which draw the attention towards them and away from your slim, gorgeous waist.
And that’s something all us corset lovers definitely want to avoid! For best results, choose underwear or tights which stop at or just under the bottom edge of your corset. You'll be able to take bathroom breaks with ease and without a single corset muffin in sight! Lastly, avoid pants, skirts, tights or underwear which squeeze too tightly at the hips.
The primary point of compression should be at the waistline, the narrowest point of the corset. Too much pressure at the hips can pull the corset down and away from your natural waist, destroying the hourglass silhouette which you have worked so hard to create. Narrow-topped skirts, hip-hugger jeans, and tighter underwear such as boy shorts are some of the most notorious culprits when it comes to hip compression. Avoid this by picking garments which fit you properly all over, including at the hips.
Tube skirts, high-waisted jeans and most cuts of business slacks are all great options! Now that we’ve gone over all the ways to keep yourself looking and feeling great in a corset, it’s time to move on to the last part of this guide. Here, we’ll talk about how to both dress down and dress up a corset as well as providing a few example outfits to help you get started!
Keeping it Casual
You probably associate corsets with long dresses, rhinestone-studded costumes, or other outfits designed primarily for formal occasions. And yes, for years, corsets were primarily considered formalwear above all else. But this is the 21st century. It’s all about selfies, loving yourself, creating your own unique brand and aesthetic – not to mention, attitudes are changing faster than the weather.
We’re happy to report that it’s totally possible to rock a casual look with a corset! So there’s absolutely no reason to limit your corset to formal eveningwear. Take it to work, to the mall, or just wear it when you’re hanging out around the house on a relaxing weekend.
Here are some great ways to “dress down” while still getting your recommended 8-10 hours of waist training per day:
For casual, everyday outfits, choose an understated underbust in a solid color. Black, white, beige, grey and pastels are all fantastic choices! Pair it with a solid colored skirt or a pair of high-waisted denim jeans or shorts. If the weather is cooler, or you’re simply the kind of person who prefers the “shirt under corset” look, you can’t go wrong with a blouse or collared shirt in a plain color. Go for contrast – if you’ve got a black, white or grey corset, pick a blouse in a bright jewel tone or delicate pastel.
On the other hand, if your corset’s already got the color locked down, try a white or black shirt to give it that extra “pop”! During the hotter seasons, shorts tend to dress down a corset more thoroughly than shirts. Try a nice pair of high-waisted denim shorts with a silk or satin corset in a pale, summery color such as light pink or blue. If you do prefer skirts, something simple like a pencil or tube skirt can keep things on the casual side.
Example Outfits: Casual
Dark denim boot cut jeans, a blue silk underbust corset, a plain black vest, and sneakers or black flats. High-waisted khaki shorts, a light brown or pastel underbust corset over a white T-shirt, and flip-flops or other casual sandals.
A black pencil skirt, a red overbust corset in cotton or mesh, and some simple bracelets or necklaces in an understated silver. A white blouse with flowing sleeves, a grey underbust corset, jeans, a thick black or dark blue belt at the natural waist, and boots with no or low heels.
On the other hand, corsets have years and years of experience as formal garments, and there’s absolutely nothing to say that they can’t keep fulfilling that role today!
A corset might be the perfect addition to a sharp office ensemble, or add an extra dash of sex appeal to your “evening out” look. You can even spot the occasional corset at weddings, fancy dances and galas, and of course Renaissance Faires or other similar events which celebrate the past!
Adding a corset to a formal outfit is a simple process as long as you select a color and material which matches with your pre-existing outfit. A stylish, brightly colored underbust can pair perfectly with your classic “little black dress,” but make sure you go for a dressy material – silk, satin, velvet or brocade – rather than the more casual cotton or mesh. Paying attention to material is a key element of pulling together any formal outfit. Adding a corset to your “business meeting” attire is just as simple!
Overbust corsets can provide a dressier look underneath a blazer, while underbusts over collared shirts can provide that extra “splash” of color. More elaborate corsets, such as those made from decorated brocade or featuring extra ribbon, lace, button or rhinestone detailing, are also an excellent way to “dress up” any outfit. Match your eye-catching corset to similarly eye-catching garments – put away those plain shirts and skirts and instead opt for ones touched up with ruffles, ribbons, attached belts, and other formal touches of their own!
In addition to your corset, dress up the outfit even further with matching jewelry, stiletto-heeled shoes, and ruffled or metallic scarves, shawls and pashminas. If you plan to add a stylish hairdo or a themed makeup look, don’t forget to follow our earlier advice and do all that before putting on your corset – you wouldn’t want to stain your fabulous new fashion item!
Example Outfits: Formal
A decorated gold brocade underbust corset over a knee-length black dress, paired with a gold necklace and black, strappy heels. A white silk overbust corset with a few ruffles underneath a black blazer, paired with black slacks. Add some white hairclips, perhaps pearl-decorated, to tie together your corset and your hairdo. A pastel green cotton corset with decorative ribbons over a ruffled white blouse, paired with a tiered pale pink skirt. White or pink Mary Jane shoes and a pink headband or flower in your hair complete the look! A dark blue velvet or satin corset over a floor-length red dress with matching red heels. Throw a blue scarf over your shoulders and add a gold or silver belt at the natural waist to tie the whole look together.
That’s it! You’re all ready to step out into the world rocking your fabulous new fashion corset. Well, unless you haven’t got one yet – but don’t worry, Get Waisted once again swoops in to save the day! Go here to browse our catalog full of fashionable corsets in an unbelievably huge variety of styles. And, as always, feel free to contact us here to share your own favorite corset fashion tips – we’re always on the lookout for fresh new ideas!