Here you, here you.
It’s a rare moment of sartorial wonder when a piece of clothing has historically been favored by 18th-century aristocrats, bodice-ripping prostitutes, Madonna and – recently – all the young hipsters on Instagram. Once widely regarded as “an instrument of patriarchal torture that distorted the female body,” corsets are the latest fad to take the internet in a choke (or waist cincher, more appropriately).
Kick off with 2020 Bridgerton Renaissance ‘Regencycore’, corsets quickly became a structured staple in the wardrobes of all of global fashion. And instead of crushing our ribs and pulling our breasts up next to our ears, the modern corset comes in a variety of playful new iterations, designed to comfortably fit a range of body sizes included.
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After the long history of your old darlings before us, it is only fitting that the controversial corset has finally gained a place in our cold, jaded and feminist hearts. For more information on how to join the renaissance, I asked Australian designers to show us how they style corsets.
Steph, co-founder of Goodspace
I really love everything that comes from Dyspnea and this corset was the first piece of clothing I have ever owned. I love that despite the pink sequins, this is a super versatile layering piece and adds a sexy contrast to a more casual outfit. Add chunky mules and you have an outfit!
Uma, founder of Re.Uma
I love to let my corsets do the talking, so with this outfit I decided to pair my bold cobalt blue Re.Uma corset with monochrome basics. I also like to play with the timeless femininity of the corset by pairing it with an oversized masculine boyfriend blazer, tailored suit pants and a crisp white shirt, accessorized with gold jewelry.
Corsets are my favorite wardrobe item and I love wearing them in different ways: baggy Levi’s and sneakers or a mini skirt and knee high boots.
Wendy, ceramicist and designer
I wear a handmade denim corset from Brisbane sister brand Bulley Bulley. I layered a Clan Clan Clan shirt underneath with this gorgeous desert landscape print and completed the fit with vintage off-white denim jeans and Hoka sneakers.
It’s a simple look and helps make the otherwise ultra-feminine corset more casual and androgynous. It kind of makes me feel like I’m wearing armor.
Madeline, Customer Service Manager at En Gold
I dressed my Dion Lee corset with a tailored jacket and a mini skirt. I find that wearing a blazer makes me feel like I’m self-sufficient in a very chic and effortless way; I love the minimalist aesthetic of this look. Adding a corset is one way to make a structured outfit a little more fun.
Jameen and Rachel, founders of Dyspnea
Jamean: A corset makes every beige outfit stand out and adds an instant touch. They are so flattering and always give the right attitude.
Rachel: As a more curious girl, I can be a bit picky when it comes to tailoring my outfits. I don’t like anything too loose or awkward – which can be hard to find. A corset gives me definition, so I can wear a loose t-shirt while showing off my curves.
Wen, jeweler and content creator
I think corsets are definitely a staple in my closet. I generally like to pair them with unisex items like cargo pants, baseball caps, slacks, and sneakers, just because I prefer a more androgynous look.
For this cut, I went for an earthy palette and mixed up different textures like the mesh top, black leather shoes, canvas bag, and shiny silver chain – everything I love.
If I’m being honest this is actually one of my best friend Mima’s corsets as we often share clothes. She got it from the Melbourne brand Mess Bags, which specializes in handmade leather goods. I paired it with my boyfriend’s Hoddle t-shirt and Telfar sweatpants designed for the Liberian Olympic team.
Corsets are a great addition to the outfit for shape, interest and sex appeal. The whole “sexy regardless” trend is very much present right now.
Raquelle, content creator
My look combines elements from different eras. We have the 60s style mini skirt, the 70s flare sleeve top, early 2000s sunglasses and a renaissance corset. I love to create eclectic outfits using contrasting textures, styles and patterns. More is more. Minimalism ? I do not know her.
This is one of my favorite looks – my Dion Lee corset, vintage Levi’s and a pair of all-white Tabis. Celestial! My favorite way to wear a corset is to pair it with something slightly understated, like jeans or pants.
I particularly like Dion Lee’s corset; it’s androgynous, edgy and totally sexy. It adds just enough drama and makes it a surprisingly wearable statement piece.
Find more ways to make corsets work in your wardrobe here.