Nail summer 2021's hottest trend with these nine outfit ideas.

By Samantha Sutton
Jun 09, 2021 @ 4:44 pm
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How to Style a Corset Without Looking Like You’re Attempting Victorian Cosplay
Credit: Getty Images

Once upon a time - aka for the past few decades - corsets were considered an extreme kind of fashion choice. You mostly saw them on Halloween, as part of a sexy princess costume or Moulin Rouge moment, or spotted them on the red carpet, worn by "It" celebrities in the late '90s and early '00s. Even during a time when the "going out" top was in its prime, or when fashion fully embraced lingerie as everyday wear, corsets never truly felt like a wardrobe staple. They were special, fun, and unexpected.

And then, 2021 hit, and now, they're suddenly everywhere, every day, no matter where the wearer is headed.

If you haven't yet noticed the rise of this unusual Bridgerton-like trend, we guarantee you will now. Aside from the obvious celebrity fans (anyone whose last name included Kardashian, Jenner, or Hadid) famous faces like Brie Larson, Sabrina Carpenter, Angela Basset, and more have fully embraced this look in recent months, even taking to Instagram to show off their corset outfits.

Of course, after seeing corsets on a bunch of fashion icons, we felt the urge to shop for one of our own, or at least look for tops with corset-like details. But, with the world opening back up, we're admittedly feeling a little rusty when putting together even a simple outfit. Styling around a kinda-outrageous piece like this one? Uh, yeah. It's easy to get stumped.

Instead of struggling to come up with cool, non-cheesy ways to wear a corset, we decided to check out Instagram for a dose of inspiration. Ahead, you'll find nine great corset outfits to get you started with this viral trend, although we're sure you'll find plenty more ways to wear it as the season continues.

Wear Your Corset With Something Structured

Whether it's shorts, trousers, or simply a blazer you layer over your corset, the contrast between something so sexy paired with something sharp will make for an eye-catching combination.

With Jeans

Don't overthink this one. The days of the "going out" top have returned, and if you're not into the twisted halter look, a corset is an equally fun alternative.

With a Dress

This one has potential to come off a little costume-y, so if you're not willing to go full fairycore, pair pieces that are from the similar color families (ex: beige with brown, or cream with light pink) so that they blend instead of contrast, creating a more subtle look.

With Casual Pants

Perhaps you're not quite ready to give up those flared leggings and we don't blame you. However, if you're hoping to find a happy medium between comfy and pulled-together, just throw on a corset with your favorite stretchy bottoms and embrace the best of both worlds.

With a Midi Skirt

It's possible this in-between, throw-on-and-go bottom is already a big part of your summer wardrobe. When styled with a cropped corset top, it will come across as romantic and feminine rather than easy and effortless (even though it's exactly that).

With a Little Leather

Lean into the badass, '90s vampire vibe and combine your lacy black corset with leather staples, such as a long blazer or a pair of pants. Hey, the fashion crowd is dressing like rock stars right now, and it's definitely a pairing we could see Megan Fox wearing on one of her many date nights.

With a Button-Down

Corsets were long considered undergarments, but they don't have to be. Play around with layering and use it to spice up your favorite basics, whether it's a long white button-down or a casual graphic tee.

With Coordinating Pieces

When in doubt, monochromatic looks are a no-fail style solution, and this rule still applies when wearing a corset. Style your own with coordinating bottoms and accessories, which will come across as sleek and polished - even if they don't match perfectly.

With Summer Staples

The good new is, corsets are a statement piece, so don't be afraid to make it the center of attention and keep the rest of your outfit simple. Two summer pieces you might want to pair it with? A tennis skirt for a light academia twist and a pair of basic bike shorts.