How to Choose and Wear Corsets for Beginners - Kate Sisk - Hidden Intimates

How to Choose and Wear Corsets for Beginners

2024 Corset Guide

Curious about corsets? If you have been intrigued by the comeback of corsets, but not really sure how to wear them, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

At first, I was intimidated by corsets - how to lace up corsets, how to style corsets, and which corsets to choose were only some of my questions... but I have found the answers - and now I'm sharing them with you, as well as some recommended corsets to try yourself.


Demystifying Corsets and Bustiers: How to Wear and Style Them in 2024

I decided to start carrying corsets at Hidden Intimates because I've seen so many women really love them lately, including you! With the passion I've seen for Kilo Brava's bustiers and underbust corsets, I moved past my initial intimidation and embraced the fun of learning how to style corsets in a modern way.


enchanted noir lauren - kilo brava underbust floral lace bustier top

Kilo Brava Underbust Bustier


I never would have thought I'd be wearing corsets, but wow, I felt like Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton! Although, if we're being historically accurate, they wore 'stays' in the Regency era, not corsets. These stays were the predecessors to corsets.


Daisy Corsets White Sheer Lace Corset Dress

Daisy Corsets Lace Corset Dress


Understanding Corset Types: Which One is Right for You?

When it comes to corsets, there's a delightful world of variety waiting to be explored. Understanding the differences between each type can help you find the perfect corset that matches your style and comfort needs. Here’s a quick guide to the most common types:


Overbust Corsets

Corset Designer Maison Léoty French 1891

Designer Maison Léoty
Date: 1891
Culture: French
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Overbust corsets cover the bust, ending just above or at the hips. They offer great support for your chest and can be worn as a top or under your clothes for a smooth silhouette.

Styling ideas: Pair an overbust corset with a long skirt or over a button up shirt with high-waisted pants.


Underbust Corsets

Kilo Brava velvet Underbust Corset with Rose applique

Kilo Brava Underbust Velvet Bustier with Rose Applique

Underbust corsets start just under the bust and extend down to the hips. They’re ideal if you want to focus on cinching your waist without additional bust support.

They’re incredibly versatile and can be worn over a shirt or dress. They also make a great addition to your lingerie collection for the bedroom.

Waist Cinchers

Waist cinchers are a type of underbust corset but typically shorter, focusing primarily on the waist area. They are often used for waist training, which can cause internal organ damage and digestive issues—which I have enough of, so it's a no for me. However, there are safe ways to wear them, and that’s what this guide is for. They may not be for me, but they might be just what you’re looking for!


Stays (aka Bridgerton Corsets)

Corset - Stay 1760 - French - The Met The Costume Institute

Date: 1760s
Culture: French
Collection: The Costume Institute
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Stays are the type of corsets they wear in Bridgerton. They are the historical predecessors to corsets, worn during the Regency era and earlier. They provide support and shape but focus more on creating a natural silhouette rather than the dramatic hourglass shape associated with modern corsets.

Styling ideas: Wear stays over a simple dress to add structure and interest. This can work with both casual sundresses and more formal dresses. Wear stays like a tank top with shorts for a casual summer look.


Corset Dresses

Daisy Corsets White Sheer Lace Corset Dress


Corset dresses combine the structure of a corset with the length of a dress. They provide full-body shaping and are often made with luxurious fabrics and intricate details. 

Styling Tips: Corset dresses can be worn on their own depending on the length, but they also look great when layered with tees or turtlenecks. Mixing textures like denim or leather vests or jackets can create a unique contrast for a casual vibe.


Other Historical Fashion Garments



Kilo Brava Printed Lace Bustier
Kilo Brava Underbust Bustier


What is a Bustier? Bustiers are similar to overbust corsets but are generally shorter, ending at the waist. They provide less structure but still offer great support and shape for the bust. They’re often used in lingerie and can be worn as a sexy top.



Bodice Date: 18th century Culture: European Collection: The Costume Institute Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Date: 18th century
Culture: European
Collection: The Costume Institute
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What is a Bodice? While a bodice isn't a corset, it is a structured garment that covers the torso from the shoulders to the waist. Unlike corsets, which cinch the waist and provide dramatic shaping, bodices offer support and style without tight lacing. A bodice can be built into a dress or a standalone piece.

Styling Tips: These look great with pencil skirts. One of my favorite looks is a floral bodice over a simple, white dress and sandals. 


Choosing the Right Corset for You

When choosing a corset, consider your comfort, the occasion, and the look you want to achieve. Whether you’re aiming for casual romantic or sophisticated and sexy, there’s a corset out there for you.


For more inspiration, check out my historical fashion board on Pinterest!


Hidden Intimates' Corset Collection

Daisy Corsets

Daisy Corsets has been in business making corsets in the USA for over a decade - they know what they are doing! They offer sizes XS - 6X.

Kilo Brava

Kilo Brava is a modern lingerie and loungewear brand known for its attainable luxury and inclusive sizing. Founded in 2019 by Kristin Bear, the brand blends vintage inspiration with contemporary designs, offering high-quality, comfortable pieces that celebrate femininity and self-expression.


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