Consider This Your Crash Course in Styling Corset Tops

·13 min read

While every new season brings with it a bevy of exciting trends and outfit ideas, none sit as close to my heart as summer. I’m a sucker for peak-summer style and a good swimwear trend. But this year, the prospect of summer feels all the more exciting—not only because of the rise of the “Hot Girl” style aesthetic but also because, after a year of quarantine, it’s nice to look forward to spending time outdoors in the sunshine. There are many things to be excited about, but if I’m honest, there’s one specific trend that has me sweating more than the others: corset tops. While the lingerie-inspired look is nothing new, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this risqué trend was at the top of my revenge shopping list. It’s already an alluring top, and with new versions of the staple including everything from underwire busts and puff sleeves to bold patterns and cozier fabrics, this trend is too spicy not to try.

Still not sure how you feel about corset tops or unsure of how to actually wear one? Ahead, we’ve rounded up 21 corset-top outfits that make a serious case for investing in the trend for the summer. Dressed up or dressed down, this top is the must-have staple of the summer.

WHO: Emna Sellimi

WEAR: BY FAR Tube Mini Bag ($504); Immoral London corset top and matching skirt

The easiest way to style a corset top is by opting for a coordinated look. Pair your top with a matching miniskirt, matching heels, and a bold handbag for a no-fail way to style this sultry staple. Bonus points if you go for a bold hue or print.

Re-create this look:

Kim Shui Butterfly Bustier ($220)

Don’t forget to pair this with the matching skirt.

Who What Wear Harper Woven Shoulder Bag ($80)

A little black bag is a must-have for wearing with any corset top this summer.

WHO: Chinyere Chi-Chi Adogu

WEAR: PrettyLittleThing top; Free People Rebel at Heart Vegan Slim Pants ($78); Coach Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag ($495)

Half of pulling off a corset-top outfit is styling. You’ll want to find the perfect iteration of this top for you (in strapless, cotton, or halter form), and to make your top sizzle, you’ll want to pair it with bold separates. Don’t be afraid to mix colors and textures. Opt for a pair of leather pants or an It shoulder bag of the season to finish the look off.

Re-create this look:

Laraque by Danielle Iris Corset ($155)

Idk what makes this top the best: Is it the hybrid halter-corset design, or is it the fact that it’s from a rising Black designer? Either way, I’m hooked.

Coach Pillow Tabby 26 Leather Shoulder Bag ($495)

This bag would look good with any corset.

WHO: Hodan Yousuf

WEAR: Sabina Sommer blouse; Demonia boots

Modest dressers can get in on this trend, too. In fact, a corset top is a perfect piece for playing with layering. The key to making this piece work for your style is to not be afraid to play with unconventional lengths and pairings. Go ahead and wear a jumpsuit, a blouse, a skirt, and a corset, or throw it over your favorite turtleneck and trousers. The pairing possibilities are endless with this top.

Re-create this look:

Orseund Iris Lady Cropped Cold-Shoulder Cotton-Poplin Top ($595)

What’s great about this top is that it gives the illusion of a corset without the underwire.

Dr. Martens Jadon Pisa Platform Boot ($180)

The punch of structured combat boots pairs perfectly with a pretty corset top.

WHO: Danielle Oreoluwa Jinadu

WEAR: Meshki top and pants

The best thing about corset tops? Versatility, darling. Get creative with layers or take a minimal, monochrome approach. (Think of a white corset and matching trousers paired with your favorite jewelry.) Basically, this top will be the only thing you’ll want to wear all summer long.

Re-create this look:

I.Am.Gia Siobhan Corset ($70)

Hello, corset of our dreams.

Missoma Aegis Chain Necklace ($214)

Don’t forget to layer on the jewelry.

WHO: Yoyo Cao

WEAR: IreneIsGood Label hat; Rotate Birger Christensen top and pants; Balenciaga bag

Color more your thing? Then you’ll want to opt for a monochromatic look, just with a colorful corset top. Personally, we’re living for this pale-yellow corset top paired with matching linen pants, but no matter what color you choose, you can’t go wrong with this look so long as you finish it off with a fun bucket hat.

Re-create this look:

Lack of Color Wave Cotton Terry Bucket Hat ($95)

Summer isn’t complete without a bucket hat.

Mango Cotton Culotte Trousers ($50)

Yellow linen pants are the summer essential you didn’t know you needed.

WHO: Aniyah Morinia

Who said a corset top couldn’t be comfy? With newer iterations of the lingerie-inspired piece crafted from linens and knits, you can wear this sultry top without breaking a sweat. Just be sure that the top includes some sort of bustier element or fitted ribbing to give the same effect as the real thing.

Re-create this look:

525 Fashioned Rib Corset Top in Smoke ($78)

Cozy and chic? Add to cart.

Raie Eyewear Jaquie Sunglasses ($95)

It’s not a complete look without some shades.

WHO: Pia Shah

WEAR: Rinesa Bajrami corset; Denim by Orlee vintage jeans; Nike Air Jordan 1 Pine Green ($250)

Opting for a corset in a comfier fabric isn’t the only way you can make this trend more approachable to wear daily. Try pairing a corset top with oversize jeans and sneakers for a fun, unexpected look to wear to brunch, out on errands, or just for the chance to finally leave the sweats behind.

Re-create this look:

Favorite Daughter The Jordie Super High Waist Distressed Straight Leg Jeans ($198)

The perfect jeans to pair with your corset top.

Converse Canvas Platform Chuck Taylor All Star ($70)

These sneakers will match any corset top.

WHO: Nina Sandbech

WEAR: Rozie Corsets corset; Amina Muaddi heels

For many, like myself, the prospect of returning to the streets serving a full look is top of mind. No other garment is entirely up for the challenge like a corset top. I can’t think of a better way to tell the world that we’re back than wearing a bold corset (think bright colors, feathers, lush fabrics) paired with bold printed pants and your new revenge heels. Watch out, world. The corset top is taking over.

Re-create this look:

LaQuan Smith Corset Bustier in Hot Pink ($495)

Now, this is a going-out top.

Jeffrey Campbell Hollywood Flare Heel Sandal ($144)

Disco shoes done right.

WHO: Celeste

WEAR: Urban Outfitters corset; Clandebanlieue Dream Team Bucket Hat ($43), Bowling Shirt ($110), and Bowling Shorts ($80)

Not ready to slip into some heels? No problem. Try a more athletic-inspired look by pairing a corset top with basketball shorts, a sports jersey, a bucket hat, some jewelry, and your signature sneakers for an everyday outfit that still will turn heads.

Re-create this look:

Cotton On Floyd Corset Cami ($15)

You can dress this corset top up or down, depending on your mood.

Boys Lie Cherry Pie Shorts ($80)

These shorts would look so good with a corset top.

WHO: Maggie McCormack

WEAR: Saza Floral Corset ($130)

Whether you’re a fan of period pieces like Bridgerton or you just enjoy the idea of a floral-inspired look with puff sleeves and a corset top, then this outfit idea is all you. A stunning printed corset with sleeves is a must for the summer, as it can be styled over a silk dress, with a silk skirt, or even with jeans. The possibilities are endless.

Re-create this look:

Reformation Alcove Linen Top ($148)

Lady Whistledown would approve.

Musier Paris Shirley Skirt in Ivory ($130)

This skirt will match any corset top perfectly.

WHO: Jeannine Roxas

WEAR: Dear Alex dress; New Balance sneakers

Florals not your thing? You can still wear a corset top this summer without feeling like you’re an extra on the set of Bridgerton. Throw on an oversize white button-down dress and your favorite sneakers with a traditional corset or even a bustier cup to spice up this wardrobe staple.

Re-create this look:

J.Crew Relaxed-Fit Short-Sleeve Cotton Poplin Shirtdress ($107)

This dress will look perfect under any corset.

Abrand Jeans Tata Bodice Pink ($169)

A bodice corset worthy of a day by the water.

WHO: Sophia Brenn

Let me say it loud and clear: Corset tops are the staple that will carry you through every summer event. Yes, you can wear them out for the day or date night, but they’re also perfect for a dinner party at a friend’s house. Pair them with a linen button-down and some pajama pants, and you’ll have a cozy-chic look that you can curl up in while having a glass of wine with your besties.

Re-create this look:

Nasty Gal Let's Hook Up Corset Crop Top ($18)

Yes, this can be paired with your most comfortable sweats.

Soma Wide Leg Pajama Pants ($22)

Are they pajamas, or are they cute pants? They’re both.

WHO: Sami Miro

WEAR: Sonya Lee bag; Simon Miller boots

While the world hasn’t reopened fully, this corset-top outfit is one you’ll want to pin for later. Maybe it will be for drinks or a concert, but this head-to-toe leather look paired with the colorful second-skin top and platform boots is everything we dream of reemerging in, and then some.

Re-create this look:

Fleur du Mal Vegan Leather No Cup Bustier ($195)

Imagine this leather bustier over your favorite second-skin top—steamy, right?

Steve Madden Cobra Black Leather ($160)

These platform boots are begging for a night out on the town.

WHO: Moe

WEAR: PrettyLittleThing jacket, corset, and jeans

Did your brow just break out in a sweat thinking about the idea of wearing head-to-toe leather? You can still pull off a corset-top outfit and maintain the drip without drippin’ in sweat literally by opting for a denim-on-denim look instead. Pair a denim corset with your favorite jacket and jeans and add sneakers or sandals for a breezier take on this look.

Re-create this look:

River Island Denim Layering Corset Top in Mid Blue ($56)

Who knew a denim corset could be so chic?

Universal Standard Kelsey Denim Jacket ($118)

Investing in a quality denim jacket is something you’ll never regret.

WHO: Maria Alia Al-sadek

WEAR: Dior dress, D-Lace Corset Belt ($2500), and Caro Bag

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to style pants with a corset top. If you’re opposed to tailored bottoms (like me), don’t be afraid to style your corset over a maxi dress. It’s a fail-proof way to avoid thigh sweat and wear your beloved staple.

Re-create this look:

Rixo Lucile Printed Crepe Maxi Dress ($365)

Imagine this dress under a corset—dreamy, right? Black Corset Waist Belt ($40)

Opting for a bustier or garter belt over your maxi dress can give off the same vibes as a corset top.

WHO: Oumayma Elboumeshouli

WEAR: Dion Lee corset jacket and Teardrop Hosiery Tank ($350); Louis Vuitton bag; Balenciaga square-toe pumps

Corset tops aren’t just for the off-duty moments; there are ways you can dress this look up for more formal occasions. Finding a blazer with corset detailing and pairing it with slacks and heels is one way to do it. Who said corsets couldn’t be corporate?

Re-create this look:

Danielle Guizio Corset Blazer in Black ($468)

This blazer can go from day to night in a second.

COS High-Waisted Wide-Leg Pants ($115)

Trousers you can wear well into the fall.

WHO: Federica Labanca

WEAR: New Era Europe Ball Cap; Sundarbay Black Pinstripe Oversized Blazer ($218), Black Pinstripe High Waisted Pants ($162); Bottega Veneta Multi Strap Stretch Sandals ($890).

You don’t have to splurge on a new corset-inspired blazer to achieve the same effect. If you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid to throw a corset top over the suit you already own. It’s not only a way you can make your corset more work friendly, but it’s also a new way to style your staple wardrobe suit.

Re-create this look:

Sundarbay Black Pinstripe Oversized Blazer ($218)

Your search for the perfect blazer is over.

Tobi Wicked Games Strapless Crop Corset Top ($27)

Freshen up your staple suit by layering this corset over it.

WHO: Noor

WEAR: H&M Long-Sleeve Blouse ($20); & Other Stories denim; Polène Numero Nuf Handbag ($390)

Styling a corset top is all about knowing your comfort level, and if you’re looking for an outfit that strikes the right balance between dressed up and casual, look no further. Pairing your corset with a button-down top, jeans, and heels is the perfect way to make this structured top work for you.

Re-create this look:

Simple Retro Hailey Embroidery Cotton Blouse ($65)

Allow us to introduce you to a beautiful blouse to layer under a corset.

Zara Knit Corset ($40)

This will look good with just about anything.

WHO: Alyssa Coscarelli

WEAR: Miaou corset; Rejina Pyo Nane Bag Leather Pink ($674); Simon Miller Black Leather Beep Thong ($220)

For those hotter-than-hot days, wearing jeans and a button-down may be too much to handle. Instead, pair a corset top with denim shorts—or even Bermuda shorts—thong sandals, and a fun statement bag to keep yourself looking good without overheating.

Re-create this look:

Babaton Adrian Short ($110)

Found: the perfect statement shorts.

Rejina Pyo Nane Tote Bag ($337)

Finish off the look with a fun bag.

WHO: Michelle Li

WEAR: Miaou Campbell Top ($225); Lisa Says Gah jeans

You’ve made it this far, so you know there are so many ways you can style a corset top—the key is to be creative. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns (like the outfit above) or style it with pieces you wouldn’t think would go together. When it comes to wearing this top, there is no right way to do it; you just have to have fun with it.

Re-create this look:

Miaou Campbell Top in Groovy ($225)

Don’t be afraid of a corset with a fun print.

House of Sunny Hibiscus Jessie Luna Print ($126)

BRB, we’ll be dreaming of these jeans.

WHO: Marisa Martins

WEAR: Missoma Baroque Pearl & Spiral Shell Hoop Earrings ($252), Baroque Beaded T-Bar Necklace ($420), Baroque Pearl Twisted Link Necklace ($335), and Baroque Claw T-Bar Bracelet ($175)

When in doubt, the best thing you can do is opt for an all-black look. This truth holds up when wearing a corset top, too. You can style this lingerie trend so many ways, but the easiest way is to pair it with some black trousers and layer on the jewelry. We promise this outfit (and all the other ways to wear this top) will be the highlight of your summer.

Re-create this look:

Misho Pandaia Earrings ($200)

These earrings would look so good with that corset top.

PrettyLittleThing Black Corset Top ($25)

A corset top to carry you through the summer.

Next: 30 Corsets I'm Buying for My Hottest Hot Girl Summer Yet

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

Read More from Who What Wear