Summer has always been a time of celebration, rejoicing at the end of a school year for you or your kids, and of course the possibility of a few weeks off of work. This summer is doubly so, with the celebration of life! After endless months of lockdown, we are finally venturing out again. One of the most instinctive ways to celebrate is through our clothing, in summer we tend to focus on color combinations and prints in lieu of actual articles of clothing. It is hot and the last thing you want to do is pile on the pieces. This is where the corset comes in handy… This pseudo-belt which has been used for centuries as as a feminine tool of seduction amongst other things, can add the much needed oomph to a relatively basic outfit. It’s important to define exactly what a corset is before going forward.. It is an item of clothing that accentuates and defines the waist. It can either extend upwards to incorporate the bust, or extend downwards to create a peplum. OK, now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s proceed!
Accentuate The Waist
Well using a corset to accentuate your waist is a no-brainer. The strength of the corset when compared to a regular belt, is the way it holds you in. Often times with regular belts, they are either too heavy for summer dresses, those thick leather belts with the chunky buckles actually weigh the dress down. Otherwise the fabric self-belts that come with the dress, is too flimsy and does nothing to accentuate your nature silhouette.
The corset is cut curved, so it sits on the waist better. So even if it is made of a thick leather or fabric, the issues faced with traditional belts are eliminated.
Accentuating the Bust
As previously mentioned, the corset can extend upwards to define not only the waist but the chest and ribcage as well. In this case, although the corset fits across the torso, its intention is to actually highlight the bust and waist. The fitted corset around the torso only serves to accentuate your natural curves and bust or creates the illusion of a more voluptuous hourglass figure.
Some of the corsets on offer this season include suspenders which sit on the shoulders. First introduced by Alexander McQueen in the beginning of the Noughties, these serve to define your shoulders, firstly by drawing attention to them, and secondly by creating a V from the waist to the shoulders, which again either defines your natural silhouette or creates the illusion of one. This style is for the more fashion-forward of us, the suspenders are a real statement and have throughout history been associated with two very different things. Either military harnesses worn by men in battle, or raunchy lingerie…
The Peplum Corset
Although the corset is closely associated with the torso and bust, often times it goes in the opposite direction, adding definition to the waist and hips instead. The peplum style is a traditional corset that extends downwards in a skirt of some description. This skirt draws the eye to two very specific parts of the body, firstly the waistline then the hips. The draping of the peplum itself contrasts the size of the waist to the hips creating the illusion of an hourglass figure.
Textures and Colors
The corset is a great way to add interest to an outfit, either by using a contrasting color or texture. Whether it’s a mock-croc leather, linen or silk fabric in a fantastic Oriental print (obi style) for example, adding the corset as a hero piece is the accent you have been looking for. The thing with summer is that it’s too hot to pile on the layers or even accessories. A simple slip dress is often the only thing you can manage, adding a corset gives it plenty of personality without the added weight.