Wearing corsets as outerwear

After going to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition I’ve finally decided to buy my first corset (and after trawling through What Katie Did’s site I think the Laurie will be best for me, exciting!). I know you like to wear corsets under your clothes but to get the most mileage out of mine I was wondering if you had any tips for wearing corsets as outerwear? I’ve done lots of internet searching and most of the images are really gothic – love that look but it’s not for me.

Thanks Elinor, always appreciate your insight.


Hi JJ!

I am super excited for you to get your first corset, and from What Katie Did as well! I was so excited when I got my first corset from her! For those who don’t know what the Laurie looks like, check her out:

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.21.27 pmThe goth look can look quite extreme if that’s not your style, but there are lot of other styles that you go for with a corset, it just depends on the occasion. I have worn my corsets as outwear in the past, but mostly for an evening out rather than daywear. The (rubbish) photo below is the only one that I can find of me wearing a corset as outerwear – I just wore my Morticia over a simple t-shirt dress.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.11.26 pmOne of the best corset as outerwear outfits that I have seen (and you will all probably slap me for saying this) was a woman wearing a corset over a pretty t-shirt and jeans. Yes, jeans. She looked great.

I have no idea what your style is but I reckon wearing this corset with a circle or pencil skirt would look great. The only thing I would say is that, just because the Laurie is an overbust corset meaning that you could wear it as a top on it’s own, it doesn’t mean that you should. As you have asked my opinion, I’m going to go ahead and say that I think it can look trashy to wear just a corset as a top on a night out for example – Just my view. If you do want to wear it as a top, it’s very easy to dress it up in a sophisticated manner.


One of the problems that I have with corsets is that they give me back boobs, boleros are a great way of hiding back fat and they can really tone down the corseted look. Pinup Girl Clothing stock a variety of styles and colours.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.48.11 pmT-shirt dresses:

I wear my corsets over t-shirt dresses for a couple of reasons; firstly because on their own, t-shirt dresses can be a bit boring. Secondly, I have a jelly belly and the corset helps to hide it. Trust me, you will feel gorgeous in this outfit 🙂 This particular example is from Topshop.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.58.51 pmCircle skirts:

If you feel a little self-conscious about your hips, thighs or bum, you can wear a flattering circle skirt. Another great reason to wear a corset with one of these skirts is that your corseted waist will look even more extreme due to the flare of the skirt. I really like Dovima‘s skirts and need one ASAP!

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.05.11 pmI hope this helps to show you that there are lots of alternatives to the images that you have seen 🙂

Have fun with your corset.


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