The Corset Remains a Popular Item. Having worn no bras for two years, many people are starting to put some structure back into their lives, and that includes their clothes. The Lyst content lead said in an email that “going out clothes have made a powerful comeback.”
According to Ms. Le Caer, there has been a 306 percent rise in searches for corsets on Lyst in the last year because people have become more interested in royal fashion and Y2K fashion.
While corsetry didn’t really go away, it keeps coming back in a new way. In some way, when movies or TV shows show corsets, they seem to make people want to learn more about corsetry. Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, said this:
A number of things have led to the resurgence of the controversial undergarment this year. “Bridgerton” came out on Netflix last Christmas, and TikTok fashionistas started calling it “Regencycore.” This was the rise of 18th- and 19th-century-inspired regalia, like corseted dresses and skirts.
But the corsets of today aren’t the old, restrictive ones from the past. People now wear them in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and fabrics that don’t hurt them to wear. This time, there’s a lot more room to move.
When the corset first came out, it caused a lot of controversy because it walked a line between sexuality and oppression. Until the early 20th century, people wore girdles. Then, diet, exercise, and plastic surgery took over more or less, but people still wore them. In the punk movement, the clothes came back “as part of a way to make fun of some of the scandalous parts of clothing history,” says Dr. Steele.
In her words: “It was taken out of pornography and put back on the street,” she said. In the beginning, women wore their underwear on top of their clothes. This led to the trend of wearing underwear as outer clothing.
A part of the top’s recent popularity may also be because of the new trend in pants. Kristen Classi-Zummo, a fashion analyst for The NPD Group, thinks that the rise in “higher rises and looser fits” in women’s pants is the reason corsets are making a comeback in women’s wardrobes.
Baggy bottoms have a big effect on the kinds of tops women wear, which allows them to wear cropped tops and corsets, says Ms. Classi-Zummo in an email. She says that corsets “add a polished look” to sweats or jeans with straight legs.
A big part of this trend is thanks to celebrities and the red carpet, which is a good thing. Olivia Rodrigo, a singer, is one of the corset’s fans. She wore lace bustiers and tartan corsets with Dr. Martens boots when her debut album, “Sour,” came out in the 1990s.
For her “good 4 you” performance on “SNL,” Chloe and Chenelle Delgadillo, two stylists who have worked with Ms. Rodrigo, chose “a purple plaid Vivienne Westwood corset and matching pants, which were both feminine and punk,” they said in an email.
This year, Billie Eilish was on the cover of British Vogue in an Alexander McQueen corset dress. She has worn big clothes to avoid being body shamed.
A ready-to-wear brand called Miaou, which came out in 2016, pays homage to ’90s glamour and the look of midcentury French bombshells. Its corsets, like the popular, fully boned Leia, which comes in a variety of colours, have become the brand’s most popular item, making up 60% of the company’s revenue this year, the brand says. Megan Fox and Kacey Musgraves have both worn them.
Miaou founder and designer Alexia Elkaim thinks the corset is more popular than it used to be because it’s less costume-y and more wearable than it was in the past. In her words: The corset gives every body “a shape that is meant to be this curvy hourglass.” “It looks good on all body types.”
There are also a lot of people who want corsets that look like they were made for sports. It looks like a sports bra, but Mia Vesper’s brand makes fun, ready-to-wear clothes. It has “tiny tops,” which aren’t stretchy and come in styles like faux crocodile and neon shimmer. Over 1,500 of these tops have been sold since they first came out in April, which makes them one of the brand’s best-selling items.
Vesper thinks that “overt anti-utilitarianism” is very popular right now. People are looking for ways to break the rules of fashion more with these types of pieces, and this is why. In her words, corsets are a kind of costume that isn’t very risky for people to do. “It gives a little taste of theatre and romance at a time when life seems almost too real.”