The Survivor’s Guide To Corset Dresses

Corset Dress

Just where to begin with Corset Dresses?  Do you know your Mini from your Maxi, or Brocade from your Burlesque?  If you don’t, then welcome to the first article in our mini series, and we hope you’ll find some great ideas for the next time you want to really make an entry! Did you say you do?  Well, there’s no need to show off!  Follow along and maybe you’ll find some inspiration for your next outfit.

First of all, just how did we get to Corset Dresses anyway?  Last time I wrote about under-bust corsets and their weird and wonderful origins in the French Courts of the 16th Century, they were just practical.  I’ll write another blog post about that, but for now, let’s strongly suspect that two bits of whale bone strapped together with lace somehow needed more appeal…

Let me tell you a little story; It’s rare, very rare that I ever get to go to formal events, you know those, that you really need something special or grand, but every year my husband has a Dinner & Dance for his company’s Christmas party.  I loved the occasion first time around, but it didn’t take long for me to realise that even after spending a bit more than I could genuinely afford on a lovely number from Karen Millen, I genuinely didn’t stand out; my husband said I looked lovely and he was proud to have me on his arm, which is sweet and for that I’m grateful, but I didn’t stand out, and I am a creature of instinct; I like to be noticed and I felt, well, just bland.  Be honest with yourself, before we get to a gathering a party or a club, who doesn’t secretly simply dread the thought that another woman turns up in exactly the same outfit?

Anyway, the other women at the party were so lovely, and looked beautiful but I thought we were all a bit… ‘beige’. Nobody was an individual, out of us, and I think they secretly knew it. Shortly after, I discovered the joy of getting my curves back with corsets, I thought “what about Corset Dresses?”, and the following year, I turned up in bargain outfit that turned heads and definitely made an entrance.

The Maxi Corset Dress

Where shall we begin with the maxi?  Well the first thing I can think of is, that THIS is how to make an entrance!  If you want proof then look no further than the lovely Amy Lee of Evanescence fame.

Amy Lee Corset Dresses

Year after year and with sold out Stadium Tours year after year, she is never to be seen without her trademark maxi corset dress.  Amy usually goes for – and pulls off beautifully – a classic gothic style corset dress, with layer after lovely looking layer of netted lace, but let me give you a pro-tip; the wrong type of netted lace can itch – horribly, especially if you have more sensitive skin. Maxi corset dresses flow right down to your ankles, so all that layered netted lace can also feel quite heavy, so don’t expect to be doing too much dancing towards the end of a long evening.  Maxi corset dresses when bought online usually have the skirt sold separately and tend to be their own more expensive line, but gosh, but please, spoil yourself with silk and achieve with a breeze that killer look that Amy gives her millions of adoring fans.

It doesn’t have to be about leaning towards the more Gothic look though; Dolce & Gabbana’s “Enchanted” range  inspired by period romance, bring their uniquely modern slant on the maxi corset dress and make great usage of chiffon, taffeta and other materials that are kinder to delicate skin, and of course, you can find plenty of bargains for those fabulous corset dresses online from the ‘snuggly’ comfort of your own home.

The Midi Corset Dress

If you are going for a formal look and want a “safe” look that can never go wrong with, and doesn’t look like you have a “safe word”, then, welcome to the Midi corset dress.  Any skirt length as part if this style will be knee length or just under.  The beauty of this style is that you can just about pick any favourite corset and mix with a suitable knee length skirt and easily achieve a fab look for almost any occasion.  Where or not you are going to the office or casual in the daytime, cotton is your friend here, especially on hot days.  Why not try a bodice under-bust with a flowing black skirt?  Just make sure that any skirt you choose flows from above your hips and it will beautifully complement the corset and enhance your natural curves, then you’ll be ready for anything your day might throw at you.  Midi Corset Dresses

What of the night?  Well for events and occasions we need a bit more flair, and that means you’re going to go for a matching corset dress and the skirt will come with a specific corset.  A midi corset dress will set your slant on the little black dress a world apart!  As well as velvet, I love satin, and for the evening, you simply can’t go wrong with a black satin over-bust corset, with a higher neckline. Go vintage with patterns on your corset and if you are feeling creative, why not try sequinned?  Pair also with a matching, knee length layered frilled black skirt, and you are set for your party, event or date.  Now pay attention here is another pro-tip; with the midi corset dress, when you wear a lace skirt that is layered and frilled at knee length this means less length, so it will keep its own shape instead of sagging under its own weight so there’ll be no risk of that uncomfortable rubbing that you risk with the maxi.  Netted black lace is perfect for this look.

Also, I said FRILLED not ruffled. Otherwise you’ll totally miss that timeless elegant vintage look that just works, and we’re talking Burlesque. Then you’ll like you’ve landed straight from casting Les Miserables!

When you buy online, the style of a midi corset dress can be purchased simply as a two piece dress corset plus skirt or sold together as one item.  Either way, they will almost always be modelled together with a link to the both items making it so very easy for you to achieve the look of that little corset dress you secretly desire, or didn’t know you needed.

 Remember, if you are going to buy corset dresses online from your comfortable snuggly home, arm yourself with wine, maybe some chocolate and very definitely the correct measurements for your fitting.  As we always recommend this will typically be two sizes down from your regular dress size, but please check out our handy sizing guide when we get around to finishing it.

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