Styling a corset top with straps over another shirt

Useful Layering Tricks When Styling a Corset Top with Straps

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I was challenged to style my corset top with straps by a fellow blogging friend, Marsha. Granted we talked about this months ago, which is why you are seeing the outfits with boots and jackets. But I’m giving the tricks to make this work no matter what the season.

If you are reading this from MSN’s page, click here to see all of the photos.

Quote of the day: “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. A small habit-when repeated consistently-grows into something significant.” Atomic Habits

I have come to learn that the habit of thinking about layering in different ways can be the best way to have your clothing items be more versatile.

Styling a Corset Top with Straps
1-What is a corset top?
2-Why a corset top might be advantageous?
3-Layered under a blazer
4-Worn over another top
5-Style it over a dress
6-Other ideas

While a corset top with straps may be something that you think a 50-year-old woman should leave to the young girls, I call hogwash on that thinking.
No matter what your age or your size, the term for a clothing item can vary so much, that you might be surprised. And finding a fitted top can make us feel good. There is quite the variety I included in the widget at the bottom of this post.

I am not here to talk you into trying to look like everyone else but to try new things. Just think of me as the styling fairy since I have some layering tricks to make the corset top with straps work into any wardrobe.

Insider tip: If you only ever purchase items that you already have in your closet, you will continue to look the same every day. Think about trying something new and different every once in a while. Remember the goal isn’t to be thinner and taller but to have fun with our style.

What is a Corset Top?

In the past corset tops are meant to hug the torso and push up the girls so you have more of an hourglass shape. They were made of stiff materials and included boning to hold the shape and thus were VERY constricting.

Luckily, times have changed, and even if a top is classified as a corset top, you can find them with much more comfortable features.
For example, I am showing a corset top with straps so a regular bra could be worn.

And then I’ve seen many with smocking at the torso so it might hug the body but it’s easy to move around while wearing. Heck, I even included a couple of “corsets” in the widget that have sleeves.

Insider tip: Don’t rule out a piece by its name. For example, a cropped top might be the perfect length for short-waisted women.

Why a Corset Top Might Be Advantageous

Let me answer that in one word: SHAPE!!

WAIT….before you think to yourself that your shape is not one you want to showcase, please keep reading.

First off, why should a tummy be embarrassing?? Who said that thinner is better? These are only ideas that have been pummeled into our brains our entire lives. And it’s sad to think that we get mad at ourselves for not having the “perfect” body shape.
It is E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y hard to change our mindset about our bodies. But if you work on it, I promise you will be happier.

So if by chance you will think about showing off your shape even a teensy bit, you might even realize it will inspire others to do the same. We are real women showing how our real bodies are a good thing.

Insider tip: I don’t say this to say you should look trimmer, but wearing clothes that are big, only makes you look bigger.

And if you prefer to see women who are larger, I have plus-size friends who blog and show off their curves from time to time. No woman needs to be hidden all the time.
1-Liz, With Wonder and Whimsey
2-Kristine, Trendy Curvy (who was the inspiration for Cathie’s white outfit)

Pants: Ann Taylor-thrifted~~ Blazer: Ann Taylor~~ Corset Top: Bandolino-Macys~~ Boots: Payless~~ Scarf: Gibby’s Frillery (use code Jodie20)~~ Earrings: Lil Shop of Ours~~ Purse: Couture Planet

Layer Your Corset Top with Straps Under a Blazer

Honestly, I’ve had this corset top with straps for over 10 years. I would wear it to work as shown above. And I think this is the easiest way to think about styling a piece like this.

With a blazer over top, you are covered and feel more professional or dare I say respectable? In a way, I would consider this dichotomy in style because the corset can be looked at as sexy while the blazer is professional.

Insider tip: Remember blazers can be worn casually too (like Lesley showcased here). I could have easily worn this same top and blazer with white shorts or jeans for a spring, casual look.

Other Details

I wore this to a medical appointment. When I’m not wearing it over other clothing, I tighten the ties in the back which makes the bow tie at the bottom longer. Therefore I will tuck them into my pants so they don’t hang below my blazer.

Notice my Gibby’s scarf around my neck. I used a pin to hold it to the blazer lapel. Otherwise, the scarf ends fall to the front, and I wanted it angled for this look.

Skirt: Charlotte Russe-thrifted~~Corset Top: Bandolino-Macys~~ Top: Banana Republic-thrifted~~ Boots: Penny Loves Kenny~~ Earrings: Bealls

Worn Over Another Top

Just because we think of a top as something worn next to our skin, doesn’t mean it can’t be layered over another top.

I added this corset top with straps over a thicker, white top for this look. Since there are ties in the back, it’s easy enough to loosen them so the top can be worn this way.

Proportion-wise in length, the two pieces are almost half and half. However, I think the fact that the skirt is tulle and a-line while the corset top is fitted makes it work.
In fact, you might think the two pieces are really a fit and flare dress.

Outfit Details

This tulle skirt was found while thrifting. And most tulle skirts aren’t found at the old lady stores. For some reason, we think they are only for young girls. But trust me when I say, I feel young when wearing one. Seriously, you should try it.

So make sure to check out the stores you don’t normally shop at. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Dress: Charming Charles ~~ Top: Bandolino-Macy’s~~ Boots: Stuart Weizman-thrifted~~ Earrings: Francescas ~~ Purse: vintage-was my grandmother’s

Style It Over a Dress

Now just like you can layer your corset top with straps over another top, don’t forget that a dress falls into that concept.

Here is one way to add some interest to a solid-colored dress. Sure you could add a topper over the dress by way of a cardigan or jacket too. The advantage of a corset top would be it doesn’t move around and can give shape to a boxy dress.
On the other hand, it’s not easy to take off if the weather changes. There are always pros and cons.

This also is a fabulous way to add shape to a boxy t-shirt dress. Think of it as a more complete belt, haha!!

Outfit Details

This navy dress is one I’ve worn on the blog talking about funeral outfits. It’s a sweater dress and yet relatively thin. In fact, in the older post, you can basically see my bra outline (obviously I should have worn a darker bra).
That’s why wearing this top over it was brilliant.

If you try to analyze the proportions, it’s half and half without the boots. But take the navy boots into account, and I will say it’s a winner. Sure, there’s bare skin between the dress and boots, but that’s a modern look. Your eye still equates the navy as 2/3 of the proportion.

Insider tip: Even my 80+-year-old mother has shown a little bit of skin between her boots and dress.

Other Ideas

Of course, there are countless other ways to wear your corset top with straps or without straps. Don’t be limited by my examples.
But the takeaway from this post is to consider the layering tricks of both over AND under other items.

Let me count the ways:
1-Wear it by itself. Yes, this could be scary at first, but baring skin is not a bad thing.
2-Think of all the other toppers that would work to layer over it. For example, a cardigan, jacket, kimono, or even a button-up blouse.
3-Layering under it. This idea can include any top you want. Other ideas would be a half tee (so there isn’t as much material around your torso), a boxy shirt (to give it some shaping), or even a button-up blouse.

Insider tip: Half tees are basically cropped tees that are meant to help cover either your chest or arm without creating bulk. Here is the first blog post I wrote about them.

3 Ways to style a corset top with straps

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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