Corset Top Dresses - Corset Summer Evening Gowns
Corset top dresses are rarely completely out of fashion for one obvious reason – they are very flattering. No matter what your shape, a well-cut corset top dress will give you a beautiful figure.
The Look of Corset Top Dresses
The idea of a corset top dress has its origins in the clothing of Renaissance peasant and merchant women, where the bodice was worn over the dress. The bodice could be plain or in a contrasting color or brightly decorated with embroidery. Most laced in front, although some laced in the back. Their purpose was to shape and maintain the posture and figure, but there was no denying that they were attractive and even sexy. Women at Renaissance Faires love to wear these bodices, as they do great things for the waist and cleavage.
A modern dress that features a corset top is usually much less constricting, but the flattering look still applies. Whether the bodice has lacing – built in or decorative – in the front or in back, it creates a lovely slimming effect. Even if you are slim, the lacing still adds definition and enhances the look of a curvy figure. Back lacing is very popular on wedding dresses that have fitted bodices and full skirts just for this reason – you look fantastic as you pass people down the aisle.
In the 1960s, the era of the flower child prompted an interest in corset top dresses. The peasant look suited hippies perfectly, with flowing hair matching flowing clothes. Women accessorized with ribbons and flowers, making every day May Day. The lacing on the dresses – also sometimes seen on blouses – was usually in front and only decorative. The dresses were loose but gave some shape thanks to the lacing.
Corset styling could also be seen on girls' clothing going into the 1970s, as it had a fairy book quality that girls adored.
Lacing moves around from the front to the back, but the corset look on dresses stays in style and nearly always has a vague throwback to this peasant look, even if it's a high-style designer dress.
Many formal gowns feature a serious corset top. Whether for the Oscars or a banquet, a tight, constricting bodice over a more flowing skirt does a lot for a figure. The corset bodice is often seen on the "mermaid" style dress – the unmoving bodice over the straight skirt that flares at the ankles. The boning serves its historical purpose by helping a woman maintain good posture and keep her stomach in – crucial elements to a flattering photograph.
For much the same reason, corset top dresses have also become popular for prom wear. Many girls choose the option of a corset top with a shorter skirt. You can even find dresses that have a throwback look to can-can or saloon dresses of the 19th century. It's fun to mix the saucy style of such dresses with a formal look.
Because a highly stylized corset dress has a romantic, historical look, it's very prized by those who have a Gothic style and sensibility. For this look, many women employ an actual corset to really enhance their shape and have a genuine historical flair. Women who are serious about the Gothic look will either make their own dresses or have them custom-made, as corsetry is a fine art. These dresses tend to have to be laced and the laces are usually in front as few women have the time or technique to do their own back-lacing.
A Gothic corset dress does not have to be fetishistic. More often than not, it's something that harks back to history, with a touch of the exotic and erotic.