Corsets Are Back—And No, It's Not Just Because of Bridgerton

Elinor Block
·3-min read

Corsets are back and in a big way. January 2021 saw a spike in searches for the item, more than at any other time in the past five years. That's quite the increase. I could say I'm surprised but actually, in the fashion world, this is one trend that never really disappears. But first, it's only right we acknowledge the role that Bridgerton has to play in the popularity of this garment. There's no doubt that the Netflix period drama encouraged quite a few of those January corset searches, and considering it's the most-streamed show ever on the platform, this absolutely makes sense.

I'd argue, however, this is only the tip of the sassy iceberg. Since the start of the pandemic, lingerie and sex toys have seen a huge increase in sales. Recently, La Perla revealed that the term “body” is up 135% and "bustier" is up 57% on last year, and the word “corset” is currently in La Perla's top 10 search terms. Okay, so Bridgerton combined with lockdown definitely accounts for some of this increase, no doubt, but when I asked Depop for a list of its biggest trends corset was number five, and it's consistently at the top. The platform has over 26 million users, 90% of those are Gen Z, so this seems like a bigger trend that just because of one TV show.

Fashion has been championing this look for hundreds of years. Without giving you a full history lesson here, let's just say the corset dates back to the1500s. While its usage and style has definitely changed over time, this garment's popularity has rarely wavered. Countless designers have reimagined the corset, most notably Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier and more recently Jacquemus and Isabel Marant. Today's iterations include classic corsets but also tops and knitwear with corset shapes built in.

What's interesting, however, is that unlike the G-string trend, which is making a comeback, the corset never really experienced much of an obvious decline, rather it just comes back reinvented to entice us every now and then. Keep scrolling to see how we've worn corsets in the past, how we're wearing it again, and where to find 2021's version of the corset trend.

French actress Pascale Petit wearing a corset, circa 1960

Naomi Campbell walking the Vivienne Westwood runway, autumn 1994

Ashley Graham at the Met Gala in 2017 wearing a corsetted top

Kim Kardashian wearing a bright yellow vintage Versace corset top and matching skirt in 2018

Bella Hadid wearing a denim corset in 2019

Gigi Hadid wearing a corset and trousers at the 2019 MTV Music Awards

Isabel Marant spring/summer 2021 runway

Isabel Marant spring/summer 2021 runway

The character Marina Thompson in Bridgerton

The character Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton

The character Daphne Bridgerton in Bridgerton

Shop Corsets:

Jacquemus Ruched Cotton-Blend Poplin Shirt (£405)

Rta Fitz Paneled Ribbed Cotton Sweater (£335)

Safiyaa MacIe Wrap-Effect Pleated Stretch-Denim Bustier Top (£375)

Dion Lee Ribbed Cotton-Jersey Bustier Top (£423)

H&M Denim Corset Top (£15)

Fleur Du Mal Hamptons Silk-Blend Satin Bustier Top (£197.32)

Reformation Emery Stretch-Organic Cotton Jersey Bodysuit (£94)

16arlington Iris Open-Back Lace-Up Leather Top (£450)

Dodo Bar or Viva Cropped Quilted Satin Bustier Top (£480)

H&M Sequined Bustier (£80)

Laperla Corset in Black Stretch Tulle (£235)

Kiki De Montparnasse Strapless Corset Top (£467)

Alexander McQueen Sheer Lace Bustier Top (£1075)

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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