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Style and Structure Go back in time for a fitted look
Style and Structure Go back in time for a fitted look

The corset makes a haute comeback on the ramp and streets, writes Latika R. Chuganey

Corsets are back and how! From terribly constricting undergarment — we all remember Mammy lacing up Scarlet O’ Hara’s corset — to uber cool fashion statement.

“Corsets are timeless”, says Kolkota-based designer Sayon Mitra, whose hand-finished corsets are available at Mogra at the Leela Galleria.

“Corsets not only add zest and panache, but also shape your body for an ideal silhouette”, says a Bangalore-based fashion designer, Mini.

Corsets are typically constructed with thick flexible materials like silk, raw silk, brocade etc that are stiffened with boning (generally made of plastic) which are tailored depending on the type of the corset. There are two kinds of corsets; one that sits along the waist that helps flatten the belly while the other comes above the bust. Corsets attached to a gown or designed as an outer wear tube top look chic and classy.

Traditionally corsets were very uncomfortable and constricted. Kate Hudson, who wore corsets for “The Four Feathers,” practiced wearing them for an hour during her break time or while at home.

Corsets are no more the sole preserve of anorexic models. Keeping the Indian women in mind, designers are creating well-constructed corsets that fit any body type without hampering movement. And if you are not satisfied with readymade corsets, you can go for a custom-made one.

Corsets designed with rich fabrics like Benares silk or brocade materials, with glittering embellishments and intricate detailing which can be teamed with a sari or a lehenga are haute now. “With the wedding season in full swing, women opt for teaming saris with corsets, which also gives a contemporary twist to the traditional ensemble,” says Mini.

In western wear, a well-structured corset with slim padding and shoelace tie-ups go with any formal business suit. For a casual look, one can team a corset with a pair of jeans or a straight long skirt.

Buying the right corset is all about the right fit and good quality. First, try various kinds of corsets and select one that fits you well.

Always remember the corset must be long in front so that the stomach is flattened. A well-structured corset generally has shoelace tie-ups or strings, hooks or zips that gives shape and pulls the garment the right way.

While tie-ups at the waist are comfortable, shoelace tie-ups at the back add glamour and drama.

It is advisable to pick corsets that are designed with plastic boning. Corsets designed with metal or wood are not advisable as it rips the fabric easily.

To check whether the corset is of the right size, sit on a chair and observe whether the bones are hurting the chest or the stomach zone.

If it does hurt, then put your stomach in and try adjusting the strings or ask for the next size. Tying the lace is an art. An extra pull can ruin the whole garment. Also, check if the lace is strong and well tailored. Pretty lace that is flimsy can result in a wardrobe malfunction. If you are not comfortable with lace or tie-ups, opt for hooks or zips.

“One of the most important aspects while wearing a corset is to check that it is not very tight on your body, as it can harm your skin and can make you feel very uncomfortable. A corset though fitted must allow easy breathing and free movement,” explains Mini.

So if you are going for the structured look this summer, go for corsets and make sure you can breathe comfortably in them.

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