Over time, the corset has evolved beyond a shape-defining undergarment from the 18th century to a going-out staple, and we have the late designer Vivienne Westwood to thank for that. The Dame transformed the historical piece whose primary function was to be concealed into something that you want to show off. And even more recently, we’ve been introduced to the concept of the corset top—a style that gives you the cinched look in a more wearable design.
Blending the worlds of style and comfort in a notoriously uncomfortable design, a really good corset top won’t force you to choose fashion over function. But the secret to finding that balance is paying close attention to the fabrication. As more often than not, that will determine the fit. If you want something that smooths and sculpts, a more technical material by emerging label Uniform Person is the way to go. Whereas, if lifting and feeling secure is more of a priority, something from Dion Lee is a great option.
Miaou Campbell Corset
When you think of the modern-day corset tops worn by the style set—be it on Instagram or IRL—there’s a good chance that Miaou’s collections come to mind. Filled with ‘of-the-moment’ prints and bold color stories, the buzzy brand’s designs have a distinct ‘90s and Y2K feel that its loyal fan base can’t get enough of. Take it a step further and consider any one of the brand’s corseted dresses, too.
Price at time of publish: $245
Material: Varies | Size Range: 2XS–XL
Out From Under Modern Love Corset
With hundreds of positive customer reviews and more than a handful of color combinations available, Urban Outfitters’ lace corset is undoubtedly a fan favorite. After going viral on social media a while back, the style is finally back in stock. Whether it’s worn under a blazer with pleated trousers or dressed up with a fitted mini skirt and knee boots, it makes for a great layering piece. The fact that it’s a fraction of the price of similar designs is a bonus.
Price at time of publish: $59
Material: 82% nylon, 18% spandex | Size Range: S–XL
Vivienne Westwood Classic Portrait Corset
“Her bustiers and ruching on gowns and dresses remain largely unparalleled,” Ambria Mische, SVP of What Goes Around Comes Around, explains over email. “Oftentimes, designers rise in the fashion industry because of a silhouette—a calling card.” And corsets are undoubtedly a Vivienne Westwood signature. With many of her archival pieces priced beyond the four-figure mark, it makes the late London designer’s current collection seem more reasonably priced. Not to mention you’d have a little piece of fashion history hanging in your closet.
Price at time of publish: $1,395
Material: 58% cotton, 42% modal | Size Range: XS–XL
Rosamosario Tulle Bustier Top
Emerging label Rosamosario has a wide selection of corsets available, many of which have a distinctly vintage vibe that sets them apart from the pack. This bustier top, in particular, is made from black tulle, allowing it to carefully tote the line between special occasions and everyday attire that can be layered under a blazer or longline trench. Consider wearing yours for date night with medium-wash denim and a pair of pumps.
Price at time of publish: $368
Material: 100% polyester | Size Range: 2XS–2XL
Good American Compression Terry Square Neck Corset
One of the things that the brand Khloe Kardashian co-founded has mastered is the ability to accentuate many different body types. From its inclusive denim collection to the label’s usage of compression materials, Good American just gets it. And the corset top is no different. Available in a wide range of sizes, the square neck option is made from soft terry cotton, proving you don’t have to forgo style for comfort.
Price at time of publish: $115
Material: 2% cotton, 16% polyester, 2% elastane | Size Range: 2XS–5XL
Uniform Person Zoe Corset Top
If you’re not yet familiar with the NYC-based brand, then it’s time to get acquainted with its small-batch collections of elevated essentials. At first glance, its Zoe corset top appears to be your average minimal tank. But the cinched details and compressive material prove otherwise.
“Traditionally, corsets require the wearer to fit into the garment, but I wanted to create a corset that conforms to the body instead,” Chloe says. “I took the silhouette of the corset but removed wires and uncomfortable laces. Instead, I focused on other key design elements, such as a deep, soft U neckline to elongate the neck and a smocked back to prevent discomfort. The bottom part of the front is angled to create a snatched waistline effect without feeling restrictive on the skin. The only part that fits somewhat tightly is the chest area, which provides the desired 'push-up effect' with hook & eye closure and elastic back. Overall, I aimed to create a corset that is both stylish and comfortable without sacrificing one for the other.”
Price at time of publish: $78
Material: 100% polyester | Size Range: S–M
House of CB Lace Corset Top
Very few fast fashion brands do corsets and bustiers quite like House of CB. Over the years, we’ve seen the style set show off the UK-based label’s ultra-glam designs on Instagram. Its lace corset top gives you the quintessential lifted look without the hefty price tag to match.
Price at time of publish: $135
Material: 89% nylon, 11% elastane with 80% polyamide, 20% elastane contrast | Size Range: XS–XL A/C Cup; XS–XL D/E Cup
NTK Addie Blue Corset
Denim corsets are much more of a rarity than one would expect, but NYC-brand NTK has pretty much nailed it. Made from a light to medium wash that goes with just about anything, it has sculpting side panels to give you the secure fit found in more traditional corsets. Pro tip: Make note of the zip fastening along the back—if you’re hoping for a tighter fit, we suggest sizing down.
Price at time of publish: $112
Material: Denim-like fabric | Size Range: XS–XL
Rick Owens Leather Bustier Corset Top
I know from personal experience that you’ll find yourself grabbing Rick Owens’s leather corset top over and over again—making it well worth the steep price tag. Aside from the fact that it pairs well with just about anything, the understated design means you can wear it multiple times, further proving that outfit repeating is something we should all get behind.
Price at time of publish: $955
Material: 65% lamb leather, 34% cotton, 1% elastane | Size Range: XS–XL
Best Vegan Leather
Abercrombie & Fitch Scoop Neck Corset Top
Gone are the days when this Southern California brand only had denim and graphic tees on offer. Today, Abercrombie is churning out collections of attainable, trend-driven designs, which include its scoop neck corset top. It’s made from the brand’s take on vegan leather but also won’t break the bank as its price tag sits right under the $75 mark.
Price at time of publish: $70
Material: Faux leather | Size Range: 2XS–XL
Danielle Guizio Satin Corset
If you keep up with the cool It-girl brands on the market, then you know that Danielle Guizio is a fan favorite, and corsets are among some of her most popular styles. The New York-based designer’s satin iteration, available in a range of colors, including black and pink, is made with a traditional lace-up back that allows customers to find their desired fit. Styling options include everything from a pair of jeans to a slinky slip skirt.
Price at time of publish: $138
Material: 100% polyester | Size Range: XS–L
Maison Close L’Amoureuse Combination Corset
Most modern corset tops are made from a stretchy mesh fabric, but Maison Close’s iteration is far ahead of the pack. Whether you underpin it with a matching bra or let the super-sheer fabric stand alone, it’s surprisingly versatile regardless of your style. The garter-like hem is a nice finishing touch.
Price at time of publish: $196
Material: 87% polyamide, 13% elastane | Size Range: S–L
Best Corset T-Shirt Top
Isabel Marant Zazie Ruched Top
Those on the hunt for the corseted fit in a more laid-back silhouette will appreciate Isabel Marant’s Zazie T-shirt. Designed with flattering ruching throughout, it’s cut entirely from cotton to withstand multiple wears and washes. Pare it back with denim for a foolproof look.
Price at time of publish: $360
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS–XL
Selkie The Soft Corset
Selkie’s collections have a distinct vintage feel that the cottagecore girls flock to, and its corset top is no different. Designed from cotton in a soft silhouette, it has all the same features of more traditional corsets, including the lace-up fastening. Fully embrace the ultra-romantic aesthetic by wearing yours with a billowy skirt.
Price at time of publish: $169
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: 2XS–6X
Lamarque Zaina Top
Somewhat impractical but a lot of fun, Lamarque’s Zaina top is a great piece to have in your wardrobe. The festive design doesn’t take itself too seriously and proves that you’re not afraid to take fashion risks. Plus, it’s plucked with both ostrich and turkey feathers, so you don’t have to worry about any inevitable shedding changing the overall look.
Price at time of publish: $253
Material: Ostrich and turkey feathers, polyester, and cotton | Size Range: XS–2XL
LaQuan Smith Virgin Wool Corset Top
One of the things that LaQuan Smith does best is churning out sexy but wearable designs that women want to wear. Enter the Black-owned brand’s knitted wool corset top. Made from virgin wool, it has a shell-like silhouette that layers well under blazers and leather jackets, but it works just as well when dressed up with slip skirts and pleated trousers.
Price at time of publish: $595
Material: 100% virgin wool | Size Range: 2XS–XL
Best Long Sleeve
Alo Yoga Corset Detail T-Shirt
Perfect for low-impact workouts, Alo Yoga’s corset-detail T-shirt is as wearable as it is flattering on the figure. It’s designed for a tempered but relaxed fit that wears well with leggings and sweatpants. The long-sleeve style is particularly great for those chilly mornings and evenings when you’re headed to the gym.
Price at time of publish: $88
Material: Stretch-cotton and modal blend | Size Range: XS–XL
Dion Lee Gender Inclusive Rib Jersey Corset Tank
We’re slowly but surely getting to a point where clothing is no longer being categorized as gender specific, which is one of the reasons why Australian label Dion Lee has designed a line of corset tanks with every person in mind. As seen on fashion editors and influencers alike, their shape-defining tops have become an integral part of the brand’s DNA.
Price at time of publish: $500
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS–XL
Reformation Luxe Silk Corset Top
Reformation has proved time and time again that it’s no one trick pony. Though the brand’s loyal fan base is known to flock to its summer dresses, the assortment of going-out options on offer is just as good—as proven in its equally whimsical corset top. While it can, of course, be dressed up, try styling it with leather pants to balance the romantic feel.
Price at time of publish: $168
Material: 100% silk | Size Range: XS–XL
Rozie Corsets Silk Satin Peplum Corset Top
If the early and mid-2000s are back, then it means that a peplum hem resurgence is inevitable. Combining two trending silhouettes in one design, Rozie’s corset top is a great way to embrace the trend in a way that feels relevant to the times. It’s made from silk with a satin finish and flares out only slightly.
Price at time of publish: $392
Material: 100% silk | Size Range: S–L
Best Bridal Lace
Bardot Long Sleeve Corset Top
Whether it’s for your big day or one of the events leading up to it, Bardot’s long-sleeve corset is well-suited for any bride. It’s made from a delicate lace design with a cropped silhouette that wears best with high-waisted bottoms. The plunging V-neck offers the lifted fit that you’ll find in most corset top designs.
Price at time of publish: $119
Material: Lace | Size Range: S–L
Farm Rio Tie-Strap Corset Top
Leave it to the Brazilian brand to design a breezy corset top that’s great for your next warm-weather vacation. It’s cut from a featherweight linen fabric that will keep you cool on particularly hot days. The tie-detailed shoulder straps give it a distinct tropical feel, while the square-cut neckline and fitted bodice are quintessential corset features.
Price at time of publish: $110
Material: 100% linen | Size Range: XS–XL
All Saints Kym Ruched Strapless Corset Top
Rugged NYC brand All Saints is known best for its leather jackets and raw denim. But sprinkled among its lineup of edgier pieces is an assortment of form-fitting silhouettes that includes a ruched strapless corset top. Consider layering yours under your favorite moto jacket for a night out.
Price at time of publish: $134
Material: Stretch-jersey | Size Range: XS–XL
Rag & Bone Theresa Shine Corset Crop Top
If you ask Afterpay’s resident fashion psychologist—Shakalia Forbes-Bell, about metallics for Spring 2023, she’ll tell you that it’s on the rise—citing pragmatics as the reason why. While at first glance Rag & Bone’s chrome-colored corset top gives off a futuristic feel, metallics tend to double as neutrals, which means it will work hard in your core closet lineup.
Price at time of publish: $225
Material: Cotton blend | Size Range: XS–XL
Halara Patitoff Sweetheart Neck Corset Top
Made from a water-wicking stretch fabric (that won’t collect pet hair), Halara’s corseted workout top is an easy choice. It has an accessible price point and flattering fit that will work hard in your workout wear lineup. They say if you look good, you’ll feel even better.
Price at time of publish: $35
Material: Stretch-jersey | Size Range: XS–XL
Zara Seamless Corset Top
The somewhat seamless design of Zara’s corset top has the fashion girlies on TikTok in a proverbial chokehold—and with good reason. Made from contouring stretch-knit with quarter-length sleeves, it provides a close enough fit that it can be tucked in (or not) to accentuate your shape. The versatile colorways and wallet-friendly price points are just a bonus.
Price at time of publish: $49
Material: Stretch-knit | Size Range: XS–L
SKIMS Glissenette Long Sleeve Corset Bodysuit
At its core, SKIMS is a shapewear destination that’s a fact. But over the years, Kim Kardashian’s brand has evolved into so much more. Finding all the many different ways that one can go about top-drawer dressing, it's offered a fair share of corset iterations, including the almost always sold-out bodysuit from its Glissenette collection.
Price at time of publish: $98
Material: Mesh | Size Range: 2XS–4XL
Fleur Du Mal Bella Open-Back Embroidered Tulle Corset
Historically, corsets are considered top-drawer dressing, so if you’re on the hunt for a style that feels more like a negligee, it makes sense to call on a lingerie brand to get the job done. Enter: Fleur Du Mal’s Bella corset. Though it’s the embodiment of an undergarment, its open back and embroidery give it the power to be worn beyond the bedroom.
Price at time of publish: $268
Material: Tulle | Size Range: 2XS–2XL
Meet the Expert
- Chloe K is the founder and designer of the NYC-based brand Uniform Person.
- Ambria Mische is the Senior Vice President of Buying/Merchandising for luxury vintage and secondhand retailer What Goes Around Comes Around.
- Shakalia Forbes-Bell is a fashion psychologist and author of Big Dress Energy.
What to Look for When Buying Corset Tops
"Will women feel good in this piece?" was my question,” the Uniform Person founder explains. “I've tried on several corsets in the past, but I didn't like how they looked like lingerie or felt uncomfortable with wires digging into my skin. While some people enjoy the slimming effect of traditional corsets and the hourglass figure they create, others prefer a less restrictive fit. Regardless of personal preference, there are no 'bad' corsets as long as they don't negatively impact your physical or mental health. Ultimately, the most important factor is how you feel in the garment and finding a corset that makes you feel confident and comfortable!”
“The quality of the material is crucial, the feel and texture of the fabric can speak volumes about its worth,” says Chloe. “Sourcing the right fabric for each design is essential to ensure the garment fits and falls perfectly on the body. Finding the perfect material demands a significant amount of creativity and expertise than most people think! I still learn every day. I also didn't want to use traditional materials such as satin, laces, or ribbons, as I believe there are other designers who are so much better at utilizing them than I can and have their own market. Instead, I wanted to create the most simple, versatile, and comfortable corset that stands out on its own, with unique features and materials that ensure both style and comfort.”
The fastening often determines the fit. Styles with lace-up backs leave room for a more customized fit, while zip and pull-on fastenings are pretty set in stone, so if you want more security, it might be best to size down.
What is a corset top?
As the name suggests, a corset top has all the shining qualities of the traditional corset but in a more wearable design. And because the restriction isn’t as important, designers have the freedom to use just about any fabric. This explains why there has been an influx in corseted activewear and loungewear.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Shelby Ying Hyde is a Byrdie contributor who writes for Harper's Bazaar, Refinery29, The Cut Shop and more. Before entering the editorial world, she worked as a product copywriter for luxury e-commerce companies, Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi where she became well-versed in fits, fabrics, and other unique selling points that make an item special. For this story she considered dozens of corset tops on the market, specifically focusing on ethical brands with inclusive sizing.