The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Wearing Corsets to the Office Without Attracting Undue Attention

I've given myself a challenge - to wear corsets to the office for a week without raising eyebrows. Any tips or hints, other than cover it up with something bulky and uninteresting?

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Businesslike colors, and treat it like a vest - wear it under jackets or cardigans, over a plain colored blouse?  I would imagine that if your bosom isn't overflowing the top, and it's not shiny/bright/lacey, you'd do okay if the rest of your outfit is simple and office-appropriate.


(I tend to follow the rule of 3 in work situations - you're allowed three distinctive elements per outfit, and if something's really distinctive, then you only get one.  Everything else should be neutral or conservative or both.  So you can wear a quirky watch with an interesting necklace and a colorful blouse, but if you're wearing bright red tights everything else had better be a neutral in a classic cut.  I'd say that a corset is at least a distinctive element, and may, depending on your workplace and your corsets, count as a Really Distinctive only-one-allowed piece.)

Most of my corsets are underbust, but perhaps I can wear with a same-colored blouse, and not too tight, under a jacket, so it looks like one shirt and who's the wiser? I like the two distinctive items at a time rule. I can also wear a sweater over the corset, and have the bottom of it peeking out, as if it's an unusual belt or waist element to the dress ... I like the idea of wearing like a vest. I may have to invest in just the right corset for that. Thank you for the suggestions.

A few comments on corset saftey and the workplace.....


Please be careful if you decide to wear it "not too tight". I have worked with Timeless trends corsets, and I have a lot of experience wearing corsets. If you have a steal boned corset (like one from TT) and the corset is not tight enough (i.e. one that you can fit four fingers between the corset and you) you may have the tendency to slouch. You could bruise a rib or even dislocate one, not to mention the really bad soars from the rubbing of the corset on your clothing/skin. Corsets are best fit when you can get only 2 fingers in between you and the corset, any tighter and you can run the same risks as before, unless you have a lot of experience and a doctors supervision (tight lacers).


I echo everyone else's sentiment that if the corset is paired with a vest or jacket it will work well for business. Corsets were, originally, undergarments that were worn with fitted dresses over them. Corsets are now, also almost unanimously, associated with sex in the publics mind. I am sure you know what is appropriate attire for your workplace. A hostess at an upscale restaurant, sales woman, and artist, or computer programer (they can get away wit anything) should have no problem. You may want to clear it with your boss though (especially if you have customer interactions) as a conservative attire may be part of the job.


I also assume that you know how much moving and lifting you may need to do each day, but as a general note to all other readers, be sure that you do not need to do to much bending at the waist in your job bc it might become an annoyance to your coworkers if they need help you get things every time you wear your corset.


One last note on corset safety, for all readers. For women at risk for blood clots (older, overweight or taking birth control), it could also be dangerous to wear a corset for 8 hours while sitting still (as many jobs require nowadays). The corset will restrict blood flow slightly, as will sitting down for too long, and can raise the risks of blood clots and embolism. If you decide to make wearing a corset part of your regular wardrobe it is important to discuss this decision with a medical professional (chiropractor, dr, or nurse) so that they can advise you.


Now that I have the gloom and doom out of the way, I hope you find a great way to express you love of corsets in the workplace!

Another large part of a corset coming across as simply part of your wardrobe rather than a scream for attention is your attitude while wearing it.  I have brightly colored corsets and wear them with neutrals as mentioned for more serious functions.  Though if your attitude is nonchalant, it will go over much better.  If you are furtive it will come across as sheepish or embarrassed that you wore this to work.  If you keep touching it/adjusting it, you look like you are trying to draw attention to it.  And finally, don't make it look uncomfortable.  One of the hardest things about wearing tightlacers, is that they tend to start to make your ribs uncomfortable as the day goes along.  Similar to wearing uncomfortable shoes, don't let it show that you are uncomfortable or it just draws attention to it.  If someone gives you a compliment on it, accept graciously and don't over-do it.  If someone makes a snarky comment, of course use discretion since you are in the workplace, but dang you are wearing a corset.  Everyone is bound to know you have some attitude.  ;)


Kudos on adding this delightful piece to your everyday wardrobe!  Wear it with confidence and the rest will follow. 

where a coat- people mainly notice the back. don't over lace. and no shinny like the doctor said.
As has already been said, treat as vest and wear with a nice blouse.  Conversely, if you wear sheer blouses with camisoles you can wear it over the camisole piece and under the sheer blouse as long as the color is muted or a monochrome.

My only suggestion would be to wear trousers with them, in any case. A long skirt would seem costumey, and anything shorter would come off as too promiscuous. Unless either of those are appropriate for your workplace, trousers are a sure bet.



Hm. I'm afraid I have no advice on this topic, but as I have been considering adding a corset to my wardrobe, the information dispensed here has been very useful to me. It also makes me thankful once again that I own my own business and as long as my clients aren't offended by what I wear, then I can be as eccentric as I wish. Oddly, I've found that most of them (my clients are mainly seniors) truly enjoy seeing what sort of getup I might walk in wearing every week. Many of them find nostalgia in the more vintage items, and enjoy the creativity of some of the other style elements. I think they're all secretly Steampunk! ;)


Kudos to you for taking it to the conservative world! Perhaps you'll make a convert of someone!


Be well. Be wild.

L. S. A.

Thank you, Lady Stella. Props for flair and courage. (Who ISN'T secretly steampunk? :-)

And thank you, as well, Greene Fyre! Props are always appreciated, and wouldn't it be wonderful if all these closet steamers would just come out so we could have a much more interesting world of gizmos, gadgetry, and fancy threads? Ohhhh, how I dream!




My sister works for the Ministry of Justice and wears corsets to work regularly.

The trick is to select your corset and style is as you would any other officewear garment - no overflowing bosom or anything to flashy. Generally black or grey in pinstripes, or any fabric you would make a suit of, works well.

Wear your corset over a business shirt or blouse so you're not showing too much skin. If you wear it with business staples, i.e a pencil skirt or wide leg pants and a suit jacket, it'll blend right in :)

Worth a try. Thanks Valkyrie.


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