The Corset Stays the Course

Ladies, you may breathe a sigh of relief!

Actually, you may want to start by just breathing, now that you’re permitted to unfurl the bandage tape, unlace the corset and free your bosom from the bonds of a sports bra one size too small.

We know this to be true because the New York Post – a publication owned by Rupert Murdoch – has declared it so.

The paper reports that Rihanna “risked bursting out of her voluminous red dress as she hiked up her lady lumps” at an event last week, marking the official Return of the Breast.

For those of us unaware that our “lady lumps” – a term that, frankly, makes Trump’s descriptions of the female anatomy seem positively poetic – ever went away, it goes on to explain that “the perky little bosoms of supermodels such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid have reigned supreme” in recent times.

It’s 3:30 on a weekday afternoon at Orchard Corset, and Peggy and Ralph Bergstein have already sold close to 20 corsets, from a black matte satin underbust to a yellow cotton waspie with brown trim. They could sell 10 more before closing time.

These corsets are the real deal. Although no longer made with whalebone, they have steel boning and top-to-bottom lacing, and can draw in the waist by four to five inches. Women (and not a few men) of all shapes and sizes come in, leaving with silhouettes that could tempt a Victorian.

Who are all of these people still buying corsets in 2017?

“Everyone is wearing them,” said Ms. Bergstein, who runs the Lower East Side shop with her husband. “You have no idea. Just most people won’t tell you. They want you to think it’s natural. But when you see that shape on the street, with the little waist, I’m telling you, it’s a corset. They are more popular than Spanx right now.”

The repeal of the big boob ban extends to this side of the Atlantic too. “Curve Your Enthusiasm: Big boobs bounce back” reported the Sun, another Murdoch title, this week.This might seem like good news for the average Irish woman, whose bra size is 34C. But don’t think this means you can manoeuvre your lady lumps into any old underwired Marks and Spencer number and be done with it. Oh no. There are improvements to be made first. (Remember, ladies there is literally no part of the female anatomy that can’t benefit from the application of something cooked up in a marketing department by experts in making us feel bad about our bodies.) Consider enhancing them with “push-up bras, chicken fillets, clever make-up” or “glitterboobs”, as seen at Glastonbury, advised the Post.

It seems like it’s ‘bring back old fashion trends week’. First, there were the days of the week jumper that virtually every blogger on Instagram is wearing – a nod to those knicker sets that kids of the 90s will remember.

Now Zara is throwing its proverbial hat – or rather bag – into the ring.

Behold the corset bag, by which we mean a bag shaped like an actual corset, boobs and all.

Those of us who were teenagers in the noughties will know this was quite the statement bag to parade on your weekly shopping trip to Claire’s Accessories.

You might even have worn it to parties, thinking you were literally the coolest girl there. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?

Zara’s leather cross body bag , with its minimal style and suede finish, is admittedly more stylish than its predecessor – the baby pink and floral version.
But if we’re honest, we’re just not sure we can go there again. That said, if you’re bold enough to embrace the trend this time round, you might be able to pull it off with a well cut Breton top, cropped jeans and pointy ankle boots.

It’ll certainly be the focal point of your outfit and a good conversation starter. Will you dare?

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