Do You Wear a Bra with a Corset?

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Corsets have been around since the 1500s. Back then, they were used to create the illusion of a small waist and were worn under the dress. Today, these garments serve as a bold fashion statement as well as shapewear. Therefore, you are not alone in wondering: do you wear a bra with a corset?

Do You Wear a Bra with a Corset?

You can wear a bra with an underbust corset. However, many women can skip wearing a bra with an overbust corset. It already provides the necessary support for the body.

Graphic image of multi-colored corsets that explains you can wear a bra with underbust corsets but not with overbust corsets

Corsets were designed to create an hourglass shape for women by cinching in the waist. Underbust corsets stop just below your breasts, while overbust ones cover the boobs to provide a certain level of support.

Based on research and personal experience, I elaborate more about each type of corset and if you need to use a bra with these waist training garments. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Overbust Corsets: These are designed to cover the bust and provide support. Generally, you don’t need to wear a bra with an overbust corset.
  2. Underbust Corsets: These sit under the bust and do not provide bust support. Depending on the outfit and the desired look, a wearer might wear a bra with an underbust corset.
  3. Purpose:
    • Waist Training: Those who use corsets for waist training (reducing the waist size over time) often do not wear a bra with their corset, regardless of whether it’s an overbust or underbust design.
    • Fashion or Lingerie: If the corset is used as a fashionable outer garment or as lingerie, the choice to wear a bra depends on the aesthetic the wearer tries to achieve.
  4. Comfort: Some people find wearing a bra underneath a corset uncomfortable because of the layers and possible pinching or shifting. Others find that a brassiere gives them additional support and shape.
  5. Backless Dresses or Tops: If you are wearing backless dresses or tops, you might want a corset instead of a bra to provide a little lift even without visible straps. You can also use boob tape for your backless top.
  6. Modesty: An opaque bra might be worn under a more sheer corset for modesty.

Ultimately, the decision to wear a bra underneath a corset comes down to the intended function, overall outfit style, individual comfort, and personal preference. If someone is new to wearing corsets, they might experiment with different combinations to see what feels and looks best for them.

Do You Wear a Bra with an Underbust Corset?

The underbust corset covers just the waist and is used to slim the torso under any type of clothing. They are available in different lengths. Most models extend to the underbust, while others are only a few inches in length and cover a dedicated part of your waist.

Since underbust corsets do not support, lift, or contour your boobs as much as the conventional bra, you can use a bra with it if you want. However, avoid wearing a bra with an underwire, as the overlapping of the underwire with the top edge of the corset can cause excessive compression or pinching.

Moreover, to find the perfect corset style that does not dig into your lap and push up your bust, measure the length of your torso. Take your measurements while sitting down to get the best estimate of your corset length so you can use it comfortably with bras while the corset pushes the bust.

A black seamless bra with adjustable straps placed on a pink background

Bras You Can Wear With an Underbust Corset

The type of bra you use depends on whether you prefer some padding or shape. Try on different bras with your underbust corset to determine what feels most comfortable and gives you the look you want. Following are the types of bras you can wear with an underbust corset:

  • Pushup Bra: If you want to show some cleavage, go for a good-quality pushup bra. The combination of a corset and a pushup bra creates the coveted hourglass figure.
  • T-shirt Bra: If you are looking for support and a smooth look, try a t-shirt bra with your corset. These have soft, molded cups that provide a sleek overall appearance, especially under-fitted clothes.
  • No Bra: If you prefer going braless, you can use your underbust corset over a shirt. The overall look is very on-trend, and your boobs are supported just enough for you to feel confident and in control.

Do You Wear a Bra with an Overbust Corset?

Overbust corsets engulf your breasts along with your waist. They are designed to support and lift your bust and make your waist appear toned. The corsets are made from a stiff material structured with boning. As a result, women can go braless with an overbust corset.

However, some people prefer to don both a bra and a corset for a number of reasons. It can be for additional support or as a barrier between the overbust corset and the skin. You can also show off your lacy undergarments peeking out from under your corset as a style statement.

A black corset with a red lining and ruffles placed on a white mannequin

Bra Styles for Corsets

Type of CorsetBra Styles
UnderbustPush-up, t-shirt, braless
OverbustPadded, with underwire

Bra Types to Avoid Under an Overbust Corset

As I mentioned above, if you are wearing an overbust corset, you do not require a bra. This is because both serve the same purpose. Moreover, wearing certain bras can make you feel uncomfortable and cause over-lifting.

Based on personal experience, it is best to avoid the following bras when wearing an overbust corset:

  • Padded Bras: These come with additional foaming and can feel tight under your corset. The added compression can cause you to feel suffocated and create shortness of breath.
  • Bras with Underwires: An underwire contours the shape of your breasts and lifts them upwards. The combination of an underwire bra and the top edge of a corset can create a shelf of cleavage due to excessive lift.

Related Questions

What Do You Wear Under Corsets?

You may wear special pieces of clothing called corset liners under your corsets. These undergarments serve as a barrier between your skin and the corset. They consist of cotton, which is stretchy and thin.

Can You Wear a Corset on Bare Skin?

Avoid wearing a corset on bare skin for long periods, as the skin is prone to shedding and sweating. The sweat and the dead skin cells can degrade your corset. The bone casing and the corset’s seams can cause bruises and rashes.

Can Corsets Be Used as Bras?

You can use a corset as a bra if it has an overbust design. An underbust design focuses on the hips and waistline. Thus, you may need a different brassiere style.

Bra Size Measurement & Cup Size | A, B, C, D, DD Bra Sizes AND Extra Large Breasts


To summarize, you can wear a bra with an underbust corset, which is wrapped around your waistline just below the bust area. Contrarily, you do not need to use bras with an overbust corset unless you prefer otherwise, as it provides you with lift and a defined body silhouette.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.