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 an illusion of a small waist and worn under the dress. Today, they are worn as a bold fashion statement as well as shapewear. Therefore, you are not alone in wondering: can I wear a bra with a corset?

Do You Wear a Bra with a Corset?

You can wear a bra with an underbust corset. However, you can skip wearing a bra with an overbust corset, since the corset already provides the necessary support.

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 by cinching in the waist. The underbust corsets stop just below your breasts, while overbust ones cover the boobs to provide a certain level of support. Below, I elaborate more about each type of corset and if you need to wear a bra with it.

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 as the corset itself offers bust support.
  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 choose to wear a bra with an underbust corset.
  3. Purpose of the Corset:
    • Waist Training: Those who use corsets for waist training (reducing the size of the waist 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 being worn as a fashionable outer garment or as lingerie, the choice to wear a bra depends on the aesthetic the wearer is trying to achieve.
  4. Comfort: Some people find wearing a bra with a corset uncomfortable because of the layers and possible pinching or shifting. Others find that a bra gives them additional support and shape.
  5. Backless Dresses or Tops: If you are wearing a backless dress or top, you might want a corset instead of a bra to provide support 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 with a corset comes down to the intended function of the corset, the outfit as a whole, and individual comfort and 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 midsection. They are available in different lengths. Most models extend all the way 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 shape your boobs as much as the conventional bra, you can wear a bra with it if you want. However, avoid wearing a bra with an underwire, as the overlapping of the wire with the edge of the corset can cause excessive compression or pinching.

Moreover, to find the perfect corset that does not dig into your lap and push up the 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 wear it comfortably with a bra.

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 wear depends on whether you want some padding, support, or shape. Try on different bras with your underbust corset to determine what feels most comfortable and give the look you want. Following are the types of bra 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 just looking for support and a smooth look, wear a t-shirt bra with your corset. These have soft, molded cups that provide a sleek overall appearance, specially under-fitted clothes.
  • No Bra: If you prefer going braless, you can wear 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, you do not necessarily need a bra 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 skin. You can also show off your lacy lingerie 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, wired

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 kinds of bras can make you feel uncomfortable and cause over-lifting. Thus, 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: Underwires in a bra contour the shape of your breasts and lift them upwards. The combination of an underwire bra and a corset can create a shelf of cleavage due to excessive lift.

Related Questions

What Do You Wear Under a Corset?

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 waist. Thus, you may need a different bra.

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 waist just below the bust area. Contrarily, you do not need to wear a bra with an overbust corset, unless you prefer otherwise, as it provides you with support, a defined shape, and a lifted bust.


Hi there, I’m Allena, Founder and Editor of The Better Fit. I’ve always had a passion for finding ways to help women improve various areas of their lives. I have researched and worked to create this website so women would have a place to come and be informed about an article of clothing they literally wear every day.