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Bustiers - The Secret to a Great Figure!

Updated on July 18, 2011

What Are Bustiers?

Women have been wearing what we now call bustiers for quite some time now. Once known as a long-line bra or a Merry Widow, a bustier is made from some type of flexible cloth that has been made stiff with the use of what is known as boning.

This boning is normally made of plastic in the modern bustier. The bustier can definitely be used to emphasize the breasts. Since it only reaches the bottom of the ribcage or right at the waistline, a bustier will push up the breasts, making them appear larger. The use of a bustier will also create cleavage when there is little to none naturally. The fit of the bra portion of the bustier is of supreme importance. A well fitting bra cup makes all the difference in the world.


This garment will also gently shape and slightly reduce the size of the waistline, but does so more gently than a corset.

Those who have a bulky midriff are ecstatic with the change in their bodies that occurs when wearing a bustier. The disappearance of rolls of excess fat around the waist without having to diet is a big incentive for many women to go out and purchase their very first bustier.

Bustiers versus Corsets

Many people are of the opinion that bustiers and corsets are the same thing, but nothing could be further from the truth. While at first glance these feminine garments look quite similar, they are different in the ways that matter most for a lingerie item such as this. A corset is/was worn for either fashion and/or vanity, to make the waist smaller so as to be able to fit into certain articles of clothing.

Remember Scarlett O’Hara in the movie Gone with the Wind, and her attempt to have her waist measure 18 inches with the use of a corset? Corsets can also be worn for medical reasons by those who have back problems. Corsets also come down further on the body than a bustier, so as to further enhance the waistline. The inner structure of the bustier is just different enough from that of the corset to make these two similar, yet different.

Bustier top as everyday wear

Bustiers Today

In today’s society, it seems that the bustier is used in two ways. There is some question as to whether or not this garment should be used as lingerie beneath the clothing, or worn as outerwear.

You have women who have copied the boldness of superstar Madonna, delighting in wearing a bustier with jeans, shorts, or a skirt. If this is something you think you might want to do, a little taste can go a long way. Choose a bustier that looks less like lingerie, and more like a blouse.

The ABCs of Bustiers

Many of the bustiers you see will be strapless. This makes them ideal to wear underneath a form-fitting prom or wedding dress. However, there are many styles that have removable straps, spaghetti straps, off the shoulder straps, and other varieties as well.

As far as fabric goes, you can find a bustier in just about any fabric you can think of. Cotton, denim, leather, velvet, plastic, polyurethane, and a host of other selections await the bustier shopper.

Think about where you will be wearing your bustier, and for how long before choosing a fabric. Since the garment fits like a second skin, you want to choose a fabric that will be comfortable for you to wear. The bustier comes in every colour imaginable, and these garments are often beautifully embellished with lace, ribbons, eyelet, embroidery, and much more.

How does a bustier fasten?

Traditionally, the bustier fastened in the back with laces that could be pulled as tightly as possible, hooks and eyes that had to be fastened one by one, or a zipper. This meant that whoever was wearing the garment would need help getting it fastened. The bustier of today is far easier for someone to manage alone, as it fastens in the front.

Ungaro bustier dress

(c) Ungaro
(c) Ungaro

Floral bustier

The bustier can be the stuff fantasies are made of, as they are considered very provocative when worn in the bedroom. These garments help to show off a woman’s curves that may be less obvious without a bustier. As such, they are in high demand.

There are quite a few online lingerie shops that specialize in bustiers, so you should have no problem finding a style that is perfect for your needs.

Bridal bustier

Strapless Bustier

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    • Neil74 profile image


      7 years ago

      Your hub is great. The photos are excellent.

    • Isabelle22 profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere on the coastline

      These bustiers are divine, I wish I could have them all :)

    • VampireAlice profile image


      8 years ago

      where can i get a bustier for 15 dollars??


    • salt profile image


      8 years ago from australia

      thanks, Ive had a thing about getting a corset lately, I thought I was having a past life thing, wanting to be corsetted.

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.


    • sexeducationnow profile image


      8 years ago

      very informative...thank u so much for sharing..:)

    • eonsaway profile image


      9 years ago from New Mexico, USA

      A busting-out of a bustier hub.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      All the women in the images certainly do not NEED bustiers :)


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