4 Ways to Wear a Bustier

(I am so happy to have Heather of The Style Confessions as today’s poster!  You may remember my introduction to her a few weeks back.  She is very talented- Not only does she write a fantastic blog but she also draws amazing illustrations! Check out the examples here and make sure you leave her some love.)

Bustiers were hugely popular in the 1980’s. Like lots of styles from that era they’re coming back into vogue. From the runway to my local Bebe store, these sexy, structured tops are popping up everywhere.  I couldn’t be happier about a trend as bustiers are surprisingly versatile and often very flattering. Here are a few drawings to show how a basic black bustier like the one above can be worn numerous ways.


After seeing nothing but tight pants for years the new trend towards baggy, pleated, trousers and loose harem pants is really refreshing.  However they can look a little, um, frumpy. A fitted bustier balances out the loose pants below and adds a bit of sex appeal. Throw on a little denim jacket and a casual shoulder strap bag and you’re ready for pretty much any daytime outing.


Drape yourself with a bunch of silver necklaces, ropes of pearls and big earrings for a classic 80’s look.  I added a full striped skirt, skinny belt, and a vintage hand bag. At the time this would have been worn with brightly colored pointy-toed pumps, ankle socks and maybe some lace tights, but opaque tights and platform peep-toes are just as cute and more modern.


I found Balmain’s Spring/Summer 2011 Collection incredibly inspirational.  It’s made me want a studded leather jacket so much I can’t imagine why I never wanted one before.  I especially liked the capri pants mixed with bustier tops. I know most of us don’t have access to such expensive garments, but you can get the look for less. This is a sexy, but really rather simple look.  The masculinity of the motorcycle jacket balances the flirtatious top, and the pumps and narrow clutch add a ladylike element.


Bustiers are made for evening wear.  Try a narrow pencil skirt and a short faux fur coat with some pearls and a bright clutch.  Add as many rings as you wish and keep your hairstyle fun so the look doesn’t get too serious. This is definitely the place for your highest, sexiest, platform heels.

All the drawings are marker and ink on paper. You can see more of my illustrations and designs at HeatherFonseca.com and more of my looks and style ideas at The Style Confessions.

Would you ever wear a bustier?  Which look do you like?




  1. I love them all. Such fabulous ilustrations, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  2. I love the different uses you have provided. I, too, have always been a fan of the bustier, but never can seen to find the right thing to wear them with. Thanks so much for the gorgeous illustrations. I love them.

  3. Love the illustrations! So cute!

  4. Love that Heather did all these fab illustrations Alexis! I haven’t worn a bustier in a very long time, but that said, I could be in the mood again. They show off a pretty neckline, the shoulders and of course, guys love them! Great inspiration for a sexy summer look!

    xo Mary Jo

  5. I love the last look. Pencil skirt + bustier is the ultimate classy sexy.

  6. I love all the looks and those illustrations are out of this world! She’s awesome!
    following her on bloglovin’ now!


  7. Amazing illustrations! I love the different ways to wear a bustier!

  8. Okay— finally getting a chance to comment myself!!! I am obsessed with both the casual and sexy looks!
    I think the casual is just so original and cool looking! And the sexy one– I totally see the Balmain inspiration and I love the idea of fitted capris!

    Thank you so much for partaking as a guest poster!!!

    • Alexis it was a pleasure! I love drawing but often find I can’t quite get it together to sit down and make myself do it. I got to do a bunch of fun drawings so I’m super happy. It seems like lots of people like my work too, which makes me happy.


  9. The sexy look is SO fab and how talented she is!

  10. The illustrations are amazing! Really enjoyed the post. Now can you just post 4 ways to fit into one? LOL


  11. To answer your question…NO.

    However if I had the age and body for it I would love to. I really like the casual and the sexy looks.

    The drawings are fantastic. Great job!

  12. Those illustrations are fabulous! Makes me feel like I could actually get away with wearing one and not feeling like a tart! Thanks for the ideas!

  13. These are fabulous. Nice to see more of your work. I love the vintage look! 😉

  14. I have never worn a bustier & have always been nervous because my um, bust needs no boost. I don’t want people to mistake me for a hooker LOL. BUUUUUUT I do have a new pair of those “frumpy” style pants & I can’t get the right look together for it. I think I might have to try a look like the first one you described.

  15. i love them all, she’s amazingly talented!

  16. wow great post, my fave way would have to be with the pink skirt :)

  17. OK so what do those of us wear who don’t need to boost our yays??? 😉

  18. Thank you everyone! I’m very happy that you like my illustrations and that I’m not the only person who likes bustiers. For those who feel they have too much bosom for a bustier, (I fit into that category myself) you could wear wear a simpler boned fitted strapless top and that would give the same look. If you want the whole look to be more restrained keep the bottom part of your outfit more conservative or loose and big. Although I didn’t illustrate it, a maxi skirt would look great with a bustier too.

    If you do try a bustier and you have a style blog where you post your outfits please contact me on my website http://thestyleconfessions.com/ (There’s a contact form) and let me know how it worked out! I’d love to see.


  19. Nice surprise to see Heather here. I followed your link from her recent color pop post!
    Love these sketches, Mz H.

    I recently wore a corselet (waist cincher, no boob coverage) for my art reception (was hoping the boning would help minimize the “standing on cement for 3 hours” backache – didn’t) and got many “oh no, is something wrong with your back?” comments. I think a bustier would have mitigated this. Or maybe if I’d gone more “matchy” with the underdress.

    Now I want a bustier…
    I wore them a lot in the 80s (when I had a waist). Also have one from Trashy Lingerie made out of red Chinese brocade that I wore in the 90s. They custom fit it for me and it didn’t look sleazy at all (considering the source).

  20. OH MY GOSH!!! These illustrations are adorable and amazing. Wow, I’m blown away! I also loved her descriptions and tips. :)

  21. Wow Alexis this was a great post! Her illustrations are amazing! I love every single way she drew how to wear a bustier top! Great feature! Thanks for sharing

    Live Life in Style

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