Crop Tops Are Officially Over (Hurrah!), but Prepare Your Closet for the Corset

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)

Not a fan of baring your belly button to the world in the name of looking cute, trendy or cool? Yeah, same, which is why we’re pleased that the crop top is falling out of fashion and being swiftly replaced by—drumroll, please—corset tops. 

But we’re not suggesting you lace yourself into an old-fashioned cincher, boning and all. So before you roll your eyes and click out of this window, hear us out.

According to Moda Operandi’s 2020 Runway Report, the Khaite Maddy Top was the top seller on the site for fall/winter 2019. Made from a finely ribbed knit, the lusted-after piece features a sweetheart neckline, a super-fitted silhouette, long sleeves and a notched hem. It’s the kind of top that’s comfy, sexy, versatile and figure-flattering. So yeah, it’s understandable that both the cream and red versions of the shirt are already sold out at Moda. (They’re still available on Khaite’s website.)

The only downside of the Khaite bustier? It comes with a $1,080 price tag. 

Luckily for us all, there are a number of more affordable ways to try this trend, whether you want to show off your best assets along with your toned arms or prefer to keep it casual in a simple T-shirt (yes, really). So here are eight corset styles to test out—none of which will suffocate any of your vital organs. 

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1. BROCK COLLECTION PEACOCK BUSTIER RUFFLED PEPLUM TOP

We imagine Marie Antoinette would exclusively wear Brock Collection if she were alive in the 21st century. And this off-kilter corset would be her favorite going-out top. The asymmetrical detail and purposely crumpled, rust-colored silk turn what could’ve been a prim camisole into something that feels both wearable and utterly, unbelievably cool.

BUY IT ($1,140; $456)

2. LoveShackFancy Jansen Bustier Crop Top

Does the super-fitted shape of a corset top intimidate you? Simply choose a style with voluminous sleeves that will balance out the curve-skimming portions. This LoveShackFancy top features a delicate lavender floral print that pairs well with faded blue jeans and pastel silk slip skirts alike. Just make sure to skip the shoulder bag when you head out, as the strap is sure to deflate those XL sleeves.

BUY IT ($325)

3. REFORMATION ELAINE SQUARE-NECK TOP

If you’ve never taken a square neckline for a spin, now’s your chance. We love this Reformation tank because the ruched back gives you a little breathing room (quite literally), while still showing off your waistline. Plus, you really can’t go wrong with a prim daisy print.

BUY IT ($78)

4. Bardot Jacquard Bustier

Presenting everything you’d expect from a going-out top: sequins, leopard print and a sexy silhouette. However, the relatively modest neckline and roomy peplum of this Bardot piece keep this top looking classy, despite its many flashy features.

BUY IT ($99)

5. RTA Jasper Zip-Embellished Cotton Jersey Bodysuit

Upon first glance, this is just a T-shirt. But look closer and you’ll notice all the corset-like details that make it less of a basic and more of a statement piece. That includes boning-inspired seams that nip in the shape from the hips to the waist, in addition to the zippered back detail that’s a modern nod to the hook-and-eye closure. Oh, this whole T-shirt is actually a super-comfy bodysuit. What’s not to love?

BUY IT ($245; $123)

6. REBECCA DE RAVENEL CHIFFON ONE-SHOULDER BUSTIER

A delicate bow at the shoulder and the soft draping of silk make this style feel rather refined, rather than overtly sultry. Plus, we think this Rebecca de Ravenel design would layer really well over a white T-shirt and pair perfectly with dark-wash flares.

BUY IT ($895; $448)

7. & OTHER STORIES BEAD-EMBELLISHED BUSTIER

A word of warning: This bustier does not come with the sheer top it’s styled with (if you like it, you can buy it here), but we love how & Other Stories layered these two together. Not only does it make an oversized top feel more flattering, but it’s also one of those fashion-forward outfit combos that will always rake in the compliments.

BUY IT ($89)

8. Self-Portrait Asymmetric Bustier Top

Hello, holiday party perfection. The rich forest shade of this fitted blouse is ready for the festive season, but it’s the intricate details that really make this Self-Portrait piece a standout. From the open back to the buttoned sleeves—and of course that asymmetrical peplum—this shirt is definitely worth every cent.

BUY IT ($322)

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