Bustiers and Basques: Flattering and Festive

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

What are bustiers and basques? The dictionary defines a bustier as a close-fitting strapless bra that you can wear as outerwear. According to the French, it's merely a longline bra. A basque is longer, and often includes garters or suspenders. But the terms seem interchangeable. And both styles veer into "only for the boudoir" territory, at times.

Many people confuse a bustier with a corset. No surprise, given that lingerie and bra style terms aren't always clear. That's where Orchard Corset's educational FAQs come in handy. The bustier lifts breasts (think "boost-ier") and works like shapewear by keeping everything in place. A corset cinches in your waist, using boning and front steel closures. Bustiers, on the other hand, can close with hook-and-eyes or zippers. Finally, corsets tend to be more expensive due to rigid construction standards.

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Bustiers are often strapless or come with removable straps. It's common for brides to wear them under wedding dresses because they do a great job of creating cleavage. And they look pretty sexy when the dress comes off.

The bustier or basque is also perfect lingerie as outerwear looks. You can layer one under a jacket or short robe or pair it with skirts and jeans. I've worn a bustier under a suit for a fancy night out. One of the advantages of a bustier is how it doubles as shapewear, keeping your tummy flat while not squishing down boobs. So it's a great style to consider wearing for the holiday season, too.

Below are 15 bustiers and basques, which give you an idea of the variety of styles available. So if you want some of the function of shapewear, but it to look more exciting, give one a try.

Under $100

Fever Basque
Fits Bands 36-44, Cups B-F
via Figleaves


Black Bow Emmeline Point d'Esprit Bustier
Available in Sizes S - XL
via Nordstrom
Hasmik Conture Plus
Fits Bands 38-42, Cups B-H
via Adore Me
Bluebella Mara Basque
Fits Bands 32-36, Cups B-DD
via Figleaves
Low Plunge Soiree Bustier 
Fits Bands 32-38, Cups A-E
via Va Bien
Butterfly Bustier
Fits 1X - 3X
via Savage X Fenty
Stella Lurex Lace Basque
Fits Bands 32-38, Cups A-G
via Figleaves

From $100 to $200

Dita Von Teese Madame X Bustier
Fits Bands 32-36, Cups A-D
via Bare Necessities


Prima Donna Twist Gentlelady Checked Basque
Fits Bands 32-36, Cups C-E
via Rigby & Peller
Scantilly by Curvy Kate Surrender Basque
(Available in Black)
Fits Bands 30-38, Cups DD-HH
via Figleaves
Segur Bustier
Fits Bands 32-36, Cups B-E
via Chantelle

Over $200


Gwendolyn Bustier
Available in Sizes S, M, L
via Tragic Kiss
Audacieuse Bustier, Chantal Thomass
Available in S, M, L
via Chantelle
Simone Perele Wish Bustier
Fits Bands 32-36, Cups B-D
via Bloomingdales
Shape Allure Lycra Control Bustier w/Chantilly Lace
Available in 3 Colors
Fits Bands 32-38, Cups B and C
via La Perla

Do you like the look of bustiers and basques? Would you wear one, either underneath an outfit or as outerwear? Or do you think they belong only in the boudoir?

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