Four Ways to Wear a Bustier

How to wear a black bustier explained with fashion illustrations

How to wear a black bustier explained with fashion illustrations

The bustier was a hugely popular trend 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.

The Casual Bustier

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.Fashion illustration of a black bustier worn with a denim jacket and slouchy pants.

The Vintage Bustier

Drape yourself with a bunch of silver necklaces, ropes of pearls and big earrings for an 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.

Fashion illustration of a black bustier worn with a striped skirt and high heels.

The Sexy Bustier

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.

Fashion illustration of a black bustier worn with a moto jacket and red cropped trousers.

The Glamorous Bustier

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.Fashion illustration of a black bustier worn with furry jacket and black pencil skirt.

All the drawings are marker and ink on paper. I created these designs for a guest post I wrote for North on Harper, My friend Alexis’ fashion and lifestyle blog.

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

Comments (6)

  1. DaDDa
    June 9, 2011 - 4:52 AM

    Casual 🙂

  2. June 11, 2011 - 12:44 PM

    love! i wore bustiers A LOT in the ’80’s so still am fond of them. Your illustrations of the different ways to wear them rock.

  3. June 11, 2011 - 4:21 PM

    Yes, I do wear bustiers.
    1. Vintage 2. Glamorous

  4. June 12, 2011 - 10:41 AM

    I love your drawings – you’re so talented.

  5. Heather Fonseca
    June 14, 2011 - 11:09 AM

    Thank you everyone for your great comments and support!

  6. June 14, 2011 - 12:54 PM

    I LOOOVE it all 😀 Your work is just gorgeous Heather.