The History of the Corset and How It’s Trending Today

Corsets have been around since before the Middle Ages. At the beginning of its history, corsets were made of fabric, stiffened by glue, and supported by boning made of whalebone or metal. Women were secured into the corset either by lacing or hooking up the back of the corset or up the front of the corset, sometimes both. The purpose of corsets at the time was to narrow the waist and support the breasts. This created the much desired, even to this day, S-curve or hourglass figure that represents femininity.

PHOTO: Natalie Miller

However, these corsets caused a lot of health problems among women such as frequent fainting due to inability to breathe and displacement of organs as well as infertility as a result of the development of endometriosis.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that corsets began to loosen their form when straight silhouettes became more fashionable. No longer were corsets designed to create the tiniest waist possible. Instead, corsets were designed to flatten the curves on a woman’s chest and hips to create a more boy-like figure.

From there, traditional corsets appeared to slowly lose their following as Spandex shapewear grew in popularity with its promise to subtly mold the body without the discomfort and decreased mobility of previous styles. Corsets were no longer expected of women and began to only be a staple of runway shows and lingerie.

Until recently, only fashion icons such as Madonna and Kim Kardashian could be seen wearing a corset on the street, but with the new structure of corsets today, the trend is beginning to be seen more and more on everyday women.

PHOTO: Natalie Miller

These new corsets no longer attempt to mold women’s bodies into unnatural shapes. Instead, they aim to highlight parts of the body that women feel proud of. The new style prefers looser fits and flowing fabrics over constrictive boning and stiff textiles. The lacing is often seen around the waist of T-shirts and dresses, which can be easily styled with some modern accessories to keep from looking like a historical actor on your way to class. The corset trend has also been popular in the form of belts, which can be added over any basic top or dress to add a little detail and highlight the waist.

Whether this new corset trend will stick around for more than a season or fizzle out when the next trend comes around is hard to tell. Nonetheless, it is definitely a trend to play with as the old fashion staple joins the modern era.

How would you wear the modern corset trend? Let us know in the comments below or show us on social media. Don’t forget to tag @CFashionista!

All photos taken by Natalie Miller.

Fashion Inspiration from the Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition

I recently attended the Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style exhibition in Richmond, Virginia. Yves Saint Laurent was a trendsetting designer that became a global phenomenon for his original and creative style. As he so wisely stated, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” He was a pioneer for models of color, and he wasn’t afraid to play with gender representation in his designs. Saint Laurent also popularized ready-to-wear high fashion. Here are some ways you can get fashion inspiration from his designs and incorporate them into your wardrobe.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

1—Primary colors. This trend is making a comeback, so get ready for bold and confident looks. If you’re afraid to play around with color, try bringing it into your wardrobe gradually by experimenting with accessories such as red shoes or a blue bag. I also love the look of a primary color paired with denim or black. For a more dramatic take, try scarlet or cherry red looks as they are trending on the runways this season.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

2—Embroidered and jeweled statement pieces. Embroidery has been around for a long time, but it has become a huge trend again recently. Choose an embroidered piece as the statement of your outfit and build the rest of your look around it. Whether it be an embroidered shirt, shoes, or jeans, be sure to keep the rest of your outfit simple. If you like making a statement, try jeweled or metallic pieces that will make your outfit shine.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

3—Color blocking. This mod shift dress is an iconic style from the ’60s. There are two ways to create color-blocked outfits: you can either choose complementary colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, or you can choose analogous colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Choose hues that are complimentary to your skin tone, and complete your look with neutral accessories.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

4—Menswear-inspired fashion. Saint Laurent created pantsuits and tuxedos that were tailored to women. Don’t be afraid to incorporate menswear looks into your style. When wearing a pantsuit, wear a feminine blouse underneath like the polka dot bow blouse pictured above. You could also experiment with a pantsuit in a feminine color such as the pinkish-beige ensemble above. Don’t forget to finish off the look with a stylish heel and feminine accessories.

PHOTO: Kristi Mukk

Which designers inspire you? Let me know in the comments below. 

These Are the Vintage Accessories You Need for Back to School

Back to school season is here, whether we like it or not. For many of us, the new school year is a time to prepare for another semester of lectures, assignments, and stress. However, while there are some bad parts, there’s also the best part of preparing for the new year—back to school clothing shopping. While you’re at the mall, consider visiting thrift and vintage stores to look for old classics to add to your new threads for a fresh and one-of-a-kind spin on your ensemble. Having trouble figuring out which vintage pieces to pick up? No problem! Here’s a list of some of the vintage accessories you need for back to school.

1—An everyday bag. Let’s face it, college students are busy. Many of us not only have classes to attend, but work and/or internships as well. Through all of the hustle and bustle, it’s good to find an everyday bag you can use as a steady constant. I picked this vintage satchel by Liz Claiborne off of the thrifting app, Depop (all the original tags still intact), and it’s my go to bag for busy days.

 2—A unique belt. Sometimes, it’s the little things that shout the loudest. Belts are no exception. Not only are they functional, they also can be a great styling piece if you find the perfect one. Pair a unique belt with jeans and a button down, and you’ve got the perfect outfit to wear for the transition from summer to fall. The belt I’m wearing is another vintage gem I got from Depop. I love the brown leather and the gold alligators on the buckle.

3—Statement earrings. If I were an accessory, I’d be earrings. Statement earrings are my favorite thing to look for, and they’re the perfect thing to wear to bring any outfit together. Vintage ones are pretty easy to find at the thrift store, and are usually fairly cheap. I picked these earrings up from a little boutique near Portland, and they only cost me a dollar. Wear statement earrings with a T-shirt and jeans and you’re all ready to sit through those long, two-hour lectures.

4-Bold footwear. Shoes are an essential for everyday life, so why not make them beautiful? These mules are presumably from the ’90s, and I love them because they’re on trend, but they still have that vintage flair. The leopard print and the gold detailing on the heel make these perfect for spicing up any outfit.

What are your favorite vintage accessories? Let us know in the comments down below, or post a photo on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag @cfashionista!

5 Thrifting Tips for the Fashion Girl on a Budget

I’ve always loved going to Goodwill and searching through racks upon racks of clothes to find the hidden gems. I bet you would never believe that I bought this velvet dress or this eccentric white clutch from Goodwill! Many people simply do not see the potential that lies in secondhand clothing from thrift stores or even the clothing they already own. So here are five tips to remember when thrift shopping to help you score high-quality pieces for a fraction of the cost.

Vintage Vibes in Downtown Little Rock

1—Shop in the right area. To get the most bang for your buck while thrift shopping, scope out the higher-end neighborhoods. Thrift stores in these areas are more likely to have clothes from big-name labels and made of quality fabrics due to the location of their donation center.

Vintage vibes in velvet

2—Hunt for quality brands and fabrics. The low prices of thrift stores can make it tempting to fill up your cart with impulse purchases. But before you buy that faux fur coat, remember that in the long run, high-quality clothes last a lot longer than ones made of cheaper fabrics. Be picky!

3—Look for stains and holes. Give each garment some serious eyeball for stains, tears, snags, or signs of over-wear. When I was a newbie, I came home to find my fair share of stains on clothes that I’d purchased from thrift shops. I know how disappointing it can be to discover after leaving the store!

Face minimal jewels and space buns

4—If it grabs your attention, grab it! Do a loop around the entire store, grab anything that catches your eye, and try it on. (You never know what might surprise you.) What you see is what you get, and you never know if it’ll be there one moment and gone the next!

Goodwill Eccentric Clutch and Embroidered Mules

5—Wash your clothes as soon as you get home. Before you wear clothes from the thrift store, you should always launder them carefully. Pay special attention to details like the armpit areas of a blouse and make sure to add plenty of fabric softener!

minimal jewels and vintage vibes

velvet dress and embroidered mules

Thrift shopping is my favorite kind of shopping because it is environmentally friendly, affordable, and ultimately the most personally satisfying because I feel like I defeated a challenge every time I walk out of there. When shopping secondhand, quality is always better than quantity. By taking your time and shopping for the best items, you can come home with items that look (or are) brand-new. The best part? Thrift shopping is almost always in your budget.

What are you best thrifting tips? Let me know in the comments below!

The Hidden Photo Gems of Old Sacramento

I’ve lived in Sacramento my whole life and it wasn’t until recently that I’ve learned to adore this city. I’ve seen it grow through culture, diversity, and community. This month I’ve decided to dedicate this post to a couple of great photo spots in Old Sacramento.

Old Sacramento is a historic section of Downtown Sacramento. Its riverfront attracted businessmen looking for opportunities and thus a commercial center grew in the area. What truly created the city of Sacramento was the Gold Rush in 1848. Now, Old Sacramento is a prime spot for a taste of Sacramento history and beautiful scenery.

My friend and I used these historical sites for an out-on-the-town photo shoot.

I’ve grown to appreciate the Tower Bridge, which connects West Sacramento to the Capitol. It looks beautiful both during the daytime and nighttime. To some, it may just be a bridge, but to fashion bloggers and photographers alike it becomes a perfect photo spot.

For this shoot, I wore a gingham two-piece set. I love how gingham has made its way up the ladder this summer. It’s the perfect summer print, turning old-school style into a modern-chic look. You can find the pants similar to ones I wore for this shoot here. I paired the pants with a crop top to create a two-piece outfit. Any gingham top works, however, try to make sure the top and bottom gingham prints are the same color. I wanted to dress up my look with a pair of block-heeled black sandals.

If you walk past the Tower Bridge, on the parallel side of Old Sacramento, you’ll see a ramp that takes you down to the Sacramento River. At night, it creates the perfect spot to view the illuminated golden bridge. During the day you’ll spot people on their boats, enjoying the river.

For all my Sacramento residents, what’s your favorite spot in the city? For all those who aren’t from Sacramento, what’s your favorite spot in your city? Let me know in the comments below.

Vintage Isn’t a Thing of the Past

We have all noticed how trends come and go pretty quickly. But, they also have a tendency to be recycled and come back into style. This can be seen by the growing popularity of vintage stores, while styles from the ’60s and ’70s are becoming the styles of now. However, achieving these styles in an authentic manner can be a bit of a challenge. After many attempts, I’ve finally learned how to tackle those vintage stores to achieve the look of my dreams! Here are some of my do’s and don’ts of the vintage world.

1—Do research. When vintage shopping for the first time, this is the first step. You don’t want to go to a store looking for types of denim to discover it is only an antique item shop. Take some time to research vintage stores in your area to see which places are worth your time.

2—Don’t have a time limit. Vintage stores are tricky. You aren’t going to the grocery store expecting to find everything on your list. Discovering the right items takes time, and if you feel rushed, you’ll probably end up disappointed.

3—Do think outside the box. When you look at an item, don’t see it for what it is. See it for what it could be! A few DIY projects could turn an everyday item into an outstanding outfit.

4—Don’t get tunnel vision. It’s okay to have certain items you are searching for. But if you get too focused, you might miss out on some of the best pieces of clothing that a store has to offer.

5—Do get to know the store owners.  The more you talk to the owner, the better they will understand your style and help you achieve the look you are going for. Additionally, vintage store owners are a part of a network that includes tons of other store owners across town. They will give insight on stores you never would have found on your own!

Following these tips will turn the potential nightmare of tackling a vintage store into an enjoyable afternoon of finding your style from the past. Comment some of your favorite vintage store finds and then show us your style on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us at @CFashionista!

The 3 Benefits of Thrifting and Consigning

While you’re young, take advantage of your ability to slip into vintage without looking dated. From the neighborhood Goodwill to a hip Buffalo Exchange or swanky designer shop, thrift stores and consignment boutiques are where all the cool kids shop today. Pre-owned pieces are seriously beneficial in the sense that they are unique, eco-friendly, and high quality. Let me explain.

1—Unique. It’s a thrill to dig and find that rare piece of treasure! Thrifted or consigned apparel are sometimes historical and always one-of-a-kind; they are definitely unavailable at your local Forever 21, Zara, or H&M. Legendary costume designer, Patricia Field, admittedly prefers putting actors in used clothing. This way, film audiences are more focused on the plot rather than identifying which trendy retail stores the characters’ ensembles come from.

2—Eco-Friendly. Did you know that the textile industry is one of the largest polluters in the world? Cotton growth consumes a substantial amount of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, and textile treatment or dyeing contributes to 20 percent of fresh water pollution. If you care about the earth, you should consider buying secondhand. Clothes should be recycled because quite frankly, fashion trends follow a rotation. Contemporary styles frequently mimic looks from previous times. Thus, it is judicious to rock recycled, revamped, original, and most likely cheaper versions of the current craze.

3—Quality. Back in the day, mass-production did not exist. Moreover, products composed of fine construction and were created with exceptional handwork. Fabric was made with 100 percent natural fibers, rather than with synthetic fibers (polyester, rayon, viscose, etc.), which results in a rich and breathable feel. Detailing was hand sewn, stitched, embroidered, or beaded, for a delicate appearance. Beads were made of pure glass, rather than plastic, thus they glimmer under lights and clink with movement. Since pieces from the past are without a doubt luxurious, Fashionistas commonly tailor vintage to cater to their tastes and fit them like a glove.

Shopping gently-used attire can be a serendipitous and experimental experience. If you decide to wander into a thrift or consignment shop sometime, remember to wear a simple outfit that is easy for try on. Skim the entire store, keep an open mind (don’t look for specific items), and don’t let sizes constrict you to certain areas (different decades rely on different scales). With practice, patience, as well as an eye for design, you will soon begin to understand Macklemore’s enthusiasm for thrifting!

Have you ever thrifted or consigned?  What kind of gems did you find? Let us know in the comments below!

Throwback Fashion for Fall

It’s no surprise that history tends to repeat itself. This statement can be seen through the repetition of trends throughout many decades. Styles never fully go away and are recycled for a new generation. Recently, we have seen the re-emergence of trends from the 1990s such as chokers, overalls, slip dresses, and athletic wear as fashion. The decade that’s now having a resurgence of popularity in the 1970s. There are so many iconic trends that came about during this decade. Many people draw inspiration from these trends that arose during the ‘70s to create a retro mood for a modern look. I am a big fan of many trends from this decade and I am excited to see how they are returning for this upcoming fall. Below, you can see my take on a look from the 1970s.

To begin my 1970s look, I wanted to mix hippie and rocker aspects that were popular in this decade. I chose a coral tube top with a textured, floral pattern. Although billowy tunics were popular in the 1970s, tube tops were also a favorite for many women. The bright coral is reminiscent of the early ‘70s as muted, earthy tones became popular later in the decade. I wanted to give my look a modern update with a more subdued floral pattern instead of using the big prints that were typical of the ’70s. Next, I wanted to draw inspiration from the punk-rock subculture that was so influential to ‘70s fashion. I chose a studded leather jacket to give my look an edgier feel. This jacket contrasts with the carefree and hippie aspects of my outfit.

Additionally, I added wide-leg, chambray pants to my look. I believe these pants are the most representative piece to the 1970s. The high waistline and flare of the pants create an image that will make anyone instantly think of the decade. Also, the billowy pants contrast perfectly with the slim-fitting tube top. I opted for chambray pants instead of denim to have a lighter feel for fall. Finally, I slipped on a pair of blush mules to complete my look. In the 1970s, backless shoes with a chunky heel were frequently sported. Incorporating the blush color makes the shoe a favorite for 2017.

The styles of the 1970s are coming back in a big way. I am so excited to rock more of these ’70s trends for the fall!

 What are your favorite trends from the ‘70s? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Fall Runway Looks You Can Find Thrifting

Fashion shows have always intrigued and confused me. They have intrigued me because the makeup, hair, outfits, and accessories are so intricate, beautiful, and new. Yet they have confused me because, often times, the fashion I see being displayed on the runway is far from what I would consider fashionable and trendy. The outfits are artwork, sheer masterpieces, yet are not often wearable for a night out on the town.

However, there is a reason why we hold fashion shows in high regard: they are our source of inspiration for the coming season’s newest trends. The entire ensembles presented are not always designed to be worn on the city streets but they do provide insider information as to what the “it” girl is going to be rocking this fall.

After reading up on 2017 Fashion Week, I noticed some trends that everyone was wearing and I needed to try them for myself. These trends haven’t hit the racks of the department stores quite yet, giving Fashionistas like ourselves a chance to stay ahead of the trends. This season’s most fashionable ensembles incorporate many styles and patterns that were all the rage decades earlier. What better place to hunt down these vintage treasures than your favorite thrift store?

I narrowed my research results down to a few of the most intriguing trends that brands like Calvin Klein and Prada showcased on the runway.

1—Western Inspired

Cowboy boots, skirts made with cow hide, western button-downs, and all things leather were sported at this year’s show. Look for the classic western prints and accessories to pull off a look inspired from the wild west.

2—Retro Plaid

A unique addition to this fall’s fashion is ’70s plaid. Whether it was worn as a dress, skirt, or trench coat, designers took this old pattern and made it new.


There were many mid-length skirts and dresses worn in the show. Combining the retro plaid print and the mid-length skirt makes you feel like you’re back in time and look like Taylor Swift—which isn’t a bad thing.

4—Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads are back! I personally thought this fad was decades away from returning but I was wrong! I decided it wouldn’t hurt to test it out and found this delicate blouse with broad shoulder pads at a thrift shop. Like the rest of the looks, this one is a bit unique and out my comfort zone but I had fun playing around with new trends!


Over the past few seasons, we have seen the resurgence of velvet shirts and the occasional bikini. This season, designers took this vintage fabric a step further by introducing it into formal gowns and evening wear.

These looks were easy to find and inexpensive. I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone, wear something new, and be confident wearing the latest trends this fall!

How are you wearing this fall’s vintage trends? Let us know on social media @Cfashionista!

Good News! It’s Possible To Pare Down Your Wardrobe Without Going Full “Marie Kondo”

I have a rule: don’t trust anyone who genuinely likes the process of moving out. Sure, getting to your new home and unpacking is all excitingly effervescent—new space, new you. But getting out of that old place can be a hassle. The emotional labour that comes with hauling your items out might be a lot if you’re a maximalist such as myself. While minimalism trends have been having a minute in the spotlight, it’s not making paring down my life any easier as I jump from my college apartment to a new adventure.

This is where clothes come in. Aside from all the furniture and knick-knacks I’ve (inevitably) collected over four years, my style has also evolved a lot throughout university. In packing up my current room and delving into my childhood bedroom’s closet, I have found great discrepancies in my wardrobe.

So, in attempting to make the process of minimizing my clutter a little less melodramatic, I’ve found a few ways to make discarding my less-worn pieces easier. Moving may not be fun now and I’m definitely no Marie Kondo, but lightening your closet’s load is definitely worthwhile as you take your next steps out of school. Out with the old! And in with a closet that feels just right.

Ultimately, you need to be realistic about what you need

Realism and clothes are not a pretty pair in my mind. I’m often too sentimental about what I truly need to hold onto. Looking at the dresses of high school, I know I’m not going to delve back into wearing them anytime soon.

…But, you also can think about how you’re going to build a collection

You surely don’t need to get rid of everything you own in the name of organization! Recalling our chat about being realistic, you’re going to want the things you love and the things that are worth keeping in your wardrobe. Hold onto those professional pieces you love yourself in and any classic items–especially those that may have already withstood the test of time.

Ask your friends/roommates/relatives/anyone with enough storage space if they want to shop your closet

Your friends might have different tastes than you, but there’s more than likely at least one piece in your closet they might enjoy once you’re through with it. Assemble that pile of clothes you no longer need and let those near and dear to you have at it!

Sell, trade, or donate those extra pieces to earn some extra cash or make a stranger’s day

We have to thank the digital age for making many things more accessible, but the recent outpouring of online and app-based selling and trading hubs is super innovative. Facebook Markets, DePop, Carousell, and Bunz Trading Zone are a handful of online spaces that help you get rid of your own items.

There’s always the old-fashioned route: vintage and consignment stores. Selling or donating your clothes IRL can definitely be a fun experience–especially if you can get some in-store credit to do shopping or even just pass on your wardrobe to someone else.

Reinvent any older items with an ol’ fashioned DIY

This one may be counter-intuitive, but it sure is fun. Maybe instead of buying more clothes to be on top of trends, DIY the pieces you may have outgrown and turn them into something way more new. Finding ideas and how-tos is abundant when reworking old clothes; check out your favourite bloggers or publications like your very own CollegeFashionista.

Any other tips for