A bustier is a type of lingerie that is form-fitting and resembles a basque. It is tight, single-piece and sleeveless, that comes with cups and a flexible boning to give the wearer a more flattering silhouette. Bustiers are worn by women who would want to make their breasts appear fuller. Bustiers push up the bust by tightening around the upper midriff, pushing the breasts up and at the same time giving the waist a slimmer shape. Bustiers are best worn with low-backed dresses as substitute for push-up bra. Nowadays, they can even be worn as a camisole for outerwear, or a half-slip under top garments if midriff exposure is not intended.
The term bustier is based on the French word buste, which of course means bust. It was originally called a long line brassiere in 1950s because it is essentially a bra that extends down to the stomach area. Bustiers are said to have developed out of corset, just like basques. It is for this reason that a lot would confuse basques to be bustiers. The fashion designers during this time focused on designing long line bras that feature exaggerated smooth and bullet shaped breasts, which was achieved by stitching conically the bra cups.
Bustiers are actually shorter compared to basques. This is the primary difference between the two although they two look almost exactly the same. Both the origins of bustiers and basques can be traced to the trends that surfaced during the 1980s and 1990s.
There are so many types of bustiers available in the market today that cater to different kinds of occasion and would look good in different types of outer garment or clothes. If you are to wear a backless dress, the best type to wear is a strapless bustier. For bedroom wear, see-through bustiers are extremely popular.
Modern fashion designers also found a way to introduce bustiers in outer garments such as dresses. Here, bustiers are attached or incorporated as tops of dresses or even just an upper outerwear piece. Apparently, what used to be underwear can now be worn outside the bedroom as a fashionable outerwear too!
Modern bustiers are crafted with mesh panels as opposed to traditional boning. To connect each end, hooks and eyes, cords and ribbons are used, similar to common corsets. Almost all bustiers available in the market right now are strapless, which makes them a perfect undergarment when you are wearing low cut or even backless dresses or upper outerwear.