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Show off your 'inner beauty'
by Soh Li Yin

IT'S official - corsets are back in vogue.

Louis Vuitton's Fall/ Winter 2010/2011 ad campaign sees women in corset-style dresses, while Prada played with two corset looks in its ad campaign.

Corsets were also featured in Marc Jacobs' Fall/Winter 2010 collection.

Although designers are playing with the corset trend, day-to-day wearing of the corset style has one pairing a classic corset top with a slim skirt for a 1940s look. And you don't have to go high-end for high style when it comes to corset tops. Besides the Forever 21 stores that you can hit to look for light-wearing corset tops, you can also find corsets at, well, lingerie stores.

Investing in inner-outerwear, says Miss Wileen Chen, advertising and promotions manager of Triumph International, is a great idea.

"If you have it, flaunt it," she says cheekily. And that goes for your assets, as well as your innerwear.

"You can wear a corset with a pencil skirt or high-waisted jeans, or with a jacket for a more formal look," she adds. Triumph's Cleavage On Demand collection has corsets ($169 each) that come with an adjustable centre lace-up and detachable straps for a bustier effect.

Wear with a pencil skirt, throw a classic jacket on, and you've got 1940s-styled perfection.

At Chalone, the lingerie store which imports luxury items from Europe, brands such as Lou and Lejaby are attracting a loyal following with their flattering corsets. Prices, which range from $149.90 to $399, are steep.

But Miss Justine Ng, head of retail operations at Chalone, says customers can easily make their lingerie go the distance "by mixing and matching their clothes with their innerwear".

Then, there's Maidenform's Flexees range, designed to make you look slimmer. Its "fat-free" tank top ($89.90) can be worn as a comfortable basic top. Available in black and white, the top gives firm control, but is still comfortable enough for all-day wear. The top is great for layering as well.

The lingerie-as-outerwear trend continues in a more classic vein with camisole tops that one can wear under a pretty cardigan. Pair with shorts, and you've got the perfect relaxed, weekend look.

Recently, EcoChic by Triumph launched its Natural Cotton Embroidery collection, which features pretty camisoles ($49.90) with embroidery. Catered for those with sensitive skin, EcoChic's latest collection is hypoallergenic and free from any chemical bleaches or dyes.

Just be sure of one thing - that your lingerie doesn't look like lingerie when you're wearing it as outerwear.

If you choose to wear a lacy camisole to work, also wear a nude slip underneath, and be sure you're wearing a classic jacket (not one with ruffles or frills) on top. You want to stay away from the street-walker look, yes?

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