- The breastplate is one of the hottest red-carpet trends to make an appearance in 2023.
- Celebrities including Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, and most recently, Jennifer Lopez, have worn one.
- Now a style staple, the garment was traditionally used as body armor.
Breastplates are back and more popular than ever.
The garment was traditionally used in Ancient Greece as a piece of armor made from bronze and leather, according to the fashion publication L’Officiel USA. These days, breastplates are designed as replacements for traditional shirts and many resemble the bodies of those wearing them.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the breastplate was used on the runway, according to L’Officiel, and in 2020 the garment made a resurgence when Zendaya was photographed wearing one at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
Angela McRobbie, a cultural theorist and commentator, told The Guardian in 2021 that the rising trend reflected “our current sense of being ’embattled’ as women.” She added that it provides the opportunity to “escape from the normative” body expectations set by society.
The trend reached new heights in 2023 when it was worn by Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, and most recently, Jennifer Lopez.
But if you want to recreate the red-carpet look, be prepared to spend anywhere between $1,300 and $29,900 if purchasing from the same major designers including Grace Ling, Tom Ford, and Gabriela Hearst.
More affordable alternatives are currently being sold on Etsy for less than $1,000.
As Business Insider previously reported, Zendaya wore a hot-pink breastplate by Tom Ford to the Critics’ Choice Awards in January 2020.
The breastplate had a high neckline and pink straps along the back, which matched her maxi skirt and Christian Louboutin heels.
The same breastplate was also worn by Gwyneth Paltrow on the February 2020 cover of Harper’s Bazaar.
“Thank God I can say I have something in common with Zendaya,” Paltrow wrote on a social media post of Zendaya wearing the ensemble, E! News reported in January 2020.
The same breastplate was previously available to purchase for $29,900 on Tom Ford’s website, though it’s currently sold out.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
For her second appearance wearing the accessory, Zendaya opted for a gold breastplate over a form-fitting gray dress at the Women in Film Honors Event in Los Angeles in October 2021.
The strapless breastplate, from Loewe’s spring/summer 2022 collection, was handmade by sculptors in France “using unique soldering and hammer techniques,” according to a post on the brand’s Instagram account.
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Hadid wore one of the most daring breastplates to date with a Schiaparelli gown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021.
The long-sleeved floor-length gown featured a brass, lung-shaped breastplate that was covered in rhinestones and worn like a necklace, the brand wrote in an Instagram post at the time.
Olivia Wilde, Kim Kardashian, and Julia Fox were among a handful of celebrities to wear a breastplate between 2020 and 2022.
Wilde wore a breastplate dress from Gabriela Hearst’s spring/summer 2023 collection to the LA premiere of “Women Talking” in November 2022, British Vogue reported at the time.
The asymmetrical garment was molded from leather and was styled over a floor-length black gown that had long sleeves and a scoop neckline. The breastplate dress is available to purchase from Gabriela Hearst’s online store for $9,990.
While the breastplate trend first gained traction during this period, it didn’t truly take off until 2023. It’s now considered a red-carpet staple.
Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire
Rihanna wore an all-red ensemble to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in February. The custom outfit was designed by Loewe, the same brand that designed Zendaya’s gold breastplate worn in 2021, and consisted of a leather corset breastplate, a catsuit, a floor-length jacket, and matching gloves.
The look was inspired by “flight gear and the show’s dynamic scenography,” according to the brand’s website.
Goulding wore a three-dimensional breastplate with halter straps which was custom designed by Cameron Hancock.
Writing in an Instagram post, Hancock described the garment as a “wet look breastplate.” Goulding wore it as a shirt along with a pair of black pants.
British singer Tom Grennan received criticism for commenting on Goulding’s body during the show. While the pair were presenting an award together on stage, Grennan said: “Don’t I look good next to Ellie Goulding? I love what you’re doing. Are they your real boobs?” according to People.
“These are not mine, no. I wish! Mine are a lot further apart,” she responded, the outlet reported.
Writing on X the following day, Goulding defended Grennan’s comments.
“I was wearing a beautiful breastplate, thank you all for appreciating it,” she wrote, adding: “My friend @Tom_Grennan is 100% an ally and we were having a bit of fun. No offence taken, no harm intended- and no other interpretations necessary.”
Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images
Ferragni wore a sleeveless Schiaparelli breastplate with a high neckline at the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy in February, W Magazine reported.
She completed the look with a gold chain necklace with a padlock pendant and a one-shoulder, floor-length blue gown with a deep neckline which was also designed by Schiaparelli, the publication added.
Ian West – PA Images/Getty Images
Hocking wore a sleeveless breastplate that was custom-designed by Cameron Hancock — the same designer who created Goulding’s breastplate — at an awards ceremony in March.
It was designed with a rippled texture to resemble “liquid metal,” Hancock wrote in an Instagram post. She paired the garment with a beige floor-length skirt with a slit designed by Camilla and Marc along and a pair of silver Gianvito Rossi heels, according to the post.
As Business Insider reported in June, Lupita Nyong’o attended the Tony Awards wearing a silver breastplate with a high neckline underneath a black tuxedo.
The breastplate was designed by Misha Japanwala, a Pakistani artist who works to challenge the “external shame attached to one’s body” in her designs, Nyong’o wrote in an Instagram post at the time.
The garment was designed specifically for Nyong’o, she added.
Robin L Marshall/Getty Images
Lopez attended Elle’s Women in Hollywood event on Tuesday wearing a cropped, backless breastplate with a three-dimensional scoop neckline by Grace Ling, the brand wrote in an Instagram post.
The ensemble came together with a floor-length black skirt, also by Grace Ling, and a pair of crocodile drop earrings earrings by Orlov Jewelry, the brand wrote on Instagram. The entire look was styled by Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn.
The breastplate and skirt are currently available as one item to pre-order for $1,295 from Grace Ling’s online store. It will be shipped between March and July of 2024, the website states.