Lingerie is something so very personal, whether it’s your thing or not and even if it’s not really your thing – you no doubt have some (??!!).
No one else necessarily sees what you choose to wear under your clothes, but you know. You know if what you’re wearing is something that makes you feel good, it lifts, holds, shapes, supports. Or perhaps it’s greyed off and shapeless but still oh so comfortable, and/or you just can’t be a****d to update it, or would rather spend your hard earned cash on outer wear that the world can see.
From supermarkets selling lingerie to exclusive boutiques and everywhere in between there is absolutely something for everyone. You don’t have to spend a fortune on lingerie for it to feel good, or one can spend a months salary on the most exquisite whisps of silk and lace.
Last month I mentioned that I was going to a trade fair to see what future trends were coming our way and how the Lingerie industry in particular, is evolving. I came away from the Trade Fair excited – this doesn’t always happen. In my business (or the business of fashion) it’s always about the new – new ideas, shapes, colours, fabric combinations and, solutions – what are we wanting to reveal, conceal, hold, lift, separate, smooth.
I mention the day job of being a Lingerie Designer quite often as it’s a big part of my life and has been for many many years. For regular readers you may know I’ve frankly worked all over the place, from big suppliers, to little suppliers, small luxury brands to big retailers, I’ve seen the industry from all sides.
The last time there was a massive shift within the lingerie industry was I guess the 1980’s with not only the onset of both the body suit all in one piece with pesky poppers – but also the T-shirt bra – the smooth lined padded bra – that offered a clean (possibly more up-lifted) look that was discreet and offered a certain modesty – not only this but it’s been offered in every colour and print known to (wo)man.
Now, there is another seismic shift occuring… it seems we’re not wanting to buy the mass produced all the same underwear that we perhaps once did. We want more choice and perhaps something different to the mainstream; we’ve got bored perhaps?
What is exciting now is the emergence of new brands, kitchen table start-ups that with the power, desire and fortuitous timing to help shift things (plus factories set up and prepared to work with smaller mininums – because these days we all have to be flexible and adaptable to the ever shifting desires of the market).
There are so many options/influences for whatever you might desire in both outer and underwear… the choice on offer is improving and surely can only continue to improve. To look to the streets or the catwalk there are infinite number of looks to like/emulate/copy/adopt; whilst walking down the high street we can see in shop windows alone big key message trends – be it animal print, lilac, polka dots or whatever…
Lingerie has always sold similarly, but now – it’s ramped it up big time. If you want super plain infinitely comfortable technical pieces, you got it, if you want pretty and classic, it’s there, if you want everything clashing in colour and print, underwired, non wired, DD+, push up, minimised it’s there.
The edit below are some fabulous options out there currently that I’m loving.
I’ve gone on about the bralette before (and will do again, fear not), it does give a more natural shape than an underwired bra – but depending on what is being worn over the top, that doesn’t have to be an issue. Thankfully more and more retailers are realising that we like these easy styles where there are no underwires, but perhaps light padding to compensate for uplift. The key message is that we want to be comfortable!
Also larger busts are being catered for too as never before (not before time); the bralette does not have to be the reign of the smaller bust… often the bralette’s can be dress sized, which can admittedly being tricksie – but I found that the first bralette below from Love Stories has made a start with offering different cup options for the same band.
Admittedly this shape isn’t for everyone – but it is gorgeous, and a little different in the colour combination, it also doesn’t have matching knickers but a range designed to clash/compliment. (Which may actually be more the reality for many of us, in grabbing what’s clean and visible rather than matching…?)
Love Stories Love Lace Bralette £60
I would consider this to be a grown up bra – for ladies. I think it is beautiful, it comes in three colours and a choice of three brief styles. It has so many small details where everything has been considered… love love love.
Simone Perele Citadine full cover uw plunge £75
Simone Perele briefs £49
I have a big soft spot for Myla – very glad to see it back. More grown up classic and utterly timeless lingerie. So beautiful.
Myla Grosvener Square uw padded balcony £125
A newish brand that I love is Beija London – they have a most brilliant concept of how they design to cater for all shapes and sizes. This Waves range is one of my favourites.
Beija London Waves Y bra in black £60
The thong, or more specifically in this case the High Waisted thong. Let’s discuss. Some people have very strong opinions of the thong. I got to know about thongs in the late 1990’s in my first job designing for Victoria’s Secret… I still like them. And generally wear them…(TMI – soz) but then when I do wear a more full bottomed brief (as it were) I also rejoice in the comfort of that. But, as I’ve said before I think personally, better a jiggly bottom than a VLP.
This is a gorgeous two tone lace – the high waistedness will also hold and sort of smooth.
H&M Thong Brief High Waisted £9.99
M&S is the mainstay of the high street in terms of lingerie. They more often than not, know way ahead of us, what we want or need, before we know it. That is quite something.
I love this move on of their much repeated Isabella Bralet, this is the Louisa Lace Bralet; this is non-wired, lightly padded and has removable straps – a multi-tasker, love it, also available in Almond.
M&S Louisa Lace Bralet £14
I love leopard print. But, I sort of got bored with seeing it everywhere in outer wear these last six months, and I have found that I stopped wanted to wear it (as much). I feel so disloyal writing that…
But as underwear – oh hell, I’ll wear it. I love this combined with the pinker tones.
Topshop Leopard Print Underwear Set £30
If we’re going to talk Leopard, then along side that has to be Red. I love red underwear for everything it stands for – and actually *need* more of it in my life.
My mother once shared with me that she always wears red knickers to funerals. Not actually sure when or what the starting point for this was, but I too, in the unfortunate event and all that, have carried on this sentiment and do similar.
This set is beautiful in it’s simplicity.
Myla Beaty Street uw bra £95
Finally, pretty and delicate and after this week of most marvellous weather is one of the most spring like of bras I’ve seen. Gorgeous.
& Other Stories Floral Embroidered uw bra £23