Lingerie Essentials: The 10 Must-Have Pieces for Every Woman

Lingerie is a fact of life. But it isn’t a fact that shopping for it has to be a chore.  Here are 10 lingerie essentials every woman needs in her knickers drawer.  These are the basics that will give you a good foundation for every piece in your closet, whether it’s the heat of summer, the dead of winter, a fancy evening out, or a relaxed afternoon in.  They’re trendproof, flexible, and absolute timesavers.  So if you’ve ever felt like you just didn’t have the right thing to wear under your clothes, then this is the article for you!

Bras

T-shirt Bra–As the name suggests, t-shirt bras are perfect for wearing under anything tight, close-fitting, or thin.  Because the bra is constructed of one, seamless piece, you won’t end up with those annoying boob-shaped lines under your clothes.  In addition, the molded cups make them great for evening and shaping the breasts without adding padding or bulk.  The bra shown is made by Le Mystere, who makes some of the best fitting bras I have ever worn.

Nude Bra--When you want to wear light or white-colored clothing, a nude bra is a wardrobe essential. Many people equate nude with one beige or tan shade, but, in reality, nude is whatever matches your skintone.  That’s why I love MySkins so much.  MySkins is the only company manufacturing nude bras in 20 different shades, and while it’s not perfect, it is the best thing out there at the moment and a great option for most women.  The bra shown to the left is the MySkins t-shirt bra.

Convertible Bra–Because not all your clothing has sleeves or straps, you need a convertible bra.  The best convertible bras are able to accommodate strapless, halter, and low-back styles with some brands even having crisscross or one shoulder options.  To maximize flexibility, also look for a bra with a deep, plunging front, perfect for v-necks and scoopnecks.  The bra shown is made by La Perla and available from Bare Necessities.

Panties

Seamless Knickers–When it comes to panties, the default style is seamless.  No matter if you like briefs or boyshorts, thongs or bikinis…seamless is the way to go.  Believe me, nothing disrupts your look like visible panty lines. For the most options, I recommend the Commando brand.  Available in 9 different styles and up to 10 different colors, there’s something here for every woman.  Photo is of my personal favorite, the low rise bikini.

Hosiery

Sheer Pantyhose–An office staple, sheer pantyhose are as important now as they were 30 years ago.  For pantyhose that are durable, available in a range of shades, and inexpensive too, you can’t go wrong with Pretty Polly, a brand out of the UK.

Fishnet Tights–Ah, fishnets…how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  Always chic, always trendy, and always fashionable, fishnets are the best way to add a bit of spice to your regular, everyday wardrobe.  The most important thing to remember with fishnets is the smaller the mesh, the better.  That’s why I’m a big fan of the Wolford Twenties; they’re perfect for work or play.

Opaque Black Tights–Who hasn’t gone a winter without wearing black tights?  Not only do they keep your legs warm, they’re great for transitioning summer dresses into fall…not to mention making your pins look long and slender. For black tights, I always recommend the Wolford Matte Opaques. While they’re a bit pricier than most, they feel wonderful and literally last forever.

Garter Belt & Stockings–I put these two items together because you really can’t have one without the other.  A garter belt and stockings is the classic splurge…one that’ll make you feel and look as sexy as you already are.  Invest in the Nikita Suspender belt and fully fashioned stockings from Agent Provocateur and go knock ‘em dead.

Shapewear

Shaping Slip–It smoothes, it firms, and it shapes giving you the picture perfect hourglass figure with no trouble at all.  The best shapewear is both pretty and practical which is why the Made by Niki gartered mini-dress is such a favorite of mine.  Buy it (and other Made by Niki products) at Figleaves here.

Sleepwear

Robe–We’re rounding out the list with a posh, plush robe from the Figleaves brand.  A robe is the sort of thing that every woman needs…be it to lounge around the case, carry with you on vacation, or run to the mailbox for the paper.  A good robe is soft, simple, and flattering and I hope you’ll agree that robe pictured here is all three.

While we’re finished talking about the 10 pieces of lingerie every woman needs in her underwear drawer, there are two more lingerie-related products I highly recommend to my readers to keep their purchases in like-new condition…a good, specialty lingerie detergent and a sturdy, spacious lingerie wash bag.  Both are available for next-to-nothing at Bare Necessities and they are more than worth the cost.

I hope this article helps you with your lingerie purchases, both now and in the future.  If you’d like more personalized advice, you can always sign up for lingerie personal shopping with yours truly where we can discuss your lingerie needs in greater detail.  Lingerie is my life, and I’d be absolutely delighted to talk with you.

15 Comments

  1. Lucy
    16/09/10 at 2:53

    Great recommendations!

    I'd never heard of MySkins – but they don't ship to the UK, yet. Love the fact they do a skin-tone chart, just like a foundation…

  2. Petra Bellejambes
    16/09/10 at 6:01

    I really wondered Treacle how you were going to get the list down to 10. I think you knocked it out nicely.

    Loving the slip dress 'specially.

    Merci beaucoup,

  3. Anonymous
    20/09/10 at 15:57

    I just stumbled on this article. I agree with you but I do have some issues with it.

    I would love to have all the bras you mentioned but my choices are limited by my bra size. In most stores near me, many of the bras above a size
    38DD are limited to full cup bras. This is true even at lingerie shops with a wider size range (The one I shop at has bras to 52J). Cacique is the only brand I know of with t-shirt and convertible styles. I know I could shop online. but shouldn't you be able to try on bras before purchasing?

    I am new to your blog so I look forward to more posts. If you can help the plus-size and larger cup ladies, that would be fantastic. Life is too short for ugly bras that don't fit!

  4. dcsurfergirl
    20/09/10 at 15:59

    I just stumbled on this article. I agree with you but I do have some issues with it.

    I would love to have all the bras you mentioned but my choices are limited by my bra size. In most stores near me, many of the bras above a size
    38DD are limited to full cup bras. This is true even at lingerie shops with a wider size range (The one I shop at has bras to 52J). Cacique is the only brand I know of with t-shirt and convertible styles. I know I could shop online. but shouldn't you be able to try on bras before purchasing?

    I am new to your blog so I look forward to more posts. If you can help the plus-size and larger cup ladies, that would be fantastic. Life is too short for ugly bras that don't fit!

  5. Bon "Idearella" Crowder
    22/09/10 at 15:27

    I'm a mom (and still trying to get into my cute knickers) so I have to say that in addition to helping with the undies, a good lingerie net washing bag doubles as a bath-toy holder.

    Oh, and when your hose run (as they inevitably will), tie 'em up and use them as hair bands!

  6. Anonymous
    04/10/10 at 13:48

    I did not know that shapewear could be pretty! Thank you for opening my eyes to this concept, I think you may have changed my life.

  7. Siobhan
    08/11/10 at 18:49

    As far as shapewear I'm quite of fan of What Katie Did's Glamour lingerie line

  8. meliasaurus
    28/11/10 at 15:00

    I'm completely bewildered by bra sizes. I measure 37 bust 31 chest. I normally wear a 34C but i'd like to try a 32D is there a place that sells these for a reasonable price? I don't have 40 dollars much less 40 dollars for 2 bras. :/ any suggestions?

    also supportive wireless bas do they exist?

  9. 04/01/12 at 5:51

    hello – is it just me !! can any one explain why when i type in the firefox browser “www.thelingerieaddict.com” i get a different site yet whe i type it in google its ok? could this be a bug in my system or is any one else having same probs ?
    alfies

    • Treacle
      04/01/12 at 6:10

      I haven’t had that problem, nor has anyone told me about that problem…but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

      What site are you being taken to?

  10. JazzFest
    10/06/13 at 23:27

    For anyone who buys from Avon on pg. 133 of the Canadian campaign 14 catalogue there is a 3 piece lingerie wash bag set for $14.99. Not sure how it holds up to the things at Bare Necessities but this way I don’t pay shipping :P

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