The New Rules of Lingerie: 7 Pieces of Advice for Every Woman

Maja Ogonowska

Awhile back, I did a post on the 7 Deadly Lingerie Sins. It’s become one of the most popular articles we’ve published to date (people really love sin, apparently), but I think it’s time for a bit of an update, and a new, 2012 spin.

Since I’m always around lingerie in some capacity, I hear a ton of lingerie rules everyday. And most of them, while well-intentioned, are pretty generic. You know what I mean: get a bra fitting, don’t wear the same bra more than one day in a row, have at least one bra that matches your skin tone, and so forth and so on.

It’s important stuff — there are lingerie newbies being born every single day — but it can also be a little repetitive… especially if you’ve been interested in lingerie for awhile and are already familiar with the basics.

So I felt like it might be nice to have a second set of lingerie rules that supplements the first few we always hear about. And since I love coming up with arbitrary lists of rules (don’t judge; it makes me feel wanted), I’ve put together a few things I think every Lingerie Addict should keep in mind when it comes to intimate apparel.

1) Affordability is subjective. One of the most popular questions I get is “Where can I find an affordable lingerie?” And while I understand what people are trying to ask, it’s not the best way of asking it. “Affordable” is incredibly subjective and what’s a good price to me could very well be too high (or too low!) for you. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being on a budget. But if you have a price point in mind, it’s hard for other people to connect you with the right choices when you’re being vague about what you can afford.

(On a related note, no criticizing other people’s budgets. If you don’t spend more than $5 on a pair of tights, good for you. If you refuse to spend less than a $100 on a bra, kudos. I’m glad you have a system that works. But it doesn’t mean everyone else needs to shop the way you do.)

2) Lingerie is not just about sex. I am so tired of constantly being told that lingerie is only for women who are in heterosexual relationships to wear for their men. Don’t get me wrong… it’s great if you’ve found lacey knickers help out with your love life, but lingerie is more than just a bedroom accessory. And if your significant other isn’t into lingerie, that’s okay. Wear it for you. So many people think lingerie is only bras and garter belts, but it also includes robes and chemises and slips and loungewear and so much more. The whole point of lingerie is to make you feel good. The layer closest to your skin should help you feel comfortable and confident and amazing and awesome all day long. And if that’s not what’s happening, that’s a problem. Let’s start moving the conversation beyond the sexy sexy, and to how our intimates make us feel.

3) Be willing to look around before insisting no one makes anything in your size. At least once per day, I get an email or a Tumblr message from someone who tells me that no makes pretty bras above a D cup or below an A cup. Ladies, that is simply not true. Now, you may not be able to find those bras (they’re called “extended sizing”) in your local shopping mall, but they are out there, and part of being a proactive consumer is looking around before giving up. There have never (and I mean NEVER) been more lingerie options available for women at either size of the size spectrum than right now. Whether you’re a 28AA, a 42N, or a 50DD, I know for a fact there is at least one brand out there is making pretty bras in your size. You just have to look.

4) But avoid looking for unicorns. While being a proactive consumer is good, having unreasonable expectations is not. There is no 100% silk, handmade, quarter cup bra in a F cup that retails for less than $25. Unless it’s being made in a sweatshop. And those are not okay. Shopping for lingerie is already hard enough; don’t make it any more difficult than it has to be by setting yourself up for failure at the start. Having a sense of what’s out there is part of being an informed consumer.

5) Not verything is going to fit you perfectly. That’s okay. It’s true for everyone, and it’s not always the fault of the lingerie. If you’re an E cup, a flimsy bralette is going to look different on you than on a B cup. If you have shallow boobs,  you won’t fill out a bullet bra the same way someone with full boobs does. If you have a high waist/hip ratio, every panty brand just won’t work for you. Unless you’re the actual sample model for someone’s company, trial-and-error when it comes to what brands are best for your body should always be expected. And when you do find something that works, buy it… because that brand has already shown you that you’re their target customer.

6) Never feel ashamed of your lingerie choices. If you like really skimpy, tawdry, X-rated lingerie, embrace it. If you only wear the vintage stuff, go for it. If it’s silk 24/7 for you, fine. And if you prefer plain, organic cotton briefs, that’s great too. What you like is what you like, and that’s okay. And no one else should be making you feel like there’s a problem with your choices. If it’s being made, that means someone’s buying it. And as the saying goes, the world takes all kinds.

7) Be a conscious consumer. There are tons of different ways of being conscious, and I’m not here to say one kind is better than another. We all have limitations on our time, but it’s worth looking at where your undergarments are made, who made them, and what conditions the people who made them work in. I know how overwhelming that kind of research can be, but if it helps, think of the thing that matters most to you (organic or fair trade or locally made, etc. etc.) and start from there. When it comes to making things better within the lingerie industry, consumers have the ultimate power… we just have to exercise it.

As always, I love to hear what you think, so if you’ve got a rule of your own or disagree with what I’ve listed here, let’s talk about it in the comments!

Mad Mimi Form


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Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.