The Best Lingerie Brands of 2016

The Best Lingerie Brands of 2016 - Cristina Aielli, I.D. Sarrieri, Evgenia Lingerie, Yandy

Here it is: the finale, the coup de grâce, the closer to 2016. Speaking personally as Editor in Chief for a moment, I take our best lingerie brands of the year post very seriously. I start making notes on certain companies as early as January, “checking in” on them, so to speak, throughout the year.

When December comes around, and it’s finally time to compile the list, I post my thoughts to a thread accessible to TLA’s other editors and writers, sharing my choices for each category. Disagreement is encouraged, with my team recommending their own favorites and saying why they should be more highly ranked in one category or another.



Personal experience with a brand factors heavily into the final list. A strong recommendation based on real-life interaction with the product takes precedence over most anything else…though I do also weigh factors like website traffic, social media shares, and industry response – especially if it’s a close decision between two brands.

Even if you disagree with our final choices, you’ll know they weren’t made lightly. However, in our opinion, these are the most noteworthy, the most remarkable, and the most fascinating lingerie labels of the year.

What was the best lingerie brands of 2016 in your opinion? And what are you hoping to see more of in 2017?

 

Best Overall – Playful Promises

Playful Promises hit their stride this year, offering exciting, fashion-forward core, plus, and full bust ranges in addition to the edgier diffusion collectionPeek & Beau and a new Bettie Page line. No other company is doing so much and doing it well, proving once and for all that everyone deserves gorgeous lingerie. ~ Cora

Playful Promises

 

Best Newcomer: Cristina Aielli

Cristina Aielli took the bondage trend and the illusion mesh trend and turned them into something incredible. Some mass-market bras are meant to look like the lace is tattooed on your skin, but hers blow those away. The engineering and artistry in each piece is really insane. ~ Quinne

Cristina Aielli

 

Best Luxury – I.D. Sarrieri

I.D. Sarrieri is one of those labels that never ceases to take my breathe away. Its lingerie acts as the perfect canvas for some of the most stunning textiles I’ve seen this year. Opulent embroideries and laces are cut and placed with such exquisite consideration on the body that they almost become works of art in their own right. ~ Karolina

I.D. Sarrieri

 

Best Corsetry: Holly Rafaela

Praised by one of our previous Best of Corsetry winners, Sparklewren, Holly Rafaela’s designs are radical, magical, and wildly gorgeous. Encrusted with studs, jewels and lace, Holly Rafaela’s work is three-dimensional art – sculptural and textural. ~ Cora
Holly Rafaela

 

Best Full Bust – Buttress & Snatch

Buttress and Snatch takes the lingerie that princess-y girls draw in their diaries and brings it to life with perfect construction and beautiful fabrics. They’re one of the only brands making super fanciful lingerie for full bust sizes, and they’re ethically-made without sacrificing style. The design detail retained for their bras at this price point (because they could be far more expensive) is what dreams are made of. ~ Quinne

Buttress & Snatch

 

Best Small Bust: Elma Shop

While TLA tries not nominate the same brand for the same consecutive award (Elma was also our Best Small Bust Brand of 2015), Elma Shop continues to blow our minds. The designer’s latest collection builds on her inimitable aesthetic, offering impeccably polished lingerie for smaller busts. ~ Cora

Elma Shop

 

Best Plus Fashion: Toru & Naoko

Toru & Naoko may seem like an unlikely choice for best in plus size fashion, given the brand’s off the rack size range ends at an XXL. However, for a nominal fee – impressive given that this is an indie brand – pieces can be customized to fit any size. Items are thoughtfully adjusted without compromising the design and a new pattern is made according to your measurements. ~ Ariel

Toru & Naoko

 

Best Plus Everyday: Curvy Couture

Curvy Couture is my favorite everyday plus size lingerie brand. I can consistently count on a piece from Curvy Couture – whether it’s a t-shirt bra, corset or briefs – to be both cute and comfortable. The extensive fit testing they do on all their products before releasing them shows in the details of the construction. There’s a thoughtfulness about how this will both look and wear on a plus size body. Though I have other bras and panties, it’s Curvy Couture I find myself reaching for everyday. ~ Alysse

Curvy Couture

 

Best Hosiery – Glamory

With beautiful luxury legwear available up to a size 5XL/32, Glamory Hosiery should be much more popular than it is. Glamory is one of the few (if not the only) brand answering a long neglected niche in the hosiery market, and with better, more cohesive branding, they could completely dominate this space in 2017. ~ Cora

Glamory

 

Best Loungewear: Evgenia

Evgenia’s luxe loungewear hits that perfect blend of vintage inspiration with modern elegance and wearability. Beautiful fabrics and striking cuts make this brand a stand out for loungewear this year, with pieces like their cowl neck velvet gown being one of my absolute favourite garments that I’ve seen in recent years. ~ Karolina

Evgenia Lingerie

 

Best Budget-Friendly: Yandy

Yandy is unique in their retail space, frequently carrying entire product lines (including plus sizes) from all the major inexpensive brands, including Oh la la Cheri, Seven ’til Midnight and Leg Avenue. In an era where even high-end stores are repurchasing from these same companies – but marking their prices up to exorbitant, unfair amounts – why not buy from a retailer who prices fairly from the get-go? ~ Cora

Yandy

 

Best Indie: Uye Surana

Uye Surana ticks all of my indie lingerie brand boxes with aplomb: gorgeous designs, a commitment to ethical manufacturing and a visible effort to expand size ranges. Their delicate and feminine designs update the otherwise tired strappy lingerie trend with soft colour palettes and intricate laces – without sacrificing fit or wearability. ~ Karolina

Uye Surana

 

Best LGBTQ: Erica M.

I can’t think of any other designers I’ve seen that have done what she has in terms of queer rep. ~ Tatiana

Erica M.

 

Best Editorial: Karolina Laskowska Couture

Put simply: No one else is creating lingerie like this. Karolina Laskowska operates in rarefied air, daring to make what many other designers would be afraid to even dream of. ~ Cora

Karolina Laskowska Couture

 

Best Boutique: Anya Lust

Anya Lust’s editorial images were the first time I’d seen many of my favorite luxury brands on the bodies of women of color, and I was moved to tears. It’s easy to talk about representation in the abstract, as an philosophical dilemma or something “nice” to do. But I can’t deny how it felt to visit a site that had people like me at the forefront…not as an afterthought. ~ Cora

Anya Lust

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Mad Mimi Form

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.

17 Comments on this post

  1. […] "With beautiful luxury legwear available up to a size 5XL/32, Glamory Hosiery should be much more popular than it is. Glamory is one of the few (if not the only) brand answering a long neglected niche in the hosiery market, and with better, more cohesive branding, they could completely dominate this space in 2017. ~ Cora" http://www.thelingerieaddict.com […]

  2. […] wardrobe that says “rock star”, but hello, this bodysuit. Playful Promises was named Best Overall Brand of 2016 by The Lingerie Addict, and I agree wholeheartedly: for one independent brand to offer core, plus, and full-bust sizes as […]

  3. […] "With beautiful luxury legwear available up to a size 5XL/32, Glamory Hosiery should be much more popular than it is. Glamory is one of the few (if not the only) brand answering a long neglected niche in the hosiery market, and with better, more cohesive branding, they could completely dominate this space in 2017. ~ Cora" http://www.thelingerieaddict.com […]

  4. […] "With beautiful luxury legwear available up to a size 5XL/32, Glamory Hosiery should be much more popular than it is. Glamory is one of the few (if not the only) brand answering a long neglected niche in the hosiery market, and with better, more cohesive branding, they could completely dominate this space in 2017. ~ Cora" http://www.thelingerieaddict.com […]

  5. Martin Allison says:

    I receive many emails (especially during the Holidays) from Yandy, however, I have not found the pink underwired chemise that you featured on your best of 2016. Any idea what this is called or the brand to help narrow it down? My one complaint with Yandy is that although they carry hundreds of stockings and thigh highs, none are a size large which is why I buy my wife Wolford tights and Fiore and Transparenze thigh highs and stockings. I will check the winner in stockings that you listed. I have enjoyed all of your issues since you started your blog some years ago.

  6. Dee Lushious says:

    TL;DR – can Ariel or another plus sized columist do a review of some of Toru and Naoko pieces?

    I have REALLY mixed feelings about Toru and Naoko as Best Plus Size brand. There are no reviews on The Lingerie Addict of thier plus size offerings, besides a brief comment from Ariel that she’s “become a repeat customer of Toru & Naoko based on the strength of their designs, quality and fit.” But how do they look, fit, and wear once they go over the XXL (or even at the XXL size point — Karolina’s skeptical article from a few years ago talked about the smaller sizes, and Karolina’s fit considerations are not the same as those of most plus sized bodies). Their instagram appears to only have photos of *one* model who’s larger, and to my eye at least, it doesn’t look like she’s beyond their standard XXL, so that’s still not useful for visualizing how these may look on a plus sized woman. When I go to thier website, it appears that every single main photo for the garments (the one that pops up when you scroll over the flat laid out garment) is a skinny woman. Aren’t there plus sized companies that actually show/celebrate plus sized women on thier websites and marketing?

    I’d love to see a photo reflecting thier plus size garments to go with this award on the page here. I understand that you need to go with photos that are not copyrighted, etc, but I feel like if they have so few photos available that there isn’t a plus sized one, maybe that’s a sign…. I like to look up the companies that I’ll fit into that you’ve noted are awesome, and try to support them if thier aesthetic appeals, but there’s just not enough info available for me to see why this company was picked, and whether their designs would actually look good on me as a plus sized woman!!

    • Cora says:

      Both our Plus Sized categories as well as our Full Bust category were determined by TLA’s own plus size and full bust columnists. I trust their recommendations, especially when those recommendations are informed by personal experience with the product…as all three of these category winners were.

      Best,
      Cora

  7. Thursday says:

    I can’t disagree with any of the winners here, and it’s a nice reminder of the standout collections from the past year! I have loved being able to access more of Playful Promises’ designs in the Curve line, although I’d love to see the Peek & Beau and Bettie Page lines with expanded sizes because they have been doing interesting things across the board.
    I’m pretty sure I have some Glamory stockings tucked away in a drawer I haven’t actually gotten around to trying out so I’ll definitely have to pull them out when the summer starts to wane.
    And every time Cristina Aielli comes across my radar I am always struck by the freshness and artistry of her perspective. I look forward to what the future holds for her designs.

    • Cora says:

      I hope Playful Promises expands sizing for Peek & Beau and Bettie Page too! They’re doing so much – more than any other brand really – when it comes to being a size inclusive label. It’s so exciting to see, and it seems that customer response (in the form of sales) is providing exactly the kind of feedback the brand requires to keep going in this direction. I’m very optimistic about their future.

  8. denocte says:

    Amazing list, so many of my own favs are on year. I’m looking forward to this post every year!
    And I’m reminded how much I want loungewear by Evgenia *sigh* the dress is to die for. Also, what a lovely quote about Karolina!
    Xoxo liz

    • Cora says:

      The red velvet lounge dress is on my “Must Have” list. And I can’t believe how much I’ve worn the floral cami since I bought it. It’s the kind of lingerie that just makes me happy whenever I put it on.

  9. Viktorija says:

    I found Marie Yat doing interesting work this year, i think she stands out so much from most of lingerie designers and really defines what contemporary lingerie can be or mean. I also find her editorials unique and really well communicated. I think she has been selected before in one of the ‘best’ lists, but if it was me selecting I think I would have chosen her for one the categories:)

  10. Holly Harlott says:

    There are so many wonderful brands listed! I.D. Sarrieri is one of my all-time favourite brands and their pieces always blow me away. I, like so many other lingerie addicts, am smitten with Cristina Aielli and I’m hoping to buy some of her pieces in the new year. It’s nice to see that she’s doing well too, many of her pieces are fully booked. I could go on about each brand listed because they’re all great but that would take too much time. Wonderful list this year! <3

    • Cora says:

      I agree! I was concerned that she may not get enough support from lingerie consumers, especially for the more fantastical (and also labor-intensive, therefore expensive) pieces, but it seems like the exact opposite is happening. That’s a wonderful sign.

      • Holly Harlott says:

        It is! I hope there will be some time next year for me to get something! I’m swooning over the Flora set, which is stunning and clearly a favourite as it’s currently booked up.

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