Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.
Another day passes in the month of February, and this time of year, that means it’s time for our third Valentine’s Day Lingerie Shopping Guide. The $100 mark, to me, is when lingerie moves out of the realm of budget-friendly and into the world of what many people consider luxury. This is the price range you’ll start to see extraordinary laces and silks and embroideries. This is also where you’ll begin to see more independent designers, particularly those working with rare materials or limited edition textiles. Unfortunately, this is also the price range where you’ll start to a drop off in plus size, full bust, and small bust options. After this point, most ready to wear brands will stick to a fairly narrow size range (referred to as straight sizes, misses sizes, standard sizes, or bra matrix sizes depending on where you hang out). That said, if there’s something you love, particularly if it’s from Etsy, it’s always worth checking in with the designer to see if custom sizing is available. Many made-to-order luxury labels are able to create a pattern specifically to the customer, and that opens up a wide range of options as we move into more expensive lingerie.
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.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.
Trends come and trends go, but some things last forever. There are certain classics that transcend the confines of time. This holds true even in today’s “fast fashion” culture — whether it’s a specific color or shape that compliments a wide range of people, or a certain fabric or treatment that stands out from the rest. Timeless trends are born to withstand the test of time, and investing in them is always a safe bet.
I spent many years designing lingerie for the mass markets before I embarked on my own venture. Department stores and chain retailers made up the majority of my clients, and each season we scrambled to discover the new “it” bra, the hottest color combination and the coolest fabrics. But despite my best efforts, buyers consistently rejected the trendy designs in favor of more basic, classic items.
With time I learned that my buyers were wary with good reason. Most shoppers, while appreciating new and innovative design, were still hesitant to invest in those pieces that were more stylized and fashionable. Times are tough and consumers are more cautious these days about what they spend their money on. When it comes to lingerie, the majority of mass-market consumers are looking for comfort, versatility, and longevity in their underwear. Women want bras that will support them and not show through their clothing. They want undies that can be worn comfortably all day. And they want to splurge on sexy lingerie that will last.
Slowly, I began to understand how creative designs can be a financial risk for retailers, and why they are reluctant to deviate from the tried-and-true styles they’ve carried in previous seasons. I learned which colors and styles sold best and which designs could carry forward indefinitely. I worked hard at channeling my creativity into designs that would make it onto the best-seller list without looking too basic and boring. And finally I learned how to appreciate the new “classics” for what they were and understand why they are so popular.
Here I’d like to share with you my top seven classic lingerie trends that I believe are worth an investment if you’re looking for style that will last. Only time will tell if these trends are strong enough to turn into classics, but for now I can confirm that they’re here to stay!
1. Head-To-Toe Black
How can you go wrong with black? It’s slimming, flattering on a variety of skin tones, and goes with just about everything. Black lingerie is the perfect embodiment of sexy and can be found in pretty much all designers’ repertoires. It stands for sophistication and can bring an unconventional design to a more understandable level. Piling on the black lingerie is always considered chic, and you can have fun playing with textures and layering pieces to make the look as unique as you are.
A matching bra, panty, and garter belt make up the three-piece set that is synonymous with lingerie. There are many variations of this look, but these three basic pieces are always a winner when it comes to seductive underpinnings. Often performing double duty, you can wear the bra and panty alone during the day and later add the garter belt to transition the look into a more provocative ensemble at night. This is a look that has been favored for decades and is still going strong today with modern takes on its shape and styling.
Customers appreciate multiple color options to choose from when shopping for lingerie… after all, variety is the spice of life! However, I’ve learned that besides the usual black, white and beige, one of the top-ranking “colors” is not a color at all, but an animal print – specifically a leopard or cheetah in natural tones. This print is widely popular and has the ability to transform itself into many different styles. From retro and playful to sophisticated and understated – its no wonder the animal print has reached classic status.
For many, lingerie means lace. It has that “wow” factor and adds interest to everything it touches. It is the epitome of femininity as the open textures and shadows make for a sensual effect on the skin. An art form in itself, the variety of patterns and designs are limitless, making this fabric a classic with lasting appeal. Lace knows no boundaries and has become a staple in many collections and wardrobes as a year-round best seller.
We already know about the power of black, but pairing black and white in one look is a trend most people can get on board with. Neutral, flattering, and sophisticated, the black and white combo can make any style look more formal with its tuxedo-like feel and high contrast. This grouping of non-colors compliments many different skin colors and can always be relied on to raise the status of an otherwise ordinary design.
Some people call them brazilians, some people call them tangas, and some people call them cheekies. Whatever term you use, there’s no denying that this cut is hot. It straddles the line between full coverage bottoms and barely there thongs. The back end is cut high on the bottom, allowing for semi-coverage while the bottom peeks out below for a bit of naughtiness. This fit may not be the most comfortable for everyone, but the look is flattering on an array of body types, making this style a bedroom staple for many.
The sleepwear industry isn’t what it used to be, as customers are buying fewer coordinating pieces in favor of comfy separates they already own (think sweatpants and a t-shirt). Pajamas are becoming a tougher sell and typically enjoy the peak of their popularity during the holiday gift-giving season. One of the most popular styles of pajamas sold today is the classic notched-collar set with button down shirt and wide leg pants. A long-living basic and cozy alternative to sweatpants, this style returns each season in new prints reflective of the current trends. It’s a great way to update a tried-and-true silhouette while remaining classic and timeless.
Lingerie designer and founder of WonderLust Lingerie. I specialize in fashion and trend pertaining to lingerie, sleepwear, hosiery and everything in between. I believe that the right kind of underwear can change your entire outlook for the day so finding a balance between fashion and function is key.
Disclaimer: The Soie Cherie set was kindly provided MemeShop. All other garments in this post were purchased by myself. Lascivious and Lacing Lilith are not affiliated with these reviews in any way. All opinions are my own.
I’m constantly shopping for new lingerie – I have a terrible habit of justifying it as ‘research’ for my lingerie studies! I’m forever trawling the internet, sample sales and ebay in case I manage to uncover a bargain. Here’s my lucky finds from the last month and what I thought of them.
Maison Close’s Soie Cherie bra. Image from MemeShop.com
I’ve encountered the brand Maison Close only briefly in the past – they’d always appeared to me as being highly erotic and boudoir wear focused, with lots of garments featuring naughty cut outs and straps. The Soie Cherie set was therefore quite a pleasant surprise – it’s much more girly and not quite as obvious as the brand’s other offerings. Featuring a soft bra (£60) and detachable-suspender brief (£55), the set is made in a stretch fuchsia silk with delicate black stretch lace inserts. Sizing comes up very small in Maison Close’s designs, so I would fully advise going up a size in any order. I ended up ordering a Medium bra and Large briefs when I usually wear a 30D bra and UK 10/12 briefs.
My first impression of the set was that Maison Close use utterly gorgeous packaging – each garment comes in its own purple and gold branded box and is wrapped in tissue paper. The actual set is very flirty and feminine – the combination of delicate lace and soft silk gives it a very luxurious feel.
Unfortunately it does appear to be a bedroom-only set. As with most soft styles, the bra doesn’t provide any major amount of support, though it does give a flattering shape to a smaller bust. I also had some issues with the knickers – on their own, they are utterly fabulous, being both comfortable and flattering. However, the problems start with the garters straps: the fact that they are silk makes adjusting them quite tricky, whilst the small clips can get quite fiddly and make it rather difficult to actually attach them to stockings. My real problem with them though was the fact that they don’t actually hold your stockings up – take a single step, and you’ll find your stockings actually start pulling your knickers down! This is unfortunately unavoidable for any suspender straps that come from the hips and not the waist. If you are considering buying them, I’d simply advise ditching the suspender straps and pairing the briefs with some lace hold ups.
I can’t deny that I’ve been eyeing up the Midori bodysuit (£198) for a while now – I adore Lascivious’ aesthetics, and as part of their ‘Classics’ range, this garment has simply been taunting me every season. I was lucky enough to find this bodysuit in a sample sale a couple of weeks ago and so avoided breaking the bank! Featuring sheer net that drapes across the body, elastic strap detailing, satin ties around the bust and neck and suspender straps, it’s a hugely flattering piece for all sorts of body shapes. The satin ties can be worn according to your preferences, whether you prefer them crisscrossing across the body or wrapped tightly under the bust.
Unfortunately I have once again encountered some trouble with Lascivious’ sizing – I’d previously purchased knickers and another bodysuit from them in a Medium, only to find that they were too short for me in the torso. With this playsuit, I took a bit of a risk in buying it in a size Large. Whilst it fits perfectly on my bottom, this time it’s a little too long in the torso, with the draped mesh falling a lot lower on my body than in any of Lascivious’ product shots! Nevertheless, I think it still looks absolutely gorgeous when worn so I don’t have any real complaints!
Latex can seem like a pretty scary material for most people – with its obvious fetish connotations , the average lingerie lover is going to deem it as just a little too S&M to incorporate into their lingerie drawers. Nevertheless, latex has been rather prevalent in the high fashion world recently, perhaps making it a little more socially acceptable! I’ve previously only dipped my toes in the water by buying latex stockings and fingerless gloves (the perfect accessory to toughen up any lingerie outfit – trust me!), but decided to take a jump when I saw this Lacing Lilith corset sample (in my size would you believe it!) on ebay. It’s a lot more extreme than my usual lingerie tastes but I still have no regrets – latex is a fabulously forgiving material and it’s bound to make an impact wherever you wear it. I bought this with the intention of wearing it for Hallowe’en but I haven’t quite decided how I’ll be styling it! Either way, I have plans of making this corset at home with the rest of my lingerie collection – I wonder how softening the look with some lovely lacey pieces would look?
1940s and 1950s bras
Finally, my occasional perusing of Vintage shops resulted in my finding these two vintage lingerie treasures: a 1940s and a 1950s bra, both in amazing condition. Most surprising of all though is the fact that they both fit! They both feature delicate lace inserts, pale satins and intricate stitching and boning. Both bras use liberal amounts of boning for their support (instead of the underwire that we are all so familiar with now), with the 1950s bras’ being so effective it is in fact strapless. They both have the rather pointy bust shape that was so popular at the time – unfortunately this renders them a little inappropriate for daily-wear, though the collector in me says this is irrelevant!
Readers: What do you think of my most recent lingerie wardrobe additions? What have your most recent purchases been?