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

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Lingerie is a part of life. But it isn't true 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!


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 here 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.


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. For the most options, I recommend the Commando brand. Available in nine 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.


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 something from Agent Provocateur (like the Nikita Suspender Set shown) and go knock 'em dead.


Shaping Slip--It smooths. It firms. And it shapes 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.


Robe--We're rounding out the list with a posh, plush robe from Figleaves brand. A robe is the sort of thing that every woman needs... be it to lounge around the house, carry on vacation, or run to the mailbox for the paper. A good robe is soft, simple, and makes you feel wonderful, and the robe pictured here looks like it could be 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 at Nordstrom 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.

Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.