An Introduction to Australian Lingerie | The Lingerie Addict
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An Introduction to Australian Lingerie

There is much said about the laid-back style of Australian women. While we do have hot summers and enjoy going to the beach, there is so much more to our style. Australian style is about comfort and simplicity. About taking a fashion piece and working it again with basics. About being experimental with colours and prints. We embrace technologies such as laser cutting and we love innovative fabrics, soft tailoring, and layering our look.



Australian women approach lingerie in a similar fashion. We have our favourite lingerie brand or two for our basics, and then we experiment with new or interesting pieces. While we love matching sets, like many women, we will also mix it up depending on what outfit we're wearing.

One of the most popular bra shapes in Australian lingerie right now is the contour moulded balconette with no padding. This shape offers Australian women modesty (we are not prone to showcasing our headlights) and the desirable rounded shape. I believe this is closely followed by the push up bra, which is more preferred at night. Our love of wearing bralettes is visible, and we often layer them as part of our outerwear or wear them at home for comfort. The least popular style in Australian lingerie is the underwire bra with no moulded cup, but I hope one day this will change!

The most important aspect of an Australian woman's choice of lingerie is comfort. Our technical designers excel at catering to this need. Often styles require months of work to perfect the fit. We check each measurement to the millimetre and fit as many sizes as possible to ensure only the best fitting garment goes to market. Due to our love of moulded contour cups, many of the larger lingerie brands pour time and resources into developing new and exciting technologies. Some of the best examples of these technologies can be found in Australian sports bras.

In Australia, the pool of smaller boutique lingerie brands are few, though there are established brands well-known overseas such as Elle Macpherson, Bendon, Pleasure State and Bonds. However, we do have a new generation of creative and amazing designers offering some exciting perspective. It is always inspiring to see an Australian brand doing well, especially as we often feel we are so far away from the rest of the world! The following is a snapshot of some Australian brands you may or may not have heard of... but that you should definitely know!

Berlei

Iconic Australian brand Berlei has been around for over 90 years. If you're unfamiliar with the name, there is a sweet timeline on their website, which you can view here. Berlei has been creating underpinnings for everyday wear for a long time, including the infamous 'sweatergirl'. However, I believe they are leaders in sports bras.

Utilising technology, they have moved with the times; their current offerings include ultrasonic fabrics, COOLMAX® linings, seamfree cups and padded straps. Berlei sports bras are tested by the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) and come with a bounce rating. Some of their styles can even hold a heart rate monitor and an MP3 player!

Berlei - Hi Performance Hype

Berlei - Hi Performance Hype Concealed underwire with terry lining padded shoulders and underbust to minimise irritation

Berlei - Electrify Underwire Bra Support Factor 3 - High Impact. Reduces breast bounce by up to 50%.

Berlei - Electrify Underwire Bra
Support Factor 3 - High Impact. Reduces breast bounce by up to 50%.

Berlei - Ultimate Performance Crop Support Factor 4 - Extreme Impact. Reduces breast bounce by up to 60%. designed to hold a heart rate monitor and MP3 player. Moisture wicking padded shoulder straps, underbust and body band minimises irritation in high rub areas

Berlei - Ultimate Performance Crop
Support Factor 4 - Extreme Impact. Reduces breast bounce by up to 60%. Designed to hold a heart rate monitor and MP3 player. Moisture wicking padded shoulder straps, underbust and body band minimises irritation in high rub areas

Silent Assembly

Another brand utilising technology and comfort in a completely different way is new Australian brand Silent Assembly. At first glance, one can be mistaken into thinking this is a European brand because of their fine use of leavers lace and delicate floral appliqué. However, do not be misguided! This is a brand with fit and comfort at the forefront. Their philosophy resonates true of the Australian woman: "True beauty is a harmony of style and function." Silent Assembly is also state-of-the-art in technical features and are debuting the newest development in bra cup technology: Curvessence. The Curvessence technology replaces underwires with 3D nylon ribs that contour around the body. This alleviates pressure on the ribs from conventional underwires which, if not sprung open correctly, can cause much discomfort. This is one brand to watch! Silent Assembly will also be offering a basics range called Everyday Smooth which is due to be released in a few weeks.

Hopeless Lingerie

A recent article written by fellow TLA writer Laurie showcases one of the most exciting lingerie brands to come out of Australia: Hopeless Lingerie. Please do read the article here if you haven't already! Their collection speaks for itself!

Sass & Bide

Sass & Bide is well known throughout Australia as a leading fashion brand with a cult following. Established in 1999 by two best friends named Sarah Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, Sass & Bide shook the Australian fashion world with their "East Village Hipster" jeans and willingness to buck the norm. In July of this year, the cofounders decided to leave the business with most of the shares going to Myer, and lately Sass & Bide lingerie has been showing up at Myer. The Sass & Bide aesthetic is one I've not seen before in Australia. The styles are fashion-forward, focusing on contrasting elements and graphic, tailored aesthetics. It's fun and wearable with a good price point that most likely targets the youth end of the market.

Love & Lustre

I have recently become aware of Love & Lustre from Melbourne. They have been around for over 10 years so they are not a new brand -- but they are new to me! Their sleepwear is effortless and comes in the most beautiful colour palette. Their styling is deceptively simple. And they offer slips in silk and camisoles in silk jersey with leavers lace (as well as everyday basics such as camisoles, bandeaus and tank tops). This brand is simple, comfortable, and has a reasonable price point. The silk chemise in Petal is especially exquisite; the colour is reminiscent of vintage slips.

SJ Lingerie

Earlier this year Sally Jones rebranded as SJ Lingerie, and they now have a new owner and creative director -- Katie Rackley. Unlike many lingerie brands, SJ Lingerie continues to be locally made in Australia, and it is wonderful to see brands supporting local manufacturing (which is becoming rare everywhere, but especially in Australia). Their range is a fine display of local craftsmanship, and it is refreshing to see the sweet use of lace in this collection and know the brand is continuing to produce beautiful lingerie.

Kiss Kill

We have mentioned Kiss Kill on TLA before but we must discuss again. Kiss Kill is a boutique brand from Melbourne founded by Jane Carrodus. Previously, Jane worked in product development and design for brands like Peter Alexander, a well known sleepwear brand in Australia. With a relatively recent launch of January 2013, the brand has already made quite an impact. There is a something very Sydney rock chic about the collection, but there is also a delicacy in the application of lace and fluid movement (visible in robes like the Fiore and chemises like the silk slip). Bridal lingerie made a debut in the latest collection, but in strong contrast there are also some edgier pieces with studs and strappy designs. There really is something here for everyone.

Kate X Tee

Kate X Tee is a new brand from Sydney, designed by Kate Ford. Launched in January 2014, the designer's philosophy is to make you feel comfortable in your own skin, as if you were wearing nothing at all. The bralettes are made from delicate French lace and are very sweet and lovely on their own or layered with outerwear. Furthermore, all garments are handmade in Sydney. Kate's website is currently closed in preparation for for the next season, but please send enquiries through her facebookinstagram, or via her email at [email protected]

Kate X Tee - Frenchie Lace Bralette and Knicker

Kate X Tee - Frenchie Lace Bralette and Knicker

Kate X Tee - Lace Bralette and Knicker

Kate X Tee - Lace Bralette and Knicker

Kate X Tee - Frenchie Lace Bralette and Knicker

Kate X Tee - Frenchie Lace Bralette and Knicker

 

What are your thoughts on Australian lingerie? Do you know of any new Australian lingerie brands or have any favourites?

Kathryn Wellington

Kathryn is a lingerie and swimwear garment technician from Sydney, Australia. Lover of all things vintage and lacy.

14 Comments on this post

  1. Michelle Skelton says:

    Great article! I would love to see an updated post with some of the latest Australian Lingerie brands that have started up recently – one of my faves is definitely Silent Arrow.

    reply

  2. Cortnee says:

    Great article! I hope you are able to do an updated post about more Indie Aussie designers soon!

  3. lady fae says:

    Just letting you know none of the Love and Lustre links work.

  4. I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for including us in your article. We are 100% Australian and still manufacture all of our pieces here in Australia. We are honoured to be up on the list with Hopeless lingerie who we adore and it was great to see some other brands we haven’t heard of yet like Kate x Tee and Silent Assembly. Xx

    • Kathryn Wellington says:

      Hi Katie,

      Thank you for commenting! Wonderful to hear you are manufacturing locally. It is an exciting time for lingerie in Australia :)

  5. Rose says:

    Hello,
    There are many Australian lingerie brands out there, I liked that Kathyrn has focused on lesser known ones.
    Elle MacPherson is actually originally a New Zealand brand, it used to be designed out of Auckland and owned by Bendon. In recent years, part of the Bendon office moved to Sydney however the design moved to the UK and Hong Kong.
    Lovable is also owned by Bendon and sadly no longer designed in Australia. I think it is amazing that design is kept local. I hope in the coming years we can bring some manufacturing back onto home soil and have pure Aussie brands :) xx

  6. Jules says:

    Not to be overly critical on this but some of the most iconic Australian lingerie labels have not been included. One includes our own Elle Macpherson who has designed Elle Macpherson intimates (for the ladies) and her brother Daniel has his own line for the guys. Also there is Pleasure State, which has numerous lingerie lines within e.g couture, my fit, and white label; lastly Jennifer Hawkins, once crowned Miss Universe has introduced the label ‘Lovable’.

    • Cora says:

      They’re mentioned in the 4th paragraph down. ;-)

      I can’t speak on behalf of Kathyrn, but I think this article was about spotlighting some lesser known brands. I know I’m glad the piece didn’t focus on Elle Macpherson and Pleasure State as both labels are very well known. However, I’d never heard of Berlei or Sass & Bide or Love & Lustre. It’s always nice to learn about companies you didn’t know of before, and now I know to check out Lovable. :-)

    • Kathryn Wellington says:

      Hi Jules,

      My focus was on the lesser known brands. Elle Macpherson, Pleasure State and Lovable are part of Bendon and are well known. I have mentioned Lovable before on TLA as I love their soft cup bra’s. However, the focus for this article was on smaller brands and especially those who design within Australia. Thank you for your feedback :)

  7. Felicity says:

    Great article! It is so brilliant to see Australian brands getting some coverage.
    Australia has a lot to offer, it’s a very exciting time and I can’t wait to see what these brands do next!

  8. Georgie says:

    Ooh, lots I haven’t heard of here. Great post. I LOVE the aesthetic of Sass & Bide.

    Not strictly a lingerie brand, but I feel put forward Wheels & Dollbaby. All of their clothes are heavily lingerie-inspired and the few intimate pieces they have are to die for.

    Their Marie Antoinette playsuit is my absolute must-have item right now!

    • Kathryn Wellington says:

      Hi Georgie,

      Thanks for mentioning Wheels & Dollbaby. They definitely have some lovely lingerie pieces! The fringed knickers look fun :)

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