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!
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!
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.
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.
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 facebook, instagram, or via her email at [email protected]