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Where Has All the Interesting Lingerie Gone?

Deco Delight in Blue by Freya  Size range: 28D to 38G

Deco Delight in Blue by Freya
Size range: 28D to 38G

For the first time ever, I've found myself almost totally unexcited about the upcoming lingerie season. Part of this may be general bra fatigue (I see a lot of bras at work!) but most of it is simply the feeling I have seen all of these pieces before. While I still love lingerie and regularly find pieces I adore, the industry as a whole seems more driven by seasons and the familiar than ever before. These forces lead to seasons like the upcoming one, where trends focused around four basic colors and the same bras that were already bestsellers for the big companies, with very little innovation or new ideas thrown in.



Portia Bra by Curvy Kate  Size range: 28 - 40 D through K

Portia Bra by Curvy Kate
Size range: 28 - 40 D through K

Part of this is due to the fact that the lingerie world, like many industries, is getting smaller. Over the past few years, many larger lingerie makers have merged or been restructured as part of buyout deals. For instance, the Wacoal/Eveden merger has resulted in massive size restructuring as well as the Eveden name being dropped altogether. If you're a North American lingerie customer, this means almost any brand you buy in this region can ultimately be traced back to Wacoal America. This setup makes it even easier to coordinate "seasonal" trends and focus them around pieces that are proven sellers, rather than trying to do something new or innovative.

Bijou Bra by Elomi
Size range: 34F through 44G

For the first time in years, I have trouble thinking of any innovative new bras on the horizon. While there are a few highlights, like Bravissimo's constantly creative collections or Tutti Rouge's use of custom designed prints and their new push up bra for larger cup sizes, this seems like a season of basics rather than a season of fashion lingerie.

Tango Bra by Panache  28E to 40K

Tango Bra by Panache
Size range: 28E to 40K

It doesn't help that all of the new brands and news in plus size and full bust bras tends to focus around cheap diffusion lines or expansions of basic bras that have been around forever. Where does the customer who wants interesting statement lingerie go? While there are lots of brands creating great lingerie for smaller busted customers or core size customers, the rest of us are left out or forced to turn to buying custom pieces at higher prices.

Charise Bra by Sculptresse  Size range: 36F through 46J

Charise Bra by Sculptresse
Size range: 36F through 46J

As lingerie lovers, we need to band together and speak with our dollars even more during seasons this like this. If you do manage to find an amazing bra that you fall in love with, buy it! If you can, buy it full price. The reason we end up with seasons like this one all comes down to the bottom line. It's easier to sell a Freya Deco than create a new bra for a marginalized size range, so designers and corporations need to see the buyers are there and receptive to their efforts. Yes, buy a bra or two this season, but make sure it's a bra you truly love and represents something about the industry you want to endorse.

After all, you might be seeing it for the next five seasons in different colors.


Last Updated on

Holly
Holly Jackson

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

3 Comments on this post

  1. Anna says:

    This is the exact problem we at Anna Pardal are trying to solve! Our mission is to offer a complete size range of beautiful and unique lingerie that can be customized for different fit needs. I’d love it if you would check us out!

  2. rebeccab says:

    It’s interesting how the recession has changed things into not changing. I’m a history buff and used to love movies but since 2010 all we see is the “same old same old”. Movies are all the same (just lower quality and higher prices) Restaurant food is the same (lower quality higher price) and lingerie is so soooo expensive and the quality? If not for the desperately hectic schedules us millennials have to keep in the new “freelance economy” we probably would be askance at paying 62.99 for a vs workout bra with obviously bad stitching but the rewards are so spaced out and the marketing soooooo good at hooking us and speaking as an older millennial in the enviable position of a military wife (can’t work cause the hubby schedule is so hectic and, honestly, how many jobs pay enough to make it worth it after childcare for three under 13 and car expenses especially without a four year degree? None here in the south!) I have more time for research and education but it’s such a rabbit hole of lies, and marketing and exaggeration mixed in with the reviews and expectations that as a consumer it’s just easier to go to the mall or Wal-Mart or Amazon. I can remember a time when you got what you paid for in retail. Now you get what you were marketed the most. It feels like the old descriptions of communist Russia, “in Russia all bras are red! No pastels or nudes for you!!!”

  3. The upcoming full bust season is certainly awash with repeats and mono-colour palettes. I have seen creativity and risks from Parfait (Ellie and Destiny) and it’s nice to see Panache branching out into some new cup shapes (Cari) if only they’d try out some new wire lengths! As a buyer you are saturated by bras and style fatigue needs to be counteracted with some innovation each season. Naturally there has to be a balance between revenue proven styles and innovation based on customer feedback, but I don’t see those risks being taken too readily. xx

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