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The Lingerie Addict Awards: The 12 Best Lingerie Brands of 2017

Our Best Lingerie Brands feature is always one of our last articles for the calendar year, but I think it's one of the most important. The companies chosen for this list represent the crème de la crème of the industry. These are labels of note; the designers and brands that have done outstanding work, not just for a month or two, but all year long.

Quite often around this time of year, brands ask how they can get on this list. However, we don't accept nominations, much less "donations." Companies are named Best of the Year because my columnists and I believe they deserve to be here. We believe these are the brands our readers should know. Interestingly, several of our nominations, such as for Best Overall, Best Editorial and Best LGBTQ, were unanimous.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts about what you believe to be the Best Lingerie Brands of 2017. Did your faves make it onto the list? Who do you think should be here instead? And which names should we pay attention to in 2018?

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Overall: Playful Promises

Best Overall: Playful Promises

Playful Promises was our Best Overall last year as well, and since they (full disclosure) are an advertiser, I was concerned it may look odd to have them win again. However, my writers and I agreed that no one else simply comes close to what Playful Promises does. The main line offers identical styles in plus, core, and full bust sizes, and that's not even getting into their Bettie Page Collection or their plus size collaboration with Gabi Fresh. Playful Promises shows that it's possible to design thoughtfully inclusive lingerie, work with a diverse range of models, and be a smashing success while doing it. Other companies could take note.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Editorial: Creepy Yeha

Best Editorial/Directional: Creepy Yeha

Creepy Yeha had an absolutely stellar year, being featured on celebrities from FKA Twigs to Cardi B, not to mention the Chromat runway show! Yeha's style is both perfect and perfectly inimitable. You can recognize her pieces from a mile away, and it was wonderful to see this designer push herself with several new silhouettes this year as well as some gorgeous editorial photography showing the products on a wider range of body types. There is something so exciting about watching a label get better and better, perfecting their craft. Creepy Yeha is one such label, and I know they're just getting started.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Plus Size: Elomi

Best Plus Size: Elomi

I don't know what's happened at Elomi, but they feel like a completely different brand than they were a few seasons ago. And it's for the better. Fashionable bras in larger band sizes that also fit exceptionally well? No one else does that, and their customers are reaping the benefit. The brand's upcoming Spring/Summer 2018 collection, in particular, is a revelation. Elomi, if you're reading this, whatever it is you're doing, keep doing it.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Full Bust: Scantilly by Curvy Kate

Best Full Bust: Scantilly by Curvy Kate

Scantilly has been around for a few seasons now and received rave reviews from practically the beginning. However, I feel like this season the brand truly came into its own. Everything just "clicks." Scantilly satisfies a niche that has been left out in the cold for far too long - scintillatingly sexy bras for very large busts.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best New Brand: Thistle and Spire

Best New Brand: Thistle & Spire

Thistle & Spire is barely two years old, and they're already in such iconic stores as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Revolve. This brand has completely blown me with away with their fashion-forward bodysuits, their custom embroideries (thistles!!!), and the sense that they just get it. As a designer, you either know your customer or you don't. And Thistle & Spire knows exactly who they're here for. Even this semi-jaded Lingerie Addict wants to be a Thistle & Spire girl.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Luxury: Amoralle

Best Luxury: Amoralle

Amoralle creates true, fairy tale dream lingerie. Their pieces are opulent, fantastical, dramatic, made for the grand stage of life. If I was the kind of woman who lived in a drafty, 16th-century manor, attended operas and drank champagne (well, that last part is true, at least) this is the lingerie I'd choose to wear wear. It's pure fantasy in a way that simply isn't available anywhere else.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Corsetry: Royal Black Corsetry and Couture

Best Corsetry: Royal Black Couture & Corsetry

Royal Black is the kind of corsetiere that literally takes your breath away with every new design. Their imagination and sense of creativity seem limitless. Furthermore, they're able to make a garment identified with a rather archaic, outmoded way of dressing seem thoroughly modern - futuristic even. Royal Black's corsetry and couture is filled with a sense of wonder and fantasy I believe we can all use a little more of.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Indie: Lonely Lingerie

Best Indie: Lonely Lingerie

I've been a devotee of Lonely Lingerie for a few seasons now, but this year, I became a superfan. In an era where most brands seem to view "body positive" or "diverse" campaigns as a simple PR grab,  Lonely Lingerie makes it clear that it's a core part of their mission to show their lingerie on everyone within their size range. From pregnant bodies to older women to those with terminal cancer, Lonely Lingerie expands the idea of who lingerie can be for, embodying a mission TLA fully embraces - lingerie is for everyone to enjoy.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Small Bust: The Little Bra Company

Best Small Bust: The Little Bra Company

Small busts often seem neglected within the larger bra fit conversation (no pun intended). There's this idea, I think, that if someone wears an A-cup, they're simply not worth talking about because they don't "need" to wear a bra. Well, it's a good thing The Little Bra Company ignores all that chatter. TLBC not only offers tried-and-true staples like push-up and contour cup bras, but also bralettes, chemises, and even sports bras, all tailored specifically to a smaller bust. Best of all, their pieces are so pretty you won't feel like you're missing out on anything.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best LGBTQ: JBC Lingerie

Best LGBTQ: JBC Lingerie

We've been in love with JBC Lingerie for a minute now, and we simply adore how this new Australian indie label creates unabashedly queer-friendly, trans-friendly lingerie...and knocks down a few notions about who "gets" to wear lingerie while they're at it. These undergarments are not only unique and sexy, they also look hella comfortable. And free customization is offered at no extra charge.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ Best Budget: Yandy

Best Budget: Yandy

As with the winner of our Best Overall category, our Best Budget awardee is the same as last year. However, I can't think of anyone else offering such a wide range of inexpensive lingerie, in such a wide range of sizes, at this price point. Yandy's strategy seemed to be to buy as much as they could from as many brands as they could. While I doubt everything went on to become a bestseller, it's certainly gave Yandy a lot of well as a well-deserved reputation for being the place to go if you're looking for lingerie on a budget.

Best Lingerie Brands of 2017 ~ 2017 Icon: Mimi Holliday

2017 Icon: Mimi Holliday

Our icon category is a new one this year, and is meant to honor a brand that is consistently excellent, putting forth superlative work, season after season, always hitting the mark of excellence, even as other brands close or lower their standards. This year's winner for our inaugural Icon Award is Mimi Holliday. Founded in the early 2000s as a diffusion line of the more editorially-oriented Damaris, Mimi Holliday has since surpassed their older sister, becoming a staple in the collections of Lingerie Addicts around the globe. Mimi Holliday constantly wows with their beautiful embroideries, timeless silhouettes, and purse sense of artistry. It's a joy to present them with the first Lingerie Addict Icon Award.

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.

17 Comments on this post

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the sexy lingerie. I am so thrilled that you can get it in all sizes. I believe every woman is sexy no matter what size she is.

  2. Wei Lan says:

    Amazing! It is really good to know a brand specifically for smaller burst shape for people like us.

  3. Samantha says:

    I don’t agree that The Little Bra Company is the best small bust lingerie out there. I’d have to look a third time to find a bra there that didn’t look padded. I don’t find the styles interesting as fashion and I don’t find padded bras comfortable. In the discussion of #1 pick Playful Promises, there’s a strongly affirmative sounding comment about styles being the same across core, plus and full bust styles. The piece is short, but I wonder if pressed to say more you might say that this is nice because it gives you more options of styles to try, or ways to explore expressiveness, and they’re not by definition frumpy. Maybe I’m imagining wrong and it’s something else or in line with Barack Obama’s joke about having a hut in Hawaii that sells only medium white t-shirts (when there are too many decisions to make). I’ve seen the impact of the lingerie blogging community on increasing options for plus sizes, full busts and skin tones, and I do not begrudge you your work, affirmation, opportunities or beauty. One impact I see is that every Canadian lingerie brand with a web presence (that I’ve found so far) uses plus size or full bust models, often exclusively, as a marketing norm. As fashion, it’s generally a very specific kind of style that’s about a body foremost, before the clothes, which may be a counterpoint to the kind of fashion that is so much about the clothes, the body displays the clothes as they are shaped instead, as a kind of hanger. Something I don’t see explored quite so vocally or accessibly right now is that different kinds of clothing design and style can be more or less flattering and attractive on different kinds of bodies. I’m not asking for a tyranny of neutral tastefulness or exclusive looking blandness pretending to be objectivity “great style”, but continued nuance and appreciation of difference as a relief to the different types of kinds of body policing we all experience – our relationship to “sameness” can be a complicated effect of these kinds of policing. To me The Little Bra Company looks kind of like, “little girls, they’re just like us,” or “come get educated in being complicated to fit,” but their approach doesn’t resonate with me.

  4. Anne says:

    My favorite one is Thistle & Spire.
    The Constellation body is so comfortable to wear (even with jeans) and the lace details are unbelievable.
    Really good quality brand.

  5. Tigz Rice says:

    So many amazing designers! Playful Promises have absolutely smashed it this year and I’m so happy to see them awarded Best Overall.

    Also, that Royal Black corset pictured is EVERYTHING!

  6. AEnn says:

    I want to like Playful Promises. I like how their pieces look, but the few times I’ve tried them – after seeing them featured here – the fit has been horrible, on par with Wolf & Whistle, so basically throw-away fashion quality.

    I freely admit I’m a fan of Polish bras because of the usual complaints about British bras – lack of immediate depth and very wide wires – and so Ewa Michalak is my everyday bra. However, I do own some British bras, because they look nice and the fit is acceptable for a few hours – I count Curvy Kate and Tutti Rouge in that category.

    But not Playful Promises. They may make larger bust sizes, but I don’t feel that they understand large bust engineering at all. The support just isn’t there, the wires seem practically decorative.

    So my choice for my pretties this year is Avocado. Ce Soir and Nina are both amazing in fit and appearance.

    • Meredith says:

      Really? I love the fit of Playful Promises, they’re so comfortable (and I have exceedingly strict requirements for comfortable) but still supportive. Different strokes for different bodies, I suppose. :)

      • AEnn says:

        Meredith: It’s great to hear that they work for someone, the fit on me is so very bad that I assumed they were one of those brands meant to look at and not wear. The wires are basically floating on me.

        But having heard from you and other people that they do fit, I’ll put them in the Freya category instead: works for someone, just not me.

        • Meredith says:

          I gave up on the gore tacking on any bra, ever, after it became clear that my particular body wasn’t going to allow it (there’s no space between my breasts at all – even plunge bras end up resting on them rather than between them) so I can’t speak for how well that particular bit of the wires would fit on anyone, but I’ve never had any trouble with the rest of the wires floating. If they’re not against your body at all I would have assumed that their cups are cut smaller than you need them to be in your usual size?

          • AEnn says:

            I also have minimal space between my breasts, but I can get tacking on gores 1.7 cm or less. Overlapping wires is ideal, but that’s not common.

            The floating wires happen to me with softer wires. I have almost no padding on my ribs, so softer wires (generally found on throwaway fashion pieces but Freya is another example) are simply warped to the point that the gore is pushed away from my body. When that is combined with a fairly shallow cup (as with most British bras), the result is that the entire wired part “floats” away from my body to give my breasts space at the bottom. Meanwhile the top is baggy, and sizing up just makes that more pronounced.

            So yes, it is a shape/wire issue. I mostly stick with Polish bras for day-to-day this reason, but own a few British bras for once in a while, but of course the fit has to be tolerable for a few hours.

            • Meredith says:

              I’m happy that works for you! Unfortunately 1.7cm is still too wide for me, and to be honest the bras that have come closest to tacking (although they still stuck out a little) left angry red welts so I’m happier with a bit of floating. :)

        • Meredith says:

          Or, yes, the shape just doesn’t work for you. :) It happens!

    • Cora says:

      I think Avocado would be a great brand for us to review next year. I’ll bring it up to my columnists in our next planning meeting.

      Thanks for your comment!


      • AEnn says:

        It would be great to have you take a look at Avocado. I find their designs so classy. I’m tempted by Vintage Silk (S204HCQ) every time I see it, but I promised myself I could only get that one OR the beige Nina.

    • sarah says:

      I agree, the fit and the overall quality for the price just isn’t there at all for me. Every bra I’ve tried looks like a £15 bra not a £50 one. Yes, I know they are an indie but other smaller brands cost similar and the quality is much better (for me).

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