Workshop: How to Find Your Personal Lingerie Style
If I had to define my style into a few words, I’d say it’s something like “kitschy pink mermaid princess.” It’s not something I developed on purpose, but rather something that comes naturally to me, and something that evolves gradually over time. I buy things I really, truly love, and they work together.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. So today, I’m going to lead you through a fun mini workshop using that concept to help you figure out a direction for your own personal style -- with a focus on lingerie.
I personally believe that the trick to finding your personal lingerie style is just figuring out what you feel comfortable in, and that's even easier for lingerie than the rest of your clothing. Since no one likely has to see it on a daily basis, you can basically do whatever you like with it!
This workshop will help you find what you like -- not what anyone else thinks you should wear -- and help you define your own aesthetic. After you work through the steps, I’ll help you apply your findings to your lingerie shopping habits.
Step 1: Find a Time and Place For Yourself
Put on your favorite outfit, make yourself a nice cocktail or a perfect cup of tea, and take a seat in a spot where you won’t be disturbed.
For this example, we’ll use a Pinterest board, so you’ll also need a laptop or your phone (although a bigger screen is definitely better!). You can also use magazines and catalogs you don’t mind tearing up, or a folder of saved images on Instagram. I like to have a journal to take notes, but you can always use a note app on your phone.
My friend Morgan volunteered to work through this with us today. She’s a children’s librarian who loves biking around Brooklyn and wears the coolest glasses of anyone I know. Morgan loves design and aesthetics, but told me she feels clueless about lingerie, so she’ll be our example!
Step 2: Pull Together Images of Things You Love
Using magazine clippings, an Instagram “saved” folder, or a Pinterest board, pull together images you love and find beautiful.
This includes lingerie and fashion you’re into -- designers, styles, colors, fabrics, patterns -- but also includes decor you love, trinkets and items that make you happy, moody photos you wish you could live in… Save anything that makes you feel happy and comfortable based on looks alone.
Don’t overthink it! Let it come naturally. If you find yourself thinking, “I would look silly in this style,” “This image won’t fit with the rest,” or “I have too many different types of things I love,” let those thoughts go. Save anything that makes you feel truly inspired, happy, and comfortable.
The goal here is to save 40 or 50 images, with about half of those images being lingerie or clothing. This number sounds daunting, but you’ll get there quicker than you expect! Feel free to pull together as many images as you like.
When looking for lingerie photos, seek out things you love, even if you’ve never tried them before, or they’re out of your budget. Check out retailers’ sites like Anya Lust, Journelle, and Jane’s Vanity, or go through our archives on The Lingerie Addict to find pieces you love.
Step 3: See What Overlaps
Look at everything you’ve saved together. The images might seem all over the place, with nothing connecting them. Or they might have a clear thread running through them. Either of these results (or somewhere in between) are normal and great.
What aspects do you see repeated through the images? Look past obvious groupings like “lingerie” and “decor,” and think about things like mood, colors, shapes, and feelings.
This is where taking notes can help: Sit down with your images and write down any descriptors you can see between them. Get creative! Use a thesaurus if it helps (seriously). Assigning words to a feeling can help your brain bring everything together. It’s likely that you’ll find a few different aspects repeated through your images. What words, phrases, and descriptors can you use to define those aspects?
Morgan jotted down a stream-of-consciousness word map based around her Pinterest board:
Pattern / vintage / jewel toned / art nouveau / 70s / romantic / camp / mid century modern / charming / warm / kitsch / dreamy / daydream / gaudy / opulent / deep / rich / defined waist
From there, she pulled together a few phrases:
“vintage deep daydreamy kitsch”
“warm jewel toned intricate patterns”
“romantic art nouveau mixed with 70s camp”
Now it’s your turn to do the same. Is there one strong feeling, or a few different vibes that connect your images? How could you describe them? There are no wrong answers, and don’t be afraid to get weird with it. Here are some examples to get your creative juices flowing:
- Moods and vibes: Rich gothic mansion. Vintage glamour. 60s girl groups. 90s prep school. Remote mountain cottage. Mid-century jetsetter. Happily wealthy widow.
- Colors: Sheer pastels. Jewel tones. Autumn leaves. Dusty blacks. Metallic details. Summer sunset tones. Antique beach hues. Fleshy skin tones. Wildflower meadow.
- Shapes: Smooth, structured lines. High-waist proportions. Ample fullness. Easy pleats and gathers. Clean and boxy.
- Feelings: Ethereal, daydream-y. Bold, confident. Casual, easy-going. Cheeky, whimsical. Lonely, wistful.
Step 4: Apply What You Found
What words and phrases did you discover? Was it as expected? Or maybe there’s a piece of your own style you had no idea existed?
The best part of this exercise is applying all of this to “real life.” Next time you go shopping, sew something, ask for gifts, or clear out your closet, ask yourself: Does this item make sense within the aesthetic I’ve created?
This doesn’t have to be as strict as it sounds. In Morgan’s case, not every lingerie set she purchases has to be jewel-toned or printed with Art Nouveau motifs. In fact, as you can see above, the lingerie Morgan picked out on her Pinterest board is pretty varied! However, they all fit into the phrases she teased out, in some way or another.
By considering your findings when you shop for lingerie, you can start creating a wardrobe that feels like “you.”
Personal Style is Confidence
I often hear, “I wish I could wear a certain lingerie style, but it wouldn’t suit me.” Maybe you feel like that right now, after finishing up that workshop, or at the mere idea of starting it.
In that case, ask yourself this: What about it wouldn’t suit you? Is it because you think you’re not (insert adjective here) enough to wear it? Because I promise that you are enough for whatever you want to wear. So figure out what it is, and wear it!
As a 30-something woman who dresses like a cheeky baby princess most of the time, my strongest belief is that style is a matter of confidence, and if you feel truly comfortable in something, it will suit you.
Hopefully, this workshop helped you find what styles and feelings you feel comfortable in, so you can apply that to your lingerie wardrobe and solidify your own personal lingerie aesthetic.
Work through these steps and see what happens! Did you discover anything new about yourself and your style? Feel free to comment below if you need advice or want to share your findings.