warning: NSFW Content
Georgia Mesh Dress via Unluky ($120 AUD)
I went to my first bachelorette party a month or two after I got married. I had no idea what actually happened at such events, but I assumed the bride-to-be would be opening up bundles of honeymoon lingerie, which is what happened after our meal at our local Mexican chain restaurant. Trust: Once she opened one bag, our fellow diners were increasingly interested in what else we had in those bags.
The guest who gave the second or third gift prefaced her bag by saying, “I got you something practical, because men aren’t really into all of that other stuff anyway.” She presented a bag that contained long-sleeved flannel pajamas. Of course, I was next, and of course my bag contained something that was more straight-up skanky. I was unable to preface my gift with anything, and the ensuing tension was palpable.
And really, that sums up the eternal (feminist) question. Are men into lingerie? Are female partners? Do we even care?
A quick poll of the APW staff answered the latter question with a resounding: NO. Apparently we don’t care much if our partners are into lacy underthings (though, they all seem to be), because, well, they make us feel hot. So today we’re skipping right past “the best lingerie is a man’s shirt” thing, and giving you the lowdown on what brands we hit up for rip-them-off-lacy-nothings for all body types and styles. Please share your best finds with us in the comments.
Nastygal: While known mostly for their party dresses, NastyGal actually has some of the prettiest lingerie around, and basically none of it is made for big boobs. Their stuff ranges from sweet to sexy to the bra equivalent of the furry bedroom shoes from that one episode of SATC. And the Skivvies line, in particular, is full of gorgeous stuff that I want to wear as regular clothing even if it would break a bunch of indecency laws. Featured: For Love & Lemons Lucia Halter Bralette ($116)
Unlucky Lingerie: For the ample-breasted, nobody does lingerie better than Brits and Aussies. Case in point: Unlucky Lingerie. They sell both standard sizes and plus sizes (yay for everyone!) and have a mission that’s built around body positivity. They say, “Why should underwear cost the earth? Why is it that everything that looks cute isn’t in your size? Why are big cup sizes automatically only made in beige? We get it. We really do… We believe that beautiful lingerie is worn for oneself so it’s designed for lazy days, pizza dates, fancy nights with whomever else you wish to show.” We concur. Featured: Boho Lace Teddy ($58.95 AUD)
Freya: Sometimes it’s even harder to find lingerie for big boobs when you’re not plus sized, because bra makers assume that your cup and band size are proportional (as if). And if they do make something in your size, good luck finding anything that isn’t beige or black. But there are a few retailers leading the charge on pretty bras and lingerie for fuller cup sizes. This list from Sweet Nothings has all the recommendations you need. Freya is an APW staff favorite, though. They have beautiful pieces ranging in cup size from B to K that are constructed to support large boobs, but don’t have that “all work, no play” look of most D cup and up bras. Featured: Freya Kiyoko Half Cup Bra ($70)
Lovechild Boudoir: If your tastes run more leather than lace, Lovechild Boudoir is the place to go for strappy lingerie that is equal parts clothing and art. Plus, they sell these badass feather epaulets that you can wear with your lingerie, and I don’t know why we don’t all run around looking like couture super heroes in them every day. Featured: Alabama Red Cage Lace Playsuit (£95.00 GBP)
FOXERS: Not all lingerie needs to be sexy lacy nothingness. If you are looking for something a little more gender-bending, or just want your butt covered, Foxers has a whole line of boxer briefs cut specifically for women. Featured: Charcoal Grey Tomboy Boxer Brief ($30)
Cacique by Lane Bryant: Y’all, Lane Bryant has upped their lingerie game. It is modern and H-O-T. And the best part? Most of their lingerie is available in cup sizes. Which means you don’t have to choose between too big in the band for the right cup size, or too tiny cups for the right band size (and their size range is huge, ranging from 36 to 46 band size, and C to H cup sizes). Also surprising? Lane Bryant is into some light bondage. Who’d have guessed? Featured: Strappy Back Cheeky Panty ($18.50-$20.50)
Cache Coeur: If you’re looking for sophisticated nursing bras, leave it to the French. Cache Coeur has really pretty, understated lingerie and the nursing bras are to die for. Bonus points for high waist maternity underwear. Featured: Nursing Bra Garçonne ($100) and High Waist Brief with Removable Garters ($70)
Naja: YOU GUYS. Jane The Virgin (real name: Gina Rodriguez) is co-founder of an online lingerie shop and it slays all day. Their mission? To create lingerie that makes you feel empowered, not objectified. With an eye for sustainability, Naja works to make sure their designs are eco-friendly, and that their production helps support women in developing countries. Some of them are even made from recycled materials (the one above is made out of recycled plastic bottles). Which clearly doesn’t take away from the hot factor. Featured: Noelle Bustier Royal Hound ($125)
Where to find more info on all things boobs and bras
Resources: If you’re just getting started or aren’t sure what styles you like, it might be easier to browse through one of the big online lingerie retailers that carries a little bit of everything. First up, True & Co. has a handy quiz for figuring out your lingerie style and address any fit issues you might be having with your existing undergarments. Then HerRoom and Bare Necessities both have an immense inventory of just about any major lingerie brand you could hope, shopable by size. And if you really want to fall down the lingerie rabbit hole, check out The Lingerie Addict, Sweet Nothings, and The Breast Life for advice, reviews, and more shopping.
Do You Wear lingerie? If so, what are your favorite shops (online and off)?