Shopping for lingerie can be downright stressful. From finding the right size to developing a personal style outside the ubiquitous confines of Victoria’s Secret, lingerie, despite its omnipresence in modern advertising, is still a kind of fashionista’s wild west. There is a long list of important questions to ask yourself when searching for something pretty to wear underneath your clothes, for example, how much lace is too much lace, which body parts should be exposed, and will this become fussy and infuriating 20 minutes after I leave the house? That last question is key. Nobody feels sexier for tugging, adjusting, and stuffing straps back under her clothes all night long.
By now, women’s undergarments have been an indicator to the women wearing them of society’s beauty ideals and thoughts on female sexuality for at least a couple of centuries. It’s high time for the strong, feminist culture of the 21st century to reclaim the panties and carve out its own beauty ideals, personal styles, and expressions of sexuality, because what you wear under your favorite little black dress (or under your jeans or under the covers) is 100 percent up to you, not up to the advertising execs who picked out the wardrobe for the latest Carl’s Jr. commercial.
So, check out these underrated lingerie designers that you may not have heard of, because the secret that Victoria has been keeping all these years is that there’s a whole world of beautiful lingerie just waiting to be discovered online, with a little digging of course.
Else’s founder Ela Onur grew up surrounded by her family’s lingerie accessory business. Her chic line of structured but feminine underwear and loungewear is completely handcrafted in Istanbul. Else plays with texture with ease. Check out the gorgeously bohemian crochet pieces, a mainstay of Else’s collection.
The ultra-feminine collection at Morgan Lane conjures a combination of pinup glamour and the playful vintage style of benefit cosmetics. Morgan is the daughter of renowned women’s fashion designer Jill Stuart. Another awesome thing to consider about Morgan Lane’s collection is the pricing, with bras priced between $40 and $60 and panties even less, you can happily check out of their web store with twice as many items as you would be able to budget from most other lingerie designers.
Sloane & Tate is perfect for the lingerie shopper who's not sold on lacy chemises and supplementary ribbons. These designs are inspired by menswear, as you can see from the incorporation of the classic elastic band from men’s underwear into their bras. Sloane & Tate also makes awesome androgynous boxer briefs for those of you who are, at least some of the time, totally over thongs. Their line is designed, woven, and sewn in Los Angeles.
You’ll find Blush’s lingerie at nicer lingerie-specific boutiques every now and then, but you can also purchase their line on their website or from their Amazon store. The designs are a little more like what you’d find at a department store, but their real strength is the incredible fit. You’ll never have to worry about these Canadian intimates being fussy, lumpy, or itchy under your clothes.
The Polish lingerie startup Le Petit Trou has dialed in their style to a truly impressive degree. More Urban Outfitters than Victoria’s Secret, their Euro-hip designs are perfect for spending a lazy morning lounging about with someone special, and with bras priced between $50 and $80, theirs is a really hard sales pitch to say no to.
Header Image from Sloane & Tate