In addition to sharing their favorite clothes shopping secrets, my blog buddies all graciously got personal with me and shared some knicker preferences. The incredible surge in lingerie brands and sizes in the last five years means that there are lots of choices in terms of styles (bikinis, hipsters, cheeky boyshorts, thongs, g-strings, high-waisted briefs, tap shorts, etc.), and while that’s great, it still seems like there hasn’t been much discussion about how to approach fitting these garments. For example, sometimes a woman tries on one brand of thong, and if the rise isn’t right (the waist rides up too high or is too low to fit comfortably), she’ll write off thongs entirely. Sometimes a woman finds a bra she loves but hates the coordinating pieces that come with it. In response to situations like this, some brands, like Freya, have stepped up in recent years and begun offering multiple styles per range.
For example, the new season style “Gem” will offer a half-cup bra up to an F-cup, a balconette bra up to a K-cup, a Brazilian brief, a short, and a high-waisted brief, all in two different colors. It gives the customer a lot of variety to choose from so that she can purchase the range she likes in the styles that suit her best (I, for example, desperately want the balconette bra and the high-waisted brief in either color), but it can be a burden on retailers. Erica discusses the issue of briefs and matching sets in this post, and I particularly enjoyed reading her replies in the comments about why matching briefs can be so expensive, and how it can be very, very hard for boutiques to calculate their inventory. This, in turn, can make it hard for shoppers to have the opportunity to try on all the styles available to find the ones to suit them best. There’s also such a strong focus on bra-fitting in the general lingerie world that by the time that’s taken care of, knickers can seem like an afterthought.
There’s nothing wrong with knickers being an afterthought, of course! Nothing at all. I know lots of women who put their time and energy into selecting bras that best suit their shape, tastes, and style, and who then prefer to buy multi-packs of basic cotton underwear. These women feel pretty and comfortable, so they should keep on keeping on. (For some great recommendations on basic knickers for different shapes, check out Braless in Brasil’s knickers post). However, I remember the first time I had a matching set of underwear (after I’d graduated from college), and I felt so womanly, sophisticated, decadent, pretty, and sexy. It was like a little treat to myself, after years of thinking I wasn’t allowed to have pretty underwear (really). For me, finding the right bra opened up the world of lingerie sets. For women with curvier bums and fuller hips who are looking for some good knickers to make their lingerie sets complete, here are some suggestions.
Several bloggers responded that they’d had good luck with Curvy Kate, in particular the briefs for the “Emily” and “Princess” ranges.
The way CK cut the top of their briefs leads to less digging into the hips, and the rise is better than some other companies’, coming up higher in the back so that the briefs aren’t falling off the bum. (Bravissimo, for example, who really changed the game in the full-bust bra world, has some work to do with their knickers. They cut their (own brand) briefs very, very low in my limited experience, and several times it has made me unwilling to commit to overseas shipping, for fear of needing to return the order. I’d love to see some high-waisted briefs, or even highER-waisted briefs, to go with their lovely bras.) Curvy Kate in general offers a good range of knicker styles, including briefs, thongs, high-waisted briefs, and shorts with detachable suspenders, so you should be able to try your favorite styles. I’m also happy to recommend Curvy Kate because of their generous range of sizes (28-40 D-K), and because they’re becoming more and more widely available in North America. Figleaves (which is also running a competition on Facebook to win a Curvy Kate set), HerRoom, Bare Necessities, Linda’s, A Sophisticated Pair, and Butterfly Collection all carry Curvy Kate, as do many smaller boutiques.
I’ve already fessed up to the fact that I don’t have a pronounced waist-to-hip ratio, and that my underwear shopping tends to be fairly straightforward and painless. I would still be remiss not to say that I have loved almost every single Freya brief I’ve ever worn. I love the design and details of my Cleo by Panache sets, but the briefs are incredibly hit or miss with me. Freya’s bikini-style briefs and high-waisted briefs are always winners (their thongs though . . . yikes). Elomi, Freya’s sister brand for fuller figures, also offers a beautiful range of knicker styles, and their designs just keep getting better and better.
Can we talk about how hot those panties are? They’re SUPER HOT, y’all. They’d look dynamite with your favorite black bra and hold ups.
Curveturiere will launch their full catalogue online on September 10. All knickers will be available in sizes XS-3X in a huge range of styles and colors, including high-waisted briefs, bikinis, and thongs. Check out this photo from Curve NV for a glimpse at some of the colors:
Their ranges are designed to mix and match to suit each customer’s personal taste. I’m really looking forward to hearing fit feedback once the brand is available for purchase.
By Baby’s Rules shared with me a good general, curve-friendly construction tip: ruched back seams. I like a good ruched back seam because it’s sexy, but she pointed out that it can also help the brief fit better to the wearer’s shape, so it’s definitely a design feature to look out for if you have a curvier bum.
The high-waist brief I saw at the Curveturiere preview party, the late and lamented (by me) “Pollyanna” range by Freya, and the lovely “Paris” briefs by Miss Mandalay all share this design feature.
I’ve highlighted some Etsy sellers before. So, yes, sometimes Etsy is full of nonsense. Sometimes Etsy is full of INSANELY GORGEOUS UNDERWEAR. Here are pictures/links to some of my favorite sellers (I’ve deliberately selected items made of natural or eco-friendly fibers):
Here’s the cool thing about Etsy sellers: sure, you might pay more than you will at Target. Sure, you may not be able to find a matching bra. But some of these sellers are incredibly awesome people. If you see something super close to want you want, but maybe not in your size or color choice, you can contact the seller directly and ask them about it. Ask them if they’ll make you a custom-sized pair. Ask them about how well they’ll fit your bum/hips. Explain to them that you have this one bra you love but you can’t find a good knicker to match, and if they’d be willing to make a custom size for you. I know that Knickerocker has taken on a custom-knickers-to-match-a-bra order before, so what have you got to lose?
I hope you find these suggestions helpful! Again, a huge thanks to A Sophisticated Pair, Braless in Brasil, Curvy Wordy, Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, and By Baby’s Rules for their help with knickers recommendations. If you have any questions or other recommendations, please let me know!