The Ones to Watch: D+ Lingerie News for 2016

So, I didn’t do a full recap of August’s Curve show for the Spring/Summer 2016 collections like I said I would. Some of the reasons are technical, as I had multiple photo-related disasters, some of it is because I am but one person and those recap posts are a LOT of work, but some of it came from a place of “this is really nice, but is anything wowing me?” As I mentioned in my recap of the Fall/Winter 2015 shows, I get a strong sense that both brands and retailers are still (justifiably, in some cases) fearful of changing retail environments, slow sales, mismatch between consumer and retailer demand and buying habits, and many other factors.  I have to concede, of course, that I’m so much more familiar with the industry, particularly my niche (D+ bras), than I was when I started that some of my “eh” might have been a “wow!” if I were coming to the shows with fresh eyes. Regardless, while I didn’t run a full trend report, there ARE some designs, trends, news, and developments that I’m excited to see this year, so I thought we’d do a quick overview of some of my 2016 highlights.

This is in no way a comprehensive overview of what’s coming our way in 2016!  Instead, these are some of the collections and developments that stand out most strongly in my mind at the moment, or the items and topics I really want to talk about with people. My picks are heavily skewed towards the Spring/Summer collections, since in most cases those are the collections I’ve seen in full, but more will follow after February’s Fall/Winter 2016 show, I’m quite certain.

In no particular order, here’s what’s coming our way:

The return of the Envy bodysuit:

Panache Envy Bodysuit, 30-38 D-K

Panache Envy Bodysuit, 30-38 D-K

I reviewed the original version of this style, and I’m so pleased to see its return. Some of my fit clients have asked for beige bodysuits for wearing under white blouses or semi-sheer summer styles, and I can’t wait to tell them about this piece. I’ll be curious to see if some of the fit issues I experienced have been tweaked (specifically if there’s more vertical stretch, although I might just be too tall), and I’m delighted to see that the size range has been extended to K-cups.

Freya swim/bralettes

Freya Zodiac High Neck Swimsuit, 30-38 C-FF

Freya Zodiac High Neck Swimsuit, 30-38 C-FF

I give Freya and her sister brands a lot of flak for their apparent lack of interest in fixing their GG+ fit issues, namely that they only have one shape for H+ cups, and if that shape doesn’t work for you, you’re out of luck. I’ve long felt that the brand should either make a concerted effort to expand offerings for GG-K cups, as Panache has done, or double-down as a D-G brand, and it looks like they’re following the latter course this season, particularly in their swim collections.  Freya’s launching some swimwear styles I’ve never seen from a full-bust brand, but, sadly, the max cup size is a FF.

Freya Electra Blue High Neck Crop Top, 28D-F, 30-36 D-FF, 38 D-F

Freya Electra Blue High Neck Crop Top, 28D-F, 30-36 D-FF, 38 D-F

These suits are fantastic: innovative, cool-girl, surfer-inspired, that would make even a noted I’ll-just-sit-here-reading-my-book-and-have-another-Mai-Tai beachgoer like me look athletic and badass. In fairness, there are different styles in these prints that go up to GG, HH, and J-cups, but they’re the same shapes Freya offers every season that can be a fit challenge over a G-cup. I’d love to see this level of creativity and innovation in fuller cup sizes.

Freya Atlantis Triangle Bikini Top, 30-36 C-F, 38 C-DD

Freya Atlantis Triangle Bikini Top, 30-36 C-F, 38 C-DD

I might cheat and try to sister-size. While it’s nice to see these cool new shapes, it’s an indicator to me that Freya is focusing their efforts more heavily in the D-G range (the introduction of a bralette line is another sign).

On the other hand:

Freya Kiyoko

Freya Kiyoko Plunge Balcony Bra, 28-30 D-G, 32-36 C-G, 38D-G

Freya Kiyoko Plunge Balcony Bra, 28-30 D-G, 32-36 C-G, 38D-G

This is just extremely pretty. Well done, Freya.

Curvy Kate’s New Kitty Longline Babydoll

Curvy Kate Kitty Babydoll, 30-40 D-J

Curvy Kate Kitty Babydoll, 30-40 D-J

Prettyyyyyyyyy. I love how the incorporation of the longline band adds a streamlined element to a normally floofy silhouette (floofy is a Technical Fashun Term).

Scantilly A/W 2016 Collections

Scantilly AW16 by Tigz Rice Studios 2014. http://www.tigzrice.com Scantilly AW16 by Tigz Rice Studios 2014. http://www.tigzrice.com Scantilly AW16 by Tigz Rice Studios 2014. http://www.tigzrice.com Scantilly AW16 by Tigz Rice Studios 2014. http://www.tigzrice.com

OH MY GOD THIS IS GREAT

New Styles from Harlow & Fox

Harlow & Fox Octavia Bra, Brief, Suspender Belt, and Kimono

Harlow & Fox Octavia Bra, Brief, Suspender Belt, and Kimono

Y’all know I think Harlow & Fox’s glorious silk bras are, well, glorious, but the great thing about this brand is that the robes are accessible to those who wear core sizes as well, and the robes in question are PHENOMENAL.

Harlow & Fox Eleanor Almond Kimono, Bra, and French Knicker

Harlow & Fox Eleanor Almond Kimono, Bra, and French Knicker

This season sees the launch of a stunning almond silk and lace robe designed to complement the Eleanor collection that would make for gorgeous bridal lingerie, as well as a new print silk kimono that matches the new Octavia collection. Dreamy.

Parfait Adds Plus Sizes

Parfait Charlotte Floral Shimmer SS16

Parfait’s Charlotte collection is one of the most popular D-G offerings around, and the brand has worked consistently to make it available to more and more customers. After adding 28 bands and GG-K cups in 2013, for 2016 they’ve added plus size bands for the very first time. As of Spring/Summer 2016, Charlotte will be available in sizes 28-40 D-K, as well as 36-44C and 42-44 D-FF, with both the high-waist brief and bikini brief available up to size 4XL.

Ewa Michalak introduces new FB styles for K+ cups

Ewa Michalak FB Teczowe

Ewa Michalak FB Teczowe

Ewa Michalak FB Becky

Ewa Michalak FB Becky

Ewa Michalak FB Kicia Szałowa

Ewa Michalak FB Kicia Szałowa

Ewa Michalak FB Tanya

Ewa Michalak FB Tanya

While there are thousands of styles to choose from for those in the D-G size range, and expanding options for those in the G-K size range, those who need cup sizes beyond these still face a desolate buying landscape, particularly if they also need fuller band sizes. Polish lingerie powerhouse Ewa Michalak introduced a new FB style last year (including KK, L, LL, M, MM, N, NN, and P cups, depending on band size) designed to serve precisely this customer. Ewa Michalak has added added plain beige and black versions to join the bold floral print, as well as coordinating knickers. I know Ewa’s cuts can’t suit everyone (they notably tend to feature much narrower underwires in larger cup sizes than UK brands), and the FB bras are more expensive than Ewa’s other offerings, but this is great news for those who are sized out of other full-bust brands. The bras feature sturdy, reinforced fabric and bands with reduced stretch to support the weight of heavier breasts, as well as silicone pads to wear under the shoulder straps to reduce any discomfort. For reviews of the new style, check out Curvy Wordy and Les Gros Bonnets.

Big Full-Bust Brands Pulling Away from Beige = Nude

Elomi Cate Banded Bra in Pecan

Elomi Cate Banded Bra in Pecan

Both the Wacoal Europe group (Freya, Fantasie, Elomi, Huit, etc.) and the Panache brands (Panache, Cleo, Sculptresse, Panache Black) are backing away from using “nude” as a synonym for beige. FINALLY. In addition to introducing some lovely new continuity colors (check out Elomi’s new Pecan shade for Cate, which, admittedly, would have been nice to see photographed on a darker-skinned model), new styles going forward will no longer be named “nude”; instead, we’ll have Cashmere, Blush, Cappuccino, Taupe, Sand, and Blush (again, along with Mocha).  Existing styles with “nude” as the color name might not change as quickly, but seeing these big brands start to pull away from the obnoxious beige = nude stance is really pleasing.

New Styles from Cleo by Panache

Cancelled: Zella by Cleo

Cancelled: Della by Cleo

Oh my heart, it breaks. Panache has done this to me the last four seasons in a row: the stand-out style, the one I like the most, the one I’m so excited to buy for myself, disappears between the trade shows and the production run. While I  recognize that I am not their only customer and perhaps my tastes aren’t everyone’s and they’re allowed to cancel styles if retailers don’t buy them, ughhhh whyyyyy it was so cuuuute and I was gonna wearrrr it.

Della by Cleo

Della by Cleo

UPDATE: Panache reached out to let me know that Della was left off the Spring site launch in error, and it WILL in fact be available! Much rejoicing! I’ve edited the text below to reflect the fact that Della will be with us after all.

One of my fave sets from Cleo for this season is Della, a fab animal-print non-padded balconette bra with matching high-waist suspender knickers. I KNOW. It’s an animal print that I LIKE! It’s awesome and kitschy and cute and will hopefully show up on Panache’s website soon with the rest of the the Spring collections. They also cancelled the Panache Black style I thought was the best, a stunning silver/oyster version of plunge bra Aria, with a coordinating French knicker ANOTHER UPDATE: Apparently the silver/oyster Aria will return in 2017 (check it out at Bras and Body Image). I still don’t really like Panache Black’s lookbooks, tbh.

Cleo by Panache 'Skye'- 28 F-H, 30-38 D-J

Cleo by Panache ‘Skye’- 28 F-H, 30-38 D-J

In other news I guess the newsworthy set of S/S16 is this lace Skye collection? I don’t think of Cleo as a lacy brand—they tend to skew cuter and more modern, so it’s fun to see lace done their way. What I’m REALLY excited about, however, is what looks to be a NON-PADDED longline bra in the A/W16 collection. I’ve only been asking for a non-padded G+ longline bra for the last four years. DON’T CANCEL IT, PANACHE.

Cleo by Panache AW16 longline bra

Cleo by Panache AW16 longline bra

Tutti Rouge Lookbook Stars Plus Size Model Felicity Hayward

Tutti Rouge Felicity Heyward

Tutti Rouge’s Spring/Summer collection ‘Tutti Rocks’ is noteworthy not only for its seaside “Great British Summer” theme but especially for being the first full-bust brand I can think of to use a plus-size model for their entire campaign, the lovely Felicity Hayward. Many full-bust brands’ size ranges overlap with plus size ranges (generally 34-36 bands and up), but full-bust brands tend to choose models who wear sizes at the smaller end of their range. It’s really lovely to see Felicity carry the campaign so gorgeously! She brings a wonderful sense of joy and cheeriness to all of the photos. In terms of styles, many familiar favorites are back in new Springtime hues, including push-up bra Jessica in a lovely ivory colorway.

Panache Sport Campaign Stars Bonita Norris

Panache Sport SS16 Bonita Norris

In another smart lookbook casting, Panache Sport’s S/S16 campaign model is mountaineer Bonita Norris, the youngest British woman to scale Everest. I like seeing a professional athlete modeling for athletic brands, and I’d love to see them take it even further– top-performing athletes come in all shapes and sizes, and it would be really cool to see greater body diversity in future campaigns (not just from Panache, I mean from sports bra campaigns in general).

All Undone Launches New Full-Cup Style Evie

All Undone Evie collection, 28-34 D-GG

All Undone Evie collection, 28-34 D-GG

All Undone have introduced their first-ever full-cup bra, the beautiful black silk-and-mesh Evie. My usual lingerie aesthetic is lightly vintage-inspired and heavy on the lace and frills, but All Undone’s sleek, minimalist, and just plain COOL vibes really do it for me.

All Undone Evie bra, 28-34 D-GG

All Undone Evie bra, 28-34 D-GG

I’m keeping a short list of potential lingerie splurges for 2016, and this is at the top of the list.

Bravissimo Reintroduces Inspire Sports Bra up to K-cup

Bravissimo Inspire Sports Bra, 30-38 F-K

Bravissimo Inspire Sports Bra, 30-38 F-K

If you wear J-K cups and want a sports bra, for a long time Royce, Freya, and Elomi have been your only options. There’s good news, though: Bravissimo just reintroduced their own “Inspire” sports bra featuring a revised fit after customer feedback. Since the Panache sports bra came out a few years ago and radically changed the full-bust sports bra playing field, I’d be really curious to give this one a try.

Playful Promises to Launch a Curve Range

OMG! This one’s still really new (all I’ve seen is a sneak peek of a fab bodysuit on Facebook, which will be available in UK sizes 8-24), but after the success of their fuller-bust collection, I can’t wait to see what these lingerie geniuses have in store!

I saved my favorite for last:

Buttress & Snatch Expands Size Range

Buttress & Snatch plus size

I’m still waiting for the full press release, but OMG. So, I first learned about Buttress & Snatch via The Lingerie Addict and I about died. The designs are dramatic and grand and over-the-top and the absolute antithesis of much American lingerie (yes, shoulder swags, rosettes, and ruffles will show under a t-shirt), they’re vintage-inspired without looking twee, and they’re kitschy with a sense of sensuality and elegance. Glorious.

Buttress & Snatch Queen of the Clover

Buttress & Snatch Queen of the Clover

Buttress & Snatch HM Queen Victoria

Buttress & Snatch HM Queen Victoria

The HMQueen Victoria and Queen of the Clover collections have been my dream lingerie sets for years, so when I was scrolling through Instagram one day and saw a teaser for a new plus size/full-bust size range for Buttress & Snatch I swear my heart stopped and then I began squealing and flapping my hands in delight.

Buttress & Snatch new plus size bra teaser image

Buttress & Snatch new plus size bra teaser image

Buttress & Snatch Tulle Babydoll-- new size range teaser image

Buttress & Snatch Tulle Babydoll– new size range teaser image

I don’t know yet what the full size range will be, nor do I know the official launch date, but as soon as I do I’ll be all over it.

What do you think of these sneak peeks? Are any of these pieces on your wishlists? Anything you’re looking forward to in particular this year in the lingerie world?

13 Comments on The Ones to Watch: D+ Lingerie News for 2016

  1. K-Line
    January 27, 2016 at 8:55 am (2 years ago)

    OMG – how have I never heard of Buttress and Snatch? That name is hilarious. And I am tormented to see that Cleo animal print that will never make it to stores – that’s SO me (unpadded / unlined and seamed with pink animal print). I’m also THRILLED and amazed that someone’s finally coming out with a longline that’s not lined. I really hope it sticks because I’ve been asking for one of those for a decade.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      January 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Isn’t it awesome? I keep forgetting about B&S because I’ve always had to think “sadly, I can’t wear them” and hopefully soon I will be able to! I am dying to see the blue longline bra at Curve next month and I will report back immediately :)

      Reply
  2. The Lingerie Lesbian
    January 27, 2016 at 10:34 am (2 years ago)

    1. I’m honestly really into the Envy bodysuits. Somehow a bodysuit seems like a good option more often than I would expect these days!

    2. Very impressed with Scantilly! Definitely filling a niche there.

    3. All Undone = yesssss

    Reply
    • Sweets
      January 27, 2016 at 8:20 pm (2 years ago)

      Scantilly, from the looks of it, has done a damn fine job for next season (and YES to filling a niche)!

      Reply
  3. Kelly
    January 27, 2016 at 10:57 am (2 years ago)

    I might just have to buy that Freya Atlantis bikini, it’s gorgeous! Very impressed by the Scantilly stuff as well.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      January 27, 2016 at 8:22 pm (2 years ago)

      Scantilly is just so, so fun. The Atlantis would look so great on you!

      Reply
  4. S.B
    January 27, 2016 at 11:49 am (2 years ago)

    Oh Playful Promises, I want all of the large cup designs. I want them so badly.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      January 27, 2016 at 8:22 pm (2 years ago)

      I really can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next. They did a spectacular job with the first collection!

      Reply
  5. Ana
    January 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

    Panache and Curvy Kate have also been sneakily removing 28 bands for a while now.
    Back when Black was called Masquerade all the bras came in 28 bands, then came the rebranding and this season Quinn is only offered from 30 and with a slim selection of cup sizes when compared to the other bigger back measurements, which leads me to believe they might be phasing the small bands out and turning it in a 32 and up range, or keep only the basics in the smaller sizes like on their main line. Only Cleo seems to keep the 28 backs.
    Curvy Kate started on their Flirtelle where a couple of years ago styles started to pop up available only from 32, this season the Kitty range starts at 30 and their brand Scantily only has 30 bands.

    Fortunately Playfull Promises jumped in with their beautiful line and much better designs than Black and Scantily in my opinion, and we also have the very stylish Avocado, Miss Mandalay, Blue Reign and All Undone. The down side is all these brands are at a slightly higher price points, leaving us with Bravissimo, Ewa and Comexim only for the lower priced bras.

    Reply
  6. Emily
    January 27, 2016 at 6:05 pm (2 years ago)

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Butress & Snatch, their designs are right down my alley. I’m so excited to see their full bust collection!!!

    Reply
    • Sweets
      January 27, 2016 at 8:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Me too me too! Isn’t B&S incredible? I say that those two sets are my faves, but honestly I love almost all of their collections. I’ve been checking their website every day for more news for the last three weeks!

      Reply
  7. Florence
    January 29, 2016 at 2:45 am (2 years ago)

    AHH so many amazing styles here. The unpadded Cleo longline is my fave and I LOVE that Freya colorblock bikini top.

    Also can I just say it’s such a joy to read your blog. I love that you add humor to your posts so I come for lingerie news and leave with that + laughs.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      January 31, 2016 at 7:06 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh gosh, thank you so, so much. I think that Cleo longline is going to be such a winner– one of the pieces I’m most looking forward to seeing at Curve!

      Reply

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