15 Lingerie Brands Redefining the Look & Feel of “Sexy”
In 2021, comfort is king.
The idea of “sexiness” resonates differently with every woman—as does the style of lingerie that makes her feel her most confident. While silk and lace designs empower many, others have cozier preferences (especially now). Apart from trending in the undergarment space as of late, a more practical sensibility is the driving force behind myriad labels redefining the look and feel of “sexy.” Think so-soft ribbed sets, full-coverage cotton bra and panty combos, and retro-inspired silhouettes like high-waist undies and soft-cup bras. And although COVID-19 has presented many challenges for fashion brands, it’s also led to sell-out runs for lingerie makers who prioritize comfort and coziness over body-baring designs or fancy fabrics.
“Sexy to me has always been in direct correlation to confidence,” lingerie designer Mary Young tells Coveteur. “[It] doesn’t have a look or shape, but rather is an energy and attitude possessed by the individual.”
Young has always focused on comfort and ease in her designs, an approach that has similarly been at the crux of the minimalist basics brand Baserange—founded by Blandine de Verdelhan and Marie-Louise Mogensen—and Los Angeles–based line Botanica Workshop, founded and designed by Misa Miyagawa. “It’s always been essential to us that people can move in it the way they want and are not dictated or restrained by any wire, padding, or fabric,” de Verdelhan explains of the label’s designs and material choices, like organic cotton and bamboo. “We chose fabric that feels good to wear and breathe in,” she says, adding, “We do not use underwires or padding, but cuts to create support and comfort.”
Young has more heavily leaned into comfort by introducing new pullover styles that simplify her designs, removing all hardware like rings and sliders. “These styles are great for everyday wear along with low-impact workouts so you don’t need to change to get in that midday yoga,” she says.
“Our supersoft, organic cotton high-waist briefs and wireless bralettes have been a hit, and we sold out of them multiple times last year,” Miyagawa tells Coveteur of Botanica Workshop’s current best sellers. Her loungewear business has also steadily grown, with cami dresses and comfy tube socks being popular, WFH-friendly options to pair with the label’s panties and bras. “The most surprising change was that our multi-packs started selling out almost instantly—our customers are looking for a full drawer of their favorite colorful organic briefs!”
Shiara Robinson, founder and designer of LaSette, tells Coveteur that comfort is currently a top priority for her pieces, as is the desire to use subtle design details to make lingerie feel less intimidating overall. “That means thinking about what will work for a day spent working from home in the time of COVID and social distancing,” she says. “Is the item comfortable, evoking happiness and confidence?”
Robinson says sets have been of significant interest among her customers. “They are also buying into my concept of mixing and matching [pieces] to create your own set,” she reveals. “Over the first 12 months, there was a large interest in our slips—those are still our best sellers, but we have seen an uptick in sets, especially over the holiday season.”
While it’s clear that the current pandemic has drastically changed our shopping habits, as well as what constitutes “sexy” when you rarely leave the house, we were pleased to find 15 brands that are successfully redefining the look and feel of modern lingerie. Keep scrolling to shop our favorite pieces for cozy at-home Valentine’s Day festivities and beyond.
This zero-waste, slow fashion brand—founded and designed by Misa Miyagawa—focuses on organic and sustainable essentials made in Los Angeles. The label partners with local artisans and technicians to create small production runs of their ultra-comfy bras, undies, loungewear, and extras like socks and scrunchies.
Founded by former tech-executive Rachel Jones, Jonesy is all about anything-but-basic undergarments with a minimal and sometimes sporty feel. The brand’s ultimate focus? Breathable fabrics and flattering cuts that marry style and comfort without being overly cutesy or sexy.
You’re probably familiar with Entireworld’s Insta-famous sweat suits, but did you know the Los Angeles–based brand—founded by Scott Sternberg—makes undies, too? Per the label, their specialty is creating comfortable, non-boring versions of “the stuff you live in,” like soft-cup bras, menswear-inspired briefs, and cozy basics like tees, camis, socks, and much more.
Suppose effortless bras, underwear, and loungewear is your vibe. In that case, you’re guaranteed to love Negative—the not-lacy or overly frilly lingerie brand that instead delivers on minimal, seamless, and occasionally sheer pieces that are as stylish as they are comfy.
This basics line—founded in 2012—is right up a minimalist’s alley, with clean lines, easy silhouettes, and a commitment to clean and ethical production at the crux. Cofounders Blandine de Verdelhan and Marie-Louise Mogensen work closely with innovative vendors to develop high-quality textiles made of natural fibers and recycled materials, emphasizing equally supportive and comfortable silhouettes. Mogensen tells Coveteur, “Sexiness or radiance is to us the same thing; it’s when a person shines. Usually, when they enjoy doing what they do. When we are in our true element, that’s sexy. Just as a big smile.”
Mary Young aims to empower women with her lingerie designs. After noticing a gap in the market for comfortable lingerie for everyday wear, her collection (which is void of underwires, paddings, or reshaping features) was born in 2014. The focus: women’s natural bodies and celebrating every curve. “Our styles are designed to ignite and inspire moments of self-love that create even more confidence within the wearer,” Young tells Coveteur. “Sometimes that looks like high-waist, full-bum panties in a bright hue or a sheer bra with a little frill. We want our customers to define sexy for themselves by celebrating who they are in their natural form.”
Originally a children’s brand, ARQ was founded in 2016 and has since evolved into a cool and comfy line of functional base layers from tanks to undies, all made from organic cotton. Attention moms: Kiddie styles remain a part of the company. So don’t sleep on the adorable assortment for twinning moments with your little ones.
Richer Poorer prides itself on making perfectly unstructured and totally effortless basics, including a range of intimates made from ethically sourced fabrics like Peruvian Pima cotton and soft-to-the-touch modal blends. If uncomplicated is your jam, these undies and bras are definitely for you.
Though some of LaSette’s sheer bras and panties skew more traditionally sexy, confidence and comfort make up the principle ethos. Designer Shiara Robinson tells Coveteur, “When I encounter [someone] who is confident—let’s be clear, not cocky—in the person they are, who they’re becoming, and their body, I can almost feel the sex appeal radiating off them. Lingerie evokes confidence and is, in turn, sexy. When designing, I think about how I am going to feel when I put this piece on. If the answer is ‘like a boss bitch,’ then I know it’s right on the money.”
Boasting a “bed to street” aesthetic, les girls les boys was founded in 2017 by Serena Rees—she’s also the founder of Agent Provocateur—and centers around simple, functional, and well-made essentials. Among the offerings are bras and undies ranging from ribbed cotton panty packs to semi-sheer and seamless briefs, crop tops, and thongs. “Les girls les boys is a rallying cry,” Rees says on the brand’s website. “Inspired by our connected lives and all the good that comes from it, and at the same time a bold defiance against the unattainable images we view there. Our message is: love yourself, love your body and shape, love your identity, whatever that is, and share that love with the world.”
Whimsical colors and prints are instantly recognizable brand signatures—even better when they’re on sustainably sourced fabrics, as is the case with UK-based Stripe & Stare’s undergarments and loungewear. The secret sauce? Luxuriously soft TENCEL™ Micro Modal derived from beechwood trees that could very well inspire an underwear-drawer overhaul. Keep your eye on this brand for fun partnerships and collaborations in 2021.
Live The Process is technically a workout brand launched in 2013, but over time, it has expanded into elevated extras like ribbed bralettes and boy shorts perfect for lounging around the house. For those in the market for an at-home date-night ensemble with low-key allure, look no further than the brand’s skivvy-adjacent offerings.
Boy Smells’ buzzy candles are no doubt on your radar, but how about the brand’s intimate apparel? Cofounders and romantic partners Matthew Herman and David Kien’s assortment of pastel and earthy-colored undergarments are conceived beyond the gender binary and playfully packaged in the brand’s signature pink. “We wanted to have products that were embracing masculine and feminine simultaneously in a simple and straightforward way that wasn’t overtly targeted to one gender,” the founders say on their website. “It’s a permission to harness your power from wherever you want it.” We’re majorly here for it.
Only Hearts never fails in the unmentionables department—the iconic brand is many a woman’s go-to for everything from lacy intimates to silky sleepwear. But don’t snooze on the label’s featherweight rib and organic cotton collections—both offer the best in easy-chic silhouettes that are equal parts comfortable and fresh for at-home moments and daily wear.
Kit Undergarments is the lingerie brainchild of Jamie Mizrahi and Simone Harouche, two stylists with a keen understanding of foundation pieces that make a good outfit utterly killer. With seamless briefs and soft bras anchoring the collection—all in a palette of pretty neutrals, pastels, and jewel tones—this brand proves that function and comfort are easily attainable at once and with a modern look to boot.
Top photo: Courtesy of Botanica Workshop
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