I've been helping a friend revamp her wardrobe over the last few months by adding in some seasonal pieces here and there (more details on this process to come) and she recently gave me the heads up that lingerie was something she wanted to address at some point. We are doing the revamp in stages, as her budget allows, so she isn't quite ready for the lingerie, but that didn't stop me from starting my reconnaissance. While gathering some ideas for her I thought- why not share this on the blog now?? I'm going to take a Save v. Splurge approach to sharing some new pieces with you.
Sorry, but these photos are not going to be great- I'm not going to model my bras and they just don't flat-lay that well.
For me, I don't like to wear bras with a thick cup during the summer. I get hot. They get sweaty. It is not a good experience for me or the bra. I, instead, gravitate toward light weight bras in the summer (apparently triangle bras for the most part, as evidenced in the photo). I also like a bra with a little something special about it- embroidery, unique material, strappy details, etc. I'm also not against a bra peeking out of my shirt's neckline so a pretty detail along the cup is a bonus (I do try to keep straps tucked away, though).
The above bras are all from the brand God Save Queens. I came across this brand before they had gained much of a name in the states and bought these before their prices essentially doubled. I still check out their website to watch for sales occasionally. Beware- their sizing isn't as straightforward as you might be used to. They sell S,M,L,XL sizes rather than by band widths (e.g., 32", 34", 36"). I had to invest in an extender piece for the black triangle on top for a more comfortable fit. You might be able to tell that the middle row in the above picture has the type of hook back that you can't use an extender on, which means you really have to make sure you order the right size for your ribcage.
SAVE: I have rounded up some bras in similar styles to the above but have hunted down less expensive variations for you. All of the below bras come in at under $50.
SPLURGE: Now, if you are open to splurging on some higher price pieces, here are some options that I love. I have found that (some) higher priced lingerie have higher quality fabrics and construction that justify the added expense, but some are purely higher priced because of a brand name that is slapped on it. Choose your splurges carefully! The below collection includes pieces $50+.
I tend to splurge once every couple of years by swinging into the La Perla store in Chicago when I'm there in the summer. Let me walk you through how I decide what to splurge on and why. First, the customer service at La Perla is FANTASTIC. They are so helpful in the store, but the sales person I have worked with in the past sends me an email when they are having in-store sales with an offer to send me anything I might be interested in since I can't make it in-person. While in the store, they are marvelous about helping you identify the perfect size and cut of bra for your body or outfit needs. Second, the materials and construction are exquisite. It is impossible to not feel sophisticated and sexy in their pieces. The lace is delicate and the embroidery is beautiful. Last, I only splurge once in a while and I choose more unique pieces that are unlike what I currently own. This makes each piece a wise investment piece that diversifies my collection. (This is often how I approach splurging on shoes as well).
Here are the current La Perla pieces I own. My first piece from them was the white lace underwire. This bra is a classic piece that provides coverage and support and works under so many types of tops. The next piece I purchased was the bodysuit. At the time, this was my first foray into bodysuits. I now have several, far less expensive, bodysuits in my collection. I bought this with the intention to wear it under more form fitted dresses. It doesn't have the band and panty lines that wearing two individual pieces can create. Now, I'm just as likely to wear it under a blouse and jeans/shorts. The last piece I invested in was the gold Lotus Pearl bra. This bra is wildly different from any of my others. It has a very wide band that feels as much like a top as it does a bra. I don't wear this bra as frequently, but it is a great option with a low cut top that is going to expose the bra (I've even spotted it in photos being worn as a top under a suit jacket). Given the amount of money invested in these pieces, I take an extraordinary amount of care when wearing, washing, and storing them.
I've randomly come across some nice bras in places I would not have expected. I stumbled upon the GapBody line one day while they were having a sale and truth be told, I wear these bras ALL THE TIME (below left). I was introduced to the Cosabella brand at Catherine's Boutique in Iowa City (intimates aren't their normal fare, but sometimes they carry a collection or two- Cosabella being a regular). These are light and offer some great bralette options. American Eagle's line aerie seems like a good find for bras similar in style to the Cosabella line. I mentioned earlier that I have added to my bodysuit collection with less expensive items. I hunt down lower priced pieces like these (below right) from Asos or Missguided. Bodysuits are hot right now, so you can find them in a lot of stores.
It is one thing to see a bra on its own. It is another to think about how it fits into an overall outfit. Below are examples of how sometimes my bras peek out- some cases they only show when I shift or move in certain ways and other times elements are on display the whole time. I always assess what type of setting I'm going to be in before I decide what is appropriate. The first two pictures demonstrate how strappy details play out with different necklines (this is one of the black bodysuits pictured up above). Pictures 3 & 4 demonstrate how sometimes the bra is visible but most of the time it is hidden away (#3 is the La Perla bodysuit- it acts just like a cami would with this slightly sheer top; #4 is the teal Cosabella bra from above). The last two pictures show how each piece is actually an accessory for the outfit (#5 is a black bodysuit with an open back top; #6 is the gold La Perla balcony bra with a super low v-neck romper).
And last, but not least, two intimate items/accessories that I use ALL THE TIME: Nippies and Fashion Tape. These, in my book, are essentials. The nippies are perfect for when you don't want a bra showing (e.g., skinny strap tops/dresses, low cut shirts/dresses, etc). You can also use these under sheer bras if you are concerned about making sure everything that needs to be is properly concealed. The Nippies come in different sizes and skin tones so you can customize to your needs. The fashion tape is an essential for blousy tops that you want to keep in place more securely.
I should mention that I almost never match my bra and underwear. I have a few specifically matched pieces, but that is just not something I spend my time thinking about when getting dressed. #aintnobodygottimeforthat
When did you last treat yourself to some new lingerie? Do you have a piece that is your go-to when you want to feel your sexiest?