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Fit for life: Lingerie is actually designed for women these days

 

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Underwire bra, €85; bikini briefs, €46, both Maison Lejaby

Underwire bra, €85; bikini briefs, €46, both Maison Lejaby

Slip dress, €145, Ginia

Slip dress, €145, Ginia

Full-cup plunge bra, €77; bikini briefs, €45, both Simone Perele

Full-cup plunge bra, €77; bikini briefs, €45, both Simone Perele

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Underwire bra, €85; bikini briefs, €46, both Maison Lejaby

It's hard to imagine a lingerie brand fronting a campaign nowadays with a tagline aimed solely at men. We've come a long, long way since Wonderbra's 1994 campaign in which supermodel Eva Herzigova declared 'Hello Boys' beside a picture of herself wearing the company's famous push-up bra.

Lingerie trends for 2020 could not be further from this campaign, both in terms of the styles we're wearing, but also the prioritisation of women's desires around what underwear they wear. Rather than the thought of enticing men when purchasing something, our needs are now, as should be the case, front and centre.

If the noughties had an overriding trend in women's fashions, one which has continued, so far, into the 2020s, it was the rise in the importance placed on clothes that are comfortable. So we've seen trends like athleisure; the dominance of the midi hem-length; the popularity of trainers worn with everything; and the ongoing trend for large, clumpy, comfortable boots inspired by Doc Martens. Lingerie is no different.

"Everyone has moved away from what you 'should' be wearing, and has moved back to what is most comfortable," says Rachelle Hanley, lingerie buyer for Arnotts. "It's all about fit, comfort, and what looks best under clothes," she adds.

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Full-cup plunge bra, €77; bikini briefs, €45, both Simone Perele

Full-cup plunge bra, €77; bikini briefs, €45, both Simone Perele

That is not to say lingerie is only about functionality - most of the pieces included on these pages today feature embroidered details or luxurious fabrics, but the feel and the fit are just as important as how they look.

Some of the comfort trend is impractical for many women - for anyone over a certain cup size, bralets, which offer little support, are not an option. This is where Arnotts' long history in providing underwear that is both beautiful and practical comes into play. Each lingerie brand within the store has trained fitters. Soft-cup bras are key for spring 2020, but the selection shown here comes with underwiring, and some styles go up as far as a double-H cup.

"For Arnotts, it still goes back to the fit," Rachelle notes. "The pieces we picked are all beautiful and sexy, but in an understated way, which I think is what a lot of women want. It's all about those softer versions of red - coral, hints of pink, soft rust. Muted tones, with a definite softness. There's a move from nude to softer pinks. It's the same with white. You will have a lot of crisp white pieces, but there are a lot of pinky whites coming through."

Women are buying for themselves, and lingerie brands are reflecting that in their produce. It's Valentine's Day lingerie, but not as we have known it.

 

Photography by Alex Hutchinson

Styling by Courtney Smith

Words by Liadan Hynes

Sunday Indo Living