Curvy Briefs

By HOLLY JACKSON

Curvy Kate Rush Swim Collection on Lingerie BriefsCurvy Kate

The holidays are almost over, which can frequently feel like a mix of stress relief and sadness. Raise your hand if you haven’t pictured yourself away on a beach at some point over the past month — I’m willing to bet that many of us have. If you are lucky enough to be turning that dream into a reality sometime soon, there are some great bets now that it is prime swimwear season.

Fantasie Porto Swim Collection on Lingerie BriefsFantasie

There are tons of curve friendly swimsuits out there these days, which means there are lots of great options to pick from (and to stock in your boutique). Current swimwear styles range from sedate to sexy, mixing prints and patterns along the way so there is always something that appeals to everyone. The Porto Twilight line from Fantasie mixes stripes and tropical prints in a fresh way that still feels sophisticated. I’ve been a huge fan of Fantasie’s saturated hues and prints for years now, so it’s nice to see them so gracefully applied to their swimwear line this season. For younger beachgoers, Freya’s Gatsby Bikini channels a bit of classic southern style into a stylish and sexy bikini that will really stand out.

Freya Gatsby swim collection on Lingerie BriefsFreya

For those who are attracted to more classic looks, there’s also lots to love. The Indie swimsuit series has been around from Elomi for multiple seasons, but continues to grow in trendy and accessible ways. My favorite piece is the on trend high-neck bandeau top, but it’s nice to see Elomi embracing options with all levels of coverage. The 60’s inspired crochet look fabric is beautiful without being too loud. The Rush Tankini Top by Curvy Kate offers another crochet inspired piece that offers fuller coverage along with superior support, making it the little black dress of your tropical vacation. The crochet theme is also front and center at Parfait Swimwear

Elomi Indie Swim Collection on Lingerie BriefsElomi

Parfait

Last, but certainly not least, the Panache Portofino line offers a series of retro inspired pieces in navy and aubergine that will never go out of style. I especially love the Skirted Pant bottom option along with the cinched waist detail on the Balconnet Swimsuit — they’re all very Grace Kelly.

Panache Portofino Swim collection on Lingerie BriefsPanache


By HOLLY JACKSON

the Nylon Swish vintage shapewear and robes for Curvy Women as seen on Lingerie Briefs

The lingerie world hasn’t always traditionally been friendly towards larger sizes or curvier customers, but if any part of it seemed even more determined to stick with the status quo it was the shapewear market. Shapewear in the past has been a traditional product: it comes in three colors (white, black and beige) and performs one basic purpose (smoothing and slimming). Predictably, it took a gang of younger women to shake things up.

the Nylon Swish vintage shapewear and robes for Curvy Women as seen on Lingerie Briefs

The Nylon Swish isn’t the first business to present a new vision of what vintage inspired shapewear designed by women for women could look like, but it is the first to do that with a focus on curvier customers. What Katie Did and Kiss Me Deadly have been making shapewear for the female gaze for years, but those brands didn’t work if you had curvier thighs or a larger cup size. Elinor, the owner of The Nylon Swish, found herself in that category early on despite only wearing a US size 12.

the Nylon Swish vintage shapewear and robes for Curvy Women as seen on Lingerie Briefs

“I used to suffer from serious body confidence issues. I would hide my body under ill-fitting clothes and stayed well away from cameras at all times,” Elinor explained to me. “That all changed when I was introduced to vintage clothing, especially undergarments and stockings. I immediately loved how I could shape my body using corsets, girdles and bullet bras.” As many new lingerie lovers discover, however, her size was an issue. Her personal search for shapewear spawned a wildly popular blog and then a small boutique selling vintage lingerie in larger sizes. Now it’s evolved into her own line.

the Nylon Swish vintage shapewear and robes for Curvy Women as seen on Lingerie Briefs

The current line consists of a beautifully authentic line of stockings that that run from size medium to 4XL as well as 12 and 14 strap suspender belts for serious shapewear fans. The Nylon Swish has recently branched out into a series of beautiful georgette robes based on classic 1930’s silhouettes, available in sizes small to 4X. The gowns feature design elements that are frequently only seen in higher priced pieces, like bishop sleeves and a dramatic sweeping skirt.

the Nylon Swish vintage shapewear and robes for Curvy Women as seen on Lingerie Briefs

“I want to be the brand that makes glamorous but practical garments for queen sized women everywhere,” says Elinor. Her plans for the future include full retro bra and panty sets redesigned for curvy figures. “I’m really excited about them because they aren’t just garments that we designed for small busted women and just sized up fit bigger busts. I have taken the time to ensure that the straps are suitable and the cut is flattering.”

the Nylon Swish vintage shapewear and robes for Curvy Women as seen on Lingerie Briefs

 

Curvy lingerie customers and boutiques will now have the opportunity to experience what the new female lead shapewear movement looks and feels like, thanks to Elinor’s vision for herself and others.

the Nylon Swish vintage shapewear and robes for Curvy Women as seen on Lingerie Briefs

All Photography by Russell Thomas & Suz Forrester


By HOLLY JACKSON

Tulip Embroidered bra from Elila on Lingerie Briefs

I’ve been going through a phase over the past few years where I’m fascinated by textures. Whether it’s a great piece of embroidered lingerie or just petting an antique piano shawl in a local store, I love the look and feel of textured fabrics with elements that put them over the top. While that trend has taken off in other sections of the lingerie industry, it hasn’t really hit the plus size market in a big way yet.

One of the earliest adopters of this trend was the new Tulip Embroidered Underwire bra by Elila, which was shown at Curve over several shows and has finally been released. I wanted it from the first moment I saw it, but I was also interested in how it reflected a change in the look and feel of Elila’s brand. Elila has also focused on maintaining a wide side range with superior support options. Their focus has been fit and construction, which sometimes meant their bras felt plain or retro compared to fashion forward brands like Elomi who were always chasing the latest trends. The release of their Glamour collection felt like a step in a different direction: a combination of their seriously supportive bras with some classic fashion trends.

When I asked Elila about their design inspirations, they cited Grace Kelly and other glamorous black and white movie stars. While the delicately embroidered material makes an impression, there are other changes too. Elila bras are traditionally exceptionally full coverage, so the recent releases of the Glamour and Tulip sets have been designed to be able to be worn with lower cut clothing. This is evident in their new strapless longline bra release as well, which has been designed with moulded cups and a much lower gore than previous pieces.

The Tulip Embroidered Underwire bra features the same supportive materials and three part cup design from other Elila classics, so customers don’t have to sacrifice support for fashion. Available 34 – 46, DD/E to K cups, this is the perfect holiday set for curvy lingerie boutiques and consumers who want to branch out beyond the heavy hitting brands in the industry. In fact, I suspect this will be a great way for new and younger consumers to discover how great Elila bras are.


Harlow & Fox ~ Curvy Luxury

By HOLLY JACKSON

Harlow & Fox Luxury Curvy Woman Brand featured on Lingerie Briefs

The world of luxury curvy lingerie is small. Not just small, but nearly infinitesimally so. While budget and mid-tier lingerie brands are expanding curvy and plus-lines as fast as they can, almost no one has chosen to take on the luxury couture market. It’s still an unproven market, although one that seems to have lots of community support. But will curvy women really pay for luxury lingerie? Harlow & Fox has gambled on that idea and won.

Harlow & Fox was one of the earliest brands to experiment with couture lingerie in curvy sizes and they are still going strong. Their pieces show no compromise: the materials are of the highest quality and the designs refuse to be watered down. Harlow & Fox’s commitment to vintage glamour comes through loud and clear, from their gorgeous embroidered slips to a hand beaded gold glass robe that would be at home in The Great Gatsby.

Harlow & Fox Luxury Curvy Woman Brand featured on Lingerie Briefs

One might think that the pressures of being one of a handful of couture brands in a newer market segment might make one more serious, but Harlow & Fox never seems to lose their sense of fun or of the experimental. A recent collection release included a decadent tulle piece that worked as an evening cape or as a tutu, while the Juliette Hazel collection combines beige silk with an unexpected gold and turquoise peacock feather detail.

Harlow & Fox Luxury Curvy Woman Brand featured on Lingerie Briefs

The most remarkable part of the latest collection release is that the Juliette Hazel collection is a repeat of a previous collection in a new colorway. The fact that Harlow & Fox exists at all is amazing, but that they have survived and thrived long enough to consider re-releasing collections in new colors  over multiple seasons is truly remarkable. While I hope that Harlow & Fox has encouraged other brands to step into this space, I don’t think I’d want to see it without their commitment to quality and innovative design either — they’ve become a classic brand over their short existence, and the classics never go out of style.

 


By HOLLY JACKSON

Elomi Morgan Midnight Garden bra and brief as seen on Lingerie Briefs

I was lucky enough to encounter two versions of the Elomi Morgan recently, which really gave me a whole new perspective on the depth of the Morgan line. The first was the continuity version in Toasted Almond, which I was fitted into at a local boutique when I went in asking for a new beige bra that was pretty rather than practical. The second was at home, when I was sent the latest fashion version in Midnight Garden to try on. Strangely, I’d gone from never having tried on a Morgan to getting extremely familiar with it in a week!

It’s notable that I truly believe that if you put the Midnight Garden version and the Toasted Almond version next to each other and asked an average lingerie consumer what they thought, they wouldn’t know they were the same bra. The fit and feel are classic Elomi, right down to the stretch lace layer at the top of the cup that helps it fit multiple sizes and breast types. However, when you compare the prints, it’s almost like you’re looking at totally different bras. The Midnight Garden print feels almost Gothic — it reminds me of half hidden mansions in my neighborhood on a dark and foggy morning.

Conversely, the Toasted Almond version is sweet and light. The lace lends the whole thing a candied feel and the extremely soft animal print gives it visual interest. When I tried it at the store I was worried it would feel like a lot of bra on, but it easily fit under my low cut white blouse that day. It’s the perfect basic bra for those that love pretty bras but need something practical.

Elomi Morgan bra in toasted almond on Lingerie Briefs

While I sense a basic Morgan may be in my future once warmer weather comes back, I’m going to spend the next few months channeling my inner Gothic heroine as I walk my dog through the Garden District in the Midnight Garden version.


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