“Lingerie is my next love after clothing; I think it is what is worn underneath that really inspires a woman to feel beautiful in her clothes – that inner, secret glamour.” -Alice Temperley
Much like the director of a film, conductor of an orchestra or foundation of a house, in order for the pieces to harmonize, shine to their fullest or stand the test of time, the items that are often not seen or given recognition, are the most essential components that without would cause the entire production to flop. Such is the power and thus necessity of a quality, thoughtful compilation of one’s lingerie capsule wardrobe.
Inspired by a reader’s recent email, I came up with the lingerie essentials to always have on hand. Erika writes:
“Since listening to your podcasts and reading your blog . . . could you do a blog or podcast on how to wear the luxurious lingerie. I grew up and still live in a small rural community . . . I pretty much just know about bras and panties. When do you wear a slip? With every dress? Do you always wear hose?”
The key, as is with the overall approach to living simply luxuriously, is quality over quantity. And while it may take time to purchase the more luxurious items (which I will delineate below) when you are able, choose to invest. Your skin and peace of mind will thank you.
Prior to going through the list, task yourself with the following assignment:
1. Consider your typical two weeks of outfits. What type of lingerie is needed to make each ensemble shine.
2. Go through your capsule wardrobe. What does each piece require as a foundation piece (bra, underwear, etc)?
Once you have created a list of the items that are needed, keep these four parts under consideration to ensure you will love, feel comfortable and wear your purchases:
1. Style – Will it work underneath the clothing I wear?
2. Cut – Is it the right size for my figure?
3. Material – Is it comfortable against my skin?
4. Color – Is it appropriate for my chosen outfits and does it align with my signature style and taste?
Now to the essentials to build your own lingerie capsule wardrobe:
Essential Basics (Necessary items to function for everyday to special occasion use)
- 2-3 nude bra & brief sets (include 1 T-shirt bra)
- 1-2 black bra & brief sets (include 1 T-shirt bra)
- 10-15 pair of daily wear underwear (enough to make it through a laundry cycle plus a few extra)
- 2 sports bras (minimum, you may want more based on your activity level), Sweaty Betty, Lucy, Title Nine
- 1 nude multi-functional/strapless bra
- 1 black multi-functional/strapless bra
- 2 Spanx shorts and/or thongs/seamless briefs
- 1 chemise
- 1 robe
- hose (sheer nude and black opaque), try Donna Karan’s “The Nudes”
Essential Luxuries (Discretionary items you can live without, but when you’re able to invest, are worth having on hand for occasions)
- hose (fishnet, thigh-high stockings in black and nude), with a garter belt
- slips (full or half)
- bodysuit by Spanx
- camisole (can double as a bra if built-in)
- 1-2 colored bra & brief set
Once you begin building your lingerie wardrobe, organize it to showcase and streamline. Rather than simply throwing everything into one lingerie drawer, purchase dividers for your underwear from Storables (here and here), carefully lay out and layer your bras and use skirt hangers for half slips, as well as the proper hangers for chemises and camisoles. And just as importantly, care of the investments you have carefully chosen. Click here to read about how to wash your lingerie.
As I shared in this post a few years ago, as well as in chapter four of TSLL book, lingerie should be worn for you, a secret you possess everyday that nobody knows about unless you choose to share. And I will speak from personal experience, when you feel Italian lace against your skin, the understanding of who lingerie is truly worn for will become crystal clear.
Where to shop online for lingerie? Here’s a list of recommendations:
- Natori (homepage, Nordstrom)
- Simone Perele
- La Perla
- Faire Frou Frou
- Jane’s Vanity~ located in Portland, Oregon, and shopping online as well
- Bra Smyth~ – located in New York City, Bra Smyth was one of the first lingerie stores to offer mastectomy bras and swimsuits.
- Princesse Tam Tam~
SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
~The New York Times, Sunday Edition (home delivery no matter where you live)
~The Wall Street Journal, home delivery on the day it is printed no matter where you call home
Image: TSLL IG
The Simple Sophisticate, episode #42