Sexy lingerie 'no longer' designed to please men

The definition of what consumers view as sexy lingerie has taken a dramatic turn over the last decade, according to industry experts.

Gone are the days of porno-chic-inspired lingerie designed to please men; cheap, barely-there thongs and bright red push up bras are being phased out in exchange for luxury lingerie developed to make women feel sexy and confident in themselves first and foremost.

Speaking to Lingerie Insight about how boudoir lingerie has evolved since the 1990s, Bluebella founder Emily Bendell said: “We feel strongly that the definition of what lingerie is about and for is changing. ‘Sexy lingerie’ used to be something bought to show to a partner, for a special occasion.

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“But women have now evolved and so should the market. Lingerie is now, for many women, an intimate form of self-expression. Wearing beautiful lingerie makes them feel great whether anyone sees it or not. There is also much more demand for a fashion edge and lingerie is often worn under sheer or cutaway clothing or as outerwear, so it crosses over into ready-to-wear."

Laurence Escallier-Lachaup, a spokesperson for French brand Maison Close agreed: “The main evolution that the sexy lingerie market has experienced is that back then, lingerie seemed to be designed according to men’s tastes. Now most brands understand that women need to feel good about themselves in order to seduce their partner. Women rule today’s game. This makes boudoir lingerie more popular than ever.”

Leg Avenue head of marketing and communications Joyce Mallo said thongs and high-cut knickers are on their way out.

“Thongs used to be barely there, with just a few strings attached to each other. Now, briefs that cover more of the butt cheeks are found extremely sexy. Something that has expanded from fashion to lingerie is the high neckline, which is also found sexy,” she said.

“Lace has also made a huge revival. There aren’t just overlays and lace trims anymore, the possibilities of using lace in designs are endless.”

Meanwhile, Belle et BonBon founder Geri Kefford highlighted ‘glamourotica’ as a key trend for boudoir lingerie going forward.

“Boudoir has definitely taken a glamorous edge, with the use of decadent and luxurious laces. We recently added couture fabrics and decorations such as Swarovski crystals, hand-finished embellished laces and leather with sequins to our collection,” she added.

“We are constantly researching new and sumptuous fabrics to embellish our lingerie with the desire for all women to feel confident and special.”

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