With Valentine’s Day fast approaching you may already be dreading a gift of uncomfortable lingerie that your partner, in a panic, has picked out for you.
Or perhaps you’ll be digging out your only matching set, which spends most of the year languishing in your underwear drawer.
But what if I told you that wearing sexy undies doesn’t mean you have to compromise on comfort. Thanks to innovative technology and fashion-forward designs, there are lingerie brands that guarantee to have you looking and feeling your best.
What do they all have in common? They’re all founded by women, with styles and sizes to flatter every figure.
So forget dressing to please your other half, and indulge in some self-love with beautiful undergarments you’ll wear all year round.
Former colleagues, now best friends, Becky and Julia started their lingerie brand Wild Lovers in East London in 2019.
The label is for anyone partial to a little old-school glamour.
Bras have ruffles, and lace bodysuits come with matching gloves for a sultry bedroom look. They’ve also collaborated with U.S. brand Urban Outfitters on a 20-piece capsule collection. If you love the undies, there’s matching loungewear.
Wild Lovers also makes swimwear from 100 per cent recycled materials.
Eleanor bra, £26, and French knickers, £15, wildlovers london.com
FLEUR OF ENGLAND
Since launching in 2001, Fleur of England has grown into an award-winning, independent lingerie brand. Founder Fleur Turner designs all the pieces herself in Bristol with a team of eight women. Her passion shines through in the attention to detail, especially when it comes to fit and craft. From balcony bras with hand-drawn embroidery to delicate silk bralettes, this brand oozes sophistication.
Lyla balcony bra, £128, strap thong, £98, and suspender belt, £125, fleurofengland.com
Audrey bralette, £125, fleurofengland.com
When it comes to buying underwear it’s easy to stick with versatile, yet unstylish, flesh-toned t-shirt bras.
Instead, try Dora Larsen, which is known for its fabulous rainbow hues.
The brand was founded in 2016 in London by Georgia Larsen, who felt there were only two kinds of lingerie on offer: practical but boring, or sexy but uncomfortable. So she wanted to create exciting, everyday undies.
The twice-yearly collections are UK-designed and are also available online in Selfridges and Anthropologie.
Lena lace bra, £70, and high-waist knickers, £45, doralarsen.com
Rue floral bra, £78, and knickers, £48, doralarsen.com
To turn up the heat look no further than British brand Bluebella. Founded by Emily Bendell, this lingerie is all about self-expression.
Bendell wants customers to think of buying underwear like they would shoes or a handbag — it’s an accessory that can make you feel fabulous.
Supermodel Marie Helvin, 71, who had a mastectomy in 2022, is the face of their Valentine’s campaign. She wows in the skimpy sets — proving there’s no such thing as being too old for sexy underwear.
Colette bra, £39, bluebella.com; Astra bra, £39, bluebella.com
EVELYN & BOBBIE
Often comfortable lingerie doesn’t give adequate support. But U.S. brand Evelyn & Bobbie has created a wire-free bra offering the lift of an underwired style. This is due to EB Core technology that creates a seamless design that moulds itself to the body as it smooths and lifts.
Founder Bree McKeen wanted her brand to promote inclusivity through their wide range of nude tones and sizing, up to a K cup.
Its underwear will work just as well under gymwear, workwear and eveningwear, thanks to its buttery soft fabric — no risk of VPLs here. Evelyn & Bobbie comes to the UK on February 29.
Left: Smoothing cami, £95, and high waisted bikini, £21; Right: Evelyn bra, £95, and high-waisted knickers, £21, evelynbobbie.com