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Sales of sexy lingerie remained healthy during the last lockdown, as people searched online in their droves for fun, flirty designs – “lace sets” “colourful lace bras” saw a 45 per cent increase in searches for the start of 2021, compared to the same time last year.
And with the world opening up again, it’s the best possible time to start thinking about women’s underwear that makes you feel good - be it for your own enjoyment, or to entice another.
It’s a great time to order underwear online - cutting down on your shopping time and avoiding the high street queues.
But rather than delve into the world of online lingerie without a guidance, we’ve collated the best lingerie brands, for style, fit, comfort, sizes, seamlessness – whatever it is you’re after, you can find it here. Be it plus-size, crisp and clean, balconette bras, or cheap yet sexy underwear, we have you covered.
Brands below will allow for returns and exchanges provided you keep the hygiene protector shields on in the underpants, and the tags on the bras.
Prices quoted are for the cheapest option in the range, as item costs will vary.
Parisian label Maison Lejaby offers terrific fit and classic French styles. With 90 years experience and a corsetry making pedigree, their underwear is exquisitely well made, and quintessentially Parisian. They do an impressive job of preserving their traditional methods while still being modern in their styles.
Stella McCartney's underwear range is modern, stylish, and cool. It's also pricey, but feels lovely on. If you're buying for a partner, this treads a fine line of being both alluring but easy to wear, so you won't put them in the awkward position of sacrificing comfort for sex appeal.
Finding invisible underwear often means sacrificing style (you'll know what we mean – those plain microfibre numbers may sit wonderfully under your clothes, but don't necessarily look inspiring on their own).
Enter, Cosabella, a luxury Italian brand that are seamless under t-shirts, but also look terrific when you take your top off. Their size range is on the small side, though - this is a brand for smaller busts.
This luxury brand has a reputation for its overt sexiness, though they also craft excellent everyday wear. You're paying for attention to detail here – the stitching and embroidery is impeccable.
With a size range from 32B to 36E (sorry, those of you with petite backs), their range of designs is exquisite.
The brand's website has a Wish List feature – ideal for sending a list of desired products to someone looking to purchase you a present. Sometimes their 'sexy' styles tend towards the tacky, though, so tread carefully if selecting for someone else.
Simone Pérèle started her career as a corset maker in Paris, and her eponymous lingerie range brings that eye for detail and structure to underwear.
Made from lace and silk, her designs have a classic, French femininity and elegance, and feel soft against the skin. Even though they look luxurious, they're comfortable enough for daily wear.
Seamlessness and support are central tenets of the Heist underwear range. They really do feel like a second-skin, and will provide a beautiful silhouette under whatever you're wearing. Wearing any body con outfit? Heist would be our choice for a flattering underwear set underneath. (You could go for Skims, too, of course, but we're not sure the Kardashians need any more money). The Outer Body will make you feel and look fabulous, we promise.
Figleaves own brand
Figleaves sell dozens of varied lingerie brands, but don't look past their own range, which is impressively inclusive in sizing and great for fit. Their bodies stand out as comfortable and offer a great shape without digging into your flesh like some brands.
Rosie for M&S
Sweet, silky, feminine and well-fitting. The Rosie for M&S range is premium, and matches the quality of brands twice the size. With bras from 30A to 42G, the size range is pleasingly large. The underwired, padded plunge bras are particularly good for cultivating cleavage.
Ex-lingerie buyer Georgie Larsen launched her brand, Dora Larsen, from her flat in London in 2016, as a riposte to the endless uncomfortable fashion bras she had encountered.
Pairing technical expertise with design and a flair for bright colour matches, her range of underwear offers superb fit (like butter) that's nevertheless flirty, sweet, and fashionable. Feels like wearing a secret every day.
Les Girls Les Boys
'Bed to street' wear, Les Boys Les Girls are a skimpy, minimalist brand, perfect for petite girls. They have a strong focus on lace and patterning, are delightfully easy to wear, but would emphatically not be a go to for ladies looking for support.
Their rib jersey mini briefs are super comfy, though.
Affordable, stylish, and sturdy, Intimissimi are a great go-to for your daily underwear selection. Their balconette bras and bralettes are great for women who don't require much support, while the push-up selection is supportive and adept at creating a pleasing décolletage. Great for basics.
Playful Promises provide overtly feminine, lacy underwear for larger sizes (up to 44H). With a huge range of lingerie, hosiery, nightwear, corsets and swimwear, it's great for those looking for under garments that make a bold statement.
The Myla range of underwear is so gorgeous. There are sexy, girly, beautiful options, but they fit wonderfully. Not cheap, lamentably, but built to last and wonderfully tasteful.
From 28D to 46K – Brastop has a seriously impressive size range, regardless of what size you're looking for. The price range is pleasingly egalitarian and they stock well-regarded brands, too, from Fantasie (pretty designs) to Freya (flattering fits).
Best yet, especially with department stores closed, they offer a host of videos, tips, and insights to help you find the perfect fit, even as you shop online – just head to the site's 'fitting room'.
Best for: chic lingerie
Mark our words: in 2021, Revolve will be hitting the UK in a big way.
The aggregate fashion and beauty site is akin to Asos, just a fraction more upmarket - but not as pricy or exclusive as the likes of Net-A-Porter.
In terms of lingerie, their range opts for drop-dead sexiness, in a simple, chic mode - think lots of black satin and lace.
Best for: basics - and leather, if you wish
Hot US brand Commando manages the neat trick of providing two services, depending on your mood or preference. They’re famous for their super soft microfibre basics - bras, briefs, thongs, that are like a second skin.
But they also craft saucy wee leather bodies and trousers if you want to inject a hint of edge into your wardrobe - pieces intended as both under and outerwear. Cool as anything. Beloved of Bella Hadid, Ashley Graham, and the A-List set.
Best for: sports bras
The prospect of a sexy workout bra may seem anathema - indeed, usually you’re after something that will keep you comfortable and supported when opting for sports underwear.
But Lululemon makes sports bras you’ll be happy to be spotted in the yoga studio working through. They’re also breathable, stretchy, and sweat-wicking - so they’re practical, too.
Best for: classic Italian sensuality
Well established as luxurious purveyors of delicate, alluring pieces, Italian lingerie brand La Perla create the kind of underwear you can imagine Roger Sterling gifting to his mistress in Mad Men.
That is to say, expensive, classic, tasteful but sexy, and guaranteed to elicit a squeal. Their slips, in particular, are to die for.
Best for: affordability
On the opposite end of the cost spectrum to La Perla lies Boux Avenue.
While we won’t lie by saying they’re to our tastes, they are the bestselling lingerie site in the UK, so they’re clearly beloved. And they are very reasonably priced, so they’re great if you’re looking for a flashy little number on the cheap.
Best for: comfort and fit
British brand Pour Moi have a deserved reputation for providing exemplary fit across their lingerie range. And what a range that is, too - catering for size 30B to 44J.
Their designs are fun and flirty, and they are also great if you’re after sports bras or swimwear.