When it comes to lingerie, I'm as fussy as can be. I want comfort and a perfect fit, but I also demand that my underwear not look like it has given up on being beautifully designed or a little bit sassy. Practical T-shirt bras are all well and good (and these staple underwear items deserve just as much time and attention from you), but right now, I'm finding that luxurious lingerie can be the mood-boosting foundation to my everyday outfits.
There are some eye-wateringly expensive options out there in the world of high-fashion underwear, and some are worth parting more cash with than others. Lingerie fabrics—the very finest ones—are often pricey, complicated to produce, and very delicate to manufacture into bras and knickers. Doing so requires a great deal of technical know-how in order to make pieces feel both supportive and effortless so they can be worn all day.
As such, there are heritage brands that I trust time and again with my most important lingerie purchases. These companies have spent decades perfecting the cut and detailing it takes to craft bras and pants of the very highest order: You can't beat somewhere like Rigby & Peller or Simone Pérèle when it comes to supportive styles for bigger busts, for example.
But there are some new kids on the block who have arrived to shake up an industry that has long seen the same names and ideas at the fore. Beija is a London-based brand whose inclusive sizing and cool designs put it into a new league of labels that are managing to put practicality and panache into one package. The brand is also doing a lot to highlight and represent a more diverse range of women when it comes to its advertising and promotional materials. Then, there's Skims, the shapewear and underwear solutions from Kim Kardashian. Its popularity speaks volumes. The shade range is excellent, and the effectiveness of the shapewear is exactly what you'd expect from a woman who is nothing if not diligent when it comes to outlining her figure. Plus, the price point isn't actually as prohibitive as you might imagine.
I have a database of the best luxury lingerie brands I revisit whenever my underwear drawer is in need of a more indulgent update, and I hope they become your go-tos when you feel like branching out. And don't forget to use our bra-size calculator before you buy online.
1. Simone Pérèle
French lingerie label Simone Pérèle is masterful at creating delicate lace pieces like this set but also producing the kind of easy-peasy T-shirt bras I wear every day—look out for its Spacer 3D fabric. It's patented and is the comfiest thing I've ever had against my skin.
This set is just too good to not feature—wear it under a loose-fitting jumper dress and you'll feel like you've made a huge amount of effort!
3. La Perla
La Perla is the leading name in Italian lingerie, and you can always rely on this brand for lacy classics, pretty finishes and something a little daintier.
4. Agent Provocateur
I've never felt quite as wonderful and confident as I did when I had a one-on-one appointment with an expert at Agent Provocateur. Although that IRL experience isn't currently available, the great fit and alluring designs still work their magic. If you're going for AP, then go all out—get colours, get lace, get the matching suspenders just in case.
As I mentioned in my intro, Beija has become my regular underwear pit stop. Each bra design is adapted for three different size ranges, without scrimping on the original look. So it means that (finally!) you can buy bigger cup options that are supportive yet delicate looking.
If you like your lingerie to tap into a more minimalistic aesthetic, then you'll enjoy the hushed luxury of French brand Eres. Its simple shapes are rendered from super-soft, extra-comfortable fabrics and can easily slot into your underwear drawer as a mix-and-match option.
7. Dora Larsen
Georgia Larsen had been a lingerie buyer for many years before setting up this label, so I have high hopes that these sumptuous styles fit as beautifully as they look. I'm desperate to try this brand, as it has some of the coolest colours and combinations I've seen anywhere.
12. Rigby & Peller
14. Gilda & Pearl