I’m sure every woman would love to have a lingerie drawer (or a lingerie walk-in wardrobe!) stuffed to the brim with luxurious swathes of tulle and lace, but the reality is that most of us can’t afford to splash out on designer lingerie more than once or twice a year.
So if you can only afford to buy a few nice pieces of lingerie, which ones do you go for? Well, I propose a ‘capsule lingerie drawer’ – like a capsule wardrobe, these are the top 10 essential lingerie items that can be mixed and matched to create all sorts of gorgeous lingerie sets!
1. Black Lace Bra
The Little Black Dress of the lingerie world, a quality black lace bra is a must-have for lingerie drawers around the world! Personally I think sheer lace is the sexiest option, but if you prefer your bras padded then one with a lace overlay is just a beautiful.
Wear With: black lace knickers for casual but sexy daywear, or team with an underbust corset and stockings for special occasions.
2. Black Cotton or Satin Bra
A practical but pretty option for daywear, the smooth cotton or satin fabric won’t show through tight-fitting clothing like lace can do, but the black colour keeps it just as sexy. Plain doesn’t have to mean boring!
Wear With: black lace knickers for cute and casual everyday lingerie.
3. Black Lace Suspender Belt
Adding stockings instantly turns any lingerie set super sexy, so for that you’ll need a high quality suspender belt. Opt for black which is classic and matches any black lingerie – even if the lace pattern is different, or you wear it with plain cotton, silk or satin, it’ll still look like a matching set!
There are all sorts of suspender belts out there, from wide, stomach-flattening ones to super-simple elastic strip belts. Simply pick out your favourite one, they’re all gorgeous!
Wear With: black lace bra and knickers for sexy occasion wear, or for an even more glamorous and unique touch wear on top of a black underbust corset with a black lace bra.
4. Nude Cotton or Satin Bra
Of course, it’s not always practical to wear black! If you’re wearing white or a light colour, the best lingerie shade is not in fact white; nude or ‘flesh tone’ is far less likely to be visible through the fabric. This is an essential lingerie item to wear under those crisp white shirts and semi-sheer blouses, so be sure to invest in a good quality one that matches your skin tone as perfectly as possible.
Wear With: Black lace knickers for cute and comfy daywear, or team with a black suspender belt and nude stockings for a contrasting finish.
Just as every woman needs a black lace bra, so too should you invest in a pair of high-quality black lace knickers (or thong, if that’s what you prefer).
Wear With: anything and everything! Black lace knickers can look ultra sexy, or simply fun and cute, depending on what you team them with.
6. Opaque Black Stockings
Come autumn and winter you’ll want to wear something on your legs if you’re wearing a skirt or dress, but tights rarely look very stylish. Instead, look for a pair of comfortably, stretchy stockings in opaque (70 denier or higher) black nylon.
Wear With: a black cotton bra, lace knickers and a suspender belt for a look that is laid back, relaxed and yet ultra glamorous too.
7. Sheer Black Stockings
If you’re going out in the evening, swap those opaque stockings for sheer ones for an instantly party-ready look. If you prefer, swap the sheer stockings for fishnets, or look for stockings with a hint of shimmer.
Wear With: as above, for a casual but beautiful look, or when you really want to look your best team with an overbust corset with suspenders!
8. Sheer Nude Stockings
When the weather’s hot, you don’t have to stop wearing hosiery! If you like the smooth, glowing look that shimmering nude stockings give your legs, opt for an ultra sheer pair in a breathable fabric such as silk, which will ensure you don’t get too hot.
Wear With: a nude bra, black knickers and a black suspender belt – to really pull the look together, opt for nude stockings with a black contrast trim top.
9. Overbust Corset
A corset is one of the most glamorous lingerie pieces any woman can own, and it doesn’t matter what colour or fabric it’s made from! A classic black satin corset is a great choice if you’re not sure where to start, but if you want something to match your black lingerie just look for a black trim – a burgundy corset with black trim, a navy blue one with black piping, or even a white one with a black lace overlay are all great choices!
Corsets don’t have to be expensive either; you can pick up high quality, cheap corsets that are perfectly suited to the job of looking good! You only need to splash out on a designer corset if you want it to really take the inches off your waist, in which case strong steel boning is a must.
Wear With: black lace knickers and your choice of stockings – you’ll either need to find an overbust corset with suspender clips attached, or wear a suspender belt over or underneath it.
10. Underbust Corset
An overbust corset is a gorgeous lingerie item, but unless you buy one with built-in ‘cup’ sections it has a tendency to flatten your bust – no problem if you’re just wearing lingerie, but it can make you look a bit shapeless in clothing.
So a great alternative that is perhaps more practical for day wear is to invest in a waspie (a very short ‘corset’ that just goes around the waist) or an underbust corset (a longer length corset that stops just short of your bra line). Again, any colour goes well with black lingerie!
Wear With: a black lace bra and black lace knickers – add stockings for those very special occasions!
Well, that’s my top ten. Have I missed a lingerie ‘essential’ off the list you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments section below!