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There’s such a feeling of glamour and femininity that comes with wearing vintage lingerie. Sadly, true vintage lingerie can be hard to find in wearable condition, even online. There are tons of vintage lingerie pieces on Etsy*, but typically they have been worn before (maybe even worn for decades), or they have the normal discolouration that occurs over time, or they’re in sizes that just won’t work for some of us… which all makes finding quality vintage lingerie a rather difficult task.
Luckily, there are numerous modern brands making beautiful lingerie inspired by vintage styles. Whether you’re looking for something with all the pizzazz of retro burlesque and pin-up styles, or you just appreciate the fit and function of vintage lingerie, these brands have everything you need.
Full disclosure, I’m no lingerie historian (I’ll leave that to The Underpinnings Museum), so I can’t speak to how historically accurate these lingerie brands are. Some of them definitely have more modern touches, while others seem to be near-perfect replicas. But all of them feature the classic elegance and charm of lingerie from days gone by.
Here are 15 of the best modern brands making vintage-inspired lingerie. Bring on the bullet bras, corsets, and girdles!
Dottie’s Delights creates lingerie inspired by vintage burlesque and pin-up fashion. I absolutely adore the brand for its ability to combine vintage styles with bright, eye-catching colours and fabrics, creating fun and totally unique designs while maintaining the vintage aesthetic. Here you’ll find flowy swing tops, functional suspender belts made from gorgeous fabrics, and cheeky embroidery*.
Last year, my mom gave me some hand-me-down lingerie that used to be my grandmother’s, and they looked uncannily similar to these designs. Full-coverage, long-line bras and suspender belts with wide, thick straps. Additionally, Rago is one of the most accessible vintage-inspired brands out there; many of their designs are under £50 and some come in plus sizes (which can be tricky to find when you’re looking for vintage-style lingerie).
The perfect brand for all your glamour needs! Catherine D’Lish has perfectly captured the elegance and decadence of the golden age of Hollywood with her selection of truly stunning, instantly-recognisable gowns and bed-jackets. What vintage lover wouldn’t dream of donning one of these Catherine D’Lish gowns with a pair of her signature kitten heel slippers for a boudoir shoot?
Fifi Chachnil creates stunning silk, satin, and mesh lingerie inspired by the 1940s and 1950s. From classic bloomers to floral soft-cup bras and sheer negligées named after Doris Day, all of Fifi Chachnil’s designs are frilly, feminine, retro masterpieces.
Playful Promises is well-known for their inclusive sizing, diverse models, and high quality (but affordable!) lingerie. So I had high hopes when they released their Bettie Page diffusion brand in 2017. And honestly, the designs they’ve released through Bettie Page Lingerie have exceeded my expectations! Their selection includes classic vintage styles such as girdles, bullet bras, overwire bras, French Knickers, and high-waisted briefs. They also have designs more akin to pin-up fashion, such as this Red Latex Mini-Beret* and this Latex Maid Outfit*.
If you’re a vintage stockings enthusiast, this is the perfect brand for you. They’ve been crafting ‘faux vintage’ nylon stockings for over 30 years. They even use the same Reading knitting machines used in the 1950s! Since their inception, Secrets in Lace have expanded to include tons of vintage-inspired lingerie and shapewear, including girdles, ruffled bed jackets, and truly stunning ostrich feather-trim robes*.
This brand started when the founder, Katie, decided that if she couldn’t find the perfect seamed stockings reminiscent of the 1950s that she wanted, then she would just get them made herself. Flash forward some 20-odd years, and her brand is one of the best-known vintage-inspired lingerie producers! It offers a wide variety of girdles, bullet bras, corsets, and loungewear. Plus a ton of resource videos for those who want to learn more about vintage style.
The retro lingerie and swim brand for femme fatales! Kiss Me Deadly takes vintage styles and makes them a little more naughty, a little more dangerous… for lingerie and loungewear that provides considerable coverage in rich colours, soft velvets, and elegant silks. Highlights include a wide collection of beautifully-embellished corsets, fan-laced shapewear girdles, and ultra-high-rise knickers.
Court Royal creates classic vintage-inspired looks, including highly-structured bullet bras, corsets, mesh knickers, and suspender belts with a lot of coverage. They have a great selection of colour options, with fabrics in classic neutral tones as well as the more vibrant colours we modern lingerie-lovers are accustomed to. Plus, their brightly-coloured, 1960s-inspired photoshoots are so fun to look at.
The popular burlesque and striptease artist Dita Von Teese is perhaps the most influential contemporary style icon for vintage fashion. Although her lingerie collection is made for modern tastes, she uses her personal collection of vintage lingerie for design inspiration. She doesn’t replicate entire designs, but small design details – decorative stitching patterns, or adornments such as the rosettes on the Coquette* designs – are often influenced by a specific vintage piece she owns. And of course, all of her designs have the timeless elegance she’s known for.
Coco’s Retro Closet specialises mostly in vintage-style wide, 6-12 strap suspenders, but they make full sets as well. Their suspender belts come in a multitude of colours and designs, including Y-strap styles, which are among the more difficult retro styles to find these days because only a handful of vintage-inspired brands make them. They also sell high-waisted knickers and full- or quarter-cup bras to complete the set.
A retro-inspired jackpot! Pip & Pantalaimon have a wide selection of retro lingerie and shapewear, but they really shine when it comes to putting a modern twist on vintage styles. Sequins and lurex fabric are just a few of the modern features found throughout their collections. So if you’re looking for retro style with a little more spice, Pip & Pantalaimon is the perfect choice.
There you are: 13 of the best brands in the industry making vintage-inspired lingerie. Personally, I’m excited the weather is finally warm enough that I can wear just a babydoll and a sheer bed-jacket around the house. Just browsing through all suspender belts and gowns on this list makes me want to put a boudoir shoot together!
Harlow & Fox is perhaps best known for their contemporary luxury bras in fuller bust sizes, but they also offer vintage-inspired longline bras, dressing robes, French knickers, and half slips. Sheer mesh fabric, elegant lace, and the occasional glittering metallic embroidery add modern touches. Look through the Vintage-Inspired Style Edit on their website to see the full selection.
Evgenia offers a fresh take on classic styles. In luxurious modern fabrics such as mesh and velvet, this luxury brand creates styles including bed jackets, pinup-inspired corsets, button-up knickers and tap pants, half slips, and Kestos-style bralettes such as the signature Rebelle Rouge Bralette. Don’t forget to check out their collection of matching stockings!
Divaurae was founded by Linda Miller, a Hungarian-born designer whose intention is to pay homage to the romance of life. Her designs, which include the likes of bullet bras, dressing gowns, and 6-strap suspenders as well as a selection of vintage-inspired blouses and pencil skirts, draw inspiration from burlesque pin-up dolls and the French lingerie of the 1970s. Elegant and luxurious, many of Divaurae’s designs are fashioned from silk and lace, with some slightly lower cost items in synthetic satin and nylon. The brand offers a range of styles, from the sheer white lingerie of the Wedding Collection to the seductive quarter-cup bras and lace gloves in the Noire Collection.
Note: The following, sixteenth brand has closed down since this article was originally published.
My Retro Closet
No one does flowy, frilly babydolls like My Retro Closet! This is one of my absolutely favourite brands for the way they combine vintage style with pastel colors, creating an unabashedly feminine look. Plus, they have bed jackets and robes to match almost any other lingerie in their shop, so you can have the complete vintage look.
Do you ever wear vintage-inspired lingerie? Are there any other brands you think I should have included on this list?