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I’m a little late with it this year but… new year, new lingerie trend predictions!
As usual, we’ll be reviewing my 2022 lingerie trend predictions and whether I got them right or wrong first. Not interested and just want to see what’s new? Click the button below to skip ahead:
Looking back at last year’s lingerie trends
My top 2022 lingerie trend forecast was vibrant colour, and boy did we see a lot of that! SKIMS jazzed up their traditionally rather-muted colour palette with neon versions of their ‘Fits Everybody’ range (chartreuse green, lime green, ultraviolet, zingy blue…); Agent Provocateur released their bestselling Lorna set in sunshine yellow and Cosabella did bright yellow also; Maison Close released lingerie in a true fluro yellow while Blush did fluorescent green; Playful Promises*, Ann Summers* and Mapalé all did bright pink with orange… I could go on and on. Bold colour was, and still is, everywhere.
I thought we would see more shimmer fabrics too and there were a few (especially at SKIMS who launched Shimmer in February as well as Jelly Sheer, Naked Shine, sparkling gold and silver Fits Everybody, and others throughout the year) but I wouldn’t say it really rose to ‘trend’ level popularity.
‘Watercolour’ effect embroideries also didn’t end up being a major trend, but I did see it popping up now and then throughout the year. For example, Playful Promises’ Naomi set*, the multi-tonal ‘white’ version of Agent Provocateur’s Sparkle, Honey Birdette’s Candy set, the Fleur du Mal Pixie* in summer and Orchid* in autumn, and Ann Summers’ Wildflower set*. The Lanela example I featured in last year’s article also ended up being one of my most popular Pinterest pins ever, so people are definitely enjoying this embroidery effect right now!
My fourth lingerie trend prediction was a sustainability one: to stand out from the crowd, I thought we’d see more brands choose eco-friendly elastics/trims as well as fabrics. The only specific example I came across last year was Daylight Lingerie, which used natural rubber elastic, but they’d actually launched slightly before the start of 2022 and, unfortunately, closed down quite soon after. While I may not have been on the mark for this one, I do still think we’ll see more of this in the future, as well as more emphasis on things such as plant-based dyes and biodegradable lace.
Lastly, I thought that 2022 might see another well-known brand or celebrity enter the lingerie industry. Danielle Bernstein’s We Wore What did launch underwear and loungewear, and there are rumours that Adele may be launching a fashion line that includes lingerie. But it’s just part of a wider trademark application at the moment, so we’ll have to wait and see!
Five lingerie trend predictions for 2023
1. More innovation from period lingerie brands
Period lingerie is a hot topic, and not purely for good reasons; the New York Times recently published a piece on PFAS in some brands’ period underwear. However, I don’t believe that’s going to stop it from continuing to grow as a market sector. There are brands without these chemicals in their products, and period lingerie as a whole is very tied in with the topic of sustainable clothing which is only becoming ever-more relevant and sought after.
What I do think we’ll see, due to there now being a ton of period knicker options around, is a lot more innovation from new and existing brands as they all try to differentiate themselves and offer something their competitors don’t. That could be in terms of aesthetic design with more lace, prints, and creative silhouettes being launched. It could be by doubling down on the sustainability angle to use more natural or recycled materials. Or it could be in terms of moving beyond just briefs to offer period swimwear, absorbent nursing bras, and leak-proof athleicwear, all of which a small handful of brands are already doing. Perhaps also more matching bras for those who like to wear a set?
2022 may have been all about vibrant colour in general, but I think one lingerie colour in particular will stick out above the rest this year: powerful pink. This fun fuchsia hue has been all over the catwalks lately, and it has definitely translated over to the lingerie niche of the fashion industry too. Everyone from budget brands to ultra-luxe ones are currently loving this punchy colour.
It’s not a brand new trend since there was already quite a bit of it around last year, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of it yet – especially since the Margot Robbie Barbie film has yet to even be released, and Pantone has named the slightly darker, raspberry-toned Viva Magenta 2023’s colour of the year!
3. 1980s-esque teddies
This is a very specific silhouette I’ve been seeing around more and more frequently lately: a relaxed teddy, often done in a satin fabric, with a V shaped bottom that would be a very high legline if it weren’t for the fun fluted hems partially covering the hips. See also Maguy de Chadirac’s high- and loose-hipped silk teddies. It’s very reminicient of designs popular in the eighties; in fact, the example below by recently-relaunched brand Lucy Jones is taken straight from her 1980s archives.
If this does take off in a bigger way, some designers will likely also translate this general shape to other garments too, as Agent Provocateur recently did with the Moore brief* and suspender*.
4. The return of the ultra-low hipster
This one’s more of an off-the-cuff trend prediction rather than something I’ve actually noticed brands doing already. Some time ago, I was looking through lingerie pictures I’d saved to my laptop in 2010/2011, and was struck by just how low-waisted many of the knickers and suspender belts were. They were like that a few years earlier in the mid-2000s too. We’re currently living in the era of the high-waisted knicker, but no fashion trend lasts forever and old ones usually circle back so… could ultra-low hipsters be on their way back in?
I think they might be, and the reason is because we’re seeing a lot of other Y2K stuff become ‘cool’ again. Micro mini skirts are also back, many of them low-hipped, and a hip bone-revealing garment naturally calls for equally low-rise underwear to go along with it. Well, it’s either that or ‘whale tails’, which are starting to appear again but that’s not going to be a trend everyone will want to participate in.
To be clear, I don’t think big knickers are going anywhere just yet, but I’m predicting a gradual resurgence of notably low-rise designs too.
5. More adjustable bra bands
This is a micro-trend that has been building for a while now: bras with adjustable elastic backs in place of a solid band. Not only is the ‘strappy’ look still very popular, but due to bra sister sizing rules, it means one bra can fit multiple sizes such as 32D, 34C and 36B. This in turn means brands can get away with making far fewer sizes while still catering to the same variety of bodies.
Some of the lingerie brands utilising this technique already are Karolina Laskowska, Bordelle, Studio Pia, Edge o’ Beyond, Posie, Fréolic London, E.L.F. Zhou London, Thistle & Spire and most recently, Nubian Skin in their SS22 collection.
You may notice that these are mostly small, luxury brands. This isn’t the kind of trend that I expect to see adopted by the ‘big’ lingerie names of the world, who can afford to produce each style in dozens of sizes. But for independent makers and smaller brands, it offers a relatively easy way to expand their size range and greatly reduce production costs. So, I can only see it becoming more common.
There you have my top lingerie trend predictions for 2023. A few others I’m going to throw in here at the end are a continuation of the underwired bandeau bra trend I wrote about in October, more focus on interesting back details (especially large panels of embroidery à la Honey Birdette Daisy and Thistle & Spire Abielle), many more brands choosing to use recycled fabrics, and finally, although men’s underwear isn’t a topic I cover or even follow, I have noticed a shift towards lingerie brands making fancier options for men too (such as the new lace collection at Foxers and some upcoming embroidered ones by Aubade, seen in this article).
What are your thoughts on these new 2023 lingerie trend predictions? Are there any others you think should be on this list?