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Best lingerie brands 2022: Best sets for comfort, style and allure

Lingerie is notoriously tricky to get right, so here’s our pick of the best lingerie brands doing it properly

Whether you’re selecting it or wearing it, the word lingerie is enough to inspire fear in the hardiest of people. Too cheap and you can end up looking like a doily, too expensive and you might end up remortgaging your house. Thankfully, recent years have seen the rise of some of the best lingerie brands bursting onto the scene, bringing you the best in affordability, comfort, glamour and everything in between.

Old favourites like Calvin Klein have had a refresh, while direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands such as the influencer-endorsed Lounge have exploded. A steep trend in the self-care and self-love industries has seen independent lingerie brands promote self-gifting, like the ethereally lovely New Zealand-based Lonely Lingerie. Lots of labels are enhancing their sustainability credentials too, with a special shout-out to Instagram favourite Fruity Booty, which makes many of its pieces from surplus fabrics which would otherwise have gone to waste, without scrimping on cute and quirky designs.

When it comes to lingerie in 2022, there’s truly something out there for everyone. Read on for our pick of the best lingerie brands for any style, size and budget.

Best lingerie brands: At a glance

How to choose the best lingerie brand for you

Lingerie is famously tricky. With a seemingly endless range of cuts, cups, colours, fabrics, fits and various other alliterative categories, it can be tough to nail. Our buying guide will walk you through everything you need to know when selecting the best lingerie for you, so there’s no need to balk at the sheer range on offer.

What material should I buy?

Material is a matter of choice, so subjectivity has a big role to play here. In short, it all depends on what look and feel you’re after. Breathable cotton is often dismissed as functional, but it needn’t be. Just head to Calvin Klein for a range of soft, understated elegance, which places emphasis on the curves of the body, rather than detracting from them with gimmicks. Many of its sexier pieces, the triangle bralette, for example, come in a cotton elastane blend comprising 92% cotton and 8% elastane, for a baby soft material that hugs the curves and makes the wearer feel at ease.

Mesh fabrics, meanwhile, offer a tantalising, sheer look. The semi-opaque fabric used in many of Fruity Booty’s sets – like this Daphne-from-Scooby-Doo-esque Mulberry Check set – is made from 85% recycled polyester (the remaining 15% is elastane), so is a good sustainable option compared to brand new cotton, which requires lots of water in its production process.

If you’re after super premium materials, such as silk or satin, they’ll set you back a pretty penny. Pretty, of course, being the operative word: take this Gisele slip from Agent Provocateur, which is 91% silk (and 9% elastane), with a 100% lace trim. At £195 for the short version, and £295 for the full-length version, they’re not cheap, but they certainly won’t feel it either.

What style should I go for?

When it comes to lingerie styles, the sky’s the limit. Even the classic combination of bra and knickers has myriad subsets. With bras, if you’re in the market for supportive but flirtatious, a balcony bra or demi cup bra will do the trick. Meanwhile, bralettes – sans underwire – can be supportive and sexy in equal measure. Hitherto the domain of A-cup wearers only, sizing inclusivity is on the up for these eminently comfortable options.

When it comes to bottoms, options abound from the trusty thong (or a g-string if you’re in the market for but a whisper of material), to the higher coverage bikini brief or Brazilian brief. If you’re feeling adventurous, a suspender belt exudes old-school glamour – Lounge offers them as standard in some sets.

Bodysuits are de rigeur at the moment, such as this elegant version from Agent Provocateur, though be prepared to wrangle with them while slipping into something less comfortable. For ultimate adventure, try a corset – this fully boned woven corset from Agent Provocateur isn’t cheap, but its pared-down design makes it a timeless classic.

How much should I spend?

It’s a falsehood that flattering lingerie has to cost the earth. Millennial and Gen Z brands such as Savage x Fenty and Lounge have dispelled that myth for a while now, offering premium-looking sets that cater to all sizes in the region of £30-£70 for a bra and knickers combo. Spend a little extra and you can often throw in a matching suspender belt and stockings for a showstopping ensemble.

If you’re looking for something a little more upmarket, for an anniversary, big birthday or a wedding, brands such as Agent Provocateur sell sets in the region of £150-£200. That’s not cheap, but hand wash them in cold water and they’ll last for years – plus they look absolutely enchanting for a special occasion.

There’s a happy medium to be found too, in names such as Calvin Klein and boutique brand Fruity Booty. The former sells thongs and briefs in the region of £10-£15, with multi-buy offers as standard and underwire bras starting at £35. Fruity Booty’s funky pieces retail at around £70 for a matching set, but subscribe to its archive for free (just enter your email) and you can find some heavily discounted pieces in the archive sale.

Savage x Fenty: Best lingerie brand for inclusivity

Rihanna’s Saxage x Fenty lingerie line puts inclusivity at the heart of everything it does, with catwalk shows featuring models of all heights, sizes, races, disabilities and, er, stages of gestation (22-year-old model Slick Jacobs gave birth to a son just 14 hours after walking in a Savage x Fenty show). Designs pack a punch, think rainbow and neon hues, gemstones and inventive tailoring. Savage x Fenty runs up to a size 3X and a 46H (in selected styles), making it one of the leaders in size inclusivity.

For lingerie fiends, there’s an Xtra VIP Membership, which gets you 25% off every full-priced style. For this, you’ll pay £50 per month, but only on the months you choose to ‘shop’. This fee gets you VIP member credit to the value of £50, which is loaded into your account to spend or save. The credit can be used on purchases of £50 or more and must be used in full in order to be redeemed. There is no expiry date on credits. If you’re not feeling particularly spendy on a given month, you can skip the month (this must be done by the 5th of each month) and your card won’t be charged. Meanwhile, if you’re someone who shops for lingerie more sporadically, you can still shop without joining the Xtra VIP Membership, simply click on “basic checkout” before completing your buy at checkout.

Some of our favourites include:

Shop Savage x Fenty now

Lonely Lingerie: Best independent lingerie brand

New Zealand-based label Lonely makes lingerie that looks as if it was made for a Sofia Coppola film. Self-care is at the heart of this whimsical brand’s ethos, which self-proclaims it’s for “women who wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves”. The website also sells self-care paraphernalia, including candles and perfume oils.

However, it’s the lingerie itself that steals the show: underwire bras, bralettes and knickers in a range of earthly – or should that be heavenly – colours including Maple, Cornflower, Ivory, Dew, and Seaweed. For lingerie that feels like the warmest of hugs and looks like the most ethereal of dreams, Lonely is a one-stop shop.

Some of our favourites include:

Shop Lonely Lingerie now

Calvin Klein: Best lingerie brand for comfort

There are few sartorial experiences more comforting than slipping on a pair of Calvin briefs and matching bralette. The brand makes underwear that’s smooth, supportive and sturdy without being un-chic. While its sets are great for lounging around the house in, they’re supportive enough to be worn everyday, whether you’re running errands or heading to the office. If bralettes aren’t your thing, sexier styles such as its Plunge Bra don’t forfeit comfort for cuteness, with designs intended to both support and flatter. There’s a reason celebrities from Justin Bieber to the entire Kardashian clan have endorsed Calvin Klein underwear. They’re modern classics.

Some of our favourites include:

Shop Calvin Klein underwear now

Agent Provocateur: Best high-end lingerie brand

Agent Provocateur is the doyenne of truly sumptuous lingerie. The luxury brand has had something of a millennial makeover in recent years, with its 2019 Charli XCX campaign a particular highlight. For what’s considered a racy brand, there are sets that will appeal to everyone, from the vampy Mirabelle to the demure Hinda lines. And one thing Agent Provocateur will always do well is playfulness, whether it’s a Dita Von Teese-esque chain bra or Austin Powers-worthy pom-pom adorned knickers.

Some of our favourites include:

Shop Agent Provocateur now

Lounge: Best D2C brand

Direct-to-consumer brand Lounge offers everything you could want from D2C: fast shipping, frequent sales and a truly gorgeous gift box if you’re buying for a loved one. The label’s forte is range, offering everything from intimate sets in every colour under the sun, to triangle bras and bralettes (as the brand name would suggest, Lounge has no shortage of comfy undies).

The scale and scope of products on offer is so extensive, that if you were looking to raze your underwear collection and start afresh, Lounge would be the perfect one-stop shop for all your needs. A word of warning: be wary of paying full price, as influencer discount codes are in abundant supply, and a liaison with promo code add-on Honey would not go amiss. Lounge has great multi-buy offers too: shoppers can get four thongs or briefs for £30 or eight for £50.

Some of our favourites include:

Shop Lounge underwear now

Fruity Booty: Best lingerie brand for sustainability

Aside from being eminently Instagrammable, London-based Fruity Booty boasts great sustainability credentials. The majority of the label’s pieces are made with excess material that would otherwise have ended up on the cutting room floor and the recommended washing process – cold water is preferable – saves precious energy.

Meanwhile, for those pieces that aren’t fashioned from surplus fabric, the materials used are both local and high-quality, meaning they’re not needlessly shipped in from far-flung destinations. Sustainability is threaded into other aspects of Fruity Booty; it recently introduced a ban on single-use plastic throughout the business, and product packaging is 100% recyclable.

Some of our favourites include:

Shop Fruity Booty now

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