It’s been a rough 2016, y’all.
Between the election, local, national disasters and a depressing 24/7 news cycle, I feel like we’re all just exhausted and depressed. I’ve been increasingly grateful this year that I do get to work in the lingerie industry, which means I get to immerse myself in light and fluffy things that won’t make or break world peace on a daily basis.
With 2017 coming in like a hopefully more cheerful freight train, I thought I’d look back over the definite highlights of the past year if you’re a curvy lingerie or fashion person. Some of these are personal milestones since I can buy bras in my size within the New Orleans city limits now! And some are bigger changes that I believe show the industry moving in a direction that will benefit us all.
So, without further ado, here are some of the big and small things in 2016 lingerie and fashion that have made this year's hellscape more tolerable for me.
The Buttress & Snatch Size Expansion:
The last few years have seen a lot of size increases in the lingerie industry in general. But the one I have personally purchased the most from has been Buttress & Snatch. I have several of their bra sets that I wear on a weekly basis and several more special occasion pieces that I will treasure forever. More and more I feel like this is the lingerie brand that someone would have created just for me. I’m happy that they’ve done so well---mostly so I can keep buying stuff from them!Queen of Hearts Outfit via Buttress & Snatch
An Industry That Is Slowly Embracing More Out Of the Box Tastes:
When you go to Curve or read various trend reports, it’s easy to conclude that the lingerie industry is continuing to grind on with little innovation. I frequently feel that way: so many bras are the same and so many retailers seem averse to any risk-taking or statement making. This year, I’ve been encouraged by seeing some major retailers taking real risks. Quinne’s article for The Lingerie Addict covered some larger companies making statements with prints and patterns that seem like a big step forward. I’m convinced that brands like Only Hearts releasing a print like this mean that the industry as a whole is starting to move forwards and not backward.
My Ability To Buy A Bra In My Size In Orleans Parish:
New Orleans is a lingerie-friendly town, so it’s no surprise that there are a wealth of gorgeous lingerie boutiques in the city. After all, we’re the city that believes that corsets and feather boas constitute appropriate party wear at pretty much any time of the year! Unfortunately, lingerie in larger cup sizes (and larger sizes at all) has been relatively non-existent in the city up until this year.
There are now two boutiques carrying bras in larger cup sizes, which is a huge step forward. Jaci Blue on Magazine St now carries Prima Donna basics in larger cup sizes along with their great range of plus size clothing. Trashy Diva has also stepped up and brought in two brands I love: Tutti Rouge and Scantilly. For the first time, I was able to go down to Magazine St and buy a fabulous lingerie set in a real boutique this year. If you’re in town for vacation, both places are worth checking out.Scantilly Surrender Black Basque via Curvy Kate
Seeing Plus Size Activism in the Lingerie Industry:
The landscape hasn’t changed much within the lingerie industry in the past year, but the way lingerie is treated within the plus size fashion community has. More plus size fashion bloggers and plus size activists are writing about lingerie the way they cover fashion. And it’s created some changes in how much plus size lingerie coverage you see online. The irony here is this means that currently, the fashion community is probably a nicer place for plus size writers and bloggers than the lingerie community. Hopefully, within the next few years, we’ll see plus size activists become authoritative voices within the lingerie community as well as the fashion community. Perhaps the lingerie community can catch up to the inclusivism that the fashion side of things has embraced.
More Size Expansions:
Again, this is an area where fashion is ahead of lingerie, but I’m hoping to see both sides grow in the next few years. I’ve been impressed with all of the lingerie brand expansions (such as Playful Promises, below), but even more impressed with what companies like Kate Spade are doing regarding expanded sizing. More quirky designer sweaters in XXL? Yes, please!Imogen Button Bra DD-G via Playful Promises Emily Curve Embroidered 1920s Chemise via Playful Promises
What changes impressed you most in 2016 lingerie and fashion?