I moved into my dream apartment this past June, except it had one problem: there are no built-in closets. I knew I would have to cut down on my lingerie and clothing collections, but it surprised me how much I felt I could live without when I started analyzing it all.
All of this is to say that I’ve spent more hours this year thinking about the nature of why we own things and how we should maybe own fewer things. I created this best curvy lingerie discoveries list with that mindset: if it made it on here, it represents a line that is doing something genuinely different. Or the brand is excelling in one area where most other competitors are left behind.
If you’re looking to try something new in 2018, any of these curvy lingerie brands are a great place to start.
Best Budget: Playful Promises Curve Lines
I hardly ever buy lingerie that isn’t an everyday bra and panty set, but even I got sucked into the pretty pictures that Playful Promises put out this year. I love their Peek & Beau line, and I had to try it when it was available in something resembling my size. This year, I bought two bra and panty sets and a velvet loungewear set. Their pieces seem way more luxurious than the price point would indicate and are more creatively designed, depending on the collection. Most of the budget lingerie aimed at plus size customers feels low quality, so it’s nice to see a company exploring how a spectacular budget line can look and feel. They’re also expanding into H cup bras next season, which will help more people fit into their styles.
I’m interested to see what 2018 looks like for Playful Promises. Their Gabi Fresh line and their more artistic lines represent two different directions for the brand creatively, so I hope they choose to go with the more unusual pieces rather than triple down on the same black mesh and bondage look that everyone else has already covered. In the meantime, I’ll be voting with my money and picking up the creative pieces that come out.
Best Couture: Marilupa
Marilupa has just launched, but it’s already the company I’m the most excited about for 2018. If the model and some of the design bases look familiar, there's a reason: the lead designer also runs Buttress & Snatch. Marilupa is a new line that will build on the groundbreaking territory that Buttress & Snatch has paved (and continues to pave). And it will provide a real couture option for lingerie collectors of all shapes and sizes. All Marilupa pieces will be produced using small atelier production methods and use some of the best fabrics and trimmings on the market. They will also provide high-end custom work.
What’s most interesting to me is that this brand isn’t merely a more expensive version of Buttress & Snatch. Each piece is inspired more by nature than by pin-up aesthetics---and it’s more risqué. Buttress & Snatch will still produce more standard styles, but it’ll be fantastic to see another quality brand trying something new in the relatively uninhabited plus-size couture market.
Best Indie: Uye Surana
While many indie brands customize a piece or two, very few offer the level of customization that Uye Surana does. They’re known for their bralettes, but they’ll also make custom size stockings and accessories to help you create a complete set. They even make gorgeous slips and loungewear to mix and match with their bralettes and panties!
What sets them apart is their effort to shoot their pieces on models who are not standard plus-size models. We’re used to thinking of plus-size models as a size 6 model who is just tall. But Uye Surana’s models look exactly like the typical plus size lingerie customer. Their lookbooks are full of women who carry weight in their stomachs and arms rather than their hips and backside, giving plus-size customers a realistic look at what various pieces would look like on them.
Best Sleepwear: Bedhead Pajamas
I’ve bought four pairs of Bedhead Pajamas this year, which says something about how great they are. Lots of other pajamas made for plus-sizes just can’t stand up to heavy wearing and washing. The fabric pills or they get thin in the thighs, all of which is disappointing when you just dropped a bunch of money on a soft pair of pajamas. Bedhead Pajamas look great, feel great and continue to hold up over time. Even better, they’re machine washable, so you don’t have to baby them or feel awful if you spill coffee on them in the morning.Dignified Dogs Flannel Classic PJ Set via Bedhead Pajamas
Best Lounge and Sleep Bra: Sugar Candy Bra
I’ve tried a ton of bras in this category over the years with varying results and had pretty firmly settled on the Torrid bralettes before the Sugar Candy bra came out this year. While I love how pretty the Torrid bralettes are, they can’t compete with this wireless bra in the softness and support categories. It’s not glamorous, but it does provide enough to support to wear it to the grocery store without feeling completely awkward! This alone is a significant achievement in a wireless bra that caters to large cup sizes, and which helps justify the $60 price tag. If you’re serious about finding a supremely comfortable wireless bra that provides some actual lift, try this one. My next wish is for this one to come out in a pretty print.
Best Lane Bryant Alternative: Plus Size Déesse Lingerie Collection by Addition Elle
I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the past year about where to get Lane Bryant type lingerie that isn’t Lane Bryant, either because people don’t love the quality or because their pieces just don’t work for them. If this describes you, then check out Addition Elle’s collections (both the Plus Size Déesse and the Ashley Graham offerings). Prices are reasonable, their bras go up to an actual H cup, and sizing is very standardized. They’re also pretty and varied, offering some basics but also some interesting trend-led pieces that won’t break the bank. The quality is also fantastic. I have some styles from several years ago that are still in my rotation.
Best Nordstrom Exclusive: Only Hearts Plus-Size Collection
I’ve wanted Only Hearts to expand into plus-sizes for ages! While they still aren’t offering it on their main website, they have started selling a small collection of pieces through Nordstrom. They aren’t the first brand to try out plus size this way, but they’re the most interesting one. I love their cool yet luxe approach to lingerie that is reminiscent of various French brands like Princesse Tam Tam.Only Hearts One-Shoulder Thong Bodysuit via Nordstrom
Best House Brand: Rosie for Autograph by Marks & Spencer
There are lots of great house brands out there, but Rosie for Autograph wins by making affordable silk pieces for plus sizes. This is the lingerie equivalent of an actual unicorn. The line offers silk loungewear and lingerie, along with some camisoles and robes that are pretty enough to double as outerwear. I haven’t tried them yet, but they’re on my list for this year.
What do you think of this list of best curvy lingerie discoveries of 2017? Are there any you would add? Which of these would you like to add to your lingerie wardrobe?