Underwear is a personal matter. Because generally, we wear clothes in public that cover our undergarments, it stands to reason that our underwear picks should be just for us. But instead, the tension between societal expectations and the male gaze, and comfort has complicated the history of underwear and bras. Luckily, that’s not the only narrative, especially today. Plenty of brands and small businesses are reclaiming the restrictive history of undergarments and making pieces that not only celebrate women, as they are, but also put comfort back at the forefront. Which isn’t to say that you should ditch lace and thongs—if that’s your jam. But you do have options. And some of them are really great. Here a few of our fave brands when it comes to comfy (and sexy) underwear that we actually want to wear.
Newest to the impressive underwear lineup is the newly launches Everlane range. The collection consists of six pieces (4 bottoms, 1 bra and 1 bodysuit) and is made from Supima cotton. As always with this online retailer, there’s plenty of information on the site about the factory and the design process, which outline the brand’s ethical, sustainable approach to all of its wares. If you’re looking for no frills, soft fabric and minimalist styles, this is your pick. You can find us in the tank bra ($22USD) and the hipster bottom ($12USD)—but we may be back for more.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this Toronto favourite namesake brand from Mary Young. One scroll through her Instagram feed and you’ll notice the self-love and acceptance mantra, which is what makes the brand just so damn likable—that and the underwear of course. Using materials like jersey, nylon and mesh, these pieces are great for every day, but they also feel special thanks to detailing like mesh cutouts and strappy additions. On our wish list? The Emery bra ($74) and thong ($48).
Sometimes, you just want lace and sex appeal you know? When we feel that way we head to Fortnight Lingerie. There’s plenty of variety when it comes to style and we love the longline bras and highwaisted briefs in lots of classic colourways. Which is why we’ll be reaching for the Ivy bra ($120) and seamless high waist ($63) on our next purchase.
Negative Underwear is another one that does everyday underwear really well. They offer plenty of function (ahem, support) but the form is simple and beautiful. The result is pieces that give you what you need, while still feeling effortless. Try the Sieve balconette bra ($85) and brief ($45).
Naja has a bigger mission than just making you feel better in your underwear, they also are on a mission to empower women and be eco-conscious. The brand’s garment factory employs women who are paid above market pages and provided with healthcare benefits—as well as school supplies for their children. Our pick is the Aria bra ($45) and Martina low-rise ($25).
Based in Montreal, Ellesmere Lingerie’s atelier creates garments that look and feel luxurious. Inspired by Arctic North, the line is full of interesting patterns and modern silhouettes. These pieces are made as you order them, for a truly bespoke feeling experience. Try the Flora Leatherette Bralette ($90) and high-waist bottoms ($e6).
(Story by Contributing Editor, Alexandra Donaldson)