With shopping from home on the rise, it’s become increasingly difficult to find intimates that feel just right, both in terms of fit and style. But for non-straight-sized bodies, this frustration is not new. Even when in-person shopping was possible, searching for a plus size could be a humiliating and exhausting experience, while people with disabilities were lucky if the store was accessible.
With the global market for adaptive clothing predicted to surpass a value of $392 billion by 2026, and the average American woman now a plus size, the lingerie industry is finally waking up. From Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty proudly embracing plus sizes to Aerie’s “Revolution is Inclusion” initiative showcasing Paralympians—major retailers are realizing consumers want to feel empowered by seeing models that look like them and buying lingerie that actually fits. Meanwhile the number of smaller brands filling the void of body inclusive lingerie continues to grow, expanding the options for every shape, size and identity.
Celebrating a holiday that is all about pleasure while quarantining at home could not be a better time for a boost of confidence. From side-fastening underwear to bras for reconstructed chests; convenient period-free underwear to supportive plus-size garters, these brands have something sexy and supportive for everyone this Valentine’s Day.
Witnessing her sister struggle to put on her own underwear after an emergency C-section inspired Helya Mohammadian to create a brand that could restore dignity to women who’ve lost independence in their daily routines. So she created side-fastening underwear that can be easily put on or taken off while sitting, standing or laying down. Available in black, beige and white, in a variety of cuts, all the styles are moisture-wicking, anti-microbial and include a 100% cotton lining, making them breathable and super soft.
Known for collaborating with body-positive crusaders like fashion blogger Gabi Fresh, this UK-based brand is leading the charge in sexy, inclusive intimates with bras ranging from 28DD to 44H and underwear sizes up to U.S. 26. Whether you’re seeking a satin corset, lacy garters or quirky “knickers”, Playful Promises has something sexy for every plus-size. Their recently released collection created with Dita Von Teese delivers vintage burlesque-inspired pieces just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Aerie has been championing body inclusivity in the fashion industry ever since launching their #AerieREAL campaign in 2014, when they defiantly committed to replacing models with real women and ditching the airbrush for good. Now, women of all sizes and abilities are the face of the brand, including empowering role models like Beanie Feldstein and Ali Stroker. But they live out their values too, making their collections more inclusive, with UV-protective fabrics, innovative designs for post-surgical support and Slick Chicks adaptive underwear. Whether looking for comfy loungewear for a friend or a lacy plus-sized bralette, their Valentine’s Day Gift Guide has you covered.
With over 80 bra sizes, created using real women’s measurements instead of size templates, and educational resources like a breast shape dictionary and thorough fitting guide, ThirdLove delivers a hassle and humiliation-free lingerie shopping experience. Recognizing that all breasts are different, their bras are available in half-cup sizes and are made with memory foam, to conform to each chest’s unique shape. Their breathable underwear ranges from size XS to 3X and comes in a variety of styles and colors—from lacy floral high rise briefs to 100% cotton thongs that wear like a second skin.
Founded by a breast cancer survivor, this intimates and loungewear brand is a go-to for anyone who struggles to find the right bra. Whether you have a large or flat chest, one breast or none, AnaOno has a bra for every type of chest with features like removable cups and convertible straps. Women who’ve recently undergone breast surgery will appreciate the customizable, front-closing Rora Front Pocket Mastectomy Bra, voted the best post-mastectomy bra by InStyle magazine. While the wireless, wrap-front Susan Sexy Lace Bra is a comfortable-yet-sexy Valentine’s pick for reconstructed chests.
Fleur du Mal
With playful touches—think, silk blindfolds and bows—and indulgent fabrics like velvet and fine French Leavers lace, Fleur du Mal is an obvious choice for plus-sized lingerie that makes an impression this Valentine’s Day. The essentiels collection will appeal to those seeking practicality. But for a statement gift, look to their four-piece collection designed in collaboration with plus-sized model Precious Lee, which features embroidered satin and adjustable silk straps in sizes ranging from 36DD to 44G and U.S. 14 to U.S. 24.
Saalt is challenging the stigma around menstruation and making sustainable period care more accessible with their reusable period underwear. Whether you have a light, medium or heavy flow, you’ll never need a pad or tampon thanks to the moisture-wicking, leakproof material. Designed in Paris with silky smooth fabric and breathable chic mesh, the underwear isn’t just practical, it’s stylish too. Available in a variety of soft neutrals, like Quartz Blush and Glacier Turquoise, they’re the perfect gift for the special someone in your life who cares about convenience, comfort and the planet.
With bras, underwear and apparel ranging from size extra small to 6X, this gender-neutral brand takes inclusivity seriously. From period-free panties to temperature-regulating boxer briefs made from sustainable beechwood, their underwear collection is as diverse as it is planet-friendly. Co-founder Fran Dunaway’s frustration trying to find a bra as a breast cancer survivor inspired The Holdster, designed specifically for women recovering from a mastectomy. But they now make a wide variety of bras with adaptive features like zippers, removable pads and crossover design for comfortable support.
Wings side-opening underwear was designed to make dressing in public easy (think, changing without having to take off your shoes in the office bathroom or locker room). While we might be less on-the-go these days, the pop-off design delivers the same liberating convenience even under lockdown. The Monarch and Pearly Eye collections have been popular purchases for women seeking comfort in quarantine, while the lacy Mariposa Bikini and Thong—available in black, pink or red—is a playful pick for Valentine’s Day.
What started as stigma-smashing period-proof underwear in 2013 has since expanded to an extensive collection of inclusive bras, underwear, shapewear and comfortable clothing for lounging and working out. Relying on their own customers as models, Knix promotes inclusivity with bras ranging from 28A to 44G and underwear sizing up to XXXXL. The signature triple-layered period-free underwear is available in a range of absorbencies and styles, and comes in convenient kits for both adults and teenagers. While the leakproof nursing bras, pads and underwear in the postpartum collection make ideal gifts for the new mom.
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