Now that we’ve said goodbye to 2017 by rounding up our favourite bras of 2017, we’re looking ahead to 2018. We’re hoping to delve into more in depth content this year in addition to our reviews, guides and wishlists – bringing our thoughts and feelings on the industry to the plate as well as more editorial style pieces where we can. But don’t worry, our usual reviews won’t be changing – in fact, we’re hoping they’ll be getting even better! We finished 2017 with a joint review and we’ve got at least another 3 coming up in the next few weeks. In addition to that, we plan to branch out – trying new styles and new brands where possible. We’re excited and hope you are too!
So today, we’re talking lingerie trend predictions for 2018. Can we just preface this post with a little disclaimer to say that neither of us are fashion experts, nor do we claim to be. We’re just two people who have an above average love for lingerie so spend more than a little bit of time looking at it. We thought it might be fun to make some predictions of what we think we’ll see (or won’t see!) become popular this year then we can look back and see whether we were right or not at the end.
Every year, Pantone announces a “colour of the year”, and this time they’ve announced it’s Ultra Violet. They’ve described it as:
Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.
Having seen an absolute boom in everything related to unicorns over the past year, I think Ultra Violet is exactly the next step we expected to see in terms of colour. It’s ethereal, mystical and magical, all wrapped up in one shade.
2017 was a difficult year for many, and we sought escape in the areas of our life we could control, such as our purchases. The generation of Millennials is now reaching the stage of life where we’re able to have more control over our purchasing and life decisions, and the decisions they’re making are towards self-care, relaxation and meditation.
2018 will see this trend continue to expand, and Ultra Violet is the perfect shade to sum up the feeling of escape and optimism in times that feel a little dark to many. Ultra Violet is the shade to light the way through to better things.
Mermaids & Mythical Creatures
Tied very closely to the unicorn trend is that of mermaids and other mythical creatures. Again, we’re seeking this trend as a form of escape: the quiet gentility of the sea and the majestic times when mythical creatures might just have been real. Lingerie generally tends to appeal to the subconscious of its connoisseurs more so than outer clothing – it tends to express our inner desires more – so I’m expecting to see people looking inwards over 2018 for inspiration, and the mermaids, ocean-inspired, and mythical creatures fulfil that need.
We’ve seen new brands such as MariLupa launch successfully on the back of this trend, and I think we’ll continue to see everything from sea-scalloped inspired lace to shimmering cool toned emerald and teal hues hit the shelves this year.
Pastels in a new way
In contrast to this, I’m fully expecting to see the usual boom in pastels as we enter spring and summer this year. After a year of pretty horrendous weather – hurricanes, storms, heavy snow and floods – people will be turning to these pretty designs as soon as they can!
Sugary pastels are always going to be a lingerie favourite as they blend easier under clothing and complement so many skin tones. This year, I’m expecting to see them used in new ways rather than just the stereotypical pastel frills. I’m thinking we’re going to see designs that are sleek and sophisticated incorporating pastels in a more grown up way with sheer fabrics, geometric designs and more daring styles.
Further exploration of DD+ and sub-32 band size expansions for luxury brands
For me, this is more of a hope than a prediction, although I do think we’ve seen such a huge expansion of brands offering DD+ sizes and sub-32 bands in the past few years that the industry is almost unrecognisable. When I first starting wearing a 30F/28FF, I found it really difficult to find anything beyond the few bigger brands (Panache, Curvy Kate and Freya) that were offering anything in my size range. Those that we could find were a little…boring, let’s say.
Nowadays, the options are SO much better for DD+ sizes and smaller bands. I completely understand the challenges of designing, manufacturing and selling bras outside the core size range (and maybe one day I’ll write more about this?), but it doesn’t make it a whole lot easier to accept that you just can’t fit into gorgeous designs just by understanding it. Fortunately, there are lots of brands – independents, medium-sized and larger – that are jumping on the bandwagon of beginning to design outside the bra sizing matrix. There are new brands such as Scantilly and Katherine Hamilton above who have launched into this DD+ world, and bigger brands such as Bluebella and New Look who are starting to explore it in a more interesting way.
My hope is that this growth will continue in 2018.
Athletic & Sporty
Sport-inspired fashion has been a trend for a few years now, especially as we’re seeing such a big 90s revival and experiencing a time where people are concerned about their fitness and health. In addition to that, branding such as This Girl Can and the fearless female have spurred women into an era of confidence.
This has been seen in lingerie for a long time in brands like Calvin Klein, but I think we’re likely to see this roll out even further in 2018 with bold and bright block colours that motivate, energise and enthuse alongside sporty fabrics like neoprene, mesh and wide elastics.
Lingerie vs. underwear
I’ve noticed recently that more people are starting to explore lingerie as a form of self-expression where once upon a time people just looked on “lingerie” and “underwear” as two different things. Lingerie nowadays isn’t just something for the bedroom – it can be worn under clothes, peeking out from your layers or even as outerwear. Lingerie is now shown off rather than hidden.
The explosion of bralettes and non-wired bras was huge in 2017 (as we predicted actually!) and I think this will expand further in 2018. Not only will we continue to see bralettes at the top, but we’ll also see people taking more of an interest in other lingerie styles in general – suspender belts and stockings, retro high waisted knickers and lacey longlines.
Velvet & Decadence
As a result of women buying more freeing and luxurious lingerie as opposed to the multipacks of knickers and basic T shirt bras of the past, we’ll start to see people searching for more decadence in their lingerie – luxury lingerie at high street prices.
We saw a boost in velvet lingerie over the Christmas period. This fabric has overtones of opulence and is sumptuous to wear, so I feel that jewel tones in rich succulent reds, shimmering navies and deep greens accented with gold hardware and jacquard fabrics will be the lingerie of choice as we head into AW18.
Strappy and bondage style lingerie has been THE big thing over the past few years, but its decline began last year and I think we won’t be seeing much more of it as a big trend. We saw this really hit the high street and mainstream lingerie with the popularity of Fifty Shades and the trend continued as a result of that.
The trend has moved on and we’re now seeing women feel more comfortable expressing themselves without straps and bold bondage styles – possibly due to the decline of push up bras and cleavage, more natural and free shapes are coming into play. This isn’t to say that these strappy styles will disappear – they’ll always be a favourite in the industry, just not top of the pile any more. The styles we do see in this will be more fashion focused rather than straps added to just any style.