In recent weeks I have been away with two groups of fabulous women, my girlfriends and the new friends I met on the writers retreat and on both occasions the subject of the best underwear for us older women was discussed! Now obviously underwear still comes down to personal preference but it got me thinking about what lingerie really does suit our different body shapes, there are so many different styles and I know I have made mistakes. I have an extensive lingerie drawer but what makes me pick the same styles over and over again every day?!
What I love .... for me personally the best lingerie includes push-up bras, preferably a t-shirt bra, in a soft cotton with classic briefs like bikini panties. I favour 'little knickers' and I will explain why later on. I love a few lace details and have lots of different colours, yes I have white, black and navy but I also wear a lot of red underwear, pink and bright blues. And the most important thing for me, that my lingerie collection only contains matching sets whether that be for everyday wear or a special occasion, I will never wear anything but matching bra and knickers! And never a 5-pack! I prefer to choose individual styles!
I am small, my petite body type does mean I am able to avoid many of the bra buying challenges that women with bigger busts struggle with. At a 32D I am not ever going to relate and would never claim to understand.
Our body changes as we age, with hot flushes, sensitive breasts, loser skin and a bit more support needed, there is a good reason to invest in the best quality underwear we can afford. Quality means more comfort with better support and coverage. Get the shape right and it will pay dividends for your style!
This is a gifted blog post.
Lingerie experts Bare Necessities explain how to choose the perfect lingerie for you ... they advise trying on lots of different styles to find the right bra shape for your body type, we all come in different shapes and sizes and it is important you feel comfortable. Visiting a good lingerie shop is really important if you are unsure, they will have plenty of options for you to try on and will offer to help you by providing a discreet fit service as well as stocking a wide range of sizes and styles. Once you know what suits you and your size then you can order online until you are ready to be measured again.
Check your bra size regularly
Ideally visit a good lingerie shop every 6 months, the average woman will wear six different bra sizes in her lifetime and we can vary throughout our monthly cycle too, or you can learn to self-measure your bra size at home and use this time to do a breast health check too.
You can still wear beautiful lingerie after 50!
Wearing beautiful lingerie is good for us, not only does it provide great coverage and a sleek look but it can make us feel fabulous too! A good fitting bra and perfect panties provide us with the best base on which to build our style and make sure our clothes fit and look amazing. If you are going shopping, make sure you are wearing your favourite underwear so fitting rooms are less daunting, if you know your underwear is doing the best for your shape, it will give you more confidence and your clothes will look better.
Always wear a matching set
Always! No excuses! Make sure your briefs match your bra, even if it isn't a full set, at least make it the same colour - a white bra with black briefs will never look good! A matching set is an instant mood lifter. For everyday keep it simple with a simple organic cotton t-shirt bra and matching seamless panties. On special occasions you can swap to a bra with some lace detailing and some lace panties.
Add colour to your lingerie drawer!
Yes white, black or nude have their place in any knicker drawer but why not embrace colour? There are so many beautiful options out there, my favourite is red (and did you know that red works really well under a white shirt, it doesn't show, try it).
Find the right colour for your skin tone
Colour analysis isn't just for your outerwear, consider what suits your skin tone and wear the right colour underwear to flatter you, trust me, you'll feel better. Pale complexions suit pastel shades of pink and blue - whereas my slightly tanned skin tone suits red, navy and green and I prefer white to nude or other pale colours.
Cotton underwear for everyday
A simple cotton t-shirt bra works under everything and is perfect for everyday when you are wearing jeans, leggings, shirts and jumpers. In the winter I add a vest camisole to keep warmer. And cotton is good for our skin and our intimate health.
Add sexy lingerie for special occasions
Then go all out for something sexier when you are wearing a fabulous dress! Or just need a boost - if I am feeling a bit fed up I will often put on my favourite red set and even if I am just wearing leggings and a sweatshirt I feel better. I love a lace bodysuit worn under a black tuxedo jacket or leather biker and styled with wide leg trousers.
Visible Panty Line
The dreaded VPL! Check in the mirror to make sure your trousers or skirt are showing a lovely smooth shape. Look for knicker styles that are seamless, obviously there is the thong or g-string but most of us mature women would prefer to leave that style to the younger women! So what are the best brief styles to avoid VPL .. read on!
What are the different brief styles?
High-waist briefs work well under tighter fitting outfits and even better if they are seamless plus many women favour a high waist or 'big knickers' as they feel more comfortable in them, the magic holding you in style you can pull over your tummy. I'd recommend a high-waist style instead of shapewear, which I find is just too restrictive. If I am wearing a tighter dress I love the Cool Comfort Slips from Marks & Spencer, they provide a really smooth line and an extra layer, they are cling resistant and anti-static and especially good if you are wearing something that isn't lined. The full brief from Marie Jo Lingerie is another alternative to match the white set I am wearing.
Brazilian briefs have a cut-away back that covers just the top half of your bottom so they are less revealing than a thong but not quite as much coverage as a bikini brief, they are good for no VPL and can flatter curves and give a little bum lift. I am not keen on the Brazilian brief style personally but they work well for many.
Tanga, this is one of my favourite styles, the tanga knicker, often has a side string, a triangle shape at the front but with some bum coverage, they are a bit more forgiving than a thong.
Bikini briefs have a higher leg, they are very comfortable and good to wear with jeans, I love that they don't dig in so flatter your curves. I am wearing the Daisy Brief from Marie Jo Lingerie and I love this classic bikini style.
The high cut brief a bit like the high-waist brief but they have a higher leg to reveal a bit more skin and give the illusion of a longer leg.
Boy shorts are my least favourite! I think you really need to be an athletic shape to wear them well, I don't think I've even seen a model looking good in them but they are supposed to be comfortable! Not on the sexy list though - apparently some women even find men's boxers comfortable, but this blog post is about comfort and style, feeling sexy and looking amazing, men's boxers are a no no in my opinion!
Seamless underwear can be essential under tight fitting clothes, they now come in lots of the above knicker shapes, they are thin, lightweight and flattering, you don't get the underwear marks on your skin from tight straps and they fit like a second skin. There is lots of choice for both pants and bras, they come in lots of colours too and make a perfect everyday style as well.
My top tips for knickers .... size up, you really don't want a pant that is too tight, it digs into your skin in all the wrong places and just makes any curvier areas a bit too visible, you want knickers to skim in the right places instead. I am a size 10 in clothes but always choose a M or a 12 in knickers! I also prefer a tanga or bikini pant but that is personal choice, I just feel that 'small pants' are more flattering and for me more comfortable, if I pull a high waist brief over my tummy I am sure it makes me look bigger!
And the best knickers for over 50s? I'd recommend the seamless styles but don't rule out trying a bikini pant for something a bit sexier and luxurious! Otherwise I love the Colour Studio Lace Shorts from Marie Jo Lingerie at Bare Necessities, perfect for dresses or jeans, they are seamless, pretty and a little bit sexy and they will mix and match with all the different bra styles from Marie Jo Lingerie.
And what about bra styles?
I am not going to list them all here, there are so many including front fastening, mastectomy, sleep bras, and nursing bras ... but the main styles to consider include:
Balconette - a great choice for bigger boobs, the balonette gives a rounded look with more support but less coverage.
Plunge - sexy, flattering, great for low cut outfits and work well for both bigger and smaller busted ladies.
Full cup - great support, good if you tend to find straps slip off your shoulders, full coverage.
T-Shirt - padded or unpadded with a smooth, seamless line, these do what they say and look great under tight fitting outfits
Strapless - so difficult to get right! I have one strapless bra that works but I've also wasted a lot of money trying them! The one that I do love is the Marie Jo Avero strapless.
Half cup - also known a demi-cup, they give you great shape, especially if you lack volume and need more lift.
Sports bras - best to wear for any activity to avoid bounce, I hate the over the head style, so look for a normal bra fastening option which Marks & Spencer do!
And my favourite bra .... I am currently lusting after the Marie Jo Avero Preformed Plunge Bra - Heart Shape in the Tiny Jade colour, ideal for winter months, but it can be worn as a halter neck too and I just LOVE the daisy detail on all Marie Jo Avero bras!
I am wearing the Marie Jo Avero Collection Push-up Bra and Daisy Briefs from Bare Necessities.
Invest in the best lingerie you can afford
Without a doubt my more expensive, luxury lingerie brand is my favourite to wear. I can see and feel the difference. And it lasts longer. My absolute favourite is Marie Jo Lingerie. I was introduced to this brand a few years ago now by a friend who said how good their strapless bras are. I visited a proper lingerie shop, got measured, and purchased the strapless bra and matching pants and I still have that set. I have added to my selection with different styles and colours and I was delighted when Bare Necessities got in touch about a blog collaboration and I was gifted this gorgeous white set from Marie Jo Lingerie.
Designed to fit perfectly and flatter every figure, Marie Jo Lingerie is timeless. My sets are from the Marie Jo Avero range and I adore the daisy detailing on them. I have three colours, caffe, scarlett and now white. I also have a beautiful royal blue balconette set.
So my advice is to ditch the 'grab a bra scenario when you are in Asda', avoid panic buying online, don't just pick up a '5-pack in M&S' and pair them with any old bra ... (and don't wear mens boxers) no it is time to invest in a bit of 'me time' and visit a lingerie shop in person or get advice from an online lingerie store like Bare Necessities, order a few styles and try them on at home!
I purchased a set from Honey Birdette for my recent photoshoot with FYEO, and OMG it is just beautiful, sexy, stunning, flattering and a proper treat, an investment in me! It is all lace, has pretty drop crystal details and is the prettiest colour too. Another example that good quality lingerie looks and feels so much better.
Bare Necessities stock some amazing brands, as well as Marie Jo Lingerie, check out Prima Donna and Lejaby for example. They also have a fantastic selection of swimwear including Fantasie who offer bra sizes and are comfortable and supportive in a range of stunning prints.
Delivery from Bare Necessities is free if you spend over £100 and as well as their shop in Derby they are also very happy to help with any online queries - you can email Emily if you have any questions.
Can you tell I love beautiful lingerie?
Happy lingerie shopping, let me know if you treat yourself!
Remember you can donate unwanted bras to Smalls for All - a charity who collects underwear for people in need in both the UK and Africa. Find all the details, and the address, here.
Disclaimer: Bare Necessities gifted me the white Marie Jo Lingerie set, I was under no obligation to write a blog post, and all words and opinions are my own.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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