Chantelle, La Perla, Free People, Handmade by Elma, For Love and Lemons and Clo Intimo are lingerie brands I constantly look at for inspiration. I could scroll for daaays on Pinterest staring admiring what they make. So beautiful. My newest obsession though is a little different. The designs are more bare bones, but that doesn’t mean they’re less considered. Have you heard of Negative Underwear? Similar to what Calvin Klein did, they’re changing the lingerie game in a good way.
Just a little history on how the brand came about – Marissa Vosper and Lauren Scwabb were a freshman in college at UPenn when they first met. About five years into the working world, they put their thinking caps on to solve a dilemma almost every woman has – underwear that sucks or underwear that’s so fancy, there is no reason to wear it. With no design background, they began taking classes at FIT and spent time in lingerie shops trying on bras and undies, assessing what worked and what didn’t. They eventually came out with a clean-lined, minimalist collection that didn’t push women into sizes they weren’t, but celebrated their chests as is.
What I admire most about their brand is their focused aesthetic. Lingerie is so personal, and as I grow my bra making hobby, skills and business, there is one thing that is very important I do, and that is to define what my bra making is all about. Will Madalynne bras be chichi or more unadorned? I receive a lot of requests to make bras for larger chested women – F, G and I cups. I might get flack for saying/writing this, but I don’t think my designs would work in those sizes either. Totally okay because I believe the same to be true for the opposite. Some bras designs wouldn’t work on my small frame. Merckwaerdigh came out with a pattern that was only for cup sizes E, F and G. If she did that for the reason stated above, I respect that. She may have lost sales, but she ensured that her designs would be worn by the woman she designed them for. When I made Mallori Lane, I only offered it in limited sizes because one, it was free, and two, I wouldn’t work on an E, F or G cup.
I feel as though my purpose in the lingerie world is to serve small chested women. I’m small chested and have struggled to find and feel good in lingerie that I can wear every day, and I want to provide others like me with patterns and bespoke pieces that work for their small frame. It would be easy to make many styles for all types of women, it would be more profitable too, but right now, I want to stay focused just like Negative Underwear. That’s not to say that will always be the case. Maybe as I get more experience, I’ll serve a wider range of women.
Do you believe that for lingerie, there are “right” styles for smaller chested and there are “right” styles for larger chested women? Is there a silhouette that’s universally flattering? Tell me in the comments below and feel free to include links to bras you’ve seen around the web! The only “perfect” bra that comes to my mind is Watson. Amy did such a good job on that pattern.