That’s a match: How to Make Mismatched Underwear Still Look Sexy
“Lingerie is our foundation for how we dress ourselves to face the world and it should make us feel sexy and confident whether it’s an obvious match or not.”
By Michelle Broomes, Lingerie Consultant & Freelance Journalist
Lingerie featured: Stella McCartney AW12
Few things are sexier than a well-fitting bra and matching briefs on a woman’s silhouette. The expansion of the lingerie design and manufacturing industries has ensured that many bras and other lingerie items come with matching accessories that women can wear together to create eye-catching outcomes.
Yet, research from last year suggests that less than ten per cent of British women were wearing matching undies daily.
But is it really a necessity to wear exact matching undies every single day?
Despite her view that matching lingerie can be a good way for a woman to inject self-confidence into her day, Kendall’s response to this question is more appeasing.
“I don’t believe that it is essential to wear matching lingerie every day, and there can even be good reason for not doing so,” says Kendall.
“I personally believe that most women mismatch their lingerie for functional purposes.” Kendall explains that a woman’s choice to wear mismatched pieces might simply be based on what is practical at the time, depending on her outerwear and therefore comes down to, “whatever the outfit requires to create a polished, finished look.”
Whatever the reason for not wearing matching underwear, it doesn’t mean that we should just throw any old pieces together and pray that there’s no situation in which we have to expose the unlikely pair. Lingerie is our foundation for how we dress ourselves to face the world and it should make us feel sexy and confident whether it’s an obvious match or not.
Mismatched Lingerie Tips
Keep the pieces clean and tidy
Holes and stains in your bra and briefs do not count as a match. Mismatched doesn’t have to mean mistreated.
Make sure the pieces are the right size
Ill-fitting underwear detracts from its appeal. Have a professional fit if you don’t know how to fit yourself into a good bra. Try briefs, if possible, before you leave the shop to ensure they fit. You don’t want to be stuck wearing briefs that are too big or too small because you couldn’t return them.
Consider Sexy Shapes
You don’t have to change the shapes and styles of your underwear if you are comfortable with them but choosing sexier styles can add some oomph to your mismatched goodies. Plunge, demi cup and balconette bras can show of your best assets and give good shape to your bust. Shorts and thongs can look playful down below (but only if you can carry off these styles). Even if you need control pants, some do come as thongs.
Play with themes if you know how to do so sensibly
If you know how to work fashion trends and themes play around with them when putting your underwear together.
“From an editorial and personal point of view I find that mismatched lingerie can really work providing you stick to certain rules,” advises lingerie stylist, Tamar Kendall. “For example, I always stick to a key look or theme. If I am colour blocking my lingerie I may choose a cerise knicker [panty] and a turquoise bra for a jewel hue effect. I may also go for a nautical ‘spots and stripes’ theme in a navy sailor stripe bra and navy polka dot brief.”
Pay attention to colours and textures
If you keep similar fabrics and colours together you can still look as though you put some thought into making your underwear look co-ordinated and sexy. “You can keep it really simple by teaming all sheer blacks or all powder pink pretties together. It’s quite a fun way to style your lingerie and a great opportunity to get creative,” says Kendall.
Identify colour trends when working with multi-coloured pieces
If you have the odd pair of multi-coloured briefs, try to find a bra in your drawer that closely matches a colour (preferably the dominant colour) in that pair of briefs (and vice versa). This is quite a playful option and can bring many odd bits in your drawer back into circulation.
Keep your bottom in neutral gear
To make life simple, especially if you don’t know how to colour block (and couldn’t care less) wear your bottoms in a neutral colour (a colour that would hardly clash with a brighter one). Neutral colours include beige, brown, grey, black and white. Although research suggests that the majority of British women prefer white briefs, neutral panties that are a close match to your skin colour should better complement a more colourful bra. Maybe you might want to do the reverse and make your bra neutral depending on your outfit but beware that colourful bottoms can show through your skirt or trousers. Keeping the briefs neutral might be the safer option.
So there you have it. No excuses for wearing unattractive underwear because you might not have a matching pair. While nothing beats a sexy lingerie set, creatively paired mismatches are a close second. Why don’t you use these rules to create your own sexy pick ‘n’ mix?
Name: Michelle Broomes aka Shelly
Bra size: bigger than you’d imagine!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Favourite lingerie brands: Panache, Bravissimo, Curvy Kate, Freya. These, in my opinion, are built to carry weight.
Bio: In my early years I was always known to be an “academic” because I was good at the books and always got really good grades in school. I’d never been really good at anything practical until I became a lingerie fitter. Now I talk about lingerie nearly all the time and -ask my hubby- I am a fierce critique of bras and the like. Throw in matching knickers, jewellery and heels and I’m in lingerie heaven.
Lingerie philosophy: Well fitting lingerie is always sexy even if it’s from the bargain bin!