Lingerie is having a moment and is set to grow by 11.4% between 2016 and 2021 to top £3BN according to Mintel.

Some of this is created by new trends and also “The Lipstick Effect”, which is that in harder economic times lower priced items are purchased.

I’m going to look at some macro trends in the industry and also some pointers about what retailers and brands should be doing to connect with their customer.



Image Credit – Heist

Shapewear increased by 143% in 2018 with high waisted knickers and smoothing slips

Brands such as Heist are making shapewear look more fashionable, more comfortable and less restrictive, with a reduced risk of those Bridget Jones moments.

Also, Kim Kardashian has announced that she will be launching a shapewear range which was going to be called “kimono” but  will now be branded  Solutionwear.

Bralets & Non Wired Styles

Bralet sales will continue to sell well whilst push up bras stagnate. Many consumers are wearing bralets as outerwear.

Additional non-wired styles are being introduced that still offer support

Bigger Briefs

M&S have 27% of the UK market share and Last year they sold a whopping 13 million full briefs knocking thongs off the top spot, potentially influenced  by the Kardashian effect.


Image Credit – Vanessa Beecroft

“Nude is the new black”, inclusivity has created increased ranges of nude colours, it’s not just happening in beauty, several new nude shades are being introduced by brands such target and Savage X Fenty. Sales of Nude lingerie items were up 101% from January to March 2018.


Comfort is not new as its  one of the key factors people consider when purchasing, however, there is more of a focus on fabrics that  have the technology that offers comfort,  support and fit.


Several retailers are making dedicated pledges to sustainability with regards to fabrics and business practices. M&S have now said that they have teamed up with the Better cotton initiative and  100% of their cotton is now sustainably sourced.  

Lingerie is mainly made up of cotton and/or  polyester so recycled polyester will also be a key focus for retailers

Body Confidence

Image credit – Cosmopoliton

The increase of plus-size bloggers and influencers and the inclusion of plus-size models in campaigns has more people focusing on lingerie and looking and feeling great.

Selling  & Customer Experience  Guidelines

As a customer when shopping for Lingerie sometimes it can look like a sea of predominately white bras to break that up and improve the experience here are some pointers.


If you can, offer a bra fit service, if this is not possible or if you are an online-only retailer create a simple fit guide that can be displayed near the department on the shop floor. Also, as an online retailer think about adding a fitting video. The Next bra fit guide is very easy to understand


Image Credit – Nicole Higgins

Break up the display with visuals of the product and how it fits and what that fit does for their shape M&S do this well and Sainsbury’s have also added their online fit reviews to their in-store displays image which reinforces the authenticity of the brand and their product.

Packaging /Promotion

Make sure your products have the right amount of information, include price, size availability and be very clear what the product does for the consumer.

Digital & Online

Create a community and create more visible content.

 I love what Bravissimo do, they have a really engaged customer base who send in images in their swimwear and lingerie looking fabulous and confident which they then post alongside motivational quotes.

They also provide customers with “boost points” which is a loyalty system.

Another one to note is independent retailer Mish in Cornwall who have a good offering and have are very connected with their customer.


Image Credit – Oxfam

Introduce a take-back scheme for old bras. Oxfam & Smalls for all donate gently worn bras to women in third world countries and for bras which are worse for wear the charity organises it to be recycled.

Well, that about covers it from me for now.

If you are a lingerie Brand or are thinking about starting your own business why not book a strategy session to see how I can help you achieve success.