Sexy Indie Lingerie, Regardless Of 'Fifty Shades'

by Sonya Mann

As everybody and their mother knows — especially their mother — the Fifty Shades of Grey movie came out this weekend, premiering on Valentine's Day. Maybe you dashed into the theater, eager for the previews to end and the spanking to start. Maybe you boycotted. Personally, I stayed home and listened to The Weeknd's song for the soundtrack, "Earned It." I don't care how you spent Friday or Saturday night, but I do care that you're well-dressed during your subsequent activities. C'mon, you know what I mean by "subsequent activities" — BDSM is in the air and everyone is contemplating hanky-panky. Everyone and their mother. Especially their mother. (It bears repeating! Hooray for middle-aged women embracing their sexualities and proving that they're powerful consumers! But "boo" for choosing a semi-creepy book over all the good erotica of the world!)

Whether or not you intend to embrace kink, it's worth surveying the lingerie options out there. Better yet, spruce up the underwear drawer for your own sake! I suggest considering beautiful handmade lingerie from independent ateliers — save up to splurge even if you buy most of your panties in nine-packs from Target. (Right there with ya.) If we don't support small businesses, especially those run by artists, they will cease to exist! But browsing the options is a delight of its own: So much lace and satin and even organic cotton!

The Odile Soft Bra And Brief Set, $125,

Unfortunately, before I can dive into luxe lingerie, I have to rehash disclaimers about well-known sucky aspects of the clothing industry. First complaint: Plus-size women get shafted. Almost all lingerie models are thin (not to mention white). Most of the artisans featured in this article make lingerie to order, based on your specific measurements, but they don't bother to recruit any fat babes for product photos, which is not a good sign. Luckily, there are resources ranging from empowering Bustle articles to The Lingerie Addict, a premium blog for satin-loving ladies of all sorts. Some large retailers have stepped up: ModCloth does pretty well when it comes to serving larger shoppers.

Plus-size women aren't the only ones neglected by most stores, even the web-based ones. Trans women have equal difficulties finding lingerie that fits their bodies, let alone lingerie that fits and is affordable! The Lingerie Addict has an article on the topic, as does veteran queer website Autostraddle. (If you know of lingerie ventures that aim to serve trans women, besides Chrysalis, please get in touch so I can write about them!)

With all that said, let's look at some pretty bras and panties.

I particularly enjoy this because it's like, "Yeah, I hang out with my cat in my fancy underwear. What the heck else would I do?" The criss-cross bra detail is gorgeous. In general, while curating this feature, I looked for interesting design details. (And, I'll admit, anything that hit my femme buttons.)

Kelly Lingerie Set, $94,

Speaking of femme buttons! Lavender is a lovely color for fetish-wear. I've always been a bigger fan of pastel, floral, cutesy lingerie than the versions in whip-cracking black. Although...

The Louise Harness, $18,

I can see Lisbeth Salander wearing that getup, can't you? Cyberpunk and slightly scary. The concept of thigh suspenders is both slightly dorky and totally sexy. Not a bad combination to carry into the bedroom!

Suspender Thigh Strap Garter Hipster Lingerie, $30,

I demand MORE CUTOUTS! And more tiny heart polka-dots!

Sheer Panties, $32,

Are you adventurous enough to wear latex? I probably would be if I weren't addicted to comfort and also too lazy to deal with the upkeep. I think dry-cleaning is a hilarious joke so there's no way I'm going to wear something I have to use talcum powder to put on. It looks really cool, though! Shiny!

Vintage Frills Latex Lingerie Set, $175,

"This is not a drill. Funfetti panties are go, I repeat, go. Do you copy?" The perfect pair for a birthday bash — much better, even, than your birthday suit!

Rainbow Cake Panties, $48,

This is one of those Etsy items that I periodically lust over. For all my talk of splurging, I can't bear to spend $148 on delicate clothes that I would inevitably toss in the washing machine. I don't wear bras, anyway. But my lizard brain, or whatever the structure is that deals with painful desires for beautiful garments, doesn't care about the practical considerations.

Sexy Lingerie Set Black and Gold Sparkle, $148,

Honorable mention goes to Bullets and Bees Boutique for awesome Ryan Gosling panties. ("Hey girl," he says sweetly, talking to you in the mirror from the vantage point of your own crotch.) Vintage-lovers should check out 58 Petticoats, which sells — shocker — a lot of petticoats, among other items. Aaand that's it. May your week be blessed by lace exactly as sexy as you want it to be.

Images: Courtesy Brands