Once upon a time, underwear for older women meant massive knickers pulled up under bosoms which were strapped down with a bra that more closely resembled a feat of engineering than an item of clothing.
Knickers were meant to be functional and cover up as much as possible, and women of a certain age were certainly not meant to be rolling around in silky scraps of lace; after all we’d have no need for it.
Thankfully, the last few years have marked a revolution in debunking the notion that us older women don’t need anything sensual.
There’s always room for a great pair of Spanx, but I’m sharing my favourite underwear revolutionaries; the underwear brands that have realised that we not only want, we need underwear that celebrates us and lets us feel sexy and womanly, as well as flattering our forms.
In 2013, after years of struggling to find bras that were the right fit, Heidi Zak left her job at Google to create inclusive lingerie line ThirdLove, alongside designer Ra'el Cohen.
Why I love it: There are 74 standard and half sizes and they champion diversity across their site. Browse here
I first discovered this brand in 2017 when their beautiful campaign featuring an older model shot by Harry Were went viral.
The photos were a huge leap forward in the industry because, while they still captured the beautiful, dreamy images usually used for high-class lingerie brands, the models were all over 50 and they were not airbrushed.
Why I love it: The range is genuinely sexy but cut generously and the fabrics are beautiful. Browse here
Coco de Mer
Okay, so I’ll admit I’ve always been a bit of a fan of this most sexy of sexy knicker brands, but it really won my heart when just three months shy of her 50th birthday they featured Pamela Anderson as their model.
They didn’t overdo the blonde bombshell connection, but the images were the epitome of va va voom, showing that you don’t need to be a 21-year-old ingénue to look and feel gorgeous.
Why I love it: This is date-night essential underwear. Perfect for knocking the socks off someone special and not made to keep under wraps. Browse here
Known for choosing the most flawless of beautiful people for his underwear shoots, Calvin made history when he put 73-year-old Lauren Hutton front and centre for his campaign.
Interesting because it wasn’t overtly sexual but normalised the idea of women of all ages being interested in issues like seamless lines and perfect fits. Plus, Lauren rocked her nude bra with the best of them.
Why I love it: Because sometimes we don’t want frivolous frippery but underwear that looks sexy while still being functional. Browse here
Recently launched in the UK and making huge waves are all age inclusivity pioneers Aerie. About as far from Victoria’s Secret as it’s possible to get, they showcase real bodies of all shapes, sizes and ages wearing their undies.
Super refreshing and really high quality in a massive range of styles.
Why I love it: I predict Aerie will become our ‘underwear brand of choice’ in the next few years as we appreciate seeing their products modelled on bodies that more closely resemble our own. Browse here