2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on lingerie for office looks, but you may also want to check out our most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.
Here’s something we haven’t talked about in far too long: what’s your favorite lingerie for office looks? Which are your favorite bras, panties, slips, and other unmentionables to wear with work outfits? What’s your go-to lingerie for work? How much does your office lingerie differ from your weekend lingerie? (And, does anyone organize them as neatly as this lingerie drawer organizer, pictured, available at Amazon for $13?)
For my $.02, these are general guidelines for the best lingerie for office looks:
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- The best lingerie for the office is unobtrusive — I’ve always preferred simple t-shirt bras, with no seams or lace. (To be honest the seams bug me more than the lace!) Some women would put “light padding” in the list of requirements for office lingerie, so as to hide any “headlights” — but I say know yourself.
- Go simple for any lingerie that might be seen (such as a camisole you’re wearing to raise the neckline of something), you want it to be simple — avoid mesh, lace, and other boudoir influences.
- Fit is key! Regarding bras: at no point during the day should you have what I call “the quad boob look” — if your bra is cutting into you so it looks like you have four breasts, odds are good your bra is too tight. Keep in mind that most of your support should be coming from the band, not the straps — know also that if your straps keep falling off your shoulders you can either get them tailored or even buy lingerie just for petite women. (See more tips regarding fit in our post with style tips for busty women.) Regarding panties: yes, your panties can be too tight, and no, it isn’t a good look.
2020 Update: Looking for the most comfortable bras for working from home? These are some of my favorites, as noted in our roundup of the most comfortable bras for working from home:
Some of my personal favorite lingerie:
- For bras (as a woman with a large cup size and relatively small band size):
- For regular office looks: Fantasie, Natori, or Freya
- For date nights: Curvy Kate or a Cleo by Panache demi cup/balconnet style
- For comfort/weekends: Natori Comfort or Unbelievabra
- For workout: Freya, Panache, or Enell
- For sleep: As I mentioned in our discussion on pajamas for grown-ups, I like to wear a comfortable bra for sleep — my current favorites are Ahh By Rhonda Shear Women’s Seamless Leisure Bra or, honestly, any yoga sports bra (like this one or this one)
- For panties: Readers have turned me on to Soma Intimates for when I want a no-VPL look; otherwise I tend to prefer 100% cotton underwear — Aerie has a great selection of 100% cotton underwear; Jockey Elance is also very comfy if a bit mumsy. (If you for whatever reason what organic cotton underwear, note that H&M’s Conscious & Sustainable line has affordable options for women.)
- For shapewear: My tummy is the primary thing I want to, uh, reshape, so everything kind of revolves around that — I wear a lot of Spanx Higher Power tights and shorts, Yummie Tummy camisoles, open-bust bodysuits from Spanx and TC Fine Intimates — if I’m more interested in comfort than shaping I wear Jockey Slipshorts beneath dresses in the summer.
Readers, let’s hear from you — what’s your favorite lingerie for office looks? What is your favorite lingerie in general these days? Here’s an easy thing to cut and paste, if you care to play along:
- Regular/office looks
- (Sleep, if you wear a bra for sleep):
Psst: In the past, we’ve talked about the best underwear for eliminating VPL, shared tips for bra care as well as workwear style tips for busty women, and of course wrote the Guide to Pantyhose for Work.