My Top 5 Places to Buy Cute but Affordable Lingerie

The most common question I see in the lingerie blogosphere is this one: where can I get lingerie that is beautiful, sexy, that comes in my size AND is a reasonable price? And the truth is, this is not an easy question to answer, especially given that the idea of a “reasonable price” varies wildly. With these 5 brands I just want to get you started on places to look for lingerie that won’t break the bank and still keep you looking and feeling sweet and/or sexy. I have tried to post images of pieces that you can get the whole set of (bra, panties, garter belt, etc.) for around $50 or less. I hope this helps on your search for the perfect lingerie and let me know in the comments if you have had good or bad experiences buying from these companies.

ASOS EMMA Lace Applique D+ Bra, $13.26 and ASOS EMMA Lace Applique Brief, $9.11

1. ASOS

What I love about ASOS is their gigantic selection– they have some affordable lingerie and some completely over-the-top luxury pieces. The ASOS brand pieces are of a good quality for the price and manage to be trendy without being unwearable. I’ve ordered from them several times and always had excellent customer service.

2. Topshop

Topshop is ideal if you’re going for young, cute and trendy. I’ve bought a ton of bras and panties from here in the past few years and I’m a big fan. A caveat: they do tend to wear out if you wear them a lot, especially the stretch mesh. I have a ripped a couple of holes in mine by not being careful. They also once lost track of a shipment of lingerie for a month– happily it turned up again.

Kelly Brook Satin Trim Balconette bra £12.99 + High Waisted Briefs £8.99

3. New Look

New Look is another UK high street store that sells some simply adorable lingerie. I am especially fond of the Kelly Brook collection– I have a set from there (Kelly Brook eyelash lace bra + briefs + suspender) and it is cute and comfy and good quality. Only problem is that their fulfillment center must be staffed by morons because I received a pair of briefs 4 sizes larger than I ordered. Luckily now it’s all sorted.

4. Hips and Curves

Hips and Curves specializes in plus size lingerie and I think it’s essential to put it on this list because it can be especially difficult for plus size ladies to find good lingerie. Several of the other retailers do offer a reasonably large range of sizes, but Hips and Curves has a large collection and some fun and pretty pieces that fit all sorts of tastes. They also do costumes! If you’re into that.

Frederick’s of Hollywood Tie Front Bra & Slip Set $39.00

5. Frederick’s of Hollywood

Frederick’s of Hollywood has a reputation for being trashy– and they can be. However, tucked in there among the crotchless panties (which aren’t ALL bad anyways) are plenty of gems (sometimes bearing a striking resemblance to some high end designers). If you’re a little more daring, I would give it a shot– I’ve never been brave enough to give it a try, but it may happen one of these days.

Are there any other places you guys know of and can recommend? Do you think I’ve left out any important resources? I’m always looking for more shops to look for cute and affordable pieces.

21 Comments
  1. I must admit I’m a little surprised all of your five choices are exclusively online companies, unless they do have some retail space in NYC where I assume you are located. I live on the other side of the continent and with the exception of Frederick’s never heard of any of the first four. And frankly, after checking out their websites not sure I actually missed much.

    No offense, but I think that lingerie and any other type of “undergarment” should be tried in person before purchasing, unless you already did that and trust the brand.

    I’m sure different cities have their own favorite lingerie boutiques and specialty stores followers, but since they’re not always accessible to out-of-towners I’ll refrain from mentioning those in my hometown. One national chain I find consistently affordable, comfortable, and often offering great deals is Soma Intimates
    http://www.soma.com/store/home.jsp
    I find their bras to be very comfortable and also very affordable, and if you know when to get their stuff on sale you are likely to find some great deals.

    • After looking at Soma, i feel like you and I are looking for completely different things in lingerie! Soma looked nice, yes, but I feel like what I looked for when I was first trying to buy lingerie was stuff that I couldn’t find in a local retailer, something with more going on than simply all-over lace (lovely as it might be). This list also skews very young! I definitely take no offense at the suggestion that lingerie should be tried on in person, but truthfully, i don’t like the brick-and-mortar experience that much and it so limits your selection.

      • Don’t get me wrong, this is not a “rebuttal argument”. I truly appreciate what you are doing and wish the best to you and all other new comers to the wonderful world of lingerie. This is why I think beginners should start with an “in-person” shopping experience, try few things on to see how they look and feel and also find their right sizes.
        I understand there’s a generational gap here, but I find lots of chains to carry a wide range of inventory that caters to all ages. One such chain is Nordstrom, although they may be too pricy for some. Other,more affordable chains that come to mind where one can often find very affordable bargains, what I call “cheap thrills”, are Macy’s and JC Penney. I know those often come with a generational stigma but trust me, you can find lots of trendy stuff in there as well.

        And please be aware that I intentionally mentioned chains that are all over the US and are easily accessible to most readers. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out the independent specialty stores in your area,I just don’t know them.

        Another thing to keep in mind is that many online companies that offer lingerie for surprisingly low prices often sell you poor quality and out of size merchandise. As for Frederick’s, which you mentioned in your initial post, I’m not sure their stuff can be regarded as everyday use due to quality issues. They still have some interesting “playwear” though…

      • Hey, don’t worry, I love to talk about lingerie :). You are definitely right about quality and getting yourself sized right– I feel like this list is not so much about a beginner list (a la The Lingerie Addict’s recent post) but more about when you want to start experimenting without having to invest huge amounts of money– in which case playwear is very appropriate :). I think I may need to make my title extremely long to reflect that…

  2. I buy my lingerie and indeed most of my clothes almost exclusively online. It takes trial and error, and some natural savviness, but once you get the hang of it you’ll find yourself with a useful skill for this era of the internet. I don’t see the necessity of trying something on in person, except for if you don’t have the patience to wait for the (three-seven) day shipping to see if you like the fit (in *most* cases, the sizing will be accurate, it’s the fit that can be a deal breaker), if you’re under time constraints, or if you actually do have a lovely range of shops in your immediate (5-15 minutes) area. To me, it’s essentially the same experience (maybe better, if the stores you go to have poor customer service), just over a longer period of time. You still try the item on, assess the fit, and return it if you dislike it.

    I prefer online stores because, but not limited to: a wider, more instant selection (I can have a color and fabric looked up to see if it’s available in an appealing style, instead of wasting my time); in most cases there are readily available customer reviews (and being able to use a search engine to find additional off-site reviews); the best price (sales price, plus coupon codes if available).

    It’s not that daunting a task, and I’ve done it enough times and become familiar with the way most brands lean that I rarely get my price wrong. When I do, I make an exchange- just as I would at a physical store.

    I’m a bit surprised at Frederick’s having a trashy reputation (maybe a poorly executed PR campaign?), mostly because I have seen the beautiful vintage pieces that they used to sell. You’ll usually find at least once to five pieces that harken back to that era, especially the lingerie.

    ASOS of course doesn’t usually work for me lingerie-wise. They don’t carry my bra size, and most of the bottoms aren’t appealing to me. What I do adore about them is their FREE shipping and FREE returns. As someone located in the USA, this is a luxury.

  3. Pingback: Lingerie Androgyny? When Lingerie Doesn’t Mean Femininity « The Lingerie Lesbian

  4. I know this sounds a little weird, but I shop Amazon for lingerie! The selection is quite vast and you can search a whole bunch of different ways. When you find a brand or retailer you like, just drop by their storefront.

    • Ooh, good tip! I’ll keep that in mind next time I’m looking around. I have searched amazon when I was looking for something specific (usually French brands that are hard to find in the US) but never just for browsing. Thanks for commenting :).

  5. Lately both H&M and Forever 21 stock really cute lingerie. It’s cheaply made, but also actually extremely cheap ( usually under $5 for bottoms, and $15 for tops). You have to dig for the best pieces, but they have them!

    • I have seen some great stuff from H&M– unfortunately it’s hard to keep track of because it’s really just dumb luck if you pop into one of their stores and find something good. But definitely a great tip!

  6. One place I love to shop at is http://www.secretsinlace.com They are a little pricey though. I love the vintage look from when I started cross dressing from the 50’s and 60’s styles. I love the fact most of there sets you can get the matching garter belts with. I just love wearing garter belts and stockings. I think they are so sexy and feminine.

  7. Stumbled upon your site while searching for bras for smaller cup sizes, and I’m happy I did! Finally gave in and ordered a timpa – I’ve heard of them before but wasn’t sure they’re for me, doesn’t hurt to try. And just spent a half hour at the New Look website – there’s lots of good stuff outside the US. Question – how did you find their bras to fit? I see that they have lots of options in 34A, but not a lot in 36A. I can go up to B sometimes, but would love an opinion before ordering something that requires international shipping. Thanks :)

    • I wouldn’t be afraid to size up in the cup– I often find that UK sizes are a smidge smaller than their US counterparts. Good luck!

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