Lingerie Fit for Mrs. Robinson: Beautiful and Sexy Lingerie to Suit Older Women

Photo by Erwin Olaf

Age discrimination is a real issue in the world of lingerie and one that I felt needed to be addressed after I read the article by Joyce Wadler, “Where Did You Go for Your Bra, Mrs. Robinson?” in the New York Times. Ms. Wadler speaks eloquently (and hilariously) about the struggles of trying to find lingerie when everything seems designed for young women who have a totally different style and body type than her. Of her shopping trip, she writes, “There is one big problem, which I have already encountered at other lingerie stores: A lot of the prettiest bras and camisoles and bustiers are too small or designed for a premenopausal body, as if women of a certain age no longer have a fantasy life.”

If you look around, there are tons of lingerie designs that cater to younger women, not considering the needs or styles of women older than (even) 40. The problem with this is not only the way that it can make women who are older than the 20-year-old lingerie models feel like they are not allowed to be sexy, but it speaks to the narrowness of what is seen as sexy. There are women of all ages working in the lingerie industry, but it is the younger women (like myself) who have the most options of what to wear and seem to be the most allowed to talk about lingerie as something we personally wear. In fact, the majority of lingerie bloggers are under 30– if you are looking for a blogger who discusses lingerie who is over her 30s, check out Darlene at her blog Hourglassy who recently discussed her own bikini anxieties and comparing herself to younger women.

Given that I am 23, I am not the best person to speak to those struggles, but I do want to share my lingerie knowledge for people who might be looking for lingerie that is more sophisticated and comfortable. Below I have collected some designers who I think make beautiful designs for older women who want their lingerie to match the way they feel about themselves, especially those that are full busted or full-figured, rather than relegate them to the category of ‘frumpy.’ I’ve tried to address the concern that the lingerie be sexy and not farcical, with a wide size range.

In this topic, I am far from an expert; please let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions because I would really value your input. Please excuse the lack of images of women appropriate for the subject of this article– most lingerie models are under 30, if not under 20!

Gossard Ooh La La Corsolette

This Gossard Corsolette is one of the first lingerie pieces I thought of when I wanted to do this list. I love how long it is and what a lovely shape it makes. The lace overlay is beautiful and in general I’ve heard really great things about this product. Unfortunately the size range isn’t enormous, but it does covers both core and some full bust sizes. Size Range: 30D-G, 32A-38G (UK sizes).

What Katie Did Tap Panties $55.50

I adore these What Katie Did tap pants because they create such a beautiful shape when paired with any black bra. They are available up to an XL and I think they are an excellent flirty lingerie piece for someone who wants to emphasize or create an hourglass figure. The buttons on the side are a sweet vintage touch which makes them a ladylike and beautiful tap panty. Size Range: S-XL.

Beaujais Sweet Nothings Set in Sorbet £282

Beaujais makes really beautiful lingerie sets for DD+ women. I am a huge fan of the Sorbet color because it is a color that is sexy, but unexpected. The sheerness of the lace cups and panties might be a risky move (and not necessarily offer the best support for everyday wear), but as a bedroom piece, it’s undeniably sultry. Size range: 28F-H, 30D-32GG, 34D-G, 36D-FF (UK sizes) & UK8-16 for bottoms.

Fauve Mia Plunge Bra £54

Fauve is one of my favorite brands to recommend to women who are looking for lingerie that is mature and luxurious because they specialize in sophisticated styles and shapes. I like the 3-piece set because the suspenders are intended for your waist (a more practical place than your hips) and the lace has a very understated flower pattern on it. Size range: 30D-38GG-40FF, panties & suspender XS-XL.

Fantasie Elodie Underwired Bra With Side Support £38

Fantasie is a sister brand to Elomi and Fauve and they also make some beautiful lingerie. I love the complex yet delicate embroidery and I find navy to be one of the most flattering colors on all skin tones. Size range: 30D-38J, 40DD-G, 42GG-F briefs S-2XL.

Elomi Rita Banded Bra $60

Elomi is one of my favorite brands to recommend to women with fuller figures as they have been coming out with some really fantastic designs lately. The pink here might be too bright for some, but the scallops are a lovely touch and the color is perfect for darker skin tones. This is not an overtly sexy set, but I think it makes a big impression. Size range: 36E-46F, 34G-44H, 34-42HH, 34J-40K, briefs, M-4XL

Elomi Maggie Babydoll $87

Elomi has recently been making some lingerie awesome pieces that branch out from the classic bra and panties set and I think this Maggie Babydoll would be one of my top recommendations for someone who wants a pieces that fits, is flattering and also quite seductive. Size range: 36F-42GG.

Miss Mandalay PARIS COBALT BLUE BALCONY BRA £39

This gorgeous set by Miss Mandalay I recently reviewed is an excellent choice for this selection because of how simple yet sophisticated the design is. I also love the unusual, yet lovely color that suits so many skin tones. Size Range: 28F-38HH, XS-XL.

Kiss Me Deadly Vargas Roll-On Girdle £27

If you like suspenders to add excitement to your outfit, this roll-on girdle from Kiss Me Deadly is perfect, as it goes with any black bra and panty set. The roll-on girdle is extremely forgiving and works for almost any shape, while gently smoothing out your lower half. Size Range: XS-XL.

Kiss Me Deadly Red Sirena Panty Girdle £39

This Kiss Me Deadly panty girdle is another great mix and match piece, as it obviously goes perfectly with the matching bra, but also could be paired with any black or red lingerie set. This is a perfect piece to gently contour the lower body and also be sexy, worn with or without suspenders. Size range: XS-XL

Angela Friedman Clair de Lune Corset in Silk and Lace $690.00

A corset is the ultimate bedroom accessory and its price matches that. They can be customized to your shape (for a price) and this one by Angela Friedman is completely stunning. A corset is one of those items that creates an even more dramatic shape if your body is more able to be squished and it’s really never going to look undignified. Size Range: XS-XL

Betty’s Blue Loungerie Nell Robe £250.00

I chose to include this robe from Betty’s Blue Loungerie because of the lovely sheer lace panels. They certainly may not be for everyone (some might prefer the entirely un-sheer leopard print robe), but I think they offer a seductive glimpse of what’s underneath, whether that be lingerie or nothing. Size range: XS-XL.

Hips & Curves Stretch Satin Lace Trim Cami Set

If you ever wear plus sizes, I really recommend you check out Hips and Curves for affordable lingerie and loungewear pieces. This cami and knicker sets comes in a 1X-4X size and 4 gorgeous colors that seem perfect for a woman who want to be both sexy and comfortable. The lace on the cami is slightly sheer, but not in a subtle alluring way that is flattering to women of any age. Size Range: 1X-4X.

Are there any that take your fancy? Do you have any more suggestions?

13 Comments
  1. The Panache Andorra in either balconette or plunge may be a good addition. The bra itself is pretty forgiving of most shapes, and comes in all colors of lace. I would also recommend the Mademoiselle Bra and the Moulin Rose bra from Bravissimo.

    For what it’s worth, my mom is in her 60s and she loves the Panache Jasmine and the Panache Tango II and wears them all the time. Still doesn’t stop her from lusting over bras like the Bravissimo Paradise Fizz bra!

    • Thanks so much for your suggestions! I don’t know why no Panache made this list– clearly an oversight! Certainly everyone has their own lingerie tastes and I’m so glad your mom has found pieces that she likes :)

  2. Good topic. Us older gals have different bodies and different aims. I’m 55 and am as eager to look good as any twenty-something but need to choose garments that work better for me. I applaud your addressing this subject.

  3. I’m thirty now and have noticed I’m, er, a bunch older than many bloggers and I think a lot of the Cleo and Freya designs look a little…off…on me. I am taking very good care of my Masquerade bras- I think some of their designs like Rhea will continue aging well with me. I loved the NYT article!
    My mom has found that Chantelle demi bras look pretty good on her, and she’s sixty-five.
    Thanks for the article!

    • Yeah, Rhea is such a gorgeous bra. That article was one of the best ones I’ve read on lingerie :). I’ve heard really great things about the Chantelle bras!

  4. At my current age (and no, I’m not putting a number on it) I still struggle with the same fit issues I’ve always had, but with the big boob thing added AND I am now 1 to 2 sizes larger overall than in my 20’s (and pre-baby).

    I’ve never been one for frills and lace, or the “girlie” look…so coupling my style preferences with being on the upper end of “normal” sizing in clothes, and out of “normal” sizing in bras for US retailers….and I’ve got bigger problems than if manufacturers cut clothes to fit a maturing shape.

    In short, I’m left with so few lingerie pieces to choose from I’m pretty excited if I find one that fits.

    That said, I wear lots of chemise or baby doll type nighties which are forgiving (been doing it for years because those are the only 1-piece garments that fit my chest, waist, and hips).

    If I showed up in a true “lingerie” piece my husband would probably pass out…which would completely defeat the purpose.

    I’ve been considering latex. Its flexible, right?? :)

  5. This is for wide curves. I am a 32H (I think) and I have been able find bras from a few stores on line. I’m not sure if you have tried any of these stores

    Bare necessities
    Fig Leaves
    Bravissimo

    • Hi there nk161! Thanks for the recommendations. I buy my bras almost exclusively from online retailers…without them I’d be lost. I rarely find a bra in my size at a brick and mortar store here in the US, since I’m a US I (or UK FF-G). US brands usually stop at DDD in brick and mortar, which is equivalent to about an F in UK.

  6. Thanks for thinking of us, older folks. I especially liked the What Katie Did Tap Panties due to its vintage design as well as their very practical, versatile side.
    More about this post in an email I will send you soon.

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  9. As an older person, from back then !
    Please understand, your models, only pose for the shoot.
    They are not forced, to wear the old style underwear, all day !
    Why do you think, that the young men & stockings & suspenders fantasy, started ?
    In the old days, there was only; Stockings & the Suspender belt.
    Women, needing the toilet, and sometimes a quickie, slid their panties OVER the stockings & Suspenders.
    Yet catalogue after catalogue, shows young models, with the knickers on first.
    Let em stay that way, all day
    They, by themselves, will work out, that the knickers have to go over the stockings & suspenders.

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