Updating our undergarments isn't simply about stocking up on basics anymore: It's as much about fashion as it is about function. So, as 2016 quickly approaches, we're enlisting the help of some of our favorite lingerie experts to help us update and upgrade — as well as to clue us in on what the big trends are going to be next year.
"What’s great about lingerie is that there’s an element of classic beauty and functionality separating this layer from ready-to-wear trends," Christina Remenyi, founder and designer of Fortnight, tells Refinery29. This means that you can update your delicates drawer from a stylistic perspective, while still picking pieces that are practical, comfortable, and — most importantly — that you'll actually wear. But first you need to make room: Toss anything that's worn out, stretched out, or simply doesn't fit right. (Watch for any overstretched or loose bands, fraying or discoloring, loose underwires, and other pesky problems. Hey, maybe book a bra fitting while you're at it.) If it's been sitting untouched for a year, too, maybe it's time to let go. Then, look at what remains, and think critically about what needs a refresher. Really, freshening up your delicates drawer isn't unlike cleaning out your closet.
"You should update the pieces you wear the most," says Helena Stuart, founder and designer of Only Hearts. She suggests going through every six months to assess and edit your drawer. "The thing is, bras and undies receive quite a lot of stress with wear, and when they start to give out, suddenly they don't flatter you." If you don't do a complete overhaul (saving money is on our resolution list, too), Sonja Winther, Chantelle Group's North America president recommends only replacing — but really investing — in your one everyday bra. Then, "if you are able to buy multiples, buy at least three every six months to 1 year with this thought in mind: one to wear, one to wash, and one to spare," she says.
This is also a great time to step out of your comfort zone and expand your collection. Maybe you've always been a neutrals person and are now looking to (slowly) dip your toes in colorful lingerie. If that's the case, Remenyi's advice is "to start small and build on what you feel most comfortable with" — that means "pieces that are neutral and versatile but still have an unexpected detail," like color-blocking, or a fabric you haven't tried before. You can also play around with silhouette: "Maybe try a wireless bra if you typically wear bras with wires," she says. "Or, try a bodysuit or slip to layer under sheer tops or dresses. Expanding your lingerie collection doesn’t have to happen overnight; it should be a fun, ongoing process that evolves with your own personal style and tastes."
Now that we got the "how" out of the way, it's time to address the "what": the biggest trends our experts are seeing for 2016. With sporty silhouettes and innerwear-as-outerwear only growing in popularity, it's never been more fun to make these swaps. Ahead, see (and shop) the standout pieces that are going to be huge in the intimates space next year.