As the leading Intimate Apparel and Swimwear tradeshow in North America, CURVE hosts the top brands in the industry. Each season, the most relevant trends are apparent due to their widespread presence on the show floor. Trends are cyclical and always evolving to meet the desires of the consumer. In the North American market, there are some intimate apparel trends relevant in the past years that are unwavering. Below are some that stand out.
Body Positive Brands
Body positivity and inclusivity in the Intimate Apparel industry is coming to the forefront of the market. Brands now aim to suit a wider range of people, broadening their scope of size, race and gender. In a general trend of inclusivity that is currently taking over the media, intimate apparel has taken the cue and began to shift their products to meet this crucial movement. In an industry previously noted for product imagery typically displayed on very niche women – tall, white, and thin – it is exciting to see brands branching out and not only designing products for all women but featuring them in their photography. There is still opportunity in the market to further expand this inclusive intimate apparel target, but the beginning of a major shift is apparent.
Bondage-inspired lingerie has transformed from a formerly niche style preference into a design element included on products of the largest intimate apparel brands. Why? Previously, this style was deemed to be a lingerie preference for only the most erotic consumer. A design element that was almost taboo to offer to the mainstream consumer. Today, intimate apparel brands have taken the key elements of the bondage trend – straps, leather, harnesses and belts – and integrated them into their designs to merge them into the mainstream. In cohesion with the movement of women expressing their sexuality as they wish, this trend has gained popularity. Bondage-inspired lingerie offers the wearer the opportunity to flaunt their intimate apparel in a sexy and eluding light.
Underwired unlined bras have gained popularity because they provide the wearer with two main opportunities – comfort and natural shape. Underwired unlined bras often are designed in beautiful lace or mesh fabrics. The best part about the underwired unlined trend is that it is extremely wide spread throughout the market and suits a large audience of woman, since the underwire still maintains structure. The days of the push-up bra are well in the past. Women today aim to proudly show off their assets, as they are. Women are aiming to find products to accentuate their natural figures, not to constrict their shape or amplify their proportions to extreme levels.
The bralette is easily one of the largest intimate apparel trends in the last decade. So it should come as no surprise that the bralette is on this trend list. This product is the epitome of comfort, ease, and accessibility. Bralettes have hit the market in extreme masses from your leading intimate apparel brands, niche indie brands, direct-to-consumer brands. What is driving the consumer to seek out this product? One of the main reasons, is the ability of the product to suit a wide range of lifestyles and fit seamlessly under most clothes. Recently, bralettes have been evolving into an expanded series of shapes, as brands seek to adjust the design to suit a wider range of band and cup sizes. This trend will definitely be a long-stay in the intimate apparel market.
Innerwear as Outerwear
Intimate apparel is not being bought for the same reasons it was 50 years ago. Today, woman buy these products and put them on display. With the explosion of trends such as the bodysuit, intimate apparel has expanded into being a part of daily outfits instead of just underneath it. The innerwear as outerwear trend is pushing intimate apparel brands to think outside the box and think further than designing a basic underwire bra or seamless panty. This trend has led to the increased production of intimate apparel containing details that compliment an outfit, whether it be a lace-edged bodysuit, seamless crop top bra or bralette with harness straps. Women are spending their money on intimate apparel and showing it off to the world.
You can view more photos of these trends on our instagram – @curvexpo!