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Lingerie Shopping has become more sophisticated

General 24 October 2016

Lingerie shopping is no longer what it was.


Over the past few years, the lingerie market has changed considerably. This change is partly due to paradigm shifts in consumers’ view of lingerie and the way women’s underwear stores handle the products.


Over time, the customer’s preferences drifted away from the overly sexualized mass produced lingerie products that are churned out by mass-production stores. The radical public renaissance is rejecting these stereotyped and narrow lingerie choices for a more holistic approach to lingerie.


As a result of this massive shift in the industry, consumers now lean towards garments made with a ‘body confidence’ mindset. As with the recent public acceptance and esteem for various body shapes and sizes, the lingerie industry is adapting to making products that elevate women’s confidence about their skin. This is a great contrast with the past where underwears designed for thin, idealized models were used as the industry standard. Women of other body types were forced to fit themselves into one of the narrow categories of the ‘perfect woman.'


Consumers now prefer lingerie that is designed to fit and accentuate their body shape and contours, enhance their asset, and appropriately portray their intriguing silhouettes. Today’s woman cannot be cajoled into buying lingerie designed for just one ‘ideal’ body type. This ill-fitting and uncomfortable underwear are promoted by high-end lingerie brands who churn out large quantities around in-demand sizes, leaving women with unique body types to their fate.


New startup stores have contributed significantly to the new trend in lingerie shopping. These new brands give women the much-needed alternative to large, big-name chain stores. This promising alternative is indeed a breath of fresh air to the industry. The new specialized lingerie stores offer custom lightweight products that are optimized for breathability and comfort. The Ideal lingerie is no longer hyper-sexualized limiting sized pieces but is now underwear that is designed to flatter the wearer without compromising on comfort.


Dynamic brands and startups that have evolved to target this new trend in women’s underwear are reaping massive benefits. Specialized online Lingerie boutiques are at the forefront of this revival, offering great products and extensive customer services to ensure an unforgettable experience for shoppers.


A few brands such as AERIE, Adore me, and Negative Underwear, have taken this alternative route to lingerie, focusing on comfort and experience as opposed to sexually toned bait marketing. These brand have realized a rapid rise in their customer base, signifying that the change is much welcome.
This change in how and why we buy lingerie was triggered by a few changes in norms, public opinion, and consumer preferences.


Firstly, the demand for comfortable wear is skyrocketing. Comfortable is now regarded sexy. Moreover, this is not just about clothing. Recently, there has been a massive paradigm shift in what we consider beautiful. Our society is now readily accepting all body types which deviate from the idealized skinny photoshopped models championed by the media. This change has affected lingerie shopping as well, resulting in the acceptance of larger sizes and plus sized lingerie. This shift, however, is being advanced by smaller specialized shops and smaller designers with the big dogs lagging way behind.


Secondly, customers are continually opting for brands that offer a unique and specialized experience over high-end lingerie brands. The consumers have discerned that large lingerie chain stores produce products in masses, neglecting the experience and service niched down for individuals consumer. This has increased the demand for smaller specialized online lingerie boutiques that offer top-notch customer services.


Style has also become a stout determinant of consumer choice. Chain brands often offer generic underwear lacking style that highlights your individuality. This awareness has resulted in an increased demand for products from smaller designers in Europe, Asia, South America, the US, and Canada who micro-produce unique and top-quality products for diverse personalities. Large chain stores that use production quantity as a prime determinant are way below in quality and style product. Chain stores shift their focus away from producing these popular pieces. Another style change in lingerie world is the use of underwear in mainstream outdoor wear. The small range of options carried by big-brand stores often limits the use of lingerie outdoors. This is another win for smaller stores that carry foreign brands with a broad range of styles.


The passion for quality women’s lingerie has increased substantially in the past few years. The preference of quality over price is a major factor in the shift to women’s underwear that emphasizes comfort and style. This is mainly because the majority of buyers do not care about price technicalities and mass production antiques. Consumers go for quality, and they would do all it takes to find it, even if it means deserting huge brand names.


Another market determinant closely related to style is variety. Variety is the spice of life, and lingerie is no exception. Big brand stores have consistently tried to narrow the alternatives available to their customers. They do this because fitting everyone into some category streamlines the production process, which means more profit. This is very limiting considering that lingerie comes in a large variety of shapes and sizes including; bras, panties, corsets, thongs, camisoles, nightgowns, boyshorts, women’s briefs, and lots more. However, the rise of consumer-focused stores has brought a significant change to this limiting process. Specialized stores carry a broad range of women’s underwear types from various local and foreign designers. When it comes to customers’ taste, they are literarily inviting to everyone.


The lingerie market has seen a massive change in the last few years. Body confidence is at the forefront of the consumer lingerie selection process. Retailers have not been left behind, as a good number of them have adopted this new direction. Women no longer want to be restricted by idealized lingerie that is frustratingly uncomfortable.


The shift to more simplified shopping of body-friendly lingerie is here to stay. Moreover, brands that embrace this new movement will see droves of new customers and increased love from the public. The new movement is gathering momentum and has the potential to significantly impact the sales of the big chain stores that have dominated the industry for decades.