Whether we are flinging them, flaunting them, burning them or simply buying them, knickers are statements. Kylie is known for her golden hot pants, BJ* is queen of beige granny ps, and Kim K loves a bottom lifter to perfect her plump derriere.
However, when we think of statement knickers, we probably don’t think ‘Best of British’. That natty little phrase is usually saved for beef, fish’n’chips and Bentleys. A new age of British lingerie connoisseurs is on the horizon. Gone are the days of crinoline and corsets, pants are finally becoming woke. Today’s fashion isn’t about bulk buys or quick fixes, this underwear is eco-conscious, it’s bespoke, its slow, its intimate, in every sense of the word.
If you’ve been getting your knickers in a twist over where to find your dream drawers, flap no further. I’ve curated a listicle of today’s finest pantalooneries in Britain, so you can stay abreast of the best.
If ethical lingerie conjures up images of rugged hemp loincloths, you need to think again. Luva Huva is the lingerie guru making ethical sexy. Delightfully delicate lacey briefs, and fantastically frilly knickers, in shades of dusky rose and midnight blue, showcase the genius of this collection. Stylish, subtle and searingly seductive.
Using eco-friendly, responsibly sourced, and where possible, British materials Luva Huva has designed fabrics that are silky soft and beautifully breathable. The Luva Huva team comprises four very clever women and a whippet, called Millie, who conjure these sustainable masterpieces from their studio in Brighton.
Click here for Luva Huva’s lovely website
Dora Larson, code word for colour. Bored of nude, London-based Larson designs lingerie popping with deliciously iridescent hues. Having a surrealist painter for a father may explain her passion for a punchy palette – moss, saffron, shell pink, lime green, snorkel blue, burnt tangerine. Think of the most flamboyant colour combo out there, add a shed load of sass, a pinch of eyelash lace and there we have it, a Larson special.
A personal favourite of mine are Larson’s sumptuous high waist knickers, which shout ‘I’m a staggeringly sexy housewife get me out of here’ from the top of the 1950s Formica table-top. Her bras are something to boast about too.
Not only are Larson’s undies dazzlingly handsome, they are also delightfully comfortable – the high quality mesh ensures a snug fit. If you’re looking to brighten your (most probably) grey day, bag yourself a brassiere and briefs from this colourful chick and everything will be (more than) fine.
For the full Dora click here.
Set up in Cambridge, AmmaElla labels itself as a social enterprise whose mission is to promote sustainable fashion. ‘Another undie business turning all green’ I hear you mutter, well yes, but no, not in a let’s-roll-in-the-mud type of way.
Set up by two best friends who share a passion for fashion, these knick knocks are simple, modern and incredibly aesthetic. Made with organic cotton, they are designed to be effortlessly comfortable. There are plenty of stylistic twists to these pared back designs – double straps galore. The eco-fashionistas behind this brainchild are spearheading the ‘slow lingerie movement’, promoting sustainable consumption and a circular economy. Essentially, you can buy these beautiful bloomers and keep saving the world. Win win.
If you’re into saving the world and wearing quality pants click here.
This is the home of British silk. Headed by a husband and wife dream team, the whole of this impressive silk operation, the design, manufacture and despatch, happens under one roof. If you’re looking for sophisticated chic, this is the lingerie for you. Rouge, noir, and café crème, even the colours sound ritzy. Sulis designs the delightfully coined French Knicker, and much like a good French Kiss, they are velvety, lengthy, and admirably ostentatious.
Looking to silk up your pant drawer? Click here.
The Pantry Underwear
The Pantry Underwear, a.k.a The Everyday Underwear Shop is the number one retailer shipping this slow lingerie movement, showcasing a plethora of Britain’s finest new undie designers. Their collection focuses on fit and value, whilst oozing style and charisma.
Founder Eloise Rigby explained that The PU is the one stop shop for every woman, with reasonable prices as well as up-and-coming designers, offering both staples and specials. In line with today’s focus on ethical fashion, the PU don’t go in for seasonal sales, but instead are pioneering a charity donation concept, See Through The Dark. When you purchase £50 or more, one pair of socks or tights are donated to North London Action for the Homeless. Hurrah to that, what a plan.
PU’s flagship store is on Camden Passage, and they have recently opened in Liberty too.
For more pants info, click here
And there we come to the end of our foray into the bottomless pit of British bloomers. Not so brief as we thought.
*BJ = Bridget Jones, obviously.