I’ve written before about how the right underthings can make a woman feel confident, sexy and invincible. But it’s also important for us to purchase our lingerie from the right places. A hot pink bra with black lace panties have a way of losing their feminist power if they’re acquired from a company that puts commercialism above all else—including, apparently, the common sense to not be blatantly racist in its campaigns.
Victoria’s Secret’s latest collection called Sexy Little Geisha was quickly pulled from its inventory after immediate, widespread backlash. And for good reason. The “cat woman” image of Asian women basically reduces them to sexual fetish objects (and, sadly, this stereotype is still quite prevalent in popular culture). Dear VS: Women don’t want to be angles, sexy school girls or wear bras with diamonds on them or thongs with chain metal g-strings. They just want underwear that works.
In our forthcoming book, Sexy Feminism, the editors of this website discuss in length the empowering nature of women’s clothing and lingerie. The next time you’re due for a new bra or want to spice up your sex life with a hot new underthing, shop consciously. Here are some brands that get our stamp of approval:
Betsey Johnson. She’s about the coolest lady in fashion, period. Unapologetic for her sexy-ragamuffin style, BJ has become a fetish brand and a female businesswoman to admire. Her bras, quite simply, get the job done. With underwire that encases the whole breast (none of that tissue-stabbing demi-shaped nonsense), fabrics that conceal and protect, and adorable details, it’s clear these items are crafted as impeccably as Betsey Johnson couture.
Stella McCartney. She’s the daughter of music royalty but has become an empire of her own. Stella founded her brand on principles that protect the earth, and all of its inhabitants—from animals to garment workers. These ideals extend to her swoon-worthy lingerie collection.
Prada. Yup, that Prada. Founder Miuccia Prada is perhaps the biggest name in fashion, and a 60s-era feminist who talks about the issues. She said recently, “I always say sexy dressing is fantastic if it’s a choice … If you want to go out naked, I like it. But if you do it because you want to get a rich husband, no, I hate it.” Her lingerie collections mirror the brand’s understated elegance and perfect tailoring. Shopping this brand is, of course, for those with some change to spare, but if you’re a fierce fashionista who’s going to spend it anyway, do it here.
Bella Materna. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need sexy underwear too, and this U.S.-manufactured brand delivers on style and comfort. With details such as layers of sculpted lace, seamless cups and support without underwire, non-mommies will want these bras too.
Gillian O’Malley. Totally cute. Totally wearable. Totally cheap. If you like to hoard lingerie—or at least coordinate it with every outfit—this Target brand’s $5 underwear and $14 bras foster gluttonous consumption. Any time you shop at Target, proceeds from sales help fund public schools, a feminist cause that needs us all.
What are some of your favorite feminist lingerie brands?