Minimal Lingerie Without the Lace or Frills

Simple, elegant intimates and undergarments to wear under scratchy sweaters this season

While lower temperatures in the north means piling on scratchy wool sweaters, the lingerie underneath doesn’t need to be the same. Thankfully, there are more comfortable, minimalist alternatives to the mass-produced sea of frills, bows and neon colors than ever before—high-quality materials have never looked so sexy. Below are some brands that have caught our eye with their unusual designs and accompanying stories.

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Founded in 2012, the Parisian line Velvette (named after its designer, Velvette, who’s worked for the likes of Céline and Vanessa Bruno) offers pieces made entirely in France that embody refined French sensuality. As someone who has always been passionate about lingerie, Velvette started her own line after not finding her perfect match in the market. She designs for the “independent, feminine woman who will choose her lingerie as she will choose a perfume—for herself, first,” she tells CH. Highlights from her Fall/Winter collection include Flora, a beautiful iridescent blue set, and in an unusual move, knitwear lingerie. “I wanted to develop a new ‘stay at home’ capsule collection, to feel as if you’re in a feminine cocoon. Knitwear was the perfect answer to me.” Shop Velvette pieces in the US from stockists like Journelle and Lille Boutique, and from in L’Exception in Europe.

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Brook There

recently interviewed Brooke DeLorme on her Portland, Maine-based lingerie line Brook There and its sustainable mission, but we just can’t emphasize enough how much we’ve been loving the actual pieces. Her new striped set, which released this week, will transport women straight to Biarritz in the most humdrum of dull winter days. The hook-free bra and panty are made from bamboo rayon, organic cotton and spandex, and are so soft that you could easily forget to take them off. Aside from organic and silk lingerie offerings, DeLorme also makes some sweet organic thumbhole gloves, too. All are available online from Brook There.

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Two friends, Laura Schoorl and Rachel Corry, have made their dream underwear a reality by recently launching their own line, Pansy. They’ve made the entire process (which takes place within the USA) transparent: the organic cotton is grown and milled in North Carolina, sewn in San Leandro, California and dyed in a factory an hour away in Novato. Even the elastic waistband is made in South Carolina. Their newest collection, offering bras for the first time, comes in three shades: natural, lilac and rust. Natural has exactly what the cotton is (with no added dyes or bleach), while the latter two are from fiber-reactive dyes, which are non-toxic and waste less water than conventional dyeing. The two underwear styles are available from Pansy’s website, where the bras will also be released in the next few weeks.

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“The only choice was between boring nude basics and highly sexy ensembles. I couldn’t relate to the options out there; all the brands were too much about seduction or convenience and not enough about a lifestyle,” French-born designer Anaïs Bouchard tells CH. Thus, she established Naïs out of her Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio, to “create a brand that rules out the stereotypes about lingerie and embrace women empowerment and local craft.” Bouchard’s creative pieces (which are dyed, cut and sewn in New York) have in someway, become a jumping off point for discussing gender issues in society, detailed in her blog. Keep an eye out for her Black Series holiday capsule collection, which will feature mesh and lacy apparel. Naïs sells online and from select stockists in the US and Canada.

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Live the Process

While this onesie from modern activewear brand Live the Process‘ F/W14 collection is intended for the gym or yoga studio, we can’t help but think it’s the perfect outfit for lounging on the couch during snowy days—by a crackling fire (or at least, a YouTube video of one). The comfortable, stretchy blend of 90% nylon and 10% Lycra lets you to curl up into any napping position with ease. And for ladies who can’t commit to the one-piece, there are plenty of bra and legging combinations to choose from. The Corset Unitard (available in two colors) is available from Live The Process’ shop as well as Net-a-Porter.

Images courtesy of respective brands