Summer style is easy, oftentimes effortless and relaxed. It’s a season to use colour in ways that are a bit more shunned during the winter. We’ve all been there…the dreaded bra rut. If you’re like most women, you probably reach for either a nude or black bra in the morning, and you hardly stray from your most worn neutral pieces. If you adore simplicity with pops of colour or call for a colourful undergarment that’s far from your average bra, it’s time you work some much-needed colour therapy into your bra drawer. Some might say there’s no such thing as trends anymore, but that in itself is a trend. And in the world of lingerie and intimate apparel, colour has become a big one. For innerwear, basic colours have ruled the roost since time immemorial; however, with the new generation inclined towards more trendy looks, there has been an upswing in the demand for colourful lingerie in the past few years. Here’s more on this kaleidoscopic innerwear…
Today, the innerwear segment in India has witnessed unprecedented growth wherein it has broadened from being a basic requirement to colourful and designer wear. Media campaigns and awareness about fashion is what drives the female population towards trendy and stylish lingerie. And so, currently, women’s innerwear or the lingerie growth story in India is at its most promising phase with increasing demand for stylish, colourful, sensuous and premium innerwear.
Trends will take two opposed directions: on one side towards a strong, vibrant palette, that recalls fauvist pictures, on the other towards pastel hues on light and destructured garments, for an ethereal look. All nuances going from lavender to pink will be on trend and will take centre stage on feminine and totally chic ensembles. According to retailers, brands such as Jockey, Sonari, Floret and Alisha produce a large variety of colourful bras.
Take note and get summer ready
A play on colours is what spells the world of women’s lingerie in India today, especially in this season. While your basics such as white, black and skin are the fast runners, a slew of colours in innerwear are in demand, which is only growing, almost all age groups.
Mr Puneet Grover, Brand Head, Floret says, “The demand for skin colour lingerie is decreasing over a period of time and other colours are showing an upward trend. The market saw a huge demand for neon-coloured lingerie last year, but this year this demand has predominantly decreased. The basics of nude and black are must-haves in any lingerie wardrobe and white is an ever green colour. Today though, Shades of red colour are trending and other colours such as blue and orange too are temporarily in trend. Women from age groups, i.e., between 18-35 majorly prefer bright colours such as hot pink, magenta, lime green, wine, etc. While women above 35 prefer basic white, black, skin and light colours. T3016, T3032, T3001 from our ‘Pep Up’ series are available only in bright colours and are high in demand.”
Ms Pinki Patadia, La Pink, Retailer, says, “Pastels such as light pink are preferred while there’s less use of black. However, black, white and skin are preferred by middle-aged women still. Dark colours are preferred for special occasions and youngster wear padded bras in any colour, though not bright colours. People ask for new colours always, but not bright ones such as orange, pink, yellow, and neons. Women also like charcoal, which is not too dark or light. Women between the age group of 30-50 years also like wearing colourful lingerie, but it should not be too dark. People also like matching their innerwear colours to their outerwear.”
Ms Richa Vipan Kalra, Founder, Candyskin states, “Nowadays, we see consumers are spoilt by unlimited amount of choices. With social media in the picture, the world has become a smaller place and just like how the word spreads, so does the fashion. Even if the trends forecast purple is the colour of the season, it’s not true that the consumer does not want a pastel pink. We need to work on keeping everything available for our consumers. Bringing new collections faster, making the consumers crave for what we have to offer by creating great campaigns, offering great quality products at great prices and understanding the market, is vital, for it’s a fast fashion world. We have to learn to move faster, this is a challenge in the lingerie industry. But nothing is impossible…fast fashion, mid-season capsule collections have to come in.”
Mr Dipesh Kubadia, Sonari, Manufacturer, states that the lingerie market is witnessing trends in terms of introduction of wider colour choices. So there’s a boom in the demand for such innerwear. “All bright colours are trending these days; earlier 60 per cent women preferred the three basic colours, i.e., white, black and skin. Now the scenario has changed and the teenagers and young age women up to 30 years of age ask for bright, solid and pastel colours,” he mentions.
Mrs Sheela Kochouseph
Managing Director, V Star Creations Pvt. Ltd., adds, “Bright and prints is what’s trending now for youngsters. Trend setting colours are fushias, pinks, reds, and purples. Wine and purples are newly added colours, which in vogue right now. I think irrespective of age, the working group obviously prefers the core colours such as white, black and skin, and for other occasions semi colours such as wine, pink, and purple shades are in trend.”
Mr Sanjay Dawar
MD, Bodycare Creations Ltd., says, “If I am talking about S/S 18 then definitely I can say there are so many beautiful colours in trend such as baked turmeric, baked coral, carmine, red violet, betel nut, blue sage, and horizon blue.”
Mr Choudhary Alam, Alishan, Sahil Enterprise, MD, opines, “Black, skin, white, and wine are preferred, while red, maroon, ochre, light pink, dark pink, carrot colour, blue, and copper are also running.”
Preeti Koppikar, a freelancer, is one lady who says she has mostly worn conventional bras. “Yet, in my younger days, when I used to sport halter tops I used to wear backless bras too. However, in those days, there weren’t many colours to choose from, so I never experimented. Today I stick to regular skin coloured padded lingerie and avoid black and whites as they tend to show through clothes.”
The young love to experiment
Mrs Sujata of Cauvery Pretty Woman, Vishakhapatnam, Retailer, states that wine, steel grey, Rani Pink, royal blue are popular with all age groups and the youth like all these colours. “Youngsters like green, red, neons, and carrot red. Youngsters pick colours because of the styles they wear such as t-shirts, transparent tops, etc.,” she says.
“The younger generation today is more confident of themselves and are not afraid to experiment with colours. They love variety, ranging from colourful choices to experimenting with prints and different textures. Also the Indian women above 30 years of age are now letting go of their inhibitions and keen on trying different colours other than the regular whites and blacks in lingerie. Sonari’s Omania, Catwalk and Smile collections are made in 18 colours and are much in demand. The colours include carrot, coffee, pink, fuchsia green, grey, lavender, magenta, maroon, navy blue, peach, dark pink, red, tang, royal blue, wine, etc. The price range of these products is between INR 225-275,” adds Mr Dipesh Kubadia.
“People prefer Sherry and then also go for Jockey because of the reasonable prices. Then, there’s also Juliet and Enamor that offers colourful innerwear,” says Mrs Sujata.
Sierra Vaz, who works for a corporate organisation says that she looks for comfort and cotton lace when she picks lingerie. “Even though it can’t be seen by anyone, I choose colours that make me feel good and pick teal, maroon, one skin for all the whites, and some fluorescent sports bras. Also, my choices have changed with time…earlier I used to pick sexy colours but now I pick more of baby pinks and peaches. I feel dark colours make you feel sexy but soft colours make you feel comfortable.”
Pooja Rao from Bangalore, on the other hand prefers English colours and says, “The exception I would make is red as I love that fiery colour. The colours I would pick for lingerie are pretty much what I would choose for my clothes.” Her choices have changed over the years too as earlier, during her college days, Pooja would go for beady colourful straps but now she no longer wears them.
But Richa feels differently and says, “Gone are the days when the older crowd only wears biscuit colours or black. Everyone’s looking for more. As long as the comfort and fit are on point, one has a great colour to offer that has a new feel and great look to it. It’s the most trending style and colour.”
Mr Sanjay further states while talking about the choices of youngsters, “It depends on the youngsters’ mood and occasion and also depends on their clothing.” He adds that women choosing colourful lingerie also prefer colourful PU foam cups.
It is also seasonal
Mr Karan Arora, Intimately Yours, Retailer, Delhi, explains, “The demand for colours varies according to the season. There is more demand of red, white and black combination bra during the wedding season. During summers, women prefer light colours such as white, baby pink, and peach. Over a period of time, the demand for bright colours has gone up. Young girls are preferring more bright coloured bras such as dark pink, blue, maroon, and wine. Women from the age group between of 30-50 are also trying new and bright colours. Amante and Enamour are more in demand for bright coloured bras.”
Urja Padwal, Little Lacy, Manufacturer, agrees and says, “Summer spells colour and vibrancy…so the trending colours are tangerine, sunset yellows, mint green, and melon pink. Little Lacy though, has been the pioneer of colourful lingerie in India. We introduced colours creating a niche in a market that was flooded with the mundane white, black and skin. But the aspiration for bright colours and prints has certainly increased now. It’s all about fun colours with the younger crowd. The young age bracket is more daring and open to experimentation in terms of styling and colours. So, all garments with neon tints work very well with this segment. Middle-aged women generally prefer fuchsia, red, pinks, and wines apart from the basic conventional colours. Older women generally stick to basic colours with an occasional pick of pink and maroon. Bali from Little Lacy’s collection has tropical prints all over.”
Black, beige and vibrancy
While bright colours and even pastels maybe in demand right now, but beige and black do well too. Says Mrs Smita Vishal Shah, Instore, Chennai, Retailer, “Black and beige are preferred as they go with all dresses. Apart from this, navy, maroon and grey are also in demand. The youngster choose pink, purple, blue, peach, while the older generation prefers white black, skin or maroon or even violet. There’s a wider acceptance of colours in innerwear now than before and all brands offer colours but anything below INR 500 is preferred by women; it does not matter which brand, but the price should be reasonable.
Mr Dipankar, Beyond Desire, Kolkata, Retailer, says, “Black and skin is popular, while elderly women prefer white. Mehendi green runs better to a certain extent; any other vibrant colour such as purple, red, pink, blue, orange, and also grey is preferred. Earlier, people went for the basic colours, but now, everyone wants bright colours, Till 45, women prefer different colours in lingerie and women who are 45+ also want colours but go for lighter shades of certain colours.
Then there are those like Wendy Patrao, who would love to experiment yet haven’t got down to it, “Though I would really love to experiment with different colours of lingerie, specially bras, due to lack of space, I have to stick to the basic colours, white, black and skin, making it much easier to wear on all my outfits. I would really like to try shocking pinks, bright reds, florescent yellows, natural greens and maybe multicoloured ones someday.”
Wendy adds that her preferences have certainly changed over time and that she is more willing to experiment with colours today. The reason? “Media (print and TV) is hugely responsible for it; there is so much availability in the market today. I want to feel special, pampered, cared for and young bright colours mean youthfulness, power, confidence, a feel good factor about myself.
Mr Tushant Khatwani, Prem Traders, Jaipur, Retailer, opines, “Colours such as skin, white and black are the general colours.Young girls (18-25 years) experiment and explore more bright and fluorescent colours. Indeed their share is only 10 per cent, while the rest prefer basic, classic colours. Women are willing to try new bright colours, but they avoid as they are easily visible. In brands, Triumph is more in demand for colourful bras.”
Mr M Nagraj, Kamdhenu Fashion, Bangalore, Retailers, says, “Nowadays women prefer colourful lingerie. Magenta, maroon, pink, tomato, peach, fuchsia, etc., are the fast moving colours in the market. All brands have come out with colourful products and women are also showing a keen interest to try out new things. This is veering women towards colourful lingerie more now than a few years ago. Not only teenagers and young girls but older women too are experimenting with colours. Brands such as Enamour, Daisy Dee, and Juliet offer colourful lingerie and are preferred by women for that.”
Mr Dipankar feels that lingerie should be colourful and states that now, girls prefer choosing brands even though they maybe expensive. However, it all depends on the individual’s taste and financial capacity yet there are those who choose brands such as Triumph even if it’s costly. “Outer fashion has changed, so inner fashion has also changed,” he states.
Overall, we find that colours are fast running now and the white, black and skin are less in demand. Today 60 per cent of the lingerie sold (18-25 years) is colourful lingerie. The demand for white, black and skin is fast changing and black is almost phasing out. Almost every colour is selling today and youngsters are asking for more colours each time. The younger generation loves to experiment and prefers a plethora of colours in lingerie just like their outer wear. Besides, they like to match their innerwear with their outer wear as well. So we can conclude that colours are the way to go ahead for lingerie.
Here’s LnL’s take on colourful lingerie…a styleguide to ace the coming seasons
Black: I would say that black is always a classic colour; but I think it’s fun to play with colours in your lingerie.
Green: Green is back also for summer 2018…this time with a delicate and fresh nuance. From soft aqua tones to bright spring buds and all shades of jade greens, it inspires a fresh take on this non-traditional lingerie colour. Try green if you want to go for something unexpected and different.
Milk White: A full, warm hue; nothing to do with optical white, cooler and cyber-like. This shade was spotted on light, natural materials on garments conceived for an exotic journey.
Yellow: Bright clear yellows look especially fresh when mixed with pure white or barely there pinks. An instant pick-me-up after this long cold winter, yellow will quickly brighten your mood. And yellow’s comeback for 2018 is strictly connected to purple, its complementary colour.
Blues: This ranges all the way from blueish greens to oceanic colours. Sky blue is a fresh colour that, like its name suggests, evokes the serenity of the sky.
Lavender: This colour will dominate the whole summer season, for, it’s romantic yet elegant.
Tomato Red: This one’s a totally bold, entrancing hue.
Combinations of Orange, Coral and Pink: Think desert flowers, seashell pinks, Georgia peach, coral rose, or pink lemonade. These warm tones of varying shades suit all skin colours and transition well from Spring to Summer as their intensity deepens along with your tan.
Pastels: Yellow provides a pop to palettes, but as an accent rather than worn top to toe.
Purple: Pantone’s 2018 colour of the year is Ultra Violet. A colour that intrigues with its hybrid, mysterious nature, associated with the seventh chakra, where the human meets the divine. ‘Experiment’ is the word.
Liquors: Deep, jewel-like tones of purple, blue and pinkish purple that look luxurious when accented with gold brocade or jacquard.
S/S18 lingerie trends bring ‘Geometric Sea’ and ‘Tropicana Garden’
It brings a palette of neutrals punctuated by blush pinks and peaches. Inspiration is drawn from the vast powerful sea, with fabrics being fluid and movement being the key. The surf and reflection of the sea gives way to iridescent fabrics and trims in a romantic softer colour palette. Mixed with this soft side is a stronger geometric feel, with sharp lines, angles and shapes. Solid elastics and cut outs are still prevalent, giving rise to next generation of women who aren’t afraid to mix the masculine element of lingerie with the feminine.
It is all about mixing the colours, neutrals, soft pastel pinks, mustards, and jade green. Inspiration is drawn from the botanical world, with prints being strong and bold. Texture plays a key part with layering, with sheers such as mesh and tulles, all worn to highlight the beauty of a woman’s body creating a modern yet delicate feel.