Love is in the air with pink chocolates, sex toys, lingerie filling Facebook feeds, and gift guides begging you to find the perfect gifts. But what about you? Is lingerie always for your lover, or do you slip into a sexy garment for your own pleasure?
“Lingerie is meant to be a fun, sexy way to play with fashion, plus size fashion influencer and mother Kat Stroud explains. “It’s meant to uplift and to make you feel luxurious in your skin. Have fun and enjoy.”
“I buy lingerie because it makes me feel powerful and sexy,” says Fly ‘n Fluffy extended sizes influencer, Joyniece Kirkland. “Most of the time it’s for me, but sometimes it’s for a partner.”
Plus size lingerie choices are limited, sizing is all over the board, and quality varies dramatically brand by brand. This makes buying lingerie a complicated and tedious process. As I began to dig through the options available to feature here and researched lingerie brands outside of my personal favorites for plus size bodies, I turned to plus size fashion influencers like Stroud and Kirkland. I wanted to know why they bothered with lingerie and what brands they personally loved.
All of the influencers I interviewed are plus size, with sizes ranging from a “woman’s” 16 to 40. They make it their business to test and wear lingerie. Most importantly, they are trusted experts in the plus-size industry—by both the brands they love and regular everyday people who follow them.
While for all plus-size people lingerie options are skimpy, for extended plus sizes, even fewer options exist. “Brands really need to consider making lingerie for those of us above a 3- and 4x,” Kirkland tells me. “Super fat folks want to feel empowered, beautiful, and sexy too because the reality is we’re already all those things!”
While Torrid and Lane Bryant are the “Walmart” and Target” of the plus-size fashion industry, there are many online brands that the plus-size influencers I interviewed favor. Some are extremely well made with a price tag to match, and others are budget-friendly for anyone who wants to explore something new. Lingerie that simply makes you feel as good as you look.
Savage x Fenty offers a range of lingerie styles. Nearly everyone will find something that suits their mood and intent from sexy lace barely-there lingerie to high cut comfortable yet fabulous underwear options that make every day an uplifted one. “Queen Rihanna is always finding new ways to take my money and Savage x Fenty is no exception,” says 27-year-old BuzzFeed shopping editor and plus-size influencer Kayla Boyd.
Known for being photographed in her skivvies at iconic locations across the country, Kayla Logan is also a fan of Savage x Fenty. “I love Savage Fenty because it’s one of the only lingerie brands that offer truly sexy pieces you’d usually only find for thin people,” she tells me. “Which is unique and important because fat people deserve to feel beautiful and sexy lingerie as well.”
If you’re a newbie to lingerie shopping, Boyd recommends starting with a simple bodysuit. It comes in two colors, a classic black, and a lavender, so you can be as adventurous as you choose.
Logan agrees, “Bodysuits are an amazing option,” she tells me. “You can add a pair of jeans or shorts. If the bodysuit is a little revealing you can add a silk blouse unbuttoned to show the beautiful details of the lingerie.”
The sizing and fit are consistent, and the lingerie is good quality, Logan confirms. Watch out for the pricing system for this lingerie brand. “The whole membership pricing thing can be tricky on the Savage X Fenty website, Logan tells me. “You may think you’re getting a much better deal than you are.”
While Amazon doesn’t make any lingerie, it is full of both small and larger brands that make lingerie. But, as Kirkland tells me, it’s really hit or miss when it comes to sizing and quality. In fact, “there aren’t many extended-plus options beyond a 4x and most of them aren’t very racy,” she said to me. “Even the 4x options aren’t always true to size.”
Because of the nature of the seller, it’s important to look for brands you are already familiar with, like Megan Ixim’s favorite brand, Elomi, or carefully read reviews, look at size charts, and consider fabric types.
Kirkland carefully considered reviews before a recent purchase, considering the stretch, and her friends’ experiences before buying the XAKALAKA Babydoll Chemise with Garters. It’s a budget-friendly babydoll that offers significant stretch, one she was sure would stretch to accommodate her 5/6x size even though it technically only went up to a 4x.
“For the price, they’re pretty okay,” Kirkland shared with me. “I knew when I ordered it the underwear that came with it wouldn’t fit, but who needs those anyway?” And if you have long nails, be aware, this can rip easily.
“I love buying lingerie from Elomi because I know that not only am I getting something that is beautiful and classic but I know that the quality will always be spot on,” Ixim, a fat, queer influencer known by her Instagram handle “Ms. Gigggles” tell me. Like many of us, she’s tired of flimsy lingerie options that don’t support her and looks at Elomi as an investment in quality. “I never have to worry about that with an Elomi bra and underwear set.”
Ixim fell in love with Elomi’s longline bra, and its matching underwear. “It’s a great design that gives extra support for anyone with a larger cup size and also helps to accentuate a waist and is available in classic wearable colors,” she tells me.
A lover of vintage, Stroud is a fan of Kix’ies thigh highs. Thigh highs can be added to any lingerie outfit, and certainly worn under any outfit. “They don’t muffin top my thigh by cutting off circulation or being too tight,” she tells me.
The designs, sizes, and quality of the brand makes them a natural choice for her. Kix’ies are available in four different sizes and the brand doesn’t assume that “one size fits most” actually makes sense for most thighs. The sizing allows for a better hold, so you can wear them for hours without falling down.
Why does Gabbi Hall wear lingerie? Well, it makes her feel like “I’ve got my sh** together all the way down to my underwear,” she tells me. “Sure, my boyfriend loves it, but there’s something powerful about wearing lingerie—whether it’s a corset or just a lacy bra and panty set. It just sets the right, world-domination tone for the day.”
Hall, a Reno Tahoe based copywriter, and plus-size influencer is a fan of Adore Me’s lingerie. She shares that the brand is both accessible and not intimidating. Similar to Savage x Fenty, Adore Me works on a subscription model, although you can buy (for a higher price) without becoming a member or even order a curated style box.
“The world of lingerie is vast and frankly, there’s often a lot of straps that I wouldn’t even know how to get on my body,” Hall said. “Adore Me’s lingerie feels more like ‘everyday sexy’ while still offering more risque and loud pieces.”
If you’re looking for a versatile piece that can be worn both in and out of the bedroom, Hall’s pick is the Raylen Plus Corset. The ribbon is adjustable, so you can tighten (or loosen) as your body dictates.
“When I first dabbled in wearing lingerie I was super self-conscious,” says Lexi Nimmo, actress and plus size fashion influencer. After easing her way into wearing lingerie, slowly building up with babydoll styles, high-waisted panties, and a silk robe, she now proudly shares lingerie-clad photos on her Instagram.
Nimmo is a fan of the Playful Promises brand, popular for it’s Gabi Fresh collections and sultry designs. “They have such fun styles that are on-trend and not matronly, she tells me. “They have pieces that are super sultry, feminine, classy: a little bit of everything!”
The brand is a personal favorite of mine as well. After recently splurging on a quarter cup bra and lace panty set, I was instantly a fan for life. The construction is solid, and online many other lingerie options I’ve worn, the set fit like a dream, both comfortable and sexy as hell.
If you are new to wearing lingerie, or perhaps your body has recently changed and your confidence isn’t high, you’re not alone. “For someone just starting to explore the endless fun options lingerie provides I would suggest checking out each brand that interests you, Stroud tells me. “Lingerie is a vast market and there are so MANY options out there!
You don’t have to have to jump into the deep end. Small steps can help you be more confident, and learn to love wearing lingerie. “Finding good lingerie and wearing it around your room, under your clothes, or for a photoshoot feels like an act of rebellion against bullshit societal beauty standards,” says Boyd.
Don’t be afraid, it’s actually can be quite a boost for you. “It’s my own little secret when I’m wearing it and it’s empowering, Logan tells me. “I find this is especially true when I’m struggling with my body confidence, it’s just the pick me up I need.”