2019 portrays a clear common thread throughout all upcoming coveted style — desire for comfort.
Whether you are a little shy or vocal about your innerwear, that tiny piece of garment does rule your life. Hence it better be comfortable. With people nowadays being much aware of their body types, women are coming out and talking about their functional needs in lingeries that’s the most essential piece of garment.
A study has revealed that bustier women can end up having backache issues if they don’t have the right support and right size bras. Says Amisha Jain, CEO of Zivame, “I think it is very important for people to understand this category. Brands these days are coming out and trying to create a comfortable platform to discover and explore for women in India.” When asked about what changes she has seen in the industry in last two years Amisha says, “Women are much more aware of their body types and style. Every woman is unique. She wants her own style and wants her own way of expressing herself. The conversation is becoming broader and the taboo is going away.”
While the majority of the designs nowadays continue with the memo ‘you-do-you’ (be yourself), what united them was their search for an expression of empowerment. From 80s fashion of ruffles, metallic colours, and shoulder pads to 2K19s lace pastel sheath dresses, neon colour, and shrugs, fashion not only has changed in terms of style and fabrics but also has emerged into comfortable, bold and beautiful. So are lingeries.
Last year, lingerie became more of a fashion statement than ever as it transformed from something you wear underneath your clothing to something you wear as clothing. But this year it is a little different. In 2019, it is clear that there is one common thread throughout all upcoming coveted style -- the desire for comfort. A lot of women of all ages are coming out to embrace the desire for comfort. Moreover, sports-inspired lingerie has made a huge comeback and is here to stay. The ’90s revival of streetwear encouraged women into an era of confidence and comfort. Think melange fabrics, elasticated bands, mesh details and logo-mania details. We are all about that comfortable loungewear life.
When asked about what challenges India is facing in terms of fashion trends, Amisha feels “It is a very exciting category. It is growing as a market on a very good pace and now it has about 15 per cent growth year-on-year. The challenges we face in India is that this category has never been spoken about and it is not been mentioned much.
However, you will be surprised to know that in certain pockets of the society even today almost 80 per cent of the women don’t know their real bra sizes. And most us have no idea or not being taught in terms of how to go about it.”
Where push-up bras and lacy lingerie is a plateau for 2019, the increasing rejection of discomfort such as steel underwires is now becoming obsolete and is also being replaced by modern technologies such as 3D wires that follow the natural curve of the body providing a more comfortable fit. The trend is also gravitated toward soft wireless bras reflecting the modern mood of self-care.In line with the theme of comfort in intimates, fussy briefs are being replaced with more clean-edge styles designed for everyday wear for men. High-leg cuts, inspired by '80s silhouettes, stay popular but look less dramatic and are more wearable in soft stretch jerseys and smooth modals.
While boxers, boxer- briefs and briefs are still the most popular and versatile choices out there, Indian men are still struggling with the new trends. Founder of XYXX, a premium brand for comfortable innerwear, Yogesh Kabra feels, “In India, it is still a challenging situation. It is not something that is actively thought about. And it is not something that falls into the trend zone. Still, 50-70 per cent of the sale is of black, and grey which are darker, safer and boring colours.”
“It is not only about looks but also about the functionality perspective. If you look at the sort of fabrics nowadays premium brands are using is micro Modal, which is the most premium underwear fabric across the world, it is three times softer. It is made from the pulp of the beech wood trees in Austria. And because it is from the wood it is automatically antibacterial in nature. So irrespective of fashion trends, the flat underwear made up from micro modal fabric will be superior to flat underwear made up from cotton fabrics.” Yogesh adds.
However, last season floral, colour blocks geometric patterns were floating in and out of menswear but this season they seem to have landed comfortably into men’s innerwear collection.
“While we are making the product, we are very focused on making it for the younger audience specifically around 25 to 35 years of age. So we selected style, colour and trend that represent youth. And we saw very different customer behaviour on this. We saw younger stuff was picked by people who were 45 to 55 years of age. In fact the best converting age group is 35 to 55, which was very surprising.” Yogesh says.
World over a lot of fabrics are offered for men’s and women’s innerwear apart from cottons, like modal, nylon, silk, lace and polyester. While many changes are already setting in the country, we still need to catch up with the global trends when it comes to innerwear.