While our devotion to underpinnings is year-round, it is especially current in light of the lingerie craze seen on the spring runways. Underwear as outerwear emerged as a theme at a few of our favorite shows and surfaced as particularly noteworthy at Christian Dior. Taking inspiration from Lauren Bacall and the screen sirens of forties film noir, Galliano sent his red-lipped, shiny haired models down the runway in sheer lacy dresses, black and crÃ¨me corset tops, and lace-edged silk bloomers. The effect was glamorous yet romantic, sexy yet sophisticated, and left us lusting for lingerie!
Yet, while lingerie-inspired clothing is absolutely on-trend and appropriate, the items we're spotlighting today should be kept strictly under wraps. Though they shouldn't be an easily observed part of your personal style, we promise that those who are privy to your intimate wear will be easily won over by your posh boudoir taste. Additionally, we'd like to think that wearing a pair of zebra-striped panties or vintage-inspired lace bra might give you a little lift too. Hopefully these special pieces will leave you feeling slightly sultry, or perhaps offer the perfect dose of inspiration for your final ensemble. After all, a chic outfit should always begin with a fashionable foundation, and we think there's no better way to plant a stylish seed than to build it with Under $100 lingerie! (Full disclosure: each piece is under $100, even if the full sets are not.) So without further ado, we'll all slip into something a little more comfortable and bring you a few of our favorite (and frugal!) items for spring!
H&M Bra ($13) and Underwear ($10)
In the Balenciaga S/S 10 show, models strutted down the runway in geometric tops and dresses with surprising bursts of mesh inset. While the collection did not directly feature outerwear as underwear, Nicolas GhesquiÃ¨re's streetwise vibe can be seen in this H&M set. The mesh detailing, black-on-black paneling, and boy-cut bottoms are sporty and modern, while the sheerness of the set is sexy indeed. Additionally, this fashion-forward bra top has offered up something practical: providing some welcome and supportive underwire. We recommend styling it with any of your favorite racer-back tanks, or under a sheer neon colored top for a directional Balenciaga-inspired look.
Elle Macpherson Intimates Obsidian Greer Bra ($80) and Greer Bikini ($30, 866.593.2540)
Elle Macpherson is one of our favorite stylesetters, so we were thrilled when the yummy mummy launched a new range to her namesake lingerie line. The Obsidian collection which debuts this spring includes the same sartorial spirit of her beautiful sets that we always lust for, but is designed to be a bit edgier with a starker color palette. This eye-catching zebra-print bra and bikini set (which also comes in a hot thong version!) is one of our top picks from this emerging selection. We love how Macpherson translated the animal craze to her intimates, making this an ideal option for any trendsetter with a taste for the wild side. Additionally, while the white lace embellished bra straps will look super-sexy popping out from under any tee, we'd recommend pulling out all the stops and opting for a tank with an exaggerated arm hole to allow for the chic pattern to be seen in plein air.
Aerie Chambray Vintage Romper ($30, 888.232.4535)
One of our most surprising and wallet-friendly finds for the day is this adorable Aerie romper. Not only does it echo the vintage pin-up styles seen at Christian Dior, it also invokes one our other favorite spring trends, pretty pastels. The powder blue hue is akin to the soft shades seen on the Burberry Prorsum S/S 10 runway, and we love the sweetly delicate detail of the crÃ¨me lace. Additionally, while this is a charming piece to sleep in, we could easily see a trendsetter like Kate Moss wearing it out under jeans for an ethereal warm-weather look.
Cosabella Devon Underwire Bra ($64) and Lowrider Bikini ($42) in Natural
We have long relied on Cosabella to fill our lingerie drawer with luxurious underthings, and this neutral toned set is no exception. While it is the most classical of today's offeringsÂ--everyone needs at least one stylish workhorseÂ--it does remind us of our adoration for finishing touches like tiny bows and scalloped trim. Right in line with the color palette that swept the spring runways, this lace demi-cup would be ideal for peeking out under a button-down, or to be spotted underneath a diaphanous blouse. But as for those lowriders (lovely as they are) they're a better kept secret hidden beneath your jeans!
Undrest Wisp-of-Silk Bralette ($78) and Wisp-of-Silk Bloomers ($88)
With a brand new flagship store on Robertson Blvd, Undrest is making its wayÂ--while stripping down!Â--onto the lingerie, lounge and swimwear scene. We are particularly drawn to this label for its sweetly sexy vibe, and adore the retro inspiration of this bralette-and-bloomers duo. While it does pay obvious homage to the forties influence seen at Dior, both in style and ebony-ivory hue, the surprising touch of a racer back top makes it decidedly modern. Obviously, we'd like to offer a way to wear this sophisticated set out-of-doors, yet these delightful bloomers look most chic lounging languidly in the comfort of your own home!
Only Hearts Sophie Camisole ($80) and Sophie Hipster ($55)
For the Valentino S/S 10 show, models romanced the runway in swirling, semi-diaphanous organza frocks in soft shades of nude, lavender and gray. This oyster-hued sleep set seems the bedroom equivalent of that frock-based collection, and we love how the semi-sheer silk chiffon echoes Valentino's gauzy vibe. Yet, vixens don't fret, this set is not strictly demure. On the contrary, the black lace detailing offers a little edge reminding us of those sultry sirens chez Dior.Â--Liza Kaplan