Before you buy underwear for anyone it’s important to consider the type of undies the woman in your life will favour. Is she the girly type? Does she keep things classic or prefer a shot of colour? You can find all these answers in her delicates drawer.
Having a snoop at what she already owns is a great way to get the lowdown on her unmentionables – most importantly you can find out her size, favourite colours and preferred style. Generally, there are three main styles for you to consider: full cup (these offer the most coverage and support); balcony (these have a boosting effect); and plunge (these push the breasts together to create a cleavage). Of course, while most women navigate through a small roster of much-loved undies, the odd surprise can really give her that feel-good-factor, just be sure not to stray too far from the norm.
Luxe lingerie isn’t just for lovebirds, though. If you’re a single lady but still want to invest in a new set of undies this season then why not buy something to treat yourself? It’s time to officially ditch those tired pants.
So whether it’s a treat for her or a present to yourself, we’ve found the best sets out there for girls of all sizes.
1. Ann Summers Celia Underwire Bra and Thong: Bra £26 and thong £14, Ann Summers
This luxe-looking set from Ann Summers offers the ideal balance between sultry and sweet. The floral appliqué detailing in a rich red colour contrasts perfectly with the soft, sheer cup, offering coverage where needed. The bra itself is designed with balcony cups for a natural lift and comes in sizes 30B-38DD. It’s paired with a delicate thong that continues the ciré lace pattern and has a small satin bow. You can add on a suspender belt. It’s also available in plum and black.
2. Asos Premium Gracie Strapy Underwire Bra & Brazilian Pant: Bra £28, brief £14, Asos
If you’re after something a little different, then this cherry red set is a head turner. Both the underwired bra and briefs feature thick, elasticated strapping in a graphic crossover design that hints at the erotic while upholding a sense of modesty. The rest of the cup is crafted with semi-sheer mesh, no padding and is available in sizes 30A – 36D. This carries through to the briefs which are finished with a Brazilian cut and multi-strapping at the sides. A triangle bra and thong are also available in this design.
3. Janet Reger Black Lace Strap Body: £36, Debenhams
Opting for a bodysuit like this one is great for switching up your look and also works wonders for those that can be a little tummy conscious. The dark pink halter neck design sits prettily over the chest with delicate floral lace detailing that continues over the rest of the body. It’s classic and understated but still revealing. The bottom half is designed with a Brazilian style brief that also comes fitted with popper fastenings, making it easy to put on and take off.
4. Next Print Phoebe Light Padded Balcony Bra and Lace Brazilian Briefs: Bra £30 and briefs £14, Next
For women with larger busts, finding a lingerie set that fits well, flatters and doesn’t cost a fortune can be tricky but this floral option from Next covers all bases. It’s available in sizes 30DD-38G and has lightly padded cups and secure, stretchy straps that won’t dig into the shoulders. The bra is balcony style, offering natural lift and you get roses in muted hues on the silk cups and a lace trim. The matching briefs come in size 6 to 18 and if you’re feeling generous you can gift the coordinating robe too.
5. Bluebella Ella Soft Cup Bra and Ella Brief: Bra £28 and brief £16, Bluebella
If the woman in your life isn’t afraid of a bit of colour, then Valentine's is the perfect opportunity to invest in some ruby undies. With such a vivid hue, we think it’s best to keep the design simple, so a soft-cup triangle bra like this one from Brit brand Bluebella is ideal. The delicate lace and satin under-bust band makes it a really comfortable fit but if a little more support is needed it does come in a plunge style too. The matching red briefs have the same satin detailing as the bra, with lace detailing on the rear. Available in sizes small to extra-large, the online size guide gives you a breakdown of back and cup sizes so this shouldn’t leave you feeling too confused.
6. Agent Provocateur Lacy Bra, Brief and Suspender Belt: Bra £85, brief £75, suspender belt £75, Agent Provocateur
If your budget permits, a set from luxury brand Agent Provocateur offers the ultimate in opulent undies. Our favourite is this black lacy set which is both seductive and feminine. The quarter cup is designed with satin and finished with delicate strips of French leavers lace, flashing a little flesh in between. It might not be the most supportive option but it’s by far the most luxurious. This set can be paired with a thong but we love the brief which offers soft satin strapping across the derrière. Finish the look with a suspender belt that will shape the waist and leave your lady feeling every bit the seductress. Agent Provocateur bras come in sizes 32A-38F and bottoms in sizes six to 16.
7. Marks & Spencer Silk and Lace Set: £38.50 for the set, Marks & Spencer
Marks and Spencer has long been known for its range of lingerie but since supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley came on board back in 2012, things have certainly stepped up a notch. The collection is vintage-inspired, feminine and most importantly, completely wearable. The bra in this silk and lace set is designed with a delicate plunge that offers good support and uplift. The straps are also wider than most standard bras, making it a great option for those with a wider set cleavage. It’s also available in an impressive range of sizes: from 32A-40E. The brief continues the silk and lace detailing with a super-high leg fit that will make your legs look longer. We also love the extensive colour options that mean this set can be girly or racy depending on which colour you chose.
8. Victoria’s Secret Satin and Lace Low Back Slip: £45, Victoria’s Secret
Buying lingerie doesn’t have to mean a bra and brief set. If you’re looking for something a little different but equally as special, a satin slip ticks all the boxes. Victoria’s Secret is known for its show-stopping undies and this slinky option doesn’t disappoint. The top is designed with sheer lace that joins onto a smooth satin body. It’s seductive, yes, but equally as comfy. The slip comes with adjustable criss-cross straps so you can easily modify the length, while the plunge V-neck back shows a little extra skin. It’s available in sizes extra small to extra-large and in an impressive nine shades – our favourite is ruby wine.
9. Rossell England Pylon Bra & Angled Thong in Black: Bra £110, thong £39, Rossell England
British brand Rossell is well-known for its timeless and understated lingerie made from the highest quality silk and Italian cotton. After something that oozes luxury? Then this could be it. The Pylon bra is simplistic in design with panels of 100 per cent cotton and semi-sheer silk chiffon while the graphic lines give it a little edge. It’s also underwire free but has side boning for extra support. The matching thong is crafted from the same natural cotton and features semi-sheer side panels which are finished with a delicate frill.
10. & Other Stories Frilled Soft Lace Bra & Briefs: Bra £17, brief £12, & Other Stories
If you prefer to keep things on the girly side, then this feminine-looking set from & Other Stories should do the trick. The simple triangle bra comes in a soft, blush pink lace with fuchsia detailing that’s carried through to the straps. We also love the frilled edge, which adds a flirty touch without being too over-the-top. The matching briefs come in a bikini-style cut, feature the same two-tone floral lace motif and a little ruffle at the hip. Sizes run in European dress sizes, rather than conventional bra sizes, so you may want to check the online guide.
11. Aldi Ladies Satin Bra and Briefs: Bra £3.99, 2 Pack of Briefs £3.99, Aldi
If you’re on a tight budget then look no further than Aldi. It’s created a special Valentine’s Day underwear collection, including this black bra and brief set. We were impressed by the look and fit of this pair – the super-soft briefs have lace detailing on the front and a sheer mesh back, while the matching bra looks just as good as other more expensive ones we tried. There’s also a pink option if you’re after a splash of colour. For the price, these are a great value pair that may not last forever but will certainly see you through 14 February. Make sure you check your size is available though, as there is a limited selection online.
The Verdict: Valentine's Day lingerie sets
For a lingerie set that’s the right balance of pretty/sexy as well as very wearable, Ann Summer’s Celia set is a winner. We love the deep red colouring of the floral appliqué and the feminine yet cheeky sheer finish. For the ultimate in Valentine’s glamour, we also have to mention Asos’ racy red set.
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